Entries for 'Pádraic Grant'

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22
Lucknow Pact 'Open Your Arms'
A review of the album 'Open Your Arms' by Lucknow Pact Review Snapshot: An enjoyable effort that crosses the epic/pop divide, while for the most part negating the more tedious components of that style. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Of late there has been a flurry of bands offering up a sense of the majestic in mainstream music. From the lamentable (The Killers) to the appealing (Glasvegas), and often crossing over with a shoegaze aesthetic, the sound has manifested itself across the board, from pop to post-rock. Lucknow Pact should be counted as another edition to the cult of “the big sound.”  Open Your Arms is composed of songs that sound like contained epics, with everything expected of that aesthetic: trails of echo, synth swathes and drums that sound monumental. The containment comes from the short length of each song, which prevents lapses into overindulgence. But when they display an epic flourish, Lucknow Pact don’t h... [Read on]
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17
Yosei 'The Wind-Up Waltz'
A review of the album 'The Wind-Up Waltz'by Yosei Review Snapshot: A beautifully restrained album, an exercise in the art of cool playing and the emotion that can be generated through the subtle rather than the loud. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: The large number of semi-folk bands present in the alternative music scene is a good thing (for me at least, it being one of my favourite styles of music) their very prevalence can be slightly overwhelming. Working from a similar, constraining stylistic map, a set of clichés have led to a sense of unoriginality creeping in when listening to certain acts. From either deliberately wacky or maudlin introspective lyrics to the standard reliance on either bland minimalism or an over-produced string/horn section, folk bands without new ideas can be enjoyable, but never inspiring. The Wind-Up Waltz defies this trend. Built on a folk foundation laced  with jazz influences, the latter heard intermi... [Read on]
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15
VV Brown 'Travelling Like The Light'
A review of the album "Travelling Like The Light" by VV Brown Review Snapshot: A continually interesting album using older influences in a modern manner, placing VV Brown head-and-shoulders above the "soul revival" stratum. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: In the past few years there has been no shortage of pop artists willing to dig into the past for inspiration, drawing from classic sources for songwriting ideas. Like most things in music, this has provoked some fierce debate; are the modern artists legitimately drawing influence from previous musical styles, or pilfering the ideas of the past to cynically create a brand identity? While the truth is likely to be somewhere in between (few artists truly disregard the power of presentation) one question arises either way: does the retro fascination produce creative, enjoyable music? Like the question of authenticity, it can go either way; for every faithful summoning of soul (music an... [Read on]
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08
Florence & The Machine 'Lungs'
  A review of the album 'Lungs' by Florence & The Machine Review Snapshot: Although Florence Welch may have garnered the press attention, the album's arrangement and production work ultimately makes Lungs a worthy listen. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: For over a year, Lungs has been hyped to high heaven, propelled by a combination of four strong singles and bandleader Florence Welch’s press-baiting off-stage antics. Musically, the media have leapt on the combination of soul and indie-pop that supposedly characterises Welch’s music , the latest in the series of British blue-eyed soulsters that have made their mark with a deft eye on both retro and contemporary pop. Indeed, one could make a case for Welch simply continuing that trend: she’s certainly got the voice, and the songs could reasonably be transformed into 60s soundalikes if a Ronson-type so desired. More important than such comparisons, and what most of the ye... [Read on]
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01
Panic At The Disco 'Pretty Odd'
A review of the album ''Pretty Odd'' by Panic At The Disco Review Snapshot: A badly-misjudged attempt to break free from the emo standard that collapses under the weight of its own platitudes - every sub-genre of sixties pop music used on Pretty Odd has been tackled before, and in ways vastly superior to this effort. The Cluas Verdict? 3 out of 10 Full Review: Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} It was a few years ago that a wave of bands, loosely connected by nothing more than a misused genre name, broke out from the marginal sidelines and became exceedingly po... [Read on]
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13
David Turpin 'The Sweet Used-To-Be'
A review of the album "The Sweet Used-To-Be" by David Turpin Review Snapshot: A highly melodic, easily listenable work that creates a foundation for Turpin to work upon. The disappointing aspect of the album lies in a lack of experimentation or adventure. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: A visible trend in recent years has been the rehabilitation and adaptation of everything 1980s. From fashion (horrifically, in my opinion – big hair and legwarmers will never be my idea of style) to music, the once-reviled 80s are on the resurgence. Musically, this means for the most part the use of the ‘external aesthetics’ of music of that era. This means that the experimentation and theoretical concepts surrounding the music are all but ignored in favour of the trappings of the time. For example, when Kylie Minogue looked to Scritti Politti for inspiration in the early part of this decade, it certainly wasn’t due to an appreciation ... [Read on]
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16
Land Of Talk 'Applause Cheer Boo Hiss'
A review of the album 'Applause Cheer Boo Hiss' by Land Of Talk Review Snapshot: Land Of Talk waste their bountiful talent on formulaic Indie rock - only some moments save it from the faceless obscurity it could have unfairly consigned the band to. Call this a missed opportunity rather than a disaster, a mere pit stop on the road to greater things, but Applause Cheer Boo Hiss simply isn't an interesting or engaging record. The Cluas Verdict? 4 out of 10 Full Review: The Canadian indie scene has been in full swing over the past few years, with legions of bands emerging from the country and onto bigger things. The Dears, The New Pornographers, The Stills and of course, the Arcade Fire have made an impact all over the world, suggesting a vibrant underground thriving with talent coolly beckoning the music press toward them. Land Of Talk are the latest band poised to break through to mainstream attention. The question isn’t so much if they w... [Read on]
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16
Day One 'Probably Art'
A review of the album 'Probably Art' by Day One Review Snapshot: Day One could have taken two paths: one was interesting, based in the trip hop Bristol sound, the other bland acoustic almost-indie-folk. They decided to take both. The Cluas Verdict? 6 out of 10 Full Review:  “Probably Art.” The title itself captures some of the internal contradictions of this long-awaited album. As a reflection of the world around us, is art ultimately the expression of life experiences through the mouths of those who live them? Or should it be about moving away from the daily grind, and into the realm of escapism? Day One confront these somewhat hefty questions in “Probably Art” - strange for an album defined by its tales of money, pubs, growing old, relationships, etc – but Phelim Byrne and Matthew Hardwidge see the wider importance of every day life. Does any of this make for a good record? Yes, and no. The... [Read on]
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10
Happy Mondays 'Uncle Dysfunktional'
Review Snapshot: An interesting listen, though far from a masterpiece. Loose, funky and eclectic, the flaws are many but outnumbered by the positives. May not be destined for commercial success, but the Mondays have once again created a solid and enjoyable album. The CLUAS Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: Over two decades have passed since the Happy Monday's were formed, a period during which a hedonistic career has seen many rises and falls in creative and commercial fortunes. So while their latest album Uncle Dysfunktional is not so much a make or break record, can it show Shaun Ryder rising Lazarus-like one more time? The album is informed heavily by its new make up – the only members of the original Happy Mondays are Shaun Ryder, Bez and Gaz Whelan - resulting in a sound vastly different from before. It is almost like the sound of Black Grape – loose and eclectic, with a number of musical touch points. One criticism that can be easily levelled at t... [Read on]
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