The Tarnished Gold.
Sounding like it's been around forever, the third album
from Californian collective Beachwood Sparks is in thrall to
the sound of droopy-moustached '70s America. Its forte is
unfussy yet beautifully crafted songs, and while there are no
wild flashes of innovation, a sunny West Coast vibe permeates
the release - gleaming harmonies waft above melodies so
sun-kissed they're almost sunburned, while shimmery guitars and
deft pedal steel add a lachrymose elegance to the likes of
Talk About Lonesome
and Nature's Light
Single download: Talk About Lonesome
For those who like: Buffalo Springfield, Gold Rush-era
Neil Young, The Byrds
- John Hayden
> Paul Banks.
Try as he might, Interpol front man Paul Banks cannot
distance himself sufficiently from his band to get out of its
giant dark shadow. His voice is too distinctive and his range
too limited. But on this second solo effort (his first was as
Julian Plenti), Banks' liking for samples and the influence of
trip-hop make for some deeper, mellower textures to these songs
of self-confessed purging and venting. Young Again
I'll Sue You
are the better examples of his ability to
lace a thread of something sweet through fairly forbidding grey
curtains of sound.
Single download: The Base
For those who like: Interpol
- Jeff Harford
> Gary Moore.
Blues for Jimi.
Eagle Rock Entertainment.
The saddest thing about this posthumous release, is that
not one, but two of the artists represented have passed away
since the 2007 recording. On a night that Hendrix fans gathered
to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Live at Monterey, Irish
guitar supremo Gary Moore took the stage and proceeded to lift
the floorboards of the London Hippodrome with some of the
nastiest plank-spanking since Jimi himself wailed. Blues for
shifts gears when Moore ushers in Billy Cox and Mitch
Mitchell. The duo lay a perfect platform for Moore to lift the
Hendrix spirit from his Strats.
Single download: Red House
For those who like: Jimi Hendrix, Lightnin' Hopkins,
Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa.
- Mark Orton