Kanye West – The Life of Pablo review

Nowadays, Kanye the celebrity is far more of the focus than Kanye the musician. “I got rid of my phone so I can have air to create”, West tweeted on September 14, 2016. That may be the entertainment tweet of the year. For real. But this, nor West’s bizarre fashion line can change the fact that his seventh album, The Life of Pablo, is a muddled affair that lacks real direction. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: Nick Brewer – Never Say Never (ft. Sinead Harnett)

Nick Brewer - Never Say Never single (2480x1395)Nothing brings the summer months back like a hot collab’. Leytonstone-born rapper Nick Brewer has joined Sinead Harnett for an exhilarating appetiser for the summer in the form of ‘Never Say Never’. Continue reading

Choice Cuts: Etta James – At Last!

Argo Records, 1960Etta James, The Chess box, by Jazz Guy (752x423)Listening to Etta James can bring you as close as it’s possible to get to heaven without leaving your physical body behind you. Take the title track of her phenomenal debut album, At Last!: when James’s pure voice rises in perfect concert with the nuzzling strings, it’s as if flowers have spontaneously sprung into bloom, the clouds have parted and, for three glorious minutes, all is well with the world. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: Elbow – Lost Worker Bee

Elbow - Lost Worker Bee EP (1024x576)The days are gradually getting shorter and summer is relinquishing its grasp. A fitting time for the title track to Elbow’s latest EP, Lost Worker Bee, then. This song feels as though it was birthed at the height of summer, and brings with it the energy of a job well done under the hot sun. Continue reading

Choice Cuts: S Club 7 – S Club

Polydor Records, 1999S Club 7, press photo 2002 - Don't Stop Movin' (1024x576)This month sees the return of a pop band that signifies my generation is now firmly in the category of ‘nostalgia marketing’ in the eyes of the music industry: S Club 7. The announcement last November that Tina Barrett, Paul Cattermole, Rachel Stevens, Jo O’Meara, Hannah Spearritt, Bradley McIntosh and Jon Lee would be returning – with a reunion performance on BBC Children in Need and a 2015 UK tour – sent ripples of ecstasy through my Facebook feed (occupied, as it is, nowadays by engagements, work outings and the occasional overboard night out). Continue reading