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Album releases; Music.

Byline: With GAVIN MARTIN

MAVIS STAPLES

If All I Was Was Black ****

With one of the most glorious, social history-embracing legacies in all of American music, Mavis has found a brilliant late career collaborator in Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. As the lead voice in The Staple Singers, the woman who marched with and sang for Martin Luther King now defiantly and beautifully addresses the racial wreckage of post-Obama America. The sense of authority and tender, raw and unvarnished feeling in Mavis's voice more than compensates for what she has lost in range with the passing years.

PALOMA FAITH

The Architect ****

Enjoying the motherhood she's long wanted, Paloma is full of responsibility and has declared this, her fourth album, a social observation record. With spoken word guest stars including actor Samuel L Jackson underlining the serious intent, she unleashes her inner Adele (the title track) and Amy Winehouse (Guilty). Her heart and conscience may be well placed, but Paloma's urgent keening and overfussy and predictable musical settings lack the personal touch to make this change of course a success.

MORRISSEY

Low In High School **

Morrissey is on predictable playingto-the-gallery, meanminded and miserymining form here. There are big musical flourishes and flounces - even a tango, more retching than fetching, on The Girl From Tel Aviv Who Wouldn't Kneel. His mundane life as a has-been ("I've wined and I've dined with every bogus music mogul") and instruction to the masses (Spent The Day In Bed) provide fodder for the onetime Smith's maudlin foghorn. I Bury The Living is as bad as it gets - Moz meets The Addams Family while invoking Roxy Music and embittered writer Celine. Gruesome.

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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 17, 2017
Words:273
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