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Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Walkman

The Walkmen

VINYL


 have been around for over a decade now – so youth isn’t quite on their side these days. But so lauded are they that the quintet could release a cloud of smoke and it would receive gushing reviews from a cluster of critics. But the New Yorkers’ seventh studio effort is a glossy record that will speak to more important people than writers with established preconceptions – and it may well speak to them quite profoundly.
There are some wonderful moments for sure: The Love You Love, to pick one immediate highlight, is a doozie. As vocalist Hamilton Leithauser wails, “Baby it's the love, the love – not me,” the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It's a thrilling three minutes in the mould of The Walkmen circa 2002, reminding the listener of those dog days when the band, and all the rest of us too, were a lot younger.BBC
That classic Walkmen aesthetic is also tenable on the album's seductive title track. Here, the production skills of Phil Ek – who helped to make Built to Spill and Modest Mouse into something much greater than the sum of their parts – are evident, as tightly wound guitars blend with a taut, beauteous rhythm section.
However, as The Walkmen's youthful braggadocio fades, certain pipe-and-slippers moments mar proceedings. The vocals-led stop-start antics of No One Ever Sleeps, Dreamboat and Southern Heart are self-indulgent, dull and messy. All is not lost, though: the compelling 1960s doo-wop jangles of Heartbreaker and the sultry, impassioned plea of Nightingales put things back on the straight and narrow.
There has to come a point in life where writing a film script or a novel begins to better express your feelings about the world than writing a song. But The Walkmen haven’t quite reached that point yet, as Heaven is a record with the power to grab your heart, like an ex-lover you just can't shake off – no matter how many years you've been without them.

Sigur Ros

 Sigur Ros


Vinyl Its gestation was lengthy: Valtari’s roots lie in a 2003 collaboration with the 16 Choir that took place at London’s Barbican, and recording in fact started back in 2007, when they decided to pursue the concept of an entirely choral album. But other projects, and a lack of a clear goal, prevented them from making significant progress for a while, and it was only last year when they began to assemble the album from the various experiments that they’d conducted over the previous four years.
The results – eight songs totalling almost an hour – are probably the band’s quietest since 1999’s groundbreaking Ágætis Byrjun, and consequently their most perplexing. Yet, in some ways, this is one of their most beautiful releases in a career that has never been short of elegance.
Much of the album sounds like it’s made up of what would, in previous years, have only qualified as the introductions to songs. Opening track Ég anda takes an age to get underway, reverb-heavy guitars chiming quietly before Jónsi’s distinctive falsetto floats in over what sounds like an army of music boxes, and, though Rembihnútur lifts off towards its end in a familiar fashion, drums are largely limited to distorted electronic pulses and there are none of the earth-scorching effects that have previously characterised similar moments.BBC

In fact, the album’s final three tracks are all instrumental, but fortunately they’re all rather bewitching, especially the atmospheric title track which creeps with the grace and speed of cooling lava. Varðeldur, meanwhile, offers a fragile charm reminiscent of their former string section, Amiina.
The album’s highlight is Varúð, an elegiac, spectral hymn whose chorus ascends heavenwards in the traditional Sigur Rós manner, its sound becoming more and more saturated as it does so, and, for some, Valtari will lack similar climactic moments of release.
For those more patient, however, the album represents calm after a storm, and highlights how Sigur Rós remain as eager to challenge themselves as their audience.

