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A Double Decker Dodecahedron Do

Starring


AA Williams, Aoife Nessa Frances, Aqualung, Benjamin Clementine, Bitchin Bajas, Blue States, Ezra Collective, HAAi, Helen Ganya, Marina Allen, Novelty Island, Silvertwin, Superchunk, Wunderhorse, xPropaganda


If You Listen To One Thing This Week, Listen To.....


Here and Now by Aqualung



It's been a few years since we had new songs from Aqualung, a few years since we've been transported by Matthew Hales' yearning and uncertain voice, and his desperation to make things right. To open with a song this good, after 14 years away is, frankly, ridiculous. Big ballads about ordinary life have never sounded this good.


Highly Recommended


Dead Letters : Aqualung


Quiet reassurance, hesitant emotions and singing what must be sung with open honesty - they’re all part of Aqualung’s excellent new album. It’s his first for 14 years.


Some acts are cursed to gaze at success and happiness through the last glass door, that they can never quite break through. Matthew Hales first came to attention in his Aqualung guise with the 2002 song ‘Strange and Beautiful’. It’s a title that could describe his work ever since.


Any of today’s big balladeers owe the likes of Aqualung a big debt, even though they might not know it. It’s no surprise then that he has been in demand, and met with success as the songwriter behind some big chart and critically respected names.


He writes and sings songs so packed with emotion, feelings and intelligence that they seem longer than their running time. There are only nine songs here but every one merits close attention. They have depth and, in the case of a song such as ‘Here And Now’ they soar. When that happens, Aqualung writes songs that become your songs for life.


‘Here And Now’ captures that moment of release when you declare your honest emotions. It’s beautiful, heartfelt honesty that leads to crumbling, messy tears for their object. As he sings on ‘Fool’


“It’s been a while since I told the truth

[Pause]

The way I feel when I look at you.”


That pause is perfect.


There’s a yearning sense of doubt and uncertainty in his songs, perfectly captured in his voice. He has a need to know that nothing is broken, a need to know that he can make things right. His calling card is to mix big emotions with understated delivery. It’s a calling card to keep on permanent display.


There’s not a note to be warbled in these songs. They’re intelligent and grounded. Hear the military beat that carries the part about being a soldier in ‘Champion Of the World’ or the clever arithmetic conceit behind ‘Add Me Up’ or the emotional impact of connection in ‘November’.


These are real songs for grown ups. They’re what Radiohead could have sounded like if they had majored in big ballads.


Taster Track : Here and Now


Where I’m Meant To Be : Ezra Collective


This uplifting collection of warm and positive jazz is brimful of warm, positive vibes. It could change your life, and they know that.


Some music is so good it transcends genre. It has an effect on the listener that goes beyond a good song, promoting feelings and a view of life you did not have before. ‘Where I’m Meant To Be’ is one such record.


It does more than lift your spirits on a cold, dark, back to work morning. It shows you that acceptance, positivity, friendship and welcoming happiness can make a difference. Ezra Collective set out their manifesto in two spoken word tracks - ‘Words By Steve’ and ‘Words By TJ’. They should be played in every school assembly and team meeting. They should be listened to by every politician and leader. Don’t give me Blue Monday (the unfounded worst day of the year, not the New Order song), give me this record.


It’s no accident that the record pulls together styles from the happier forms of music. ‘Life Goes On’ channels African music, hip-hop and jazz. They make a great partnership. ‘Victory Dance’ draws on the rhythms and fiesta music of South America. Jamaican reggae can be heard all over ‘Ego Killah’ and ‘Togetherness’. It’s the sound of sunshine oozing from your headphones.


The segue from ‘Smile’ into ‘Live Strong’ is as mellow and chilled as it comes. It’s as if they’ve massaged away the knots of tension in daily lives so that everything is loose and moves freely.


Ezra Collective sound as if they live their talk. They seem less frantic and more in control than on 2019’s You Can’t Steal My Joy’. It’s no misnomer to call the album ‘Where I’m Meant to Be’ They radiate contentment and acceptance , comfortable and confident in their choices. They combine the dark intimacy of the jazz club with the scorching heat of street jazz. They’ve found their happy place. It could be ours too.


‘Welcome To My World’ they state on Track 4. It’s a world of sax riffs, bass funk, skittering beats, gliding piano and free playing trumpet. It feels improvised but, like a group conversation amongst good friends, they know instinctively when to let others speak and take centre stage. It’s brilliantly self-produced with wonderful touches that enhance the mood and tone of the music. I love the crowd noises and conversations that welcome you into their community.


