Symphonic Pop Opera – REGINA SPEKTOR Enthralls With New Album ‘HOME, BEFORE AND AFTER’

24 June 2022

Artist: REGINA SPEKTOR
Born Regina Iljinitsjna Spektor (Регина Ильинична Спектор)
Who: Russian-American singer-songwriter, and pianist
Active: Since 1997 / 7 LPs (new one incl.)

New album: HOME, BEFORE AND AFTER – her 1st in 6 years
Out: 24 June 2022 – order info here

Spektor on her FB page: “What a crazy world it has been. And still is.
I’m just so glad it IS… cause knowing us humans, that’s not always a given.
I’m full of extra gratitude and love for the world these days. Just glad to
be here.”

NME says: “As emotional as ‘Home, before and after’ is, there’s a playful, punk attitude to every experimental flourish. This is a colourful, energised collection of work from an artist who could comfortably stay in her own lane, but chooses not to. With twee, indie sleaze and ‘00s alt-rock all finding new footholds in 2022, Spektor finds joy in creating a world all of her own.”
Score: 4/5.

Turn Up The Volume: Topnotch record. A pop opera backed by a symphonic orchestra. Every song enthralls. Every song is a Spektor fantasy about love, pain, about her heart and soul. She’s back in supreme style. Welcome.

Singles/clips: Up The Mountain / Coming All Alone / Loveology

– UP THE MOUNTAIN –
(Sublime pop earworm)

– BECOMING ALL ALONE –
(Symphonic mid-tempo lullaby)

– LOVEOLOGY –
(Piano colored grandeur)

Stream full album on Spotidy

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REGINA SPEKTOR: Spotify – Instagram

NENEH CHERRY Invited (Female) Friends For New Album Of Old Songs

New longplayers

11 June 2022

Artist: NENEH CHERRY
Born ago 58 years ago in Stockholm, Sweden
Active: Since 1980 / 6 studio albums

New album: THE VERSIONS

Neneh Cherry has teamed up with some of today’s most exciting female artists for this allbum The Versions. The collaborative LP features covers from her expansive catalogue by an all-female line-up of musicians, including Sia, Robyn, Anohni, Greentea Peng, Kelsey Lu, Sudan Archives, Tyson and others.

Stream the versions here…

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NENEH CHERRY: Facebook – Instagram

Our Kid LIAM GALLAGHER Still Is A Rock And Roll Star – New Album ‘C’MON YOU KNOW’ Out Now

New longplayers

27 May 2022

Artist: LIAM GALLAGHER
Solo LPs: As You Were (2017) and Why Me? Why Not.

New album: C’MON YOU KNOW
Release: 27 May 2022 – order info here

Liam about the album: “I’m quite happy with the formula. All these people that go out
and do something different – good for them and all that, but if I like something, I just stick
with it.”

NME says: “At once experimental and familiar enough to keep his stunning second act on course, ‘C’mon You Know’ finds Liam Gallagher having his cake and eating it – and there’s plenty to go round at this party. If he doesn’t overthink it, why should you? Turn off your mind, relax and bring the cans.” Full review here. Score: 4/5.

Turn Up The Volume: Liam says that he is happy with his rock formula. So nothing new? No, just a bunch of new songs from good to very good. As much as I love our kid I enjoy him the most when he’s a rock ‘n’ roll star on stage. That’s his habitat. That’s what he does best. Entertaining a crowd/choir of 50.000 in a green field. See you in Belgium in August, Liam, on a green field of course.

Singles/clips: Everything’s Electric / Better Days / C’Mon On You Know

– EVERYTHING’S ELECTRIC –

– BETTER DAYS –

– C’MON YOU KNOW –

Stream the album on Spotify…

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LIAM GALLAGHER: Facebook

Metal Freaks CAVE IN Have Their New Hefty Album ‘HEAVY PENDULUM’ Out

Brand new longplayers

22 May 2022

Band: CAVE IN
Who: Metallic-post-hardcore-noise
rock squad from Methuen, Massachusetts.
Active: Since 1995 / 7 LPs (including new one)

New album: HEAVY PENDULUM
Their first longplayer in over a decade
Released: 20 May 2022 via Relapse Records

The Guardian (British newspaper): “With gargantuan riffs and amps
turned up to 11, pure metal is tempered with the grace and complexity
that have become the band’s trademark.”
Score: 4.5.

Turn Up The Volume: Lots of candy here
for metal junkies and bombast addicts.

Singles/clips: Blinded By A Blaze / New Reality

– BLINDED BY A BLAZE –

– NEW REALITY –

Stream/buy full album here…


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CAVE IN: Spotify – Facebook

THE BLACK KEYS Released Their 12th Album ‘DROPOUT BOOGIE’ Today

13 May 2022

Band: THE BLACK KEYS (Akron, Ohio)
Who: Best known blues-rock duo in the world
Active: Since 2001 / 12 LPs (new one included)

New album: DROPOUT BOOGIE
Released: 13 May 2022 – order info here

Pitchfork: “The Black Keys can still resemble the same dudes from Akron
who found their calling 20 years ago by tuning out the world and getting lost
in their own greasy groove. Only now, they don’t have to settle for merely
conjuring the spirit of their blues-rock idols—they can actually invite them
to their studio.”
Full review here. Score 6/10.

Turn Up The Volume: The Black Keys cover
The Black Keys and sound exactly like The Black Keys.

Singles/clips: It Ain’t Over / Wild Child

– IT AIN’T OVER –

– WILD CHILD –

Stream the full album on Spotify…

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THE BLACK KEYS: All Albums – Facebook

Restless Soul SHARON VAN ETTEN Released Her Best Album So Far With ‘WE’VE BEEN GOING ABOUT THIS ALL WRONG’

New longplayers

7 May 2022

Artist: SHARON VAN ETTEN
Who: Eminent singer-songwriter born
in Belleville (New Jersey) 41 years ago
Active: Since 2007 / 6 studio LPs (new one incl.)

New album: WE’VE BEEN GOING ABOUT THIS ALL WRONG
Released: 6 May – order info here

Uncut Magazine (British music monthly): “We’ve Been Going… is above all an incredible sounding record. Across its 10 tracks, it incorporates the Jupiter synths and saturnine beats of Remind Me Tomorrow and the stark, swooning strum of her early records to create truly a cosmic dynamic range, from the softest whisper to the most desolate scream.” Score: 4/5.

Turn Up The Volume: More orchestral and even more poignant than before. Not one mediocre track here. My ears tell me that this is Van Etten‘s top-of-the-range album (so far). The restless soul spellbinds from start to finish.

Her heavenly voice, her passional stories and her five-star songwriting
competency are the key components of this masterly achievement.

Btw, Sharon also surprised her fans
(like me) by not dropping singles ahead of the LP release.

Key tracks: Darkness Fades / I’ll Try / Anything / Headspace / Mistakes

Stream the full album on Spotify…

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VAN ETTEN: Website – Instagram

Los Angeles’ Vibes Popsters WARPAINT Have Their 4th LP ‘RADIATE LIKE THIS’ Out

New longplayers

6 May 2022

Band: WARPAINT
Who: Indie pop ladies from Los Angeles
Active: 2004-present / 4 studio LPs


(Press promo)

New album: RADIATE LIKE THIS – 1st in 6 years
Released: 6th May 2022 – order info here

NME says: “This comeback is a tribute to what you can accomplish when creating with
people you love, proving the band can’t be tied to a specific scene… a tribute to what you
can accomplish when creating with people you love – to feeling supported in exploring
some of life’s most complex offerings, yet maintaining curiosity and a sense of fun. And,
as ‘Radiate Like This’ shows us, that never goes out of style.”

Review here. Score: 4/5.

