Weekly Capsule Reviews – 26/06/2016


This week: Radiohead, Laura Mvula, The Temper Trap, Will Butler, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (08/05/2016 – XL Recordings)

If Thom Yorke’s melancholy isn’t well received by now (are you even listening?) then it should be after this. I’ve always admired the frontman’s nod to his influences—in this case I hear, in particular, Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden. Maybe not as perpetually arid as Mark Hollis’ structured spirituality but more perpetually controlled. Yorke’s vocals take a back seat yet are still the blueprint for the albums that have gone before and are the continual drafts of what’s to come. A Moon Shaped Pool is more string arrangements less the pop and more melancholy less the trying. (7/10)

Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room (17/06/2016 – RCA Records/Columbia Records)

She’s an honest soulster, and that chat with the gran was charming and harmless. Like her music, actually. (6/10)

The Temper Trap – Thick as Thieves (10/06/2016 – Liberation Records/Infectious Records/Glassnote Records)

So nearly everything that’s wrong with guitar music these days – a pristine and polished leadman with vocals beating him to the post possessing the same credentials, crisp jangle guitar with chorus-meets-echo effects, and crystal clear production to woo the label. But as critics/fans/musicians we can’t say much as we’re trying to revive the four-piece traditionalism of “guitar rock”, or as it’s called these days, “post-punk revival”. Some tracks are tight – “Burn” and “Alive”. The former’s guitar channels The Edge and the latter’s drumbeats are steady and glue-like almost eliminating your near disdain of everything that’s occurring in the foreground. (6/10)

Will Butler – Friday Night (17/06/2016 – Merge Records) – (Live Album)

“I want to fuck you, Will!” A fun Friday night out with Will Butler. Or did he say Thursday? The vocals are very strained here. “No I don’t want your motherfuckin’ help” – fine. (5/10)

Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Getaway (17/06/2016 – Warner Bros. Records, Inc.)

Yeah, yeah, yeah, John Frusciante is missed. But not always. Josh Klinghoffer is note-by-note, chord-by-chord, anally particular with very little soul attached. Like always I hear Talking Heads and funnily enough I hear Gang of Four (“Detroit”); guitarist Andy Gill being RHCP’s first producer. Why is that funny? Well first of all it isn’t and second of all I didn’t think Klinghoffer would know any better. (5/10)


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