home
news
features
demos
live listings
album reviews
forum

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Back to main page

Du Blonde
Welcome Back To Milk (Mute)

Du Blonde Nope, we have no idea what the 'readers wives yeti' cover is about either, but then Beth Jeans Houghton has always loved to play with imagery, and it seems she also loves to play with expectations as this is entirely unlike the psycho-delic approach to her previous album Yours Truly Cellophane Nose, an altogether more gritty and aggressive beast in fact (although not without its moments of beauty), however if you really dug her debut then you should feel no concern at jumping right back in here as it's Houghton herself that is the major draw on both records, the most genuinely exciting new female performer since PJ Harvey in fact.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Dub Collosus
Addis To Omega (Echomaster)

Dub Collosus The fourth album from Dub Colossus (the brainchild of ex Transglobal Underground chappie Nick Page, aka Count Dubulah), originally melding reggae, Ethiopian Azmari, Jazz and of course dub when first heard on the genuinely groundbreaking A Town Called Addis (2008). Things have since moved on with even more influences thrown into the musical gumbo - Dubulah is calling it Dubadelica – veering wildly from the Ska poetry of 'Mi Dad' to the Special’s flavoured spooked Latin-tinged jazz dub of 'Tale Of 2 Cities'. At fifteen tracks it’s possibly a mite too long but really complaining about such a plethora of ideas seems pretty churlish.
Drew Bass

buy this album

******************************************************************

Dreadzone
Escapades (Dubwiser Records)

Dreadzone OK, history lesson for ya. Dreadzone rose phoenix like from the ashes of the first incarnation of Big Audio Dynamite when drummer, Greg Roberts, bassist Leo Williams and keyboardist Dan Donovan, teamed up with engineer Tim Bran, taking the eclectic BAD template of hip hop and rock and adding dub, folk and electronica. Naysayers, and they were legion, insisted it was a cynical attempt to hit as many markets as possible but they missed the point as this willingness to cherry pick from numerous genres was neatly stitched together with an ear for melody and pop hooks, a knack that has yet to desert them.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Deep Purple
Now What?! Gold Edition (EARmusic)

Deep PurpleWidely reckoned to be the best thing to appear under the Deep Purple banner since Perfect Strangers, Now What?! Gold Edition adds a few extra tracks and a whole extra live album mixing up DP classics with new material in a natty Made In Japan referencing gold cover. Ok Mr Blackmore is no longer on board but Steve Morse is no lightweight fret mangler and Don Airey ensures that the whole album is positively dripping in Jon Lord style keyboard flourishes – in fact ‘Uncommon Man’ and ‘Above and Beyond’ are both dedicated to Lord – and Gillan, Glover and Paice remain as sprightly as men a third their age.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

George Duke
Follow the Rainbow (SoulMusic)

George DukeAs we are all now sadly aware George Duke is no longer with us (more here), and as is often the case when an old favourite passes you’re tempted to drag out the old Vinyl and have a misty eyed wake. If however you’re not up on Dukes long and illustrious solo career then we suggest that this, Don’t Let Go or A Brazilian Love Affair are fine starting points. Having moved into more commercial areas Duke often gets a sniffy reception from Jazz (and indeed funk) buffs but frankly they’re talking bollocks as the mixture of funk, jazz, Latin beats and soulful vocals ensure these albums still stand the test of time.
Paul Riley

buy this album

******************************************************************

Dave Davis
I Will Be Me (Cleopatra Records)

Dave DavisThe second release since his stroke back in 2004 (the first being the aptly named Fractured Mindz in 2007) and his sixth solo album to date. Dave Davis solo career can thus far best be described as uneven (mind you the same can also be said of his slightly more famous older brother), and in truth the same must be said about this album. That said however this is actually one of his best efforts mainly due to the rough and ready garage vibe, and I Will Be Me is littered with lots of little musical and lyrical nods to the Kinks back catalogue which is clearly Davis having fun and, the odd misstep aside, this is a genuinely fine album.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

George Duke
Don’t Let Go (Soul Music/Cherry Red)

George Duke Having worked with everyone from Miles Davis and jazz violin maestro Jean Luc Ponty to Frank Zappa George Duke’s solo career finally got the shot in the arm it deserved when he took a side trip down ‘da funk’ avenue with From Me To You, Reach For It (both 1977) and this 1978 effort featuring hit US single ‘Dukey Stick’ (this version of the album now including single and 12” versions of the hit). Duke would soon branch out again, this time in a Latin American direction on 1979’s excellent Brazilian Love Affair (also re-released in expanded form on Cherry Red/Soul Music), but for lovers of afro-jazz/funk this is an essential purchase...
Paul Riley

buy this album

******************************************************************

Dark Horses
Black Music (Last Gang)

Dark HorsesThe debut album by Kasabian endorsed Brighton-based outfit Dark Horses is many things, however cheerful ain’t one of ‘em - as some reviews have been at pains to point out. But that’s like complaining that the Velvet Undergound (whose influence reverberates here) were a bit glum, I mean the album is called Black Music for god's sake, and it contains some cracking moments melding motorik beats, blurred electronica, post-rock racket, ice-maiden vocals (think Shirley Manson meets Hope Sandoval via Elizabeth Fraser), and if it’s perhaps a couple of tracks too long it’s still a fine debut and leaves you very keen to hear what’s coming next.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

****************************************************************** VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL

Dr John
Splinter Trip Revisited - Live At Hayfield 1988 (Ozit/Morph)

DR JohnHaving sold off, or just plain lost, pretty much all of my beautiful album collection over the years it’s pretty galling to have to go out and re-buy everything. Fortunately labels like Ozit are unearthing cracking old material (see also their Tractor collection) and then releasing it on lovely weighty 180 gram vinyl (two discs in this case) encased in a good old gatefold sleeve containing all that lovely trainspottery info we have got used to not being able to bloody read on CD’s – or not getting at all on downloads. Oh and it’s also a bloody fine live set featuring Mac’s old sax buddy from Gris Gris days Plas Johnson.
Ray Harper


Buy this album

VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL**VINYL ******************************************************************

The Dandy Warhols
Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia (Commercial marketing)

The Dandy Warhols It could be argued that The Dandy Warhols really hit their stride on this, their third, album but then completely failed to capitalise on the success of hit single ‘Bohemian Like You’ by going all weird and synthy on follow up Welcome To The Monkey House. What is beyond doubt however is this is easily their most fully realised effort with nary a clunker to be found, ok so it’s occasionally a little ramshackle and seems to have been produced in a sock but it’s still a great mix of Psyched out rock and alternative yank cool. This re-release comes with a load of studio floor sweepings but it's the original album that still excites.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

The Dubliners
50 Years (Irl)

The Dubliners The Dubliners have become more of an institution than a band over their long and illustrious fifty year career, they have toured longer and harder than just about anyone on the planet and their back catalogue of songs, ranging from biting social commentary to laugh out loud funny and from beautiful ballads to head-spinning jigs, reels and hornpipes is one of the finest in this, or indeed any other, genre. OK, so there are a few collections already out there but this is about as spot on the money as you will find. Simply put if you don't own any Dubliners songs then pretty much everything you need can be found on these three discs.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

Disco Inferno
The 5 EP’s (One Little Indian)

Disco InfernoNo it’s not the song by the Trammps, in fact as a precursor to and influence on bands like Joy Division and Wire this is about as diametrically opposed to hands in the air floor filling disco as you could get. Collecting together all of their EP releases between 1992 and 1995 The 5 EP’s charts the bands increasing love affair with samples (although seldom sourced from other records) and marks them out as a branch of post rock that has still to be fully realised (electronic outfits like Grasscut perhaps coming closest), the truly remarkable thing is just how ahead of its time this all still sounds.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Charles Douglas
Not Your Kind of Music - The Basement Tapes 1995-1999 - (Broken Horse)

Charles DouglasOutsider music, odd phrase, generally used to describe music made by people with limited commercial appeal, like Jandek or Moondog, or genuine mental issues like Elliott Smith, Wild Man Fischer or Daniel Johnston, so Charles Douglas fits right in here as he is both wildly un-commercial and has also spent time in a mental institution after struggling with drink and rug addiction. Needless to say he sold more or less nothing back in the mid nineties before coming unglued and retiring from music altogether but if you dig the aforementioned Mr Johnston, Pavement or Jonathan Richman then you will find much to love on this 67 track collection.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Deep Purple
Total Abandon - Australia '99 (Eagle Rock)

Deep Purple Given that they are responsible for one of the finest live rock albums of all time (Made In Japan), do we really need another, older, live Purp outing? Well, aside from the odd stretch in Ian Gillan’s voice (and he always did make life difficult for himself with all that screaming), all four original members acquit themselves brilliantly - Ian Paice’s thunderous barrage during ‘Fireball’, effortlessly belying his advanced years - and the nimble fingered skills of Steve Morse more than makes up for the lack of the curmudgeonly Richie Blackmore, check out the hall of fame riff-fest he uses to kick off ‘Smoke On The Water’ (how many can you spot?)
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

Drowner
Drowner (Saint Marie)

Drowner For those of you concerned about such things Drowner hail from Houston, Texas and if you are lucky enough to know the whereabouts of a record shop you should find ‘em in the shoegaze/post rock section. The brainchild of Darren Emanuel and featuring the spectral vocals of Anna Bouchard the vast majority of this album was apparently created by both parties sending demos and tracks back and forth via the internet which may not sound the most organic way of working but when the results sound not unlike the Cocteau Twins produced by My Bloody Valentines' Kevin Shields then you have to say it obviously works very well indeed.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Dio
Holy Diver (UMC)

DioThe first three Dio albums get the expanded and re-mastered treatment (the other two being The Last In Line and Sacred Heart), but it’s Dio’s debut that is the real gem here. Yes RJD could occasionally be a bit of a ridiculous chap (Elf really were a duff band), and he was also a touch on the humourless side, but his tenure with Richie Blackmore in Rainbow and Black Sabbath (or indeed offshoot Heaven & Hell) delivered some classic rock moments and this, his debut release with Dio in 1983 is a straight up heavy metal master-class helped in no little part by the, then undiscovered, talents of Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

DJ Food
The Search Engine (Ninja Tune)

DJ Food Inheriting the DJ Food mantle from Matt Black and Jonathan More (aka Coldcut) Strictly Kev - initially working with Patrick ‘PC’ Carpenter who went on to create the Cinematic Orchestra – can hardly be called prolific notching up just three ‘proper’ (i.e. not remix) albums in the last seventeen years and The Search Engine is in fact not new material but cherry picked from three EP’s, and It’s perhaps the fractured nature of the source material which makes this such a peculiarly ungainly collection. That said it is still liberally dotted with cracking moments it’s just some judicious use of the skip button is required.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

Grainne Duffy
Test Of Time (GD Records)

Grainne Duffy Test Of Time is Irish singer songwriter Grainne Duffy’s second album and showcases her roots in blues, soul and Celtic music. Going from the soft rock of 'Everyday' and 'What More Can I Do' to the gritty blues rock of the grinding 'Rockin’ Rollin’ Stone' and the churning rocker 'Please Take Care', there is one constant; her husky vocal which will bring comparisons to Maggie Bell and Bonnie Raitt and neither is out of place. If you throw in the sultry, soulful 'Sweet Sweet Baby' and the title track, which has Tom Petty style guitar then you have most of what Grainne is about. However, she can do a ballad too as shown by the closer 'In My Arms'.
David Blue

buy this album

******************************************************************

Drive-By Truckers
Greatest Hits 1998-2009: Ugly Buildings, Whores & Politicians (New West)

Drive-By Truckers Bit of a misnomer, in the UK at least, given that DBT haven’t actually had a hit, but that’s something of a loss for us frankly as the bands mixture of Lynyrd Skynyrd-influenced Southern rock and Stonesy swagger has been a genuine joy more or less since their mighty Southern Rock Opera double album in 2001. Gathering together choice moments from some of their finest work this is a brilliant way for those of you unaware of their work to jump right in and test the water and whilst the band have released a further two studio albums since the final track here, this is nonetheless a fine kicking off point.
Raft Thong

buy this album

******************************************************************

The Dwarves
Dwarves Are Born Again (Wienerworld)

The DwarvesIf you are the sort of person who is easily offended then you really don’t want to be listening to the Dwarves (previous album title Blood Guts and Pussy might give you an inkling of the content to be found herein), however if you fancy some high octane, highly offensive hardcore punk rock ramalama delivered by the sort of spittle flecked nut-jobs you wouldn’t let within knob waving distance of your female relatives (they have even pissed off the usually unflappable Josh Homme from QOTSA), then you are in luck as these eighteen, sub three minute, tracks all thunder along like a crate of fireworks tied to crack snorting monkey.
The Oracle

buy this album

******************************************************************

Dennis Hopper Choppers
Be Ready (DWink)

Dennis Hopper Choppers Fans of DHC’s first album Chop will doubtless already be aware that DHC are a one man band – Ben Nicholls, previously of the criminally overlooked Menlo Park, simultaneously playing guitar, bass drum, high hat, organ bass pedals and vox-organ. Or rather were a one man band as Be Ready, recorded largely live over two days, actually boasts eight players in all and a joyously peculiar vibe pitched somewhere betwixt Tindersticks and Sergio Leone - Nicholls choice of writing location in the South of Spain is a mere stone’s throw from where the classic spaghetti westerns were filmed. We love this and we're pretty sure you will too
The Oracle

buy this album

******************************************************************

Deep Purple
Phoenix Rising: CD+DVD (earMusic)

Deep Purple Not a line-up remembered with as much affection as only drummer Ian Paice and keyboard man John Lord remain from the original band, and for many the replacement of fractious guitarist Richie Blackmore with, the now sadly demised, Tommy Bolin (joining the two other newbies David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes), plus a more funky direction, was a step too far and this particular line-up survived for less than a year. And in truth this isn’t a great live show, that said the 80 minute documentary featuring John Lord and Glenn Hughes recalling the wheels coming off the Purple wagon in all its gory detail is fascinating and the real jewel here.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

Derek and the Dominos
Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs: The 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (UMC)

Derek and the DominosThere’s nothing more guaranteed to make you feel old than seeing a beloved album from your youth celebrating its fortieth birthday, but such is the case with Eric ‘Derek’ Clapton’s effort to step off his guitar ‘God’ pedestal and into a proper band. Sadly the results, thought fine, didn’t sell well and, like Blind Faith before it, the band ground to a halt but what remains is well worth owning (if you don’t already), the re-mastering sounds crystal clear and the additional tracks – including a rare set from Johnny Cash's television show featuring Cash, Clapton and Carl Perkins performing a cover of 'Matchbox' – just add luster.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

De Staat
Machinery (Cool Green Recordings)

De Staat Not yet a household name outside of their Dutch homeland De Staat’s music has been described as sounding like Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits both of which are reasonable enough kicking off points especially in relation to the lurching, clanking percussive drive found on Machinery, but this is far more than an exercise in recycling with nods towards Prince style funk, dark Bad Seedy woozy Gospel, plenty of Kosmiche throbbing and lyrical nods towards body-builders, serial killers, rats and roosters. Fact is there is so much on offer here the best bet is to whack it straight back on the player and spin it again.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Dropkick Murphys
Live on Lansdowne: Boston, Ma 12-17 Mar 2009 (Cooking Vinyl)

Dropkick Murphys Not a band who has worried the UK album buying public over much to date, Boston based Celtic punk outfit The Dropkick Murphy’s are a testosterone fuelled mixture of Stiff Little Fingers, The Pogues, The Clash, Thin Lizzy and The Dubliners, and are actually as good as that list makes them sound. Renowned for their live work, and in particular their legendary yearly St. Patrick’s day bash, this CD/DVD set captures The Murphys in full, bug-eyed flow at just such a performance, and it’s a proper blast from beginning to end, and any band that used to boast a bagpipe player called Spicy McHaggis and now has one called Scruffy Wallace is alright by us. The Oracle

buy this album

******************************************************************

Ian Dury & The Blockheads
sex&drugs&rock&roll - The Essential Collection (DMG TV)

Ian Dury & The Blockheads What with 2010 being the 10th Anniversary of Ian Dury's death marked by the release of a film starring Andy Serkis and biography by Will Birch what were the odds that we’d get another best of…? Odds on really, and surely anyone who would want this has already got pretty much everything here? But, lest we forget, there is now an entire new generation woefully unaware of ‘What A Waste’, ‘Reasons To Be Cheerful (Part 3)’, ‘I Want To Be Straight’, ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ and ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’, so if this is you get this and introduce yourself to one of the finest lyricists of all time.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

Drive By Truckers
Fine Print: A Collection of Oddities and Rarities 2003-2008 (New West)

Drive By TruckersLet’s be honest here in most cases a collection of oddities and rarities generally smacks of either a desperate record label or a band seriously short of new ideas. Which makes this odds 'n' sods release by the Drive By Truckers all the more remarkable as many of the tracks here, which basically failed to make the cut on earlier releases, would be on many a bands A list. Add to this four covers (Dylan, Tom Petty, Warren Zevon and Tom Hall, not one of them contenders for the filler file), and you have an album so strong you have to wonder what the album they are currently working on must sound like.
Ray Harper

buy this album

**********************************************************************

Dinosaur Jr.
Farm (Jagjaguwar)

Dinosaur Jr.Morrissey & Marr, Lennon & McCartney, Little & Large astounding together, less essential solo and such is very much the case with J. Mascis and Lou Barlow, both have created very listenable solo work but the music they made together at either ends of the Dinosaur Jr. career arc is exponentially better. Reconvening on 2007’s Beyond to superb effect Farm is actually better, in fact let’s go further, this is actually better than the bands early high water mark Bug. They may be older and (in J’s case), a good deal greyer but this is thunderously good stuff, and a good deal more muscular than many bands half their age.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

The Dukes of Stratosphear
25 O'Clock (Ape House)

The Dukes of StratosphearInitially nothing more than a fun project undertaken by XTC and producer John Leckie in 1985 as an homage to ‘60s psychedelic bands like Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, The Byrds and The Kinks, the results were actually so spot on some reviewers rated them as better than XTC’s proper releases, and whilst that’s nonsense, this is as good a pastiche of ‘60s music you'll find outside of the Rutles. In fact they had so much fun they recorded an equally fine follow up Psonic Psunspot in 1987 (both now re-released in expanded form), which prompted a bunch of unknown hopefuls called the Stone Roses to contact John Leckie.
Ray Harper

buy this album

******************************************************************

Drumbo
City Of Refuge (Proper)

DrumboThe unsung hero of Captain Beefheart And The Magic Band (John ‘Drumbo’ French was a criminally un-credited, part of the writing process as musical director on classics such as Trout Mask Replica) and caretaker of the Magic Band flame – on albums such as Back To The Front – Drumbo’s career has, for some time now, involved looking back, but no more as he's assembled various Magic Band cohorts, such as Bill Harkelroad (aka Zoot Horn Rollo), Mark Boston (aka Rockette Morton), Greg Davidson (aka Ella Guru), and recorded twelve all new, skewed, a-rhythmical, blues-grunt stompers, and a worthy addition to the MB canon.
Ray Harper

buy this album

*****************************************************************

Digitonal
Save Your Light For Darker Days (Just Music)

DigitonalThe brainchild of Andy Dobson, Digitonal have been making the sort of classically themed ambient music that in the wrong hands, can sound hideously cloying (and is doubtless being patented by Simon Cowell as we speak) and rather lovely it is too. The reason this works so well is entirely down to the fact that neither the electronic nor string aspects ever sound tacked on (the beats sounding far more Black Dog than Deep Forest, the strings more Michael Nyman than Vanessa-Mae), the overall effect resulting in the sort of ambient music you might actually fancy listening to rather than enduring whilst ascending in a lift.
Drew Bass

buy this album

**********************************************************************

Dr John
City That Care Forgot (Cooking Vinyl)

Dr JohnThe general consensus has it that Malcolm John Rebennack Jr. has been coasting a little of late - mind you he is well over eighty years old, and onto his thirtieth album, so he’s entitled to kick back a little – but long term fans will be delighted with this effort, and all it needed was for the good Dr to get good and mad about the hideous treatment (or more truthfully appalling lack of help) meted out to his New Orleans hometown after Hurricane Katrina. Willie Nelson and Eric Clapton lend a hand but this is pure Dr John gospel-tinged swamp blues and the best thing he has put his name to in eons.
Ray Harper

buy this album

*****************************************************************

Dead Poppies
Confidence Tricks (Probe Plus)

Dead PoppiesIf Probe Plus were only responsible for releasing Half Man Half Biscuit records, that alone would make them a national treasure worth celebrating, and worthy of a massive lottery grant, but the Liverpool based label is also home to John Peel faves Calvin Party and this lot, Liverpool's premier psychedelic folk outfit. If you have a yearning for granddad shirts, bellbottoms, joss sticks, Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead or have worn your Fairport Convention and Incredible String Band records wafer thin then this may just offer succour, it should also appeal to young tykes bored with the current crop of interchangeable indie rockers.
Ruby Palmer

buy this album

******************************************************************

Matthew Dear
Asa Breed (Ghostly)

Matthew DearAfter initial doubts about the longevity of the ‘music making machine’ blueprint first laid down by Kraftwerk, and then complaints aimed at the cold clinical digital developments made in Detroit it must be pretty galling for the anti drum machine brigade to see acts like LCD Soundsystem or The Knife doing so well in 2007, and arguments that music made with machines have no soul, humour or warmth are about to get blown out of the water by this lyrical little beauty. Imagine Byrne and Eno’s My Life In The Bush of Ghosts busked by Smog and you won’t go far wrong, indie-techno blues-folk anyone?


buy this album

******************************************************************

Dinosaur Jr
Beyond (P.I.A.S)

Dinosaur JrAh, the warm fuzzy glow that enveloped this reviewer as a newly reconvened J Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph slotted straight back into that fog thick, chorus laden, riffage – and let’s not forget this is one of the less likely reunions given Mascis and Barlow’s well documented falling out after third album Bug (check out Barlow's ‘The Freed Pig’ on Sebadoh III for his take on the acrimonious split). A major influence on grunge, and of course consequently Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr’s overdriven sonic soup still sounds exactly as it did in their late 80s heyday, and is as welcome as a warm duvet on a chilled winters evening.


buy this album

******************************************************************

The Damned
Damned Damned Damned: 30th Anniversary Expanded Edition (Castle)

The DamnedThe Damned may not top many revisionist ‘greatest punk' lists (Captain Sensible ensuring the goofy factor remained too high) but, released in February 1977, they were the first of the UK branch to make it onto long playing vinyl and, even today, this clatters along in a fine old ragged style. This expanded three disc edition also includes a previously unreleased and suitably raucous bootleg of their first ever gig at the 100 Club (July ’76) and a mountain of sessions, demos and live cuts – although it’s debatable just how many versions of ‘New Rose’, ‘So Messed Up’ or indeed ‘Fan Club’ (four of each) even the most deranged fan needs.


buy this album

*****************************************************************

Brett Dennen
So Much More (Dualtone)

Brett DennenHands up who’s sick to bloody death of introspective, wordy singer/songwriters? Go on, be honest, there’s so many of the buggers around you can barely go out without tripping over some git emoting over his gently thrumming acoustic guitar. All of which makes championing a new one all the more difficult but really, you should listen to this guy. Try and imagine equal parts Van Morrison, Paul Simon and Tracy Chapman - hard to imagine it's true - but check out So Much More and you'll see what we mean as his nifty way with a word, jazzy way with a tune and distinctive voice make him well worth wading through all the duffers to reach.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Al Di Meola
Consequences Of Chaos (Telarc)

Al Di Meola Once an integral part of jazz fusion super-group Return To Forever (with Stanley Clark, Lenny White and of course Chick Corea), Al Di Meola may not be the most widely known of the guitar greats but he is undoubtedly one of the finest, marrying lightning fast technique with subtle nuance, he is in fact the man who ensured our esteemed editor layed down his own guitar in despair. This, his first album in four years, sees him reunited with his old boss Corea and a stellar cast of players, further extending his exploration of Eastern and Latin American themes and proves time hasn’t dimmed the man's fearsome abilities.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Bob Dylan
Modern Times (Columbia)

Bob DylanAfter two strong albums, a cracking memoir and Martin Scorsese’s compelling documentary, Dylan’s critical stock is probably at its highest point since the late 1960s. There is, then, a real sense of expectation about his first studio set for five years, but those hoping for a late-period masterpiece should prepare to be disappointed. Too many mid-paced ambles – the worst offender being ‘Beyond the Horizon’ – conspire to make Modern Times a rather pedestrian experience. It’s not all bad news, of course, with ‘Nettie Moore’ a touchingly unambiguous love song and ‘Ain’t Talkin’’ spinning the record out to a memorably mysterious conclusion.


Buy this album

****************************************************************** Ani Difranco
Reprieve (Righteous Babe)

Ani DifrancoMs DiFranco is certainly something of an acquired taste – unreconstructed ‘blokes’ need not bother their tiny minds about this – a poster girl for the DIY folk scene (just as likely to use sound effects, pump organs or, erm, bicycle pumps as acoustic guitars) Reprieve sees her in downbeat, laid back mood, although lyrical barbs aimed at the cult of personality, network news, stolen elections and her regular bugbear patriarchy can be found sandwiched between the personal confessionals. If you have never come across her before think Rickie Lee Jones meets John Martyn via Germaine Greer and you won’t be too far out.


buy this album

*****************************************************************

The Divine Comedy
Victory For the Comic Muse (Parlophone)

The Divine ComedyNeil Hannon – who, to all intents and purposes, is the Divine Comedy – has certainly had an interesting career trajectory. An unlikely ‘alternative’ high prince in the mid ‘90s, he can now call on the resources of Parlophone to finance his string-laden and somewhat unfashionable pop vision. 2004’s Absent Friends revealed a renaissance in Hannon’s songwriting, and there’s no sign of that abating on this new album. ‘Diva Lady’ bolts a typically witty lyric to a sturdy tune, while ‘A Lady of a Certain Age’ is almost unbearably poignant. A nifty cover of The Associates’ ‘Party Fears Two’ blends in seamlessly.


Buy this album

******************************************************************

Damien Dempsey
Live At The Olympia (Clear/Independent Records)

Damien DempseyAlthough hardly a household name here in the UK Damien Dempsey has been recognised as a massive talent in his native Ireland - much like David Gray before him - for a while now, his mixture of rebel singer songwriters Christy Moore and Bob Marley the most exciting, if initially unnatural sounding, blending of genres to come along in eons, and if on studio recordings to date Damien has struggled somewhat to find a comfortable mix of these disparate styles this live album nails it brilliantly (not least by featuring the audience so high in the mix). Do yourselves a favour and track this down, this guy deserves to be huge.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Daft Punk
Musique Vol. 1: 1993-2005 (Virgin)

Daft PunkArguments about what should have been included on this ‘best of...’ collection, and what shouldn’t will doubtless continue to rage (there have been a fair few complaints that the Scott Groove, Ian Pooley and Gabrielle Daft Punk remixes should have been binned in favour of more of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo’s own material), but most people will just be happy to see the track listing includes ‘Da Funk’, ‘Around The World’, ‘One More Time’ plus several other immediately recognisable floor fillers, and doubly relieved to find the whole shebang still comes across as fresh and shiny as a newly unpacked mirror ball.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Dig Jelly
For Your Inner Angry Child (Centreline)

Dig JellyIf Dig Jelly can be accused of anything it’s a collecting such a surfeit of ideas under one roof it's impossible to know what sort of house you are in. Imagine a head on collision between a death metal and hip hop outfit or Garbage inhabiting a hi-octane Manga cartoon or how about Fleetwood Mac crossed with stoner sludge riffage and decks? Yup there are that many Dig Jelly’s and in truth not all of ‘em cut it, but having too many ideas is no sort of complaint in these days of anodyne chart cover versions and gormless punk lite ramalama. They’re due in the UK sometime later this year and on this evidence you should check ‘em out.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Stephen Duffy
I Love My Friends (Cooking Vinyl)

Stephen DuffyThere will doubtless be those amongst you who recall Stephen was an (albeit very early) original member of Duran Duran and also had a short ‘pop’ career sporting a fetching Tin Tin wedged betwixt fore and surname (or indeed as part of The Lilac Time). It is also possible that unless you love your pop ‘lite’ and your pop stars ‘lightweight’ then you may have dismissed this when first released in 1998. You would however be doing Mr D a grave disservice as this (newly expanded) collection of clever, well constructed, though provoking and self deferential songs prove Duffy to be an artist of no little talent..


buy this album

******************************************************************

Deep Purple
Rapture Of The Deep (Edel)

Deep PurpleCome on, own up, what odds would you have offered on a new album by Deep Purple (Mk VIII, no Lord and Blackmore, but with Paice, Glover and Gillan), being anything other than yesterdays warmed over metal? Fortunately we’re not betting types here at TM-Online and Rapture Of The Deep would not have sounded out of place had it been released between Fireball and Machine Head, new(ish) members Don Airey and Steve Morse forging exactly the sort of thunderous convoluted Hammond and guitar licks Blackmore and Lord excelled in. Thirty five years after they helped invent this music Deep Purple show the young upstarts how it's done.


Buy this album

******************************************************************

Bob Dylan
No Direction Home – The Soundtrack: Bootleg Series Vol. 7 (Columbia)

Bob DylanReleased to tie in with the Martin Scorsese film of the same name, and much like previous releases in the Bootleg series, this collection manages to both offer something new to Dylan fans of old (although dedicated Bobcats will doubtless already own much here), and young fans discovering Dylan for the first time alike. From high school recordings in 1959 via cracking live cuts and alternate recorded takes up to the mans combative thunder through Like A Rolling Stone in front of pissed off luddite folkies, for many this is Dylan in his absolute prime, add an excellent booklet and you have a nie on perfect package

buy this album

*****************************************************************

Diesel Park West
Shakespeare Alabama (Food)

Diesel Park WestFound, albeit rather briefly, all over the music press in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s Diesel Park West sadly failed to translate these column inches into sales and promptly slipped back into obscurity, managing just three albums on Food records before grinding to an ignominious halt. That said this is certainly the best of the three – think Simple Minds if they had Waterboy Mike Scott on vocals – displaying a fine ear for pop hooks, big choruses and a nice line in widescreen jangle and now boasting a further eight tracks (many of which are previously unreleased) and a lick and spit in the re-mastering dept giving this a sonic edge it lacked first time around


buy this album

******************************************************************

The Departure
Dirty Words (Parlophone)

The DepartureSounding not at all unlike an angular, slashing, new-wave, punk-funk version of U2 fronted by Richard Butler (of Psychedelic Furs fame) whilst also proving to have several well tuned lug-holes for a chart friendly chorus is no small balancing act but, despite having barely left their mothers wombs, this five piece from Northampton - who have to date scarcely managed to finish one tour support slot before heading straight off on yet another - manage to do just that with huge great dollops of bold, self belief that belie their youth (bastards), and should definitely see them scaling a chart near you very soon


Buy this album

******************************************************************

Daft Punk
Human After All (Virgin)

Daft PunkSteadfastly having no truck with the notion that dance music is dead (it isn’t of course), or indeed any problem with the theory that if something ain’t broke why fix it? Daft Punk once again weigh in with Krautrock laden motorik beats, vocodered vocals and a cavalier disregard for anything other than straightforward repetitious floor-friendly thudding. Of course when you do something this well it seems a little churlish to wonder how long you can keep ploughing the same furrow but for the time being let’s just be happy that the helmet wearing Gallic beat-miesters are keeping the disco flag gallantly aloft.