Regina Spektor

Regina Spektor
There's fresh eccentricity on Spektor's sixth album, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats.Download
 The Russian-born New Yorker sings much of Oh Marcello in a cod-Italian accent best suited to a pasta sauce advert. On a song called The Party, she compares her paramour to "a big parade through town"… and then imitates a trumpet. Elsewhere, she does her "impression" of the drums. To British ears, the result doesn't sound like beat-boxing; it sounds like EastEnders ending on a cliffhanger.
At times, Spektor can be too cutesy – does she need to refer to New York City's northernmost borough as "the Bronxy Bronx"? More often though, her little idiosyncrasies are charming. Of course, it helps that they nestle with some nifty melodies: Spektor likes a pop chorus almost as much as a vocal tic.
Besides, the quirkiness is really a corollary of Spektor's lack of inhibition – as a performer, yes, but also as a songwriter. On the surface, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats is an album of piano-based pop songs, but thematically, it's more varied. Cryptic confessionals knock shoulders with character sketches, the odd sort-of-love song and even some social commentary.BBC
All the Rowboats takes aim at museums filled with masterpieces, calling them "public mausoleums", while Ballad of a Politician is a crisp vignette about a networker. Thankfully, neither of these tracks contains that reference to "the Bronxy Bronx".
Spektor is also capable of being very affecting. The album's centrepiece is a break-up ballad called How that already sounds like a classic. At the song's climax, Spektor needs just six words to capture all the stinging sadness of losing a lover's intimacy: "You are a guest here now."
Really, the truth about Regina Spektor is that quirky isn't the half of it.

Goyte


Gotye
The "Somebody That I Used To Know"Download remix set, arriving as a bundle on iTunes on June 8.

Will feature new takes on the hit song by Tiesto, Adrock and Gang Colours, among others. "Somebody" just logged its seventh week at No. 1 on the Hot 100, besting the six-week run of fun.'s "We Are Young."Billboard


This summer, Gotye will bring "Somebody That I Used To Know" and the rest of his "Making Mirrors" album on the road with a 33-date North American trek, kicking off on Aug. 22 in Morrison, Colo. Artists like Chairlift, Missy Higgins and Zammuto have signed on to support Gotye, who will visit venues like New York's Radio City Music Hall and Los Angeles' Greek Theatre before wrapping things up at the Austin City Limits fest on Oct. 13.

Finally, Gotye's newfound stateside success has resulted in the re-release of his album "Like Drawing Blood," originally issued in 2006 in Australia. The album will arrive stateside on CD and vinyl via Fairfax/Universal Republic in July. "Making Mirrors," which was released last year, dipped to No. 13 on the Billboard 200 chart last week.

Lady Ga Ga

Lady GaGa's
Download co-manager has teased the Poker Face star's third studio album, stating that it's an "insane, great record."
GaGa, who is currently touring the world as part of her epic Born This Way Ball, is currently working on her new LP while on the road.
Speaking to That Grape Juice about GaGa's next LP, Vincent Herbet revealed: "Just insane, great records. She's on tour right now, but it's just going to be a great record.
"Look out for the unexpected, when it comes to her - I'm very excited. We're doing it on the road right now, so it's very hard, but it's going to be great."MTV
Earlier this week, Lady G was forced to cancel her upcoming tour date in Jakarta, Indonesia following a series of protests against the show.
She was said to be 'devastated' following the announcement, stating on Twitter: "There is nothing Holy about hatred. We had to cancel the concert in Indonesia. I'm so very sorry to the fans & just as devastated as you if not more.
"You are everything to me. I will try to put together something special for you. My love for Indonesia has only grown. #GagaSendsLoveToJakarta and all its people."
Despite scrapping the gig, GaGa has been named as the post popular celebrity of all-time by Starcount.com - which collects data from the likes of Facebook and Twitter - beating the likes of Justin Bieber and Rihanna to the title.

Beck

Download Teaming up with Jack White, Beck released the menacing country number "I Just Started Hating Some People Today" on Third Man Records this week.

The song skirts the line between a range of styles, including punk (with White supplying screaming vocals), smooth funk, and country. It is delightfully cathartic, rife with bluesy guitar slides and a chorus that asserts that Beck was "saying things that a garbage-man would not say." The track also features syrupy vocals from White's ex-wife and fellow Third Man artist Karen Elson.

According to the Third Man website, "Today" and its B-Side "Blue Randy" were recorded in 2011 while Beck was recording in Nashville. Both tracks were conceived and recorded on the musician's final day in the studio.

Both songs are now available to purchase on iTunes, and a limited vinyl pressing with the tracks is available via the Third Man website.Billboard

Though the follow up to 2008's critically acclaimed "Modern Guilt" has yet to be announced, Beck has been in the studio recording tracks since late 2011. Last week, he returned to the stage at the Santa Barbara Bowl and will appear next at New York's Governor's Ball Festival in late June and San Francisco's Outside Lands Festival in August.