They work magic with their collaborators too, infecting them with a desire to be themselves, freed from demands to conform with their image and record label sound. It works particularly well on ‘Siesta’ featuring Emelie Sande. I’ve never heard her this relaxed.


Reassuringly they haven’t settled for the smooth jazz that heads for the middle of the road. They allow themselves the space to share their technique and love for jazz. On ‘Smile’ they place their own stamp on the Nat King Cole standard. It’s something different that doesn’t destroy the enjoyable familiarity of the original.


This is an excellent album of consistently strong tunes, rightly recognised in a number of year end lists. It’s a celebratory record full of life and positivity and it brings happiness as broad as the smile on the drummer’s face on the cover.


Taster Track : Victory Dance


...And The Rest


As The Moon Rests : AA Williams


There’s no denying the thought, skill and care invested in this album, but it’s uncomfortable and overwhelming at times.


There are many things that music can offer us. An endurance test should not be one of them. There are eleven tracks here coming in at 61 minutes. It feels longer if I’m honest, like opera. This reminded me of Holy Week as a child - clearly important but interminable. Like Holy Week this album is filled with dread, gloom and suffering but without the promise of Easter and chocolate at the end.


‘Hollow Heart’ opens the album but sounds more like a grand doom laden finale with its big, dramatic strings, crashing drums and growling guitars. It calls out for a full orchestral backing and, if that were to arrive, it would be in the form of Wagner, not Mozart.


AA Williams is a troubled but self aware soul. This album is the sound of her personal reflections in the midst of a crumbling and imploding universe. She’s a force of nature , like a volcano preparing to erupt. This is widescreen emo and sounds as if she’s been ripped inside out.


It’s a powerful, muscular set of songs that isn’t without quiet moments of genuine beauty scattered around tracks like ‘Pristine’. The trouble is that they are only interludes, quickly suppressed beneath Goliath sized slices of heavy rock.


This is an intense and dramatic album. It takes its time, progressing with all the grace of transporting heavy machinery. I began to crave something brief, simple and light. When it arrives, relatively speaking, on ‘Ruin’...... well, you can guess you’re not getting a bundle of laughs and sunshine, can’t you? It remains a sombre, oppressive affair.


Spotify tells me that I’ll like this if I like Alternative Noise and / or Prog Rock. It turns out that I’m a fan of neither.


Kerrang! on the other hand, gave it top marks of 5/5. You can read their review at


Taster Track : Pristine


Protector : Aoife Nessa Frances


Here’s an attractive but unusual sounding record that’s subdued but melodic, serious but not sad.


Aoife Nessa Frances has concerns to sing about that are truly part of the real world but she sprinkles them with magic powder so that they sound as if they come from an enchanted place. It was strange to listen to this on a damp, dismal December morning and feel as if I was by a lapping lake alongside a vibrant and sunny Summer fair. It’s not that it sounds summery at all, but it has the relaxed, woozy vibe of drifting towards sleep following a glass too many at lunch time. And as the album proceeds it starts to sound as if it has escaped from Gepetto’s workshop, chased by a puppet boy with donkey’s ears. (Note to self : Check that last night’s mushrooms were Sainsbury’s usual type!)


Back in the real world, this is music that moves steadily through the crowd, carving out a space for itself. It commands attention without seeking the spotlight, like a star’s cameo role in a minor play.


All this combines to create something that sounds a little different. Frances has a gift for nagging melody. ‘Way To Say Goodbye’ manages to cram three melodies into one song. ‘Only Child’ builds its oddly tuned notes, squeaks, screeches and glissandos into an orchestra of sound while Frances sits on top, singing calmly. If the musicians are a lost tribe emerging from the forest. Frances is the welcoming party.


Unusual, clever and engaging, this is a record with much to recommend it.


Taster Track : Way To Say Goodbye


And I Have Been : Benjamin Clemantine


No one sounds quite like Benjamin Clementine but, as this album shows, different can also be very good.


He won the Mercury prize in 2015 for his debut album. That, and the follow up, were intense explorations of what it meant to be Benjamin Clementine. The first thing that strikes you about this album is that it’s considerably lighter in tone. That may be due to the fact that it wasn’t intended as his third album.which is scheduled for release next year. This is a collection of songs he wrote during Covid lockdown as a way of passing the time. It may be the best collection of throwaway, casual songs you hear.