Turn Up The Volume: All sorts of vibes. Moody, trippy, soulful and
several lazy ones. But, unfortunately, no vibes that invited me to play
them several times in a row. Bummer.

Singles/clips: Champion / Stevie

– CHAMPION –

– STEVIE –

WARPAINT: Facebook – Instagram

Texan Veteran Punks BOWLING FOR SOUP With 11th Album ‘POP DRUNK SNOT BREAD’

New longplayers

1 May 2022

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Band: BOWLING FOR SOUP
Who: Power pop/rock punks from Wichita Falls, Texas
Active: Since 1994 / 11 studio LPs

New album: POP DRUNK SNOT BREAD

Rough Trade (label): “From professing their love for Brad Pitt in “I Wanna Be Brad Pitt” to encouraging us all to be a little kinder these days in “Killin’ ‘Em With Kindness,” the greatest band of all time will have you singing along to every song and forgetting about the bad stuff. Worlds collide with the catchy “Alexa Bliss,” dedicated to the WWE Superstar Alexa Bliss, who one said that Bowling For Soup is her favourite band, bringing wrestling and pop-punk together as they should be.”

TUTV: File next to Blink 182, Green Day, The Offspring, Fall Out Boy
and all those related American veteran punk bands.

Singles/clips: I Wanna Be Brad Pitt / Alexa Bliss

– I WANNA BE BRAD PITT –

– ALEXA BLISS-

Stream the full album on Spotify…

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BOWLING FOR SOUP: Website – All Albums

BLOC PARTY Released Good, But Not Good Enough LP ‘ALPHA GAMES’ Today

New longplayers

29 April 2022


(Press photo by Wunmi Onibudo)

Band: BLOC PARTY
Who: London post-punk force
from London led by Kele Okereke
Active: Since 1999 / 6 studio albums,

New album: ALPHA GAMES

Okereke: “Alpha Games was conceived on the road,
playing in front of amazing crowds on our last tour
and then brought to life with the fire and the frustrations
of 2020.”

NME says: ‘Alpha Games’ sees Bloc Party still championing
the ’00s scene that they came up in, but there’s not a hint of
nostalgia in sight. With a renewed vigour and the desire to
keep things moving, this sixth album could soundtrack
a new generation of indie discos.

Turn Up The Volume: Great singles (below) but for the rest,
this new record isn’t good enough and far from Bloc Party‘s
high standard. Too many songs going nowhere, not enough
tunes that stick. Next, please.

Singles: Traps / The Girls Are Fighting / Sex Magik

– TRAPS –

– THE GIRLS ARE FIGHTING –

– SEX MAGIK –


Full
album…

BLOC PARTY: Facebook

22 Albums In 10 Years – New KING GIZZARD And THE LIZARD WIZARD Album ‘MAGENTA MOUNTIAN’ Out Today

New longplayers

22 April 2022

Band: KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD
Who: 24/7 psych rockers from down under
Albums: 22 in 10 years’ time (hello, Radiohead?)

New LP: OMNIUM GATHERUM
Out: 22 April 2022 – order info here

Stu Mackenzie (their multi-instrumentalist): “This recording session felt significant. Significant because it was the first time all six Gizzards had gotten together after an extraordinarily long time in lockdown,” the band’s Stu Mackenzie said in a statement, “Significant because it produced the longest studio recording we’ve ever released. Significant because (I think) it’s going to change the way we write and record music, at least for a while.
A turning point. A touchstone. I think we’re entering into our ‘jammy period’. It feels good.”

Turn Up The Volume: The 18-minute psych-o-delic marathon The Dripping Tap
(hear/see below) alone counts for an album. Holy smoke, these tireless Aussies are
razor-edged riff fanatics. I played it 3 times so far, which makes a total of 54 minutes,
I’ll listen to the other tracks, for a second time, tomorrow.

Be ready for that head-spinning and hair-splitting
18-minute brain-breaking jam played live here…

Stream/buy full album here…


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KGALW: Facebook – Spotify