The Temper Trap

The Temper Trap 
Download Treating the crowd at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire to the entirety of their debut album, Conditions, the Melbourne quartet rattled through their delay-soaked set at breakneck speed.

Unusually for a band with so many distinctive tracks, they started with a brief instrumental number which lacked dramatic impact.

Nevertheless as soon as the instantly recognisable synthesiser and drum introduction of Rest began, the crowd was instantly engaged.

Despite doing epic pop so well, it was the atmospheric, slow burner Soldier On that stole the show - the sparse arrangement allowing the falsetto vocals to soar.

However it was one of a number of tracks that seemed ill-placed in the set list.

While each individual song was performed with energy and confidence, the running order didn’t make the most of the momentum many of their songs rely on.

The first half was a little stop start, and the Aussie rockers left too many of their best songs until the second half.

Of course this is a problem they will overcome when they have a larger back catalogue to choose from.

Debuting a mystery new acoustic song in the encore, it seems the band is hinting at a tamer approach for their follow up record.

With a full tour ahead of them the band admit that writing isn’t their top priority at the moment, perhaps it will be a while before they write a song capable of further increasing their appeal.

Bassist, Jonathan unusually used a thumb-plectrum to create a percussive timbre and he particularly impressed during the growling Resurrection as it built to its inevitable climax.

Guitarist Lorenzo demonstrated his knack of writing memorable riffs and providing effective atmospheric colour but was occasionally a little lost in the mix.

He came to the fore during the instrumental Drum Song especially and also entertained by swapping to synthesiser and percussion during certain sections.

Understandably lauded for his distinctive thrusts of falsetto, front man, Dougie, who enjoys both prowling the stage and dabbling with auxiliary percussion is also equally adept when attacking more conventional vocal lines in his lower range.

It also provides a welcome variation in style during tracks such as Fader as even his well honed higher frequencies become a little samey.

Birthday boy and drummer Toby was a solid presence and replicated the tempos of the recorded versions of the tracks almost exactly – as one fan outside commented, “It sounded just like the record!” Although well executed, it lacked a little of the uniqueness one normally associates with a live performance.

The best known of their tightly constructed anthems came across well, Sweet Disposition naturally drawing the biggest reaction from the crowd. New single, Science of Fear was saved until the encore to end the evening on a particularly rousing note.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Joe Bonamassa

Joe Bonamassa
The album is quite a departure from his previous solo albums in that he has surrounded himself with excellent musicians that are stars in their own right and used their talents to produce a harder edged sound but still one that is clearly ‘Joe B’. From his own ‘Dislocated Boy’ that opens the album there is massive power and you can hear the influence of Glenn Hughes (BCC) in his vocals. The track feels like a V12 engine purring along but leaving you in no doubt that there is a huge belch of power available anytime he wants to step on the gas – that he can do this without stamping on the pedal is to his, and the bands, credit.

The album has a combination of Bonamassa’s songs with some classsics such as Robert Johnson’s ‘Stones In My Passway’ and Willie Dixon’s ‘I Got All You Need’ as well as a wonderful version of Tom Waits ‘New Coat Of Paint’ but the sef-penned stuff like the title track and ‘Somewhere Trouble Don’t Go’ are of equal quality.

To a certain extent, this sounds like Bonamassa holding the fort while he waits for new impetus but if that is the case then he is holding a high place and there is no drop in quality. Some of the guitar here is wondrous and vocally he is in fine fettle and, if truth be told, if this was by anyone else the praise would be heaped high by now; it is just that this isn’t the next greatest Bonamassa album ever – just a terrific album: period.

Jay Z

Jay-Z
The visual for Jay Z  and Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild," took many by surprise. The video, directed by M.I.A.'s "Born Free" director Romain Gavras, features citizens of Prague rioting against the government. The dark, violent war, which doesn't include neither Jay, 'Ye or the song's features Frank Ocean and The-Dream, starts when a citizen throws a blazing Molotov cocktail towards the lined-up officials.
As Hov and 'Ye continue to roll out videos in support of "Watch the Throne," producer/engineer, Mike Dean, says that both rappers are planning to record a sequel to the collaborative album.

