Entries for 'Stephen McNulty'
Originally published by Stephen McNulty on November 09, 2007
A review of the album La Radiolina by Manu Chao
Review Snapshot: A stonking new album from the multi-million selling music revolutionary, Manu Chao.
The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10
'La Radiolina' is Manu Chao's first studio album in 6 years (and is my first experience of this French-Spanish performer). The record is the follow-up to Chao's three million-selling 'Roxima Estacion: Esperenza'. Chao grew up in Paris but now lives in Barcelona. Fronting anarchic genre-bending Mano Negra (Black Hand) until the band split in 1995, Chao has been travelling the world releasing the odd album to support his travel bug.
Over the course of 21 songs (stuffed into 52 minutes of solidly infectious music), Chao sings in (to my ears) four different languages and numerous styles. Of course, the flamenco styling of Latin music is to the fore, but 'Rainin in Paradize' is a full-on rock song with a lovely fluid guitar motif an... [Read on]
Originally published by Stephen McNulty on September 21, 2007
Review snapshot: Garbage start out not being garbage... and then slowly but surely they become absolute garbage. Unfortunate.
The CLUAS Verdict? 5 out of 10
Full Review: Garbage fairly well leapt out of the blocks in the mid 90s. They seemed perfectly formed. Powered by Butch Vig (famed producer of Nirvana's Nevermind and other luminaries like Sonic Youth) and fronted by Shirley Manson, a Scottish dervish whose look was more suited to the shoegazer bands of the late 80s, Garbage received massive support from MTV. Now 4 albums and 12 years later, the band have decided to consolidate with a Best Of collection. Or is it an epitaph to what has become a faltering career?
Absolute Garbage shoots its bolt early on. Vow, Queer, I'm Only Happy When It Rains were all sleek, poppy hits garnered from their eponymous, and best, debut album. Shining brightest of all is Stupid Girl, a fab tune with a Claytonesque bassline and a sexy lyric. Manson's sna... [Read on]
Originally published by Stephen McNulty on August 16, 2007
Australian roots activists return with their fourth long player.
The CLUAS Verdict? 5 out of 10
John Mayer, Roy Harper, Dave Matthews… how you react to that list pretty much determines whether the John Butler Trio are your bag or not.
The John Butler Trio are led by Mr Butler himself. Native of North America, he moved to Australia at age 10. Grand National is the band’s third album and he is credited almost single-handedly with making roots music fashionable down under - roots music being an umbrella term covering a kind of looping, groovy brand of rock replete with wah-wah guitar solos, banjos, lap-steel and vaguely political lyrics. He preaches peace (man) and has the dreadlocks to show he takes it all very seriously. The opening track (and lead off single in Australia) is the highlight of the album. Better Than is funky, melodic and soars over the rest of the tunes on the album in that it does not sound forced. It is driven by an insistent ba... [Read on]