Articles

04
Little Children 'In Silence'
A review of the album 'In Silence' by Little Children Review Snapshot: Linus Lutti or his musical alias Little Children, has been known as the quiet antithesis of the screaming, noisy model that had been previously established. This low-key approach can often be more astounding, more lingering, than you could ever imagine.  The forthcoming album, “In silence” will stay with you long after it ends.  The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: “Demons” opens the album and it is the perfect introduction to a voice that will stop you in your tracks. Sparse guitar and a gentle flute accompaniment compound the sadness that drifts through this song.   “With heavy steps I follow, pray for love, pray for sorrow, don’t go, don’t go, baby the walls are shrinking faster”    “Hold On” introduces a more upbeat sound to the album with pulsing bass guitar throughout. This... [Read on]
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28
The Crayonettes 'Playing out: Songs for children and robots'
A review of the album 'Playing out: Songs for children and robots' by The Crayonettes. Review snapshot: Former punk queen Anna Spencer and folk singer Kathryn Williams combine their hatred towards CDs for children to make an interesting first adult-friendly and intelligent album aimed at kids. Cluas Verdict?: 7 out of 10. Full Review: The Crayonettes is the union of popular folk songstress Kathryn Williams and lead singer of Newcastle Punk band, “Delicate Vomit”, Anna Spencer. The concept of the album is just as endearing as the actual songs. The two music veterans have relatively recently become mothers and discovered a mutual disdain for the common and fervent Children’s CDs. They wanted to produce an adult friendly children’s album to create a blissful haven for the tortured ears of mothers and fathers. Each track on the album is aimed at children while maintaining a bearable tune, covering the usual topics, questions about animals, op... [Read on]
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28
My Jerusalem 'Gone for Good'
A review of the album 'Gone for Good' by My Jerusalem Review Snapshot: The critic in me has heard it all before but the music fan doesn't care making Gone for Good a rather perplexing beast. The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: This review is brought to you by the thesis I've spent most of my summer working on.  It will come in three parts, the reasoning for which will become clear as you read. It should, if the people I've interviewed are correct, cover the three key roles of the music reviewer and, therefore, provide the perfect music review. The Critic: In this role, it is important for the reviewer to go beyond the pleasure of the ears and express judgement and argue the reasons for what he hears. The problem with this approach is that we are all limited by knowledge. There are those of you reading that may well have a vastly inferior/superior mental database from which to compare and contrast music. As a critic, it's my job t... [Read on]
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27
Olof Arnalds 'Innundir Skinni'
A review of the album 'Innundir Skinni' by Ólöf Arnalds Review Snapshot: Dreamy beauty graces this short but sweet album by Iceland’s Ólöf Arnalds. Her voice represents a fairy world with the accompanying artists and her own instrumentation providing a stunning backdrop to her kingdom. Heavenly. The Cluas Verdict? 9.5 out of 10 Full Review: It’s not often I spend my time imagining an elfin creature sitting on a toadstool, swinging its legs, guitar in hand. But Ólöf Arnalds is this little elf. Her latest album Innundir Skinni evokes images of another world, an emerald landscape shining in the midst of a kingdom of fairies. I know, I know. But it is the most beautiful world I’ve come across this year. One voice enters our consciousness with the opening track. A powerful a Capella Ólöf begins on Vinur Minn and is then joined by guitar, percussion, strings, and additional voices. Th... [Read on]
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27
Ten Kens 'For Posterity'
A review of the album 'For Posterity' by Ten Kens Review Snapshot: 'For Prosperity' is the second album from Toronto Four-piece Ten Kens. The album is a heady mix of psychedelic rock and meditative melodies.  If Jeff Buckley’s ‘Grace’ and Metallica’s ‘Black Album’ had a baby, this would be its offspring.  The Cluas Verdict? 4 out of 10 Full Review: ‘Johnny Ventura’, the first track from ‘From Posterity’  opens with sunny guitars and cymbals but quickly takes a turn down a darker path, something which becomes familiar throughout the album. The album is drenched in heavy guitar riffs that help establish the intensity of the record and, throughout, the foursome’s musical talent is apparent.  ‘Summer Camp’ opens on 15 seconds of silence followed by the acapella voice of Workman. His voice is so high and smooth that without backing, this song could... [Read on]
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07
The Courtyard Hounds' debut album
