Category: Album reviews

JUSTIN BIEBER – Changes album review – Evening Standard, 14 Feb 2020

Justin Bieber Changes (Def Jam) 2** It’s obvious on first listen why Justin Bieber’s fifth album is arriving on February 14. From the red sleeve to the heart-eyed lyrics throughout, if these 16 songs were any more loved up they would form part of the M&S Valentine’s Day Dine In meal deal. Bieber, 25, married model Hailey Baldwin in 2018.… Read more →

20 ALBUMS OF THE DECADE – Evening Standard, 13 Dec 2019

As the decade closes, it’s obvious who the biggest acts were. Since the ready availability of YouTube and Spotify stream counts, this period has been awash with gargantuan statistics, principally generated by Ed Sheeran and Adele but with Taylor Swift, Drake and Ariana Grande also making up the big numbers. But what music was so good it will genuinely last?… Read more →

STORMZY ‘Heavy is the Head’ album review – Evening Standard, 13 Dec 2019

You can tell how big a deal Stormzy’s second album is not just by its timing – intent on using those size 12s to boot Robbie Williams, Harry Styles or Coldplay out of the Christmas number one spot – but by the power of the gathered horns that form the backing for the opening song, Big Michael. It’s a mighty… Read more →

BEST ALBUMS OF 2018 – Evening Standard, 12 Dec 2018

It’s all “mixtapes”, “playlists” and “projects” round here these days. Some musicians will do anything to avoid calling a collection of more than a dozen examples of their music an album. But rather than signalling the death of the form, as some have suggested, I reckon it means that they understand what a big deal it still is. The album… Read more →

THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2017 – Evening Standard, 8 Dec 2017

  With only Eminem and N.E.R.D left to sneak under the wire of 2017’s major album releases, it’s time to line them all up against the wall and pick a team. Sure, I could offer you an numbered countdown of personal favourites (*loud cough* LCD Soundystem!) the better to receive maximum comment box abuse, but felt it would be more… Read more →

TAYLOR SWIFT – Look What You Made Me Do review – Evening Standard, 25 Aug 2017

  Last Friday she deleted all of her social media posts to replace them with three sinister snake videos. In the early hours of this morning Taylor Swift slid back into view with the first song from a new album.   The mean electronic buzz and orchestral strings of the single, Look What You Made Me Do (written with past… Read more →

BEST ALBUMS OF 2016 – Evening Standard, 16 Dec 2016

In these days of Spotify subscriptions and iTunes vouchers, giving the gift of music for Christmas has never been more easy and less personal.  You can’t show a close friend or relative that you truly understand them with a gift card. For that reason, after a bumper year for great music here are several dozen of the finest album releases… Read more →

ADELE 25 review – Evening Standard, 20 Nov 2015

Well, here it is: Adele’s 25 album, on sale today. Have you got it yet? Or are you planning on waiting four and a half years, like the people who sent its predecessor, 21, back into the charts yet again this month?   The second release from Tottenham’s Adele Adkins reached a demographic rarely tapped in music: the forgetful, the… Read more →

BJÖRK Vulnicura album review – Evening Standard, 22 Jan 2015

Bjork’s surprise album release this week is not a marketing stunt to match recent bombshells by Beyonce and U2, which were deliberately unveiled as surprise downloads with great fanfare. We had already been warned to expect this one in March, but online leaks have forced the Icelandic musician into an early reveal in the iTunes store. For someone whose last… Read more →

DAMIEN RICE – My Favourite Faded Fantasy, first listen – Evening Standard, 12 Sept 2014

There’s only one Irish music comeback worth getting excited about this week. No, it isn’t U2. Damien Rice has announced that his first album since 2006 will arrive in November, a return to recording that could easily never have happened. While the delicate, heartbreaking title track of My Favourite Faded Fantasy has just appeared online, I’ve had an exclusive first… Read more →