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cd review; Ramona Falls - Intuit.

INTUIT is the first full-length offering from the side-project of Brent Knopf, one-third of Portland-based outfit Menomena. It shares the lush arrangements, bombastic percussion and eclectic instrumentation of his other band, along with silky, frayedat-the-edge vocals perfectly pitched to tug at the heartstrings. These ingredients come together to make up a beguiling, at times dazzling album.

Rating ...

Arctic Monkeys - Humbug

KEEN to revamp their sound, the Arctic Monkeys decamped to America to record with long-time admirer Josh Homme, who produces seven of the 10 tracks here. The result is a heavier, more textured album. However, the quirky rhythms and idiosyncratic melodies that characterised the Sheffield quartet's first two albums have decreased dramatically, overshadowed by Turner's increasingly ambitious lyrics. Humbug may be Arctic Monkeys' third-best album, but they're still so far ahead of the pack it barely matters. Rating. .. .

The Soundtrack Of Our Lives - Communion SWEDISH six-piece TSOOL offer up a healthy portion of epic rock with 24 tracks on this album. For fans, this should be a mighty big present, but it's all a bit predictable and repetitive. It's a shame because there are a few good tunes on the album - you've just got to wade through the mud to find them.

Rating . .

Mum - Sing Along To Songs You Don't Know

THIS Icelandic group are known for their alternative indie-pop tunes, where they use self-made instruments to create some of the most individual music out there. This album is no different. The Smell Of Today Is Sweet Like Breastmilk In The Wind is not only one of the most inventive song titles but also a great up-tempo pop number. Likewise, A River Don't Stop To Breathe is instantly likeable, full of serene vocals. This is a thoroughly charming album.

Rating . .. .

Neil Diamond - Hot August Night HAVING undergone Rick Rubin's patented "Johnny Cash treatment" with a pair of critically-acclaimed new albums in recent years, Neil Diamond has returned to reclaim his back catalogue. On this energetic live set, he presents a careerspanning look at his past, but stripped of some of the gauche production which allbut ruined his reputation. He is still a hammy performer - how could one perform Sweet Caroline in any other way? - but that is more endearing than cloying. Rating ...
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 21, 2009
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