"I'm working on the 'G.O.O.D. Music' album, of course, and 'Watch The Throne 2' -- it's not started yet, but it's coming,"Billboard
But we may be waiting a minute before Jay gets backs into the studio. Earlier this month (May 14), he told us that right now he wants to just "hang out with my daughter." "I want ot enjoy this time for what it is. I'm sure that bug to get back in the studio will come back at some point," Jay-Z said.

Cheryl Cole

Cheryl Cole Pre Order has claimed she doesn't have a problem singing other people's songs, using Girls aloud's work with songwriter Brian Higgins as an example of a good hitmaking partnership.
During an interview with Attitude magazine, Chezza was asked whether she was involved in the writing process for her new album A Million Lights, to which Cole explained: "Yeah, actually I was.
"I was speaking to a lady the other day who didn't realise I wrote anything of the first album.MTV, I wrote Heaven, I wrote 3 Words with Will I Am, I wrote Make Me Cry, Boy Like You. I wrote loads of them, I love writing."

David Bowie

David Bowie Download
 The record, which is 40 years old this summer, will be re-released on Monday (June 4) on both CD and vinyl, but you can hear it now.

The re-release will contain remastered audio of all 11 of the album's tracks. In addition, the vinyl includes an audio DVD featuring previously unreleased mixes of some of the album's tracks.

'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars' is a concept album based around a character named Ziggy Stardust, an alien who arrives on Planet Earth in its dying years and attempts to convey a message of hope via a career as a rock'n'roll star. It regularly appears in lists of the best albums of all time.

To read more about 'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars', including new interviews about its creation and its influence on the last 40 years of music, pick up next week's issue of NME, which is on newsstands and available digitally from next Wednesday (June 6).

Meanwhile, NME's sister title Uncut have launched a new iPad app which allows you to take a look back on the history of the iconic singer.

'David Bowie: The Ultimate Music Guide' gives an overview of The Thin White Duke's five-decade long career with rare interviews taken from the archives of NME and Melody Maker, as well as newly-commissioned reviews of each of the singer's studio albums.

The package costs £2.99 and is available from iTunes. A lite version of the app, which can be downloaded for free, is also available from iTunes.

The tracklisting for the new reissues of 'The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars' are as follows:

CD Version

'Five Years'
'Soul Love'
'Moonage Daydream'
'Starman'
'It Ain't Easy'
'Lady Stardust'
'Star'
'Hang On To Yourself'
'Ziggy Stardust'
'Suffragette City'
'Rock 'N' Roll Suicide'


180-gram vinyl and DVD package

Side 1

'Five Years'
'Soul Love'
'Moonage Daydream'
'Starman'
'It Ain't Easy'


Side 2

'Lady Stardust'
'Star'
'Hang On To Yourself'
'Ziggy Stardust'
'Suffragette City'
'Rock 'N' Roll Suicide'


DVD [audio only]

'Five Years'
'Soul Love'
'Moonage Daydream'
'Starman'
'It Ain't Easy'
'Lady Stardust'
'Star'
'Hang On To Yourself'
'Ziggy Stardust'
'Suffragette City'
'Rock 'N' Roll Suicide'
'Five Years
'Soul Love'
'Moonage Daydream'
'Starman'
'It Ain't Easy'
'Lady Stardust'
'Star'
'Hang On To Yourself'
'Ziggy Stardust'
'Suffragette City'
'Rock 'N' Roll Suicide'
'Moonage Daydream' (Instrumental) *
'The Supermen' *
'Velvet Goldmine' *
'Sweet Head'*

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Nas

The Don

"The Don" is a new spin on an old topic. And it's nasty. Brazen. Militant. Raw. That ol' gritty New York vibe. It's hard to guess where Nas gets his fire from these days, but he's unusually hungry for a "been there, done that" veteran. "The Don" is a strong poetic performance in the vein of "Nasty."
The beat is tough, too. "Heavy D gave this beat to Salaam for me to rap on," Nas reveals in the song. With the late great Heavy, Salaam and Da Internz splitting production duty, you'd expect this to suffer from a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, but it doesn't. Instead, we get a cohesive, hard-hitting, face-melting, reggae-tinged beat.
By the time you reach the third verse, Nas is no longer in a hurry to affirm his excellence. His boasts are more assured, his tone oozing quiet confidence. "Don sh-t/Under fire, I remain on some calm sh-t," he whispers.
As long as he's still kicking raps like this on every album, he can recline in his chair, kick his feet up and light an escubano, rest assured that his place as one of hip-hop's all-time greats is guaranteed.

