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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

The Ruts D.C.
Rhythm Collision Vol. 2 (Sosumi Recordings)

The Ruts DC Most of you will be aware the Ruts were a reggae/punk outfit whose career hit a wall when their singer Malcolm Owen died in 1980, perhaps less well known is the bands output as Ruts D.C. and the hugely underrated Rhythm Collision album recorded with the Mad Professor. Now, some thirty years later, we have Rhythm Collision Vol. 2 which, if anything, is even better than its predecessor with several tracks like ‘Sun And The Stars’ and ‘Heavyweight Style’ sounding like prime time Tubby/Scientist cuts, and the tribute to Smiley Culture (who managed to stab himself to death during a police raid in 2011) counts amongst their finest
Drew Bass

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The Reasoning
Adventures in Neverland (Esoteric Recordings)

The Reasoning Yet another band most of you will never have come across and yet are making regular and impressive ripples down at the hard-working coal-face of the rock market. This Cardiff based outfit combine facets of both prog and classic rock and the bands muscular but melodic guitar driven tunes are neatly topped off by Rachel Cohen’s angelic Maddy Prior meets Sandy Denny style vocals. This is their fourth studio outing (there is also a live album available) which finds them further refining and developing their style and we reckon older fans of Curved Air will find a great deal to enjoy here.
Ray Harper

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Return To Forever
The Mothership Returns: DVD/2CD (Eagle Rock)

Return To Forever Return to Forever continue to return (these live shows were recorded in 2011), on this occasion without the pyrotechnic Al Di Meola who is replaced here by the lesser known, but no less talented Frank Gamble and expanded to include the very welcome addition of violinist Jean Luc Ponty (ex Mahavishnu Orchestra and Frank Zappa cohort). Put simply these guys are just jaw dropping, and whilst RTF fans must be desperate for some new material the inclusion of Mr Ponty's violin adds many new layers and textures to RTF faves. In addition to the 2 CD’s there is also a very enjoyable bonus DVD documentary and some live cuts.
Paul Riley

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Todd Rundgren
Healing (Floating World Records)

Todd Rundgren One of a couple of new CD/DVD live sets from the estimable Mr R both recorded in 2010 as part of a six-show sold-out tour in the USA wherein Todd, decked out in some eye watering schmutter, played entire albums for an audience of longstanding fans – with Jessie Gress, Prairie Prince, Kasim Sulton, Bobby Strickland, Greg Hawkes and for this album a choir providing backup. Whether you prefer the other outing (Todd, originally released in 1974) or this (originally released in 1981), will depend which TR period you dig more, we went for this more soulful outing purely because it showcases Rundgren’s, still very fine, vocals.
Ray Harper

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Rodrigo y Gabriela
Area 52 (Rubyworks)

Rodrigo y GabrielaRodrigo Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero’s fifth studio album (if you include hard to find 2001 debut Foc, which was made largely redundant by the following years re-Foc), and this time around they’ve got a whopping great Cuban Latin American band in tow. Most of the material will be familiar to fans from Rod & Gab’s solo acoustic versions, in fact a few have been rather put out by the Latin makeovers (see Amazon reviews), however these people are clearly luddites who wouldn’t recognise a fantastic remodelling job if it bit them on their uptight arses. Fans of early Santana, Malo, Paco De Lucia and The Fania All-Stars will love this to bits.
The Oracle

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Todd Rundgren's Utopia
Live at Hammersmith Odeon '75 (Retroworld)

Todd Rundgren's Utopia A quick trawl through the Amazon page for this reveals several curmudgeons bemoaning the fact that the album art is a little perfunctory (nothing out of the ordinary in these days of downloads frankly) and – having previously been available in bootleg form - it lacks the West Side Story cover version ‘Something's Coming’ whilst more or less ignoring the far superior sound quality. So Todd trainspotter’s beware, there’s a track missing, for the rest of you this is a blisteringly superb, live Utopia outing from a right on button, and seldom recorded live, Utopia line up and yet more evidence that Rundgren is a woefully underrated chap.
The Oracle

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Radio Moscow
The Great Escape of Leslie Magnafuzz (Alive Records)

Radio MoscowFor those of you that miss the days when music was heavy, psychedelic and played at full tilt, or those that seldom pick anything but worn Spirit, Mountain and Blue Cheer albums from their dog eared collection then chances are you are going to want to skin up and bliss out to this little beauty. Sounding exactly like some dusty old reel of tape unearthed from a recently demolished San Francisco recording studio The Great Escape…, The third, and definitely best thus far, album by Iowa based trio Radio Moscow makes no pretence of being anything other than a proud throwback to blistering psyched out blues rock.
Ruby Palmer

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R.E.M.
Collapse Into Now (Warner Bros)

R.E.M.REM releases since the departure of Bill Berry in have tended to be greeted by mixed reviews. Collapse Into Now – REM’s 15th studio release – hasn’t been excused its share of brickbats, but to these ears, the album’s blend of acoustic reveries and crunching rockers constitutes the band’s most compelling release since New Adventures in Hi-Fi. ‘Alligator_Aviator_Autopilot_ Antimatter’ is peerless power-pop, while Patti Smith-enhanced spoken word soundscape ‘Blue’ shows the band can still explore more ambitious territory. But it’s ‘Walk It Back’ that really hits home with its simple but effective reaffirmation of the ‘classic’ REM sound.
David Davies

