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9:16am Monday 22nd April 2013
Hadouken! – Every Weekend (Surface Noise Recordings) ***** Not since The Prodigy has a band brought together fans from as far apart as metal to dance via hip-hop and indie. This is a unique sound that is an absolute must for the highest volume setting your stereo (or your neighbours) can handle. These guys know how to make a sound that just has to get your feet leaping about. The drops are mostly predictable, but exciting as they slowly build up to the crescendo that you know is going to come. Nigel Goodman, 55, teacher, Heaton
9:22am Monday 11th March 2013
1:00pm Saturday 29th December 2012
9:37am Monday 3rd December 2012
9:16am Monday 5th November 2012
8:27am Tuesday 30th October 2012
11:01am Monday 8th October 2012
9:10am Monday 1st October 2012
4:11pm Monday 20th August 2012
9:00am Monday 9th July 2012
Paul Heaton – The 8th (Proper)**** Produced for the 2011 Manchester International Festival, The 8th is a surreal and dark soul opera. Covering eight chapters, the album charts the seven well-documented deadly sins and a newer, modern addition. While the narration provided by The Wire’s Reg E Cathey is used to great effect, the album still struggles to maintain depth due to occasional random upbeat tracks which ultimately detract from the overall storyline. Nonetheless, the eight chapters do offer a poignant insight into the lives of the eight characters featured suffering various forms of poverty. Although inconsistent in tone, the story and lyrics are undoubtedly powerful.
9:03am Monday 28th May 2012
Santana – Shape Shifter (Starfish) *** When Carlos Santana took Peter Green’s epic Black Magic Woman and made it his own in the Sixties, he was at the zenith of his extraordinary guitar powers. Astonishingly he is still going strong with his 26th album Shape Shifter, accompanied by virtuoso musicians from his old band on stand-out tracks like In The Light Of A New Day, Never The Same Again and Spark Of The Divine. It might not be as relevant as his 1970s tour-de-force album Abraxas, but the genius guitar is still to the fore. Still present is the distinctive improvisations that have driven the guitarist’s purity and sweetness of tone, plus his ability to sustain notes for any length of time on feedback.
10:58am Monday 21st May 2012
Fun. – Some Nights (Atlantic Records) **** Every now and then a certain song comes along that just blows everything else out of the water. We Are Young is one of those songs which can be found on this album. How can a band be so happy yet so sad at the same time – especially when the name of that band is Fun? Some Nights is an incredibly theatrical-sounding CD and at times it is a little larger than life, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m tempted to compare this to Queen, but I’m not going to, however, vocalist Nate Ruess does have a slight similarity to Freddie Mercury in his voice – but it’s going to take a lot more than just one brilliant song to convert me into a full-time Fun. fan just yet.
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