Adam Lambert

Adam Lambert's 
Pre Order  Never Close Our Eyes new video is one part futuristic sci-fi movie and one part rave, with "1984"-inspired cameras, pale, robotic people, and blue billowing clouds of smoke emanating from Lambert's hands. Watch below as the "American Idol" runner-up frees his fellow citizens from their mindless state, then fights the police and has a colorful, choreographed celebration.BillBoard
 
It all starts in a small, dark room -- similar to the one Lambert found himself locked in for his "Better Than I Know Myself" video -- as a computer switches the pop star's status from "Sleeping" to "Awake." Cameras are always watching and armed soldiers are everywhere as Lambert and his fellow black-eyed robots move from place to place, popping pills like candy and being scanned by futuristic machines.

Chatting with Billboard.com earlier this month, Lambert talked about the new video, but he stayed pretty mum on the details. "There's a little sci-fi energy to it. It's very cinematic. It was inspired by a couple different films," he said in the Live Q&A. "It was a fun shoot. We did it in one day and it was great. The director is Dori Oskowitz and he's awesome."

Kasabian

Kasabian Download frontman Tom Meighan has welcomed his first child to the world, after his girlfriend Kim gave birth to a baby girl.
Mimi Malone Meighan was actually born a few weeks ago, but the news was only broken by his bandmate Serge Pizzorno at the Soccer Aid match on Sunday.
Serge was awarded man of the match after scoring a wonder goal against David Seaman, and dedicated it to Tom and his family.
And Tom apparently got a personal message from one of his heroes, Will Ferrell - who had been playing on Serge's team in the charity match.MTV
A source told The Sun newspaper: "[Will Ferrell] put his little one to bed then came out for a night out with all the lads. He toasted Serge's goal and the latest member of the Kasabian family.
"Tom is a massive film fan so a message from Anchorman is up there with owning Elliott's BMX from ET.
"Will was holding court at the bar all night. He had the boys in stitches. Joe Calzaghe, Michael Sheen, Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush were there to the bitter end. The bar closed at 4am — but they'd have been around a lot later if the staff had let them."

Radiohead

Radiohead Download are planning to host a party to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee during their US tour, according to a tour insider.

The Oxford band are currently touring the East Coast of the US in support of their latest album 'The King Of Limbs', but don't plan to let that get in the way of them celebrating the Queen 60's anniversary of getting her crown. NME

According to BBC 6Music's Steve Lamacq, the band's head of security Colin has "packed numerous Union Jack and Jubilee tableware" and is "planning a Jubilee party in Washington DC at the weekend".

Radiohead will tour the UK in the autumn, playing their first UK dates in over three years.

The band first play a show at Manchester's Evening News Arena on October 6 before playing two shows at London's O2 Arena on October 8 and 9. They will then undertake a full European tour. Caribou will provide support on all dates.

They have also booked assorted European shows and festival appearances throughout the summer, including slots at Fuji Rock Festival and Bilbao BBK Live festival.

The Vaccines

The Vaccines Download have aired the first track to be taken from their second album, 'The Vaccines Come Of Age', which is set for release on September 3.

The song, entitled 'No Hope', received its premiere on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show earlier this evening (May 28). Scroll down to listen to the song and read our review. Lowe spoke to the band's frontman Justin Young about the upbeat, melodic song. "We all felt it was a really good bridge between the first record and the second record," said Young in the interview, before going on to explain that the song's vocals were recorded completely live. Lowe then revealed that the band will play Radio 1's Hackney Weekend (June 23-24) next month. 

