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RICHARD THOMPSON - STILL Rating .... AFTER almost 50 years in the music business, Richard Thompson OBE shows no sign of slowing down at the ripe age of 66. Indeed, this collection may be his best in several years.

The London-born musician's virtuoso guitarplaying is his key asset and he demonstrates it here on All Buttoned Up before using the closing tour de force Guitar Heroes to pay homage to influences including Django Reinhardt, Les Paul and Chuck Berry.

His versatility extends to the slow, haunting Broken Doll and Josephine, while opener She Never Could Resist A Winding Road carries always-welcome echoes of his classic Beeswing.

JOY WILLIAMS - VENUS Rating .... IT'S easy to hear why Joy Williams has won four Grammys. Powerful, soulful and always hitting the right note, her voice is the stuff sweet lullabies are made of. This new album is filled with it and an unendingly earnest vibe but the 32-year-old's music isn't endearing and is weirdly distant.

Williams has a perfect voice, seamless production and it's boringly faultless; only in Sweet Love Of Mine does her voice break, and there it's straight up beautiful. The rest just washes over.

JOYWAVE - HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW? Rating .... HAILING from Rochester, New York, Joywave cover a musical spectrum from indie rock to electronica on their debut album. When the five-piece play it straight, it works brilliantly. Opener Somebody New, which sounds like Passion Pit jamming with LCD Soundsystem, is three and a half minutes of radiofriendly pop bliss, while the Killersesque Now and the 1980s-influenced Nice House suggest a band with the songwriting nouse to cross into the mainstream. However, when the bleeps and beats take precedence over the tunes, as on the sample-heavy In Clover, the forgettable Feels Like A Lie and the trippy album closer Bad Dreams, the results are less impressive and come across as little more than album filler.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jul 5, 2015
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