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Reviews: A grand dose of gloom.

Byline: ANDY COLEMAN

ALBUMS

WHITE LIES To Lose My Life

Verdict *****

HARRY McVeigh, Charles Cave and Jack Brown offer a gloomy, atmospheric sound, with themes ranging from love, fear, death and fear of death.

Musically, despite the band's insistence otherwise, there are giant nods to Joy Division, Inter-pol, Editors, the 80s pomp of Tears For Fears - and even further back to Ultravox and Human League.

Singles To Lose My Life and Death are a couple of the standout tracks, but it's Fifty On Our Foreheads, with its grandiose arrangement and McVeigh's Julian Cope-esque voice coming to the fore, which really steals the show.

HELENE Heliotrope heliotrope (hē`lēətrōp') [Gr.,=sun-turning] or turnsole, name for any plant that turns to face the sun, especially members of the genus Heliotropium of the family Boraginaceae.  

Verdict *****

THEY'RE a five-piece band but Helene's third album is dominated by the distinctive vocals of Helene Dineen. With a nod to 60s pop and Goldfrapp's pastoral phase, the songs are rich with imagery and range from the jan-gly International Klein Blue The International Klein Blue (IKB) is a deep blue hue first mixed by the French artist Yves Klein.

International Klein Blue (or IKB as it is known in art circles) was developed by French artist Yves Klein as part of his search for colors which best represented the
 to the delicate Pentangle-like Waterlow. There's the feeling that a solo career awaits Ms Dineen.

JEFF BUCKLEY

So Real: The Songs Of Jeff Buckley

Verdict *****

FOR an artist who only released one studio album, a compilation is an odd prospect. So Real was originally released in 2007, but thanks to Jeff's recent appearance in the chart with Hallelujah, now seems as good a time as any to reissue this CD.

Eight of Grace's 10 songs appear here, as does Forget Her, the previously-unheard track added to the album's lOth-anniversary edition in 2004. There are a few alternate versions and live takes to offer something new, while Everybody Here Wants You and The Sky Is A Landfill from his unofficial second album Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk, is a collection of polished studio tracks and four-track demos recorded by Jeff Buckley. Being unsatisfied with material recorded in the summer of 1996 and early in 1997, Buckley worked on many demos to reach the sound he was hoping to  might be new discoveries for more casual fans.

ARCHITECTS Hollow Crown

Verdict *****

BRIGHTON'S Architects have hit on a winning design with an album that deserves to catapult them from the shadows of some of more illustrious contemporaries. The emotion-charged rush of opener Early Grave is complemented by the ferocity of Numbers Count For Nothing. A treat for lovers of metal and hardcore.

SINGLES

FRANZ FERDINAND Ulysses

Verdict *****

A BOUNCY bassline A bassline (also spelled bass line) is the term used in many styles of popular music, jazz, blues, trance and funk for the low-pitched instrumental part or line played by a rhythm section instrument such as the electric bass, double bass or keyboard (piano, Hammond organ,  heralds Franz Ferdinand's first single from forthcoming album Tonight. Whispered vocals from Alex Kapranos are introduced, then it's into the familiar jerky FF guitar/ keyboard combination and singalong Noun 1. singalong - informal group singing of popular songs
singsong

singing, vocalizing - the act of singing vocal music
 refrain. ****

THE DAYS No Ties

Verdict *****

THEY'VE just toured with Scouting For Girls and this debut single recalls that group's infectious, piano-led ditties.

With their own headlining tour visiting Wolverhampton Little Civic on February 1 and Birmingham Academy on February 3, let's hope The Days have more of the same.

NEW RHODES

The Joys Of Finding And Losing That Girl

Verdict *****

PURE pop from the Bristol outfit who release their second album on February 2.

Jangly guitars and dancy danc·y also danc·ey  
adj. danc·i·er, danc·i·est Informal
Suitable for or inviting dancing; danceable: dancy music. 
 rhythms underpin the three minute story of the beginning and end of a relationship.

LITTLE JOY

No One's Better Sake

Verdict *****

THE drummer of hit-making band The Strokes, Fabrizio Moretti, joins forces with multi-instrumentalists Binki Shapiro and Rodrigo Amarante for a World Music-flavoured single. It won't set the charts alight but it sounds rather like three mates enjoying time off from their day jobs.

CAPTION(S):

WHITE LIES: Gloomy and atmospheric sound.; Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs at the NEC (NEC Corporation, Tokyo, www.nec.com, www.necus.com) An electronics conglomerate known in the U.S. for its monitors. In Japan, it had the lion's share of the PC market until the late 1990s (see PC 98).

NEC was founded in Tokyo in 1899 as Nippon Electric Company, Ltd.
.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 24, 2009
Words:532
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