The Close Readers.
Wellington-based writer and poet Damien Wilkins teams
with Cassette multi-instrumentalist Craig Terris and keyboard
player Felix Bornholdt to follow up last year's Group
with The Close Readers
, which relates a series
of first-person vignettes about a redemptive mission to rebuild
burnt bridges and reconnect with a life from which the
protagonist has somehow detached.
Framed within consistently fine muscular rockers and melodic
indie-pop tunes, these thoughtful songs reach their pinnacle
in the superb Don't Fall In Love With London.
• Single download: Kathleen
• For those who like: The Go Betweens, The Chills, The New
- Jeff Harford
Treble and Reverb.
Kiwi soul diva Aaradhna showcases her versatility as she
steps out of the shadows of 2008 covers album Sweet Soul
Slipping lithely from sassy pop to classy neo soul via
lilting ska, her sumptuous voice ''eschewing OTT wailing for
a dreamy sensuality'' is cocooned in an ocean of sound ladled
on by producer P-Money, whose hip-hop-infused beats add
sassiness to the vintage sound.
While the sound isn't entirely her own, the irresistibly
catchy Lorena Bobbitt and Crying Like a Wolf's
marvellously cascading chorus are symptomatic of an album
that wears sophistication on its sleeve.
• Single download: Lorena Bobbitt
• For those who like: Iva Lamkum, Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone,
Mary J. Blige
- John Hayden
Music from Another Dimension!
On the strength of the first three tracks, you could be
excused for thinking this really is ''music from another
Revisiting their swaggering '70s vibe, the ageing rockers
crank their amps with barely a hint of the turgid balladry
that plagued the '90s.
But this is still very much a band of two halves.
In one corner, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford lay down a fiery
bed of crunchy riffola, while in the other, Steven Tyler
skulks about penning syrupy filler.
Thankfully, when Tyler isn't swooning, his raspy delivery
still provides the perfect foil for the swinging groove of a
once great band.
• Single download: Street Jesus
• For those who Like: Rocks-era Aerosmith sullied by Get a
Grip power ballads
- Mark Orton