It’s a gentler set, no longer dripping in anger and shame. It feels like an appreciation and nervous celebration of the important things in life - family, co-operation and love.


This is chamber poetry. The lyrics are spoken as much as sung, supported by string backings. They’re conversational and confessional. To look for people to compare him to, I looked back first to the days of Paul Robeson. He’s a man with a distinctive voice and a political, social conscience is central to his songs. Clementine has performed topless and shoeless on stage and there’s an element of the performances in the film ‘7 Years A Slave’ that he’s not ashamed to channel into his songs.


There’s one instrumental, ‘Last Movement Of Hope’. It’s too much to liken it to Nils Frahm but it is a distant relative on nodding terms with him. Above all though there’s a gentle musicality to songs like ‘Residue’, ‘Difference’ and ‘Auxiliary’ that’s a heartwarming joy.


So there you go. This is the best chamber poetry, nu classical influenced, slave experience set of showtunes you’ll hear all year.


Taster Track : Auxiliary


Bajascilators : Bitchin Bajas


Bitchin Bajas fall at the point where jazz, electronica and ambient meet up for adecaffeinated coffee. It’s pleasant but seems to lack a point.


My limited understanding of oscillators is that they generate wave patterns through slight changes in energy. My impression of ‘bajascillators’ is that they attempt the same thing but without the energy.


The four tracks on this album take their time, coming in at an average of more than eleven minutes a track. They’re undeniably pretty, pleasant and harmless, drifting along like fish in an aquarium before opting to sink gently to the bottom of the tank rather than glide effortlessly between rocks and ferns. And, like watching fish in an aquarium, this is music to soundtrack procrastination.


Like all music of this type it gradually shifts shape, changing form before your ears. It’s a form that lacks definition though, a blob of a record.


It needs an injection of life into its slightly exotic loops. It’s mildly addictive like watching a lava lamp or the swirls in oily water. It falls some way short of the best music of this type failing to transport you from your surroundings into a mindful place of your own. It’s not really bothered if you come along for the ride or not.


‘World B Free’ has a little more life and energy to it, like a passing procession. It has a mild urgency but it’s the urgency of the commuter who isn’t going to miss his train but won’t be arriving six minutes early as is his habit.


When I worked in teams planning change or priorities, the first test any initiative had to past was the ‘so what’ question. That’s my challenge here. I’ve listened to it but so what?


Taster Track : World B Free


World Contact Day : Blue States


Blue States, otherwise known as Andy Drazagis, releases his seventh album of the 21st century. It’s a pleasant set of songs and tunes if ultimately unlikely to stick around in your head.


Of all the chilled electronica acts that appeared at the turn of the millennium, Blue States are the one that is hardest to grasp. Their debut in 2000 contained two tracks - ‘Diamente’ and ‘Your Girl’ - that were difficult to escape. They were everywhere on the radio, on compilations and as trendy backing music. I defy anyone thought to recall or hum a track that has come out since. Destiny seemed to cast them as also rans and yet, like a marathon runner failing to break the 7 hour barrier, they’re still going.


March 15th is known as World Contact Day. It’s the day that the world reaches out to establish communications with other life forms - aliens, androids and online customer service teams, that kind of thing. What would they make of this album?


They’d recognise it as musical and also as something that is non-threatening. That can be good. Music is a universal language and we’ve seen too many ‘Independence Day’ type films to risk irritating travellers from another galaxy. Customer service beings might hear hold music, They’d also hear in it something that’s stately, earnest and, basically, not that much fun.


It is an undeniably pleasant album - mildly melodic, gently mixing pastoral folk into more electronic sounds and simmering with gentle energy. There’s a happy hippy vibe of free expression underpinning many of the songs. ‘Tides Confusion’ has vocals that aren’t quite in tune with the music. The breathy vocals, from Rachael Dadd’ are like Avishai Cohen on steroids. The music wanders to the fringes of jazz prog before retreating to a safe distance.


However, the silhouettes on the cover could be said to lack definition, character and personality, just like some of the music.


It’s an album that almost works. You sense that there are hidden messages in the music that could appeal to the head, but it’s not clear what they are. There’s bubbling momentum in many of the tracks but not quite enough to appeal to the feet, where toes stay resolutely untapped. Unfortunately, too, it’s not quite memorable enough to be held in your heart. The various elements are likeable but fuzzy , not quite clear or in the right place.


Andy Drazagis adopts a soundtrack approach to his music. A soundtrack without pictures is only half the story and, unassumingly pleasant though it is, something is lacking in this album.


Taster Track : Trust In Wires


Baby, We’re Ascending : HAAi


This is a collection showing the DJ as a club artist. It’s a cleverly constructed mix of electronic dance music that’s less crowd pleasing dance music and more music and beats for a dance performance.


HAAi is Teneil Throssell, a DJ producer. In 2018, she was Radio 6’s DJ mix of the year. These thirteen songs play as a seamless 61 minute mix. It’s a very Mary Anne-Hobbs taste in music, That may even be her you hear at the end of ‘AM’. I was going to describe this as being outside the mainstream, but as some of her songs have earned over a million plays on Spotify, it’s fairer to say that she’s part of a different and separate mainstream. Someone, somewhere included this in a list of best albums of 2022, and, thankfully, on such off the cuff recommendations we discover portals to new types of music.


This isn’t a safe option. Tracks are a mixture of sound, rhythm, fluctuations of volume and mood, static, distortion and machinery and each element plays its part. It’s a vibrant, noisy sonic world. You’re searching for your bearings from the moment the needle hits the record until midway through the second track ‘Pigeon Barron’.


At times these are tracks made up of fragments. They’re for you to reassemble creatively. You can literally make of them what you will and take from it what you can. There’s a whole world of sound out there, and music is only a part of it. Somehow she makes this approach engaging, not alienating.


In the midst of all the effects, it’s clear that there’s a softer element at play in the mix too. Her vocals are human and chilled. There’s a touch of humour in the echoes of the “lager, lager, lager, lager” refrain from Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’, and probably many more that I missed. Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor collaborates on ‘Biggest Mood Ever’ and helps to nudge it towards something with a more conventional structure. ‘Orca’ captures the magnificent scale and beauty of whales and whale song. Jon Hopkins helps ‘Baby We’re Ascending spiral upwards with quiet euphoria.


Do I like it? I do, but not quite in the way I expected. It requires patience. It doesn’t have me searching for the nearest club but it brings the same satisfaction that comes from mastering a new form of puzzle or a new language. What’s wrong with that?


Taster Track : Baby, We’re Ascending


Polish The Machine : Helen Ganya


This collection of lightly done electronica with a spectral twist is just what the New Year ordered.


Helen Ganya has Scottish and Thai heritage. It’s the Thai part that influences her take on light touch electronica more, not least the presence of ghosts in her machine. Her songs sound like messages from beyond this life, messages that share her insights and experiences. If not ghostlike she is, at least, a Tinkerbelle from the dark side.


Songs emerge from the smoke and shadows, half acknowledged and recognised. They proceed insistently and inexorably to their inevitable climax like the puff of steam that escapes from the dishwasher and takes a second or two to hit you in the face. ‘Devotion’ is simply three lines of lyrics that are not quite emerging from the song. They are there but not there, buried beneath sweet music.


The music is lightly done. ‘I Will Hold That Hand For You’ has fluttering and gentle electronic beats beneath plinky notes and dream-like strings. Even when the vocals are clenched and sounding as if they are delivered through gritted teeth, they’re still gossamer coated.


The trick lies in the deliberate sound and rhythm of the songs, a sound and rhythm that carries the songs and provides the hooks.


I enjoyed this album. It’s different without trying too hard and lodges in the memory like a sound waking you from sleep.


Taster Track : I Will Hold That Hand For You


Centrifics : Marina Allen


Here’s a fine collection of pretty and nicely arranged songs. So why doesn’t it have more of an impact?


This is a clear and pure album, straight from Laurel Canyon when the wind is blowing Los Angeles’ fumes the other way. It’s as adept at confessional simplicity (‘My Stranger’) as it is at the attractively arranged multi instrument pieces such as ‘Superreality).


The oxygen that fuels these songs comes from the instrumentation, the stately melodies and her vocals in the lower register. If , like oxygen, her voice is stretched a little thin in its higher registers, the way she uses it to accompany herself in dual pitches as singer and backing singer is clever and appealing.


Initially I felt that ‘Celadron’, which opens the album, spoke of a singer songwriter trying too hard. It suffered from a stop / start momentum and abrupt changes in pitch. By the time we’re into ‘Getting Better’ though, the songs were, indeed, getting better.