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Royal Trux
Cats & Dogs (Domino)

Royal TruxRoyal Trux (Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema) played rock and roll, no messing, no fancy pants mucking about, just rock and roll, although we should probably say here that we’re talking about the rock and roll that clatters from Exile On Mains Street to the Stooges and from blues to country, the only constant being it must sound like it has been recorded in a garage by people who may, or may not, be so chemically altered that they may just fall sideways at any moment (something Bobby Gillespie has been trying to perfect his whole life), we’re saying this is the best of the current re-releases, but in truth they're all worth checking out.
Ruby Palmer

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Renaissance
Live In Chicago (Retroworld)

Renaissance Most of you will already know that Renaissance began life as an apre-Yardbirds project for Keith Relf and Jim McCarty, but it was actually Renaissance V.2 that really took off when manager Miles Copeland built an all new band around vocalist Annie Haslam and guitarist Michael Dunford (who initially only wrote). Despite a serious revolving door policy that would ultimately hold the band back they still managed to create some cracking music and much of it can be found on this live set from Chicago in 1983. Also available is a double set (The Other Woman/Ocean Gypsy) from the Michael Dunford and Stephanie Adlington version of the band.
Ray Harper

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Corrine Bailey Rae
The Sea (Virgin)

Corrine Bailey RaeGiven that Rae lost her husband Jason to an accidental drugs overdose in 2008 some might question her judgement in returning quite so soon, especially with an album positively dripping with references to her loss, and in truth this is a pretty bleak album in places, but there is a world of difference between maudlin self-obsession and thoughtful introspection and Rae is clearly dealing with her grief in a positive way and this is yet another fine collection of songs. Quite how this will work when she needs to perform it night after night on tour remains to be seen but for now we have a worthy follow up to her eponymous debut.
Ruby Palmer

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Gregg Rolie Band
Rain Dance (Gregg Rolie Band)

Gregg Rolie BandAny conversation about Santana (the band), will inevitably include the words ‘guitarist’ and ‘percussion’ but, if like many fans, you are a devotee of the band’s early output then equal importance must be given to the massive swelling organ (sorry couldn’t resist) and earthy blues vocals of Gregg Rolie and this live set – with ex-Santana luminaries Alphonso Johnson, Mike Carabello and Jose ‘Chepito’ Areas’ son Adrian – will transport lovers of pre-’72 Santana straight back to Latin-rock heaven, and fear not Kurt Griffey’s guitar playing is both sympathetic to the source material but also defiantly (and explosively), his own.
Ray Harper

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Paul Rishell & Annie Raines
A Night In Woodstock (Mojo Rodeo Records)

Paul Rishell & Annie Raines In a partnership that has lasted 16 years, guitarist Paul Rishell and harmonica player Annie Raines have built a reputation as a truly formidable roots duo and for A Night In Woodstock they have invited some special guests including the Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian, also on harmonica, and renowned blues pianist Bruce Katz. This live recording came about via a footage gathering mission for a documentary on jug band music but their style is far more expansive than that, with many highlights, including Tommy Johnson’s 'Canned Heat Blues', 'I’m A Lover Not A Fighter' and a mighty 'Bad Credit'.
David Blue

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Return To Forever
Returns (Eagle Records)

Return To ForeverAnyone who ‘s shelled out the best part of a week’s food rations to go and see a reformed band take a canter through their back catalogue will already be aware that this can be a dicey business. Especially when older musicians, like say Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola, Chick Corea and Lenny White, revisit the sort of high speed, multi-faceted material created in Return to Forever’s glory days. You have to worry how those arthritic joints are? Well fear not, these guys are still smoking hot, and also can’t resist having some real fun with the material. Makes you wish you were at the shows frankly.
Paul Riley

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Red Snapper
A Pale Blue Dot (Lo)

Red Snapper Been out for a while this one, but it keeps creeping back onto the iPod so it's obviously something of a grower. Formed in 1992 by Ali Friend (bass), Richard Thair (drums), and David Ayers (guitar) they released three fine albums, split in 2002 and reformed in 2007. Always a band known for dipping heavily in the big tub marked ‘eclectic’ - although the basic recipe generally revolved around a dub tinged jazzy vibe (see ‘Moving Mountain’ on this release) – and Pale Blue Dot continues in much the same vein, ‘Wanga Doll’ even managing to sound like a cross between Morphine and the Allman Brothers, which is certainly a first in my book.
Paul Riley

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Max Richter
24 Postcards In Full Colour (Fat Cat)

Max RichterGerman pianist/composer Max Richter follows his previous three neo-classical albums with an attempt to explore the ringtone as musical performances spread over 24 tracks ranging from a sub one minute effort to the longest which is just shy of three. As you might imagine, having worked with artists as diverse as FSOL and Vashti Bunyