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EELS - WONDERFUL, GLORIOUS EELS is essentially one guy, Mark Everett, or 'E' as he likes to be known. E is nothing if not prolific, with Wonderful, Glorious being the American singer-songwriter's 10th studio album. But no matter how many records he has produced, it's starting to feel like the record is getting stuck. The album is barely distinguishable from its predecessors - sombre lyrics tackling depression, death and mental illness all feature, delivered with an acerbic bite over a mix of folk-tinged songs which are enlivened with snippets of electronica. The album is packed full of solid craftsmanship - New Alphabet offers some upbeat relief, Peach Blossom is fuzzy and grungey greatness, while On The Ropes tweaks the heartstrings. Maybe E truly believes 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it', but fans are going to be yearning for something more. ????? THE COURTEENERS - ANNA IT'S been a two-year wait for a new album from Manchester four-piece The Courteeners - and it's been worth it. As expected, each song on third album Anna lends itself to rocking live venues, which is good news as they start an 18-date UK tour later this month. Opener Are You In Love With A Notion? gets the party started, while Money and single Lose Control are standouts and showcase frontman Liam Fray's punchy vocals. However, Van Der Graaff and beautiful Marquee show Fray can also impress on slower, soulful tracks as well as signature indie anthems that pack venues. Arguably their best album yet. GLEE CAST - GLEE: THE MUSIC PRESENTS GLEASE IN many respects, Grease is the ideal subject matter for hit TV musical show Glee: both are set in schools, feature actors pretending to be students, deal with the melodrama of teenage hormones and include some brilliant songs. The nine tracks here roughly follow the order they appeared in season four, not the musical. Darren Criss' version of Hopelessly Devoted To You is a great opener, even if it does seem odd to finish with Summer Nights. The fresh take on Hand Jive and particularly There Are Worse Things I Could Do, featuring Kate Hudson, means there is something for causal listeners to enjoy as well as Gleeks, even though Greased Lightning is far inferior to the film version.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 3, 2013
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