‘New Song Rising’ is typical, sounding pretty in a dawning morning kind of way. However, too many songs simply drift by and I find myself waiting to exclaim “That’s the one!”


The problem for me is that these songs don’t make me feel anything. They don’t make me feel happy, sad, angry or calm. I’m not stirred to passion or moved to tears, and they don’t trigger empathy for what she might be feeling. My notes are those of a competition adjudicator, not of a listener who can hear something that touches him inside.


I’m reading Bob Dylan’s ‘The Philosophy Of Modern Song’ at the moment. In the midst of opaque imagery and baffling stream of consciousness thought he makes one point very clearly. A good song is not one that tells you something about a singer’s life. It’s a song that tells you something about your own.


Marina Allen writes beautifully arranged songs that are appealingly sung but, on this album, she doesn’t make that leap.


Taster Track : Foul Weather Jacket Drawing


How Are You Coping With This Century? : Novelty Island


Liverpool born Tom McConnell’s songs are surreal and psychedelic vignettes. They’re enjoyable but ultimately insubstantial.


If you’re a singer songwriter from Liverpool you can’t escape the legacy of the Beatles. They’re everywhere - in the clubs, pubs, street corners, infrastructure and culture. This album is no different. It wallows in Beatledom but enjoys itself as it does so. This album is Mean Mr Mustard on a day trip with the Nowhere Man to see Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. That’s a strong heritage.


The effect is as if Paul McCartney sang John Lennon’s songs. They’re full of whimsy and the cartoon technicolour of a yellow submarine. Vocally they replace Lennon’s cutting cynicism and rawer edge with something sweeter. It’s an album then that sounds both more melodic and safer than it might.


It’s also an album that has surreal, almost nonsensical lyrics that sound great but mean little. Listen to one example from ‘That Bird’.


“Who bird’s a double-decker dodecahedron do”


It’s not a question and it has a surprising apostrophe but what, if anything, does it mean? Who cares? To answer the question posed in the album title, this century doesn’t make a lot of sense, so maybe it’s an album for our time.


This works as a collection of psychedelic indie pop complete with jangle guitars, shuffling beats and golden harmonies. The combination of good tunes and tongue twister lyrics can’t help but sound good.


If there’s a criticism, it’s that it’s the equivalent of nonsense verse rather than poetry, Edward Lear rather than Willian Wordsworth. That won’t be to everyone’s taste and leaves you with a set that’s enjoyable but slight.


Let’s call it a minor classic.


Taster Track : That Bird


Silvertwin : Silvertwin


Released in 2021, this is an uncanny replication of 1970s pop, a record to stumble over in the bargain bins of faded independent record shops.


All you really need to know is that this is an intravenous line plugged into the impeccable sound of radio pop around 1975. That’s the period when pop turned sophisticated and before it was blown away by punk. It’s classic pop of ELO, Pilot and late 10CC.


Nostalgia is a massive part of its appeal. It’s as safe and comforting as the cup of tea they’re sipping on the cover, and as retro as the cups they’re sipping from.


If we pop the bubble of bubblegum pop though, we’ll recognise that the mid 70s was a time for singles not albums. It has bucketfuls of charm and melody but the fact remains that there are tracks here that would have been filler or ‘B’ sides at best. It’s daytime Radio 1 from the lower reaches of the Top 20. Silvertwin are the act on TOTP2 that you’ve completely forgotten.


Despite all its slight weaknesses though, it brings warmth, cheer and cheese in equal measure. On a dark, wet January morning that’s a much needed shot of sunshine.


Taster Track : Play


Wild Loneliness : Superchunk


‘Wild Loneliness’ from Superchunk may be billed as punk influenced, alternative power pop but it never loses sight of the fact that it should entertain.


Many years ago I took part in a creative thinking exercise. We were asked to list the five most important elements of a work process, and then redesign it without the second most important feature. A lot of music is like that. Songs are written that are beatless, without a chorus or without an obvious melody. A lot of it works. A lot of it is severely weakened.


Superchunk never fall into that trap.On the contrary their approach is to introduce more into the mix, building their alternative punk power pop into something that remains true to their selves but appeals to a broader church. It’s alternative only by comparison to those acts that are too desperate to sound different. Superchunk embrace pop. They don’t detour around it


The album may have vocals that only a punk’s mother could love, but it also has catchy acoustic moments, strings that sweeten and soften scuzzy guitars, piano and horns straight from the pop handbook and, above all, melodies that stick and choruses that build to an appropriate climax. It may sound busy at times, but it’s also music that has been taken back to pop basics.


