SOUND JUDGEMENT; THE LATEST ALBUM RELEASES RATED AND REVIEWED.
RAPHAEL SAADIQ JIMMY LEE HHHH H RAPHAEL SAADIQ'S longawaited fifth solo studio album, his first in eight years, is a remarkable collection from the Grammywinning singer-songwriter/record producer, inspired in part by his brother's struggles with addiction as well as his own personal journey of discovery. Poignant in moments, it is both epic and light, as well as being nostalgic with a cosy 90s edge, yet also fresh and timely. From album opener Sinners Prayer and the groovier So Ready, to big, hands-in-the-air anthem Rikers Island and other tracks spotted with gospel influences and classic heavy beats, this truly is a beautiful offering.
CRX PEEK HHH HH LOS Angeles five-piece CRX - Nick Valensi, Darian Zahedi, Jon Safley, Brad Oberhofer and Ralph Alexander, are back and the band's inspirations drip out of the speakers with Peek. We're All Alone opens in a style becoming of Goldfrapp, New Obsession is essentially Talking Heads and Get Close is an ear-bending loop of synth hooks.
A masterclass in how much better 80s synth pop would have been with today's production values, this is a truly awesome record filled with rich vocals, that evokes memories and emotions from a time when David Bowie was an Absolute Beginner and ra-ra skirts were cool.
THE NIGHT CAFE 0151 HHH HH MELODIC, euphoric indie charm abounds on this Liverpool band's debut album. The Night Cafe pay homage to their home city's area code 0151 with a collection of peppy, indie pop/rock tracks.
From the opening bars of Finders Keepers, it's clear these boys have a sparkling career ahead of them. They're not reinventing the wheel, but there's an undercurrent of skill and ambition and skill here. The songs, despite being comfortably slower and less riff-heavy than many of their contemporaries, are no less intriguing. A positive start for this bright young quartet.