A review of the The Courtyard Hounds debut album Review Snapshot: Emily Robison and Martie Maguire – formerly of the Dixie Chicks are now recording new music under the moniker ‘Courtyard Hounds’. A few nuggets of brilliance here in this new album but overall it's watered down Chicks so expect to be a tad disappointed if you’ve been a loyal fan all these years. The Cluas Verdict? 4 out of 10 Full Review: If it were not for the effeminate portraits on the album sleeve you mightwonder what a female group called ‘Hounds’ were doing in the Country/Pop section of your local music outlet. Emily Robison and Martie Maguire, long recognized as the supporting duo behind powerful lead vocalist Natalie Maines in the Dixie Chicks, have embarked on their own separate grouping: The Courtyard Hounds. Robison’s marriage breakup from singer/songwriter Charlie Robison heavily influences the album. Divorce metaphors are abound in ... [Read on]
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22
Jack Johnson 'To The Sea'
A review of Jack Johnson's album 'To the Sea' Review Snapshot: Jack Johnson - famous for his soft, laid back sound and how he’s the perfect accompanist for a holiday - has released his fifth studio album. With it comes nothing particularly new or unexpected, but not particularly unpleasant either. The Cluas Verdict? 6/10 Full review: The opening track “You and Your Heart” will be familiar to almost all Johnson fans, as it open with an upbeat acoustic sound. My first thought is that it could comfortably be heard in the ad for a new orange juice. Turn it on when you’re packing for a summer holiday. Nothing new there. The title track fits perfectly with Johnson’s own explanation of the album title. "I guess it's a reference to a father leading his son to the sea, with the water representing the subconscious. So it's about trying to go beneath the surface and understand yourself". The most prominent ... [Read on]
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21
 Sarah Blasko 'As Day Follows Night'
A review of the album 'As Day Follows Night' by Sarah Blasko Review Snapshot: Aussie songstress Sarah Blasko's third album, but her first to be released in Europe. An album entirely worth repeated listens and will no doubt serve to make Blasko’s excursion northward a worthwhile one. The Cluas Verdict? 7 out of 10 Full Review: The past year has been the reign of the female artist, between the Florences, the Marinas and the Marlings; in the realm of the alternative scene it has been a year where ‘the bands’ have been put on the back burner. Another addition to these ranks is Aussie songstress Sarah Blasko; with numerous ARIA awards under her belt, and after a recent deal this side of the world, Blasko’s been forced to start from scratch on her third album, her first to be released here. Blasko’s silky vocals ring similar to those of Norah Jones and the like, occasionally to her detriment, it is however Blasko&rsquo... [Read on]
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15
Paul McCartney (live in Dublin)
Paul McCartney (live in the RDS, Dublin) Review Snapshot: 165 minutes, of 36 songs ranging from The Beatles, Wings, The Fireman and McCartney's solo material, throw in a fireworks display to rival Sydney Bridge on New Years Day and you’ve only a taster of Paul’s RDS gig in the summer sunshine.  The Cluas Verdict? 10 out of 10 Full Review: sung That seven year itch for a McCartney gig at Dublin’s RDS came back around last night, and in the summer sunshine he put on a stomping rocking show for nearly 3 hours, that would leave fellow musicians half his age speechless. The fact that his beloved England had a World Cup match at the same time meant that the gig was delayed in starting until half-time in the game. Was it worth the wait?   At 8:30pm the band walked on stage to huge applause, and began with Venus And Mars / Rockshow and Jet before McCartney tried a bit of the local tongue. “Failte Romhat Go Leir”... [Read on]
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05
Joanna Newsom (live in Paris)
Joanna Newsom (live in La Villette, Paris, 31 May 2010) Review Snapshot: An excellent album takes flight as a sensational live show. With careful arrangements, the indie harpist and her band deliver a dramatic and stirring performance with all the force of a full orchestra. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: "Kate Bush," says someone behind us, trying to describe tonight's star before she appears on stage. It's an understandable comparison, given that both ladies write idiosyncratic songs which they then sing in an arabesque upper register. But it would be more interesting and accurate to compare Joanna Newsom with Owen Pallett, appearing at the same venue the following night as part of an imaginative 'Villette Sonique' series of shows. Ostensibly indie acts, both singers make sweeping, ambitious music beyond categorisation, flavoured by diverse influences like show tunes and American folk - yet ... [Read on]
Posted in: Gig Reviews, France
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