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ALBUMS OF THE WEEK; reviews: Shereen Low, Nicole Gallagher, Tobias Chapple, Stephen Milnes, Holly McKenzie and Tobias Chapple.

COUNTRY SLEEP: Night Beds ??COUNTRY Sleep begins with just a voice, a high and tender lament, for 71 seconds; a spirit to be reckoned with, before a full band kicks up some dust behind a deliciously bittersweet melody on Ramona. The debut album by Nashville native Winston Yellen is full of American music, country soul and folk-type tunes. Yellen admits the songs were often born out of "destructive circumstances, and many varied attempts to sedate myself", hence the pun on Country Sleep. This mellow album's a real grower

TEMPER TEMPER: Bullet For My Valentine ??BFMV fans have been waiting almost three years for the release of a new album, and the Welsh rockers, led by Matthew Tuck, don't disappoint. They have adopted a catchier and slightly softer approach to the album in comparison to 2010's Fever.

Debut track Temper Temper has riffs not unlike an Avenged Sevenfold number. However, it fails to provide the impact that their fellow metal rockers do. Riot and Livin' Life (On The Edge Of A Knife) bring back the 'old' BFMV.

ANTHEMS: Pure Love ??PURE Love's debut album starts with a mission statement: "I'm so sick of singing about hate," yells frontman Frank Carter over the backing guitars. This is a big change for the singer, who had been the lead singer of hardcore punk band The Gallows only 18 months ago. Anthems is not some twee romantic album, instead it is uplifting rock with a hard edge. There are some really good exciting numbers such as Anthems and Beach Of Diamonds.

While Pure Love should stay away from songs such as Riot Song, which is much too mellow.

HOLY FIRE: Foals ??PARTS of Foals' third album - Out Of The Woods and Milk& Black Spiders - sound like remixed versions of Men At Work's Land Down Under. There are two real highlights, the explosive Inhaler and Providence. The rest melts away into the background. Samey it may be, but it's far less irritating than their infuriatingly hip debut. While second album Total Life Forever felt like a complete work, sure of itself and focused, Holy Fire feels more tentative. At best a grower, at worst pretty forgettable.

HEARTTHROB: Tegan And Sara ??CANADIAN twins Tegan and Sara Quin have been releasing material as a duo for more than a decade, and their seventh studio album has Kelly Clarkson producer Greg Kurstin at the helm. First single Closer is a wonderful, uplifting synth-pop ditty, and Drove Me Wild follows suit with its perfect dance-pop chorus. Though there are atmospherically acoustic elements in Love They Say and I Was A Fool, the album stands overall as an unashamedly gleeful celebration of love - perfect for Valentine's Day

A MOVING PICTURE: Devlin ??DAGENHAM-born breakout rap star of the grime scene, James Devlin's second album is fast yet disappointing.

The rapper has an impressive flow and good tunes but his songs lack bite. The album is supposed to feel cinematic but instead seems over-produced, running the full set of hip-hop cliches, from female chorus to guitar riffs to a backing choir. It's a shame Devlin keeps tripping himself up with lazy and arrogant lyrics because he is a sincere rapper - and we need more of that honesty.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Article Type:Sound recording review
Date:Feb 8, 2013
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