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albums.

FRANK OCEAN BLOND HHHH H With Blond, Frank Ocean's second studio album, the 28-year-old has taken the playfulness and vulnerability of his debut, Channel Orange, and run with it.

The album's opener Nikes teases the listener, giving the first glimpse of Ocean after four years through auto-tune as he pokes fun at overconsumption and pays tribute to Trayvon Martin, and Beyonce is relegated to background noise - but brilliant background noise at that - on Pink + White.

An, at times, erotic ode to teenage years spent well and an adulthood adjusting to fame, Blond is an album full of songs that Frank Ocean loves - and he's lucky that what he loves, everyone else wants to hear.

GLASS ANIMALS HOW TO BE A HUMAN BEING HHHH H When Glass Animals' debut Zaba hit shelves in 2014, it was a breath of fresh air - but left reviewers in a quandary as to how to actually describe it.

Follow-up How To Be A Human Being is, arguably, even more eclectic, building on their existing sound with everything from big bhangra beats one moment, to 8-bit chip-tuned riffs the next. Yet, like Zaba, it remains astonishingly accessible. This is a bright, breezy, feel-good romp across genres that is impossible not to enjoy.

WILL YOUNG SUMMER COVERS HHHH H Bringing together some of Will Young's favourite covers, this album has been recorded completely live with the jazz band Young played with during a residency at the 606 club in London.

It's that slick, you wouldn't notice if it weren't for the fact the bluesy bass notes on One World are fudgily rich, a sax velveteen over the top. He takes his time on the Buzzcocks' Ever Fallen In Love, building it slowly, while The Beatles' I'm Only Sleeping is full of jauntiness.

It's not all that summery, but this EP is wonderfully luxuriant.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Aug 28, 2016
Words:306
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