"You can progress without getting too weird," said Young of the direction of the follow-up to their 2011 debut album, 'What Did You Expect From the Vaccines?' Young said that the band were currently in a studio outside of Bath, "just putting the finishing touches" to the album. 

Last month, Young told NME that the band's new album is sounding "more intimate" than their debut. He also praised the positive influence of producer Ethan Johns, who has previously worked on albums by the likes of Kings Of Leon, Laura Marling and Tom Jones.
Young said it was a "dream come true" to work with Johns, commenting: "He mixes it live so everything is very organic. He says that when the hairs on his arms stand up he knows it's time to stop." The frontman continued: “The record is a lot more intimate and close than the first record, whether you're a fan of the music or not, it sounds brilliant.”

Monday, 28 May 2012

Gavin Shane DeGraw

Gavin Shane DeGraw Download (born February 4, 1977) is an American musician and singer-songwriter. He is known for his songs "Chariot", "Follow Through", "I Don't Want to Be" (which has been featured as the theme song for the television drama series, One Tree Hill since 2003), "In Love with a Girl", and "Not Over You".
Read more at Wikipedia...

The Cult

The Cult Download
has flip-flopped genres throughout its career, chances are you’ve encountered them at some point. They started as a post-punk goth band, metamorphosed into an alternative band, became a hard-rock band with a penchant for AC/DC like riffs with Rick Rubin’s assistance and by the late 80’s they’d blend all of these aspects together for mass consumption with the release of 1989’s Sonic Temple. Regardless, their biggest claim to fame may be that Matt Sorum was their touring drummer prior to being tapped by Guns N’ Roses to replace Steven Adler. After Sorum’s departure the band kept chugging along, releasing 1991’s disappointing Ceremony before reverting to a more alternative sound (certainly owing much to the musical climate at the time) for 1994’s self-titled album. The band would continue to switch between their alternative and hard rock leanings between albums amid long layoffs which would see guitarist Billy Duffy join projects like Vent and singer Ian Astbury join a reunited version of The Doors. Eventually Astbury and Duffy, with a revolving door of bass players and drummers would decide to continue on with The Cult.

Paul Buchanan

Paul Buchanan

The Blue Nile never sold lorry-loads of albums, but for converts to their unique fusion of romantic melancholy and robust hope they remain one of the finest, most quietly righteous bands of all time. The Glasgow trio who floated effacingly onto no scene in particular in the mid-80s have parted, and singer Paul Buchanan, now 56, releases his solo debut. It’s unconscionably beautiful, and may be the most moving, precious record of 2012.
Sparse in texture, it yields an almost overwhelming emotional kick, best received in the wee small hours. Buchanan carries the torch of Sinatra’s sensitive-masculine phrasing like no other. His wilfully imperfect vocals defy pat resolutions, hanging in the air like smoke plumes. It’s about the notes he leaves out, the spaces between, which, regarding loss, heartbreak and the yearning for beauty, say it all.
It’s mostly just voice and piano, with simple, effective melodies knowingly offering glimpses and echoes of earlier peaks. On My True Country, he sings "far above the chimney tops / take me where the bus don’t stop," channelling the essence of his former band’s A Walk Across the Rooftops. The lyrics throughout breathe fresh life into time-honoured imagery: snow, starlight, sky. "I want to live forever," he sings on the title-track, "and watch you dancing in the air."BBC
Part eulogy (for a friend who died), part celebration of peripheral moments which inform the everyday with flecks of epiphany, the songs (titles like Half the World, Wedding Party and Summer’s on Its Way are as evocative as the work of Edward Hopper) bleed into a poised, tingling whole. Fin de Siecle is a gorgeous Nyman-esque instrumental, but this voice can sing "the cars are in the garden now" over and over and leave you marvelling at its poetic accuracy. On the closing After Dark he offers, "Life goes by and you learn / How to watch your bridges burn," and gently brooks no argument.
Louis MacNeice famously used the phrase "time was away and somewhere else" to describe the feeling of love. It equally well describes the 36 minutes of Mid Air, a masterpiece.

