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Album releases; Music.

Byline: With GAVIN MARTIN

METRONOMY

Summer '08

***

For the fifth Metronomy outing, Joseph Mount is a oneman operation, celebrating the 808 drum machine and disco synth sound of his youth. Summer '08 is an upbeat and energising album emphasising playfulness and dance-floor moves.

With guests including Beastie Boy Mix Master Mike (scratching on Old Skool) and Robyn (Hang Me Out To Dry), the polish is undeniable.

However, despite the added bounce to the ounce, the depth of the best previous Metronomy outings is lacking.

It's palatable nostalgia for the recent past - with a side order of frivolity.

BAT FOR LASHES

The Bride

****

Natasha Khan's alter ego sets off on her strangest yet most beguiling sonic adventure to date on this fourth album.

The concept centres on a bride killed on the way to her wedding but continues as a ghostly voice.

In God's House has both warmth and spectacular Goth gloom, while the highspirited Sunday Love brings wit and charm. The Batgirl provides an unnerving backdrop on Widow's Peak as harmonies mimic angels. Well-groomed.

MAXWELL

blackSUMMERS'night

****

Neo soul pioneer Maxwell has been slow to release the follow-up to 2009's BLACK summers'night.

The continuity isn't just seen in the near-identical album titles, but the liquid grooves and sensual vocals are still here too.

As ever, the ghosts of Marvin and Prince hover at his shoulder but rich, florid gems such as Gods and Lost show how masterfully in control Maxwell is, coaxing the ache out of soul's golden past into a vibrant future. Marvellous.

KANDACE SPRINGS

Soul Eyes

***

Ditching the modern R&B of her well-received 2014 debut EP Springs, daughter of Nashville session singer Scat Springs favours an opulent jazzy sound on her album debut.

Prince helped her shape the Norah Jones-accentuated approach, and covers of songs first recorded by Judy Tzuke and Shelby Lynne brim with tastefulness. But elsewhere, the polite style is stifling and a little grit in the oyster wouldn't go amiss.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 1, 2016
Words:325
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