Last Night You Saw This Band.
4 stars (out of 5)
The fourth studio album from Kiwi electronic trio Ruth Carr,
Paul Dodge and Ryan Beehre is best described as eclectic.
Carr's initial inspiration while on holiday in the Cook
Islands translates into a dozen tracks that, although not all
strictly Pacifika in favour, are certainly infused with a
breezy, upbeat vibe, from the Mariachi-style horn stabs of
the title track to the hand claps and tribal rhythms of
Book of the Dead and the steel drum samples of Good
Ol' Days. There are touches of darkness, too. On
Warheads, Carr asks ''how shall we settle this?'' Then
answers, ''with bombs''.
Single download: The Love That Won't Shut
For those who like: Bjork
Saguaro Road Rhythm.
4 stars (out of 5)
Award-winning, R&B chart-topping Angie Stone has turned
her back on big-name producer collaborations on her latest
effort, preferring instead to trust her own muse on a
neo-soul set list that conjures smoky dive and slammin'
dancefloor in equal measure.
There's a tight-but-loose feel to Rich Girl that allows Stone
to fully explore an emotive delivery, while also riffing
through scales with dexterity accessible to only a rare few.
A sexy halftime interlude by actor-singer Malcolm-Jamal
Warner serves as an invitation for Stone to let loose on a
series of late-night grooves that include a title track rich
in slinky guitar and stacked vocal harmonies.
Single download: Do What U Gotta Do
For those who like: Amy Winehouse
- Shane Gilchrist
Take the Crown.
3 stars (out of 5)
''They said it was leaving me/ the magic was leaving me/ I
don't think so.''
So begins the ninth album from Britain's former crown prince
of pop, and it is clear Robbie Williams is once again eyeing
the arenas. With producer Jacknife Lee (U2, Snow Patrol) in
tow, the likes of Not Like the Others, Be a Boy
and Hunting for You mark a return to the anthemics of
his late-'90s heyday.
Elsewhere, sparkly-suited orchestral synth pop abounds, as on
lead single Candy, while the bruised Losers
suggests that fatherhood has mellowed the once-swaggering
Single download: Losers
For those who like: Take That, Mika, Bruno Mars
- John Hayden