Kimbra

Kimbra 
Thanks to her duet with Gotye becoming an inescapable sensation on the internet, radio, and beyond, Kimbra is an artist everyone is about to know. Already a hit Down Under, her debut album, Vows, has been reworked to feature new tracks for its official American and European release. Kimbra’s take on pop music is one that demands attention, so much that if Vow were to be summarized in one word, it would be “overwhelming.”
Where is the New Zealand singer going on Vows? Musically, everywhere. The album runs through various genres of popular music from the past 50 years both between and inside its songs, all while twisting them with Kimbra’s own idiosyncrasies. “Cameo Lover” is an onslaught of catchy pop hooks baited with disco and Motown sensibilities. Kimbra also gives 90′s R&B a more contemporary pop spin on “Something in the Way You Are”. It’s not all retro stylings, however. The “Two Way Street” channels futuristic, off-kilter whimsy akin to Bjork or Kate Bush, while retaining Kimbra’s jazz roots.
Whether hushed or belted, Kimbra’s voice is a powerful force, and its shapeshifting holds together the schizophrenia of Vows. As she transitions from airy a capella to soaring, shout along choruses, or layers self-harmonizing along with beat-boxing and “boom ba boom bah” vocal percussion on opener “Settle Down”, Kimbra flashes in and out of time, jumping unpredictably between the past and the future. That omnipresent jazz influence to her pipes is fully unleashed on “Good Intent”, creating an atmosphere of a cabaret where trouble is always afoot, the smoky delivery tinged with a sarcasm that adds an element of subversion to the nostalgia.
While neither reinterpretations of the past nor genre hopping are unique in the world of pop, it’s the effortless way that Kimbra does it all that makes Vows a compelling listen. The album does have its misfires, however, such as the overblown bombast of “Come Into My Head” and “Old Flame”, which sounds a little too much like Purple Rain’s “The Beautiful Ones”, but Vow is a sleekly produced, haphazard collection of tunes with moments that approach but not quite achieve the creation of an entirely new experiment

George Harrison

 George Harrison 
Download Even with just 10 tracks and no session details, this companion to Martin Scorsese's 2011 documentary deserves a brass–band welcome. Six outtakes come from the presumptuous stages of George Harrison's 1970 triumph, All Things Must Pass, including a sweet–Nashville reading of "Behind That Locked Door," "My Sweet Lord" as acoustic hosanna and a demo of the title song that betrays its roots in the band's frontier hymnal. The Bob Dylan and Everly Brothers covers have more sheen but also the intimate grace of the quiet Beatle's seventies solo prime. This set's subtitle suggests there are more rarities to come; based on the quality here, I propose a full–blown Anthology.

Hot Chip

Hot Chip Downloadhave unveiled the video for their new single 'Night and Day'.

The promo is the dance band's latest collaboration with comedian Peter Serafinowicz, who directed the clip.Many animals were harmed during the making of this video. Regrettably, none of them made the final edit," Serafinowicz quipped.
In 2010, the actor directed the band's video for 'I Feel Better', taken from their previous record One Life Stand.
'Night and Day' is the lead single from Hot Chip's upcoming fifth studio album In Our Heads.
The single was first unveiled in Aprill and is available to buy now.It is released as a 12" vinyl on June 4. The album follows via Domino on June 11.
Hot Chip last month unveiled a video for the teaser track 'Flutes', which also features on the album.

Maroon 5

Maroon 5‘sDownload record-breaking single “Payphone”, a depressing song stuck in a sunny melody, gets the Michael Bay treatment in their explosive new video — and we mean that literally. In the action-packed clip, which premiered this evening (May 9) on E!, Adam Levine plays a bespectacled banker whose place of business gets held up by a team of masked men. Apparently, Levine didn’t get the memo about not being a hero in this sort of situation — he nabs one of the bad guys’ guns, grabs one of his female co-workers, and high-tails it out of there, stealing Wiz Khalfia‘s convertible in the process and leading a pack of police cars (and a helicopter!) on a wild chase.
The clip is an enjoyable mini-blockbuster, but it’s still missing one important ingredient: Adam Levine without a shirt. At least we’ll always have this gallery!