Anyone who is serious about pop has a list of acts that never made it huge, but can be treasured as secrets shared by a small group of fans and worshippers. My list includes The Crimea, Andy Burrows, Fountains of Wayne and Obi. Twelve albums in, and Superchunk should be featuring on those lists.


Taster Track :Endless Summer


Cub : Wunderhorse


This debut album is a proper rock record, full of passion and personality, anguish and exciting tunes.


It’s a debut with a fully formed presence. There’s no finding their feet and way here. They have it fully laid out and take the most direct route from A to B.


To call it a rock record may not be too helpful as rock is nothing if not a broad church and to some people nowadays it’s a four letter word. Let me provide some specifics. The riff to ‘Leader of the Pack’ is a close relative of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Sweet Home Alabama. ‘Poppy’ makes the most of its wah wah pedals and evolves into a terrific cosmic jam. Punk’s frustration and anger can be heard in most tracks as can the tortured anguish of an Elliott Smith. There’s a swagger in some of the songs that speaks of supreme confidence in what they do but it’s not a swagger rooted in ego.


These songs are tales of addiction and thoughtful despair. It’s not a happy record but an angry and emotional one that threatens to lose control without ever doing so. Its saving grace is in the choruses. They have melodies that stand out like a knight in shiny armour wreaking havoc and mayhem in the middle of a noisy and crowded battlefield.


Wunderhorse, as concentrated in singer Jacob Slater, write of what they know and experience. ‘Teal’ tells of death, illness and drugs. It’s a shock when Slater addresses himself and others by name. It makes for a dramatic and startlingly personal song


This is a record possessed by its search for an escape from its demons. Success is by no means guaranteed. The record leaves us with ‘Epilogue’ ending with the lines:


Hello Satan

You’ve been waiting,

So turn to face me

Look me in the eye.


The note of defiant despair iscompletely at one with what goes before it.


If this debut represents the future of 21st century rock, the future is in safe but scary and thrilling hands.


Taster Track : Teal


The Heart Is Strange : xPropaganda


Forget the ‘x’ in xPropaganda, this is the return of Propaganda with an even updated sound that adds to tier legacy.


Propaganda were not a prolific band but their influence and reputation is founded on quality not quantity. Essentially they rest on one album ‘A Secret Wish’, and that only reached No 16 in the UK album charts. It did, however, mark them out as serious players in synth pop. The follow up that came out five years later is largely forgotten today, so this album featuring both Claudia Brucken and Susanne Freytag is, some might say, their first album in nearly 40 years.


It’s worth the wait.


Their debut included two tracks ‘Jewel’ and ‘Duel’ that were vastly different versions of the same song. Both are excellent but where ‘Jewel’ was a savage, industrial howl, ‘Duel’ received a smoother treatment. It’s the ‘Duel’ approach that sets the template for this album.


Brucken and Freytag are a well matched couple, emotionally cool and detached. They sound as pop would sound if it had been made by Greta Garbo. They’ve always had something of the German philosophers about them too - intelligent and a little bit despairing of life as they understand it. (I sincerely hope that there are no students of German philosophy reading this. If there are, and you want to take issue with that statement, you win.)


And that cool, slightly alienated and off putting tone is very much down to the vocals. The deluxe edition of this album includes instrumental versions of the songs. They’re warm and chilled in the relaxed sense, not quite strong enough to stand on their own but lovely background music nonetheless.


The full songs remain true to what we expect, with the exception of ‘The Wolves Are Returning’ which sounds a little forced and unnecessarily dramatic. ‘Beauty Is Truth’ and ‘Only Human’ are the tracks that reflect their new style best. They’ve become a Kraftwerk for the pop generation or a Goldfrapp for an older crowd.


This is a consistently strong set of songs, a masterclass in restrained synth pop.


Taster Track : Beauty Is Truth


Playlists


As ever this week's Taster Track playlists can be accessed at https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7cSveL7NpVp1xgrKxPe4av?si=SkFlSnvySeuYFpgG0WJFmA or via the Spotify link on the Home Page. The link to the Youtube playlist is https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwV-OogHy7Eh_sy55y6i18Qj7w_Z3CQft







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