buy this album

*****************************************************************

Doves
Some Cities (Heavenly)

DovesWidely held to be a ‘back-to-basics’ effort on the part of this Manchester Trio – especially when held up to their widescreen predecessor The Last Broadcast – Some Cities finds the band looking long and hard at their hometown of Manchester and couching the results in a far more immediately accessible blanket of sound (even harking back the old Sub Sub days of yore). Of course this scaled down approach has had a fair amount of ‘I liked ‘em better before…’ type bleating from some fans but discarding the odd stick-in-the-mud dope for the sake of experimentation didn’t harm Radiohead and it won’t harm Doves


buy this album

******************************************************************

Gavin DeGraw
Chariot (J Records)

Gavin DeGrawCompared elsewhere to such ‘adult contemporary’ acts as Maroon 5 and Matchbox Twenty, Gavin DeGraw hit the big time across the pond after supplying the theme tune to US TV show One Tree Hill (with a track called I Don’t Wanna Be), and hasn’t looked back since. Still a relative unknown this side of the Atlantic the comparisons mentioned above are probably as good a starting point as any for this avowedly grown up and unquestionably talented singer songwriter. It just remains to be seen if he can rise above the swell of similarly orientated performers paddling around the charts nether regions right now


buy this album

******************************************************************

DJ Format
If You Can’t Join ‘Em Beat ‘Em (Genuine/PIAS)

DJ FormatThe title makes it clear from the off that words, and the way they are used, are of paramount importance to Matt ‘DJ Format’ Ford – see also 2002’s Music For The Mature B-Boy – this is a hip-hop record that celebrates lyrical dexterity over the mundane plodding gangsta boasts favoured by most major labels today. The vocals are delivered by Canadian rappers Abdominal and D-Sisive and ably underpinned by Format’s clattering rhythms and wooby funk-friendly bass. Old skool in all the best, and most positive, ways Format and chums prove it’s sometimes important to go back so you can move forward.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Deep Purple
Burn (EMI)

Deep PurpleHaving shed vocalist Ian Gillan and bass player Roger Glover in the mid '70s one of the holy triptych of great Brit metal bands Deep Purple then engaged David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes to create Deep Purple mark III (let's not even go to the Rod Evans years). Fans held their breath, but the results proved to be a great high-speed bluesy behemoth of a band. Quite why anyone decided to do four pointless remixes as bonus cuts is a mystery, but ignore the extra tracks and what remains is a classic Brit rock moment that still stands up well today.


buy this album

******************************************************************

Dogs Die In Hot Cars
Please Describe Yourself (V2)

Dogs Die...They’re doubtless soon going to tire of the comparisons but if you want a hefty nudge in the general direction of what this lot sound like you need look no further than early pop period XTC and Talking Heads as the idiotically named DDIHC judder, jerk and generally spazz around in a very, very endearing manner indeed. Lyrically the comparisons also hold water (don’t go looking for any ‘moon in June-isms here matey), which prompts the question ‘why the hell can’t all pop music be this joyous and intelligent?’ No covers, no cod soul wailing, no styling make-overs, just quality hi-octane, well executed punky pop.


Buy this album

******************************************************************

Def Leppard
Best Of… (Mercury)

Def LeppardOK, so it’s dead easy, but having a pop at Def Leppard in the UK press has become almost a national pastime. Sexist lyrics, hair by mullets-r-us and a career based solely around huge great chant-along choruses. But lest we forget, several of those chant-along choruses are actually pretty good (if you don’t yodel along to Pour Some Sugar On Me when sloshed you’re probably already dead) and although there's plenty of Def-by-numbers here this is a band that not only kept their drummer when he lost an arm, but put their careers on hold whilst he learned to play again. Cool huh?


Buy this album

******************************************************************

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Back to main page


Features

features
Interviews with Supergrass, Ryan Adams, Mark Josephs and our features archive.
more

****************** Live listings

live listings What's on and where Check the listings for all the latest news on where to go and why
more

******************
Demos

Possibly the most important demo page this side of a recording contract.
more

******************
DVD reviews


Our roundup of all the latest DVD releases, top notch or bottom drawer we watch ‘em and then let you know if they’re fit to pop in yer slot
more

******************
Class act


A full page monthly retrospective look at the most Influential acts from the last fiftyyears.
more


Web site designed, built and maintained by Craig Goult at XUNY in association with CaPhun Ung at Phyo.net