Weekly Capsule Reviews – 01/05/2016


This week: Sturgill Simpson, Guided by Voices, Katy B

Sturgill Simpson – A Sailor’s Guide to Earth (15/04/2016 – Atlantic Records)

Like many country aesthetes, Simpson has attempted to separate himself from that paradigm only by means of making it in the pop world. Most can’t fully do it and neither can he. But some attempts are better than most and this is one of them. Heavily leaning on adult-oriented rock vibes, this tickled my fancy even when I thought it didn’t nor didn’t want it to. The chaotic Chuck Berry-like finish I’m still struggling to comprehend. That doesn’t stop me from listening, though. (7/10)

Guided by Voices – Please Be Honest (22/04/2016 – GBV Inc (self-released))

Funnily enough, I thought Pollard’s vocals were lacking a bit when his vocal flailings were pretty okay on last month’s solo effort. This was the usual multitude of songs presented in their get-in-and-out format with little time to breathe. Some say that’s a good thing. I wouldn’t disagree with them. (6/10)

Katy B – Honey (22/04/2016 – Rinse Recordings/Virgin EMI Records)

I think it was the collabs that fucked this from the beginning. They added nothing but at the same time probably took nothing away. Where Katy B’s past hip-hop and R&B mixture gave us an insight into a humble Anglo female who could combat the giants of US materialism and pop power, this dives very much into what Corporate America loves to sell us, unfortunately. The beats are snazzy, glitzy – not as electrified as her past records from what I’ve heard – and mostly seductive. But I ain’t going to lose my head listening to this again. (4/10)


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