Tag Archives: Reviews

LIVE REVIEW: SINGTEL AND SAMSUNG PRESENTS UP CLOSE WITH JESSIE J

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As much as we would confess to an aversion to what passes for pop music in 2016, the UK singer-songwriter Jessie J has always intrigued with her songwriting and unconventional style. There is a genuine earthy quality about Jessie J amidst the obligatory glitz and glamour of modern pop that endears, somewhat.

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GEEK OUT! X-MEN: APOCALPYSE

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Background
Whilst ostensibly, X-Men: Apocalypse deals with the emergence of the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse in the 80s, and the X-Men’s attempts to defeat his extinction level plan, it is actually the conclusion of the time-hopping trilogy that began with the Matthew Vaughn-helmed X-Men: First Class. With the re-introduction of beloved X-Men characters like Scott Summers/Cyclops (Tye Sheriden), Phoenix/Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Nightcrawler/Kurt Wagner (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Storm/Ororo Munroe (Alexandra Shipp), the movie sets the stage for the X-Men’s new adventures.

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ALBUM REVIEW: MUDCRUTCH – 2

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Background
Tom Petty’s previous band (with guitarist Tom Leadon & drummer Randall Marsh) before forming Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. With Heartbreakers Mike Campbell (lead guitar) and Benmont Tench (keyboards) on board, the reformed Mudcrutch released an eponymous debut album in 2008. Thought to be a one-off, the band is back with a second album, appropriately entitled 2.

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ALBUM REVIEW: TRASHCAN SINATRAS – WILD PENDULUM

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Background
Veteran Scottish pop-rockers return with its sixth studio album since formation in the late 1980s.

Strengths
Very compelling, highly listenable traditional pop-rock. Lushly arranged with layered harmonies and orchestrated instrumentation on certain tracks. Memorable melodies will keep you humming along.

Highlights
“Let Me Inside (Or Let Me Out)”, “Best Days on Earth”, “Ain’t That Something”.

Sounds Like
Aztec Camera, The Go-Betweens, Lloyd Cole.

Bottom Line
Always refreshing to find pop music with unabashed leanings towards sophisticated textures and well crafted tunes. A thoroughly enjoyable album from start to finish.

Information
Official Website: http://trashcansinatras.com/

Buy now!

ALBUM REVIEW: FRUIT BATS – ABSOLUTE LOSER

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Background
Fruit Bats is an American rock band formed in 1997 in Chicago, Illinois. Noted as an early entrant into the folk-rock boom of the early 2000s, the group has had many personnel changes but revolves around singer/songwriter Eric D. Johnson. Two years after announcing the demise of Fruit Bats, Johnson is back with a new Fruit Bats album.

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LIVE REVIEW: OF MONSTERS & MEN – LIVE IN SINGAPORE

Photo by Jazreel-Anne.
Photo by Jazreel-Anne.

Icelandic hipster band returned to Singapore for a full concert, having previously appeared at Laneway 2013. Considering the type of young fans OMAM attracts, the audience were mostly surprisingly laid back, dress-wise, with many fans donning OMAM t-shirts.

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ALBUM REVIEW: RADIOHEAD – A MOON SHAPED POOL

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Background
Radiohead are an English rock band from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, formed in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments), Colin Greenwood (bass), Phil Selway (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Ed O’Brien (guitar, backing vocals). A Moon Shaped Pool is the band’s ninth studio album.

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ALBUM REVIEW: B-LEAGUERS – DEATH OF A WESTERN HEART

Photo credit: Gary D Chapman
Photo credit: Gary D Chapman

Background
Hailing from Lincoln in the UK, B-Leaguers describe their energetic, crunchy guitar rock as ‘powerpoppunkrock’. Consisting of James Popdog – vocals, Ched Howard – guitars, Mikey Barraclough – bass & Mark Barrett – drums/percussion, the band have released its debut album, Death of a Western Heart.

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ALBUM REVIEW: A GIANT DOG – PILE

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Background
Forging their friendships in the crucible of their Houston, TX, high school, Sabrina Ellis (vocals), Andrew Cashen (vocals, guitar), and Orville Neeley (drums) first got their start covering AC/DC, The Ramones, Joan Jett, and the finer points of the Back to the Future soundtrack at school dances under the band name Youth In Asia. Reuniting in Austin in 2008, they enlisted their pals Andy Bauer (guitar) and Graham Low (bass) and christened the act A Giant Dog.