Justin Martin

Justinn MartinDownload
He’s been with the label since the very beginning and has been releasing quite a few heavy house music hitters ever since. It’s San Francisco's Justin Martin, one of the most popular artists on Claude vonStroke’s Dirtybird label, and he’s about to unleash his very first album in the form of Ghettos & Gardens. Now, if you’ve been following this rooster over the past few years, you’re probably aware of the fact that he (along with the rest of the Dirtybird posse) doesn’t take himself too seriously. His releases, in that sense, reflects his personality as the fun factor never seems to be far away. Weird twists, oddly shaped melodies and genre-blurring sounds are the main ingredients for his music.
Ghettos & Gardens has become pretty much what we expected from a DJ such as Justin Martin. A melting pot in which a wide variety of genres are combined into 13 separate tracks, the album as a whole breathes Martin’s fun-loving antics while at the same time being credible enough to cater to demanding fans of house music. Opening track Hood Rich and Don’t Go can be called typical Justin Martin house tracks, but title track Ghettos & Gardens and his own remix of Goldie’s Kemistry do contain heavy doses of dubstep, a premonition of what’s to come. Now fusing house to dubstep may smell like cheese at first, but Martin actually manages to carve pretty awesome stuff out of it. One of the biggest tracks on the album is Ruff Stuff, an evil crossover supported by a bassline that’s as playful as it is dirty, and a great example of a solid marriage between house and dubstep.

Nina Nesbitt

Nina NesbittDownload
17-year-old half Scottish/half Swedish singer Nina Nesbitt has developed quite a following over the past few months going from writing songs in her bedroom and posting the occasional video on YouTube to signing with BMG Mercury Records and touring with Ed Sheeran and Example. Nesbitt’s prodigious rise, helped undoubtedly by the patronage of Sheeran, has seen her anointed as the latest in a very long line of solo singers destined for the upper echelons of the singles and albums chart. It is easy to see why the mainstream is so excited about Nesbitt on her debut EP ‘The Apple Tree.’

Nesbitt’s style is very much rooted in the personable, slightly understated and winsome acoustic pop of her close friend Ed Sheeran. The songs here are slight and wispy yet any feel of organic beauty is tempered by an insipidness that dilutes any real emotion. The melodies are simple and effective but are lumbered with some hackneyed and clichéd lyrics with familiar themes of love and heartbreak re-appearing constantly in the five tracks. ‘The Apple Tree’ has a fairly nice rousing drive to it but elsewhere the tracks are firmly entrenched in emotive balladry.

‘Hold You’ and ’Make You Feel’ are ever so slightly overwrought piano ballads that admittedly do manage to show off Nesbitt’s excellent vocals which are pure and poised with a lilting Scottish brogue filtering through. ‘Only Love’ is the best track here, a shuffling, stuttering melody lifts it beyond an identikit acoustic pop sound and it is simply a really nice song. There is no doubt she does this sort of thing incredibly well, you do feel it is rather functional acoustic pop though and that she could potentially do much more.

Nina Nesbitt is certainly possessed with a good deal of talent, particularly for someone so young, but this collection of tracks feels like a functional prelude to inevitable major label success following an extremely well trodden path. Anyone looking for a bit more depth and a progressive sound will be best served looking elsewhere.

Madonna

Madonna Downloadhas taken a cheeky swipe at Lady GaGa in rehearsals for her MDNA tour, singing the lyrics to GaGa's Born This Way as she performs her own Express Yourself.
The playful dig follows claims that GaGa's song sounded suspiciously similar to Madge's pop classic, and footage of the Queen of Pop's rehearsal in Israel have surfaced on YouTube.
After singing the lyrics to Born This Way, Madonna then shifts into She's Not Me from her 2008 album Hard Candy. Is she planning on sending a none-too-subtle message to fans in her actual concerts?
When quizzed about the similarities between the tracks before GaGa said comparisons were "retarded" (before apologising for using that word).MTV
Madonna has previously told The Daily Beast: "I thought, 'What a wonderful way to redo my song'. I mean, I recognised the chord changes. I thought it was… interesting."
Madonna is reportedly being sought to appear on The Voice in the UK.