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GEEK OUT! CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR – GETTING BEHIND THE HYPE (SPOILERS!)

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If the critics are to be believed, Captan America: Civil War is the best superhero movie ever made and Batman V Superman is the worst. But what is really at issue here? One is a Marvel movie and the other isn’t. It’s really as simple as that. Simply put, every criticism of BVS can also be validly levelled at Civil War but the latter gets a free pass, every single time. This bias is not unusual for Marvel fans – its comic fans were famously labelled as ‘Marvel Zombies’ back in the 80s for supporting Marvel no matter how awful the stories and characters were.

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ALBUM REVIEW: THE POSIES – SOLID STATES

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Background
It’s been six long years since The Posies’ released the warmly received Blood/Candy and much has changed since then. Most significantly, the deaths of two longtime band members, drummer Darius Minwalla and bassist Joe Skyward, which occurred in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The creative core of The Posies – Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow – reaffirm their commitment to good music-making and to each other with Solid States, the band’s eighth album.

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ALBUM REVIEW: THE JAYHAWKS – PAGING MR. PROUST

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Background
The Jayhawks are an American rock band that emerged from the Twin Cities music scene during the mid-1980s. Though stereotyped somewhat as an alt-country band, The Jayhawks’ music is finely balanced between country-folk and pop-rock. The new LP finds long term members Gary Louris, Marc Perlman, Karen Grotberg and Tim O’Reagan receiving stellar assistance from Mike Mills and Peter Buck from R.E.M.

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GEEK OUT! CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

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Synopsis
Differences arise between Avengers,Captain America (Steve Rogers) and Iron Man (Tony Stark), over the proper response to the Government’s demands for oversight over superhuman activities. Then, Rogers’ best friend Bucky Barnes (aka Winter Soldier) is implicated in a terrorist act and Rogers has to choose between Barnes or Stark, which leads to disastrous consequences for the Avengers.

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ALBUM REVIEW: BRIAN ENO – THE SHIP

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Background
One of popular music’s most influential and innovative figures, musician/composer/record producer/singer/writer Brian Eno has been responsible for some of the most cutting-edge music ever made. On The Ship, Eno once more develops the musical form he pioneered, ambient electronica.

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DVD REVIEW: ELVIS COSTELLO – DETOUR LIVE AT LIVERPOOL PHILHARMONIC HALL

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Background
A recording of Elvis Costello’s performance at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. Part of his Detour Show tour where Costello plays solo acoustic versions of select songs from his immense discography, using the “Lupe-O-Tone” television set to tell the stories behind the songs.

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ALBUM REVIEW: NICOLAS GODIN – CONTREPOINT

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Background
Nicolas Godin is a French electronic musician best known for being half of the music duo Air. Contrepoint is Godin’s debut solo album and is said to be heavily influenced by the works of JS Bach. Intriguingly, Godin’s solo album comes close on the heels of the new release from Starwalker (which features Godin’s erstwhile Air partner, Jean-Benoit Dunckel)

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ALBUM REVIEW: GUIDED BY VOICES – PLEASE BE HONEST

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Background
Guided by Voices (GBV) is an American indie rock band originating from Dayton, Ohio. Formed in the 80s, the band has made frequent personnel changes but has always maintained the presence of principal songwriter, vocalist Robert Pollard. GBV has disbanded & reunited twice in the last six years. However, for this new album, Pollard played every instrument – the first time that this has happened in the band’s history.

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ALBUM REVIEW: PJ HARVEY – THE HOPE SIX DEMOLITION PROJECT

PJ Harvey

Background
PJ Harvey is an English musician, singer-songwriter, writer, poet, and composer. With new album The Hope VI Demolition Project, Harvey has now released nine LPs. Harvey wrote the songs during her travels to Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Washington D.C. with photographer/filmmaker Seamus Murphy between 2011 and 2014.

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ALBUM REVIEW: 7HORSE – LIVIN IN A BITCH OF A WORLD

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Background
A two-man band conjuring their own unique variation on blues and roots rock, 7Horse are an offshoot of the popular alternative rock band Dada, with group members Joie Calio and Phil Leavitt stepping up with a new sound and approach. In 7Horse, Leavitt tackles drums and lead vocals, while Calio, who plays bass in Dada, shows off his skills on guitar. Livin in a Bitch of a World is the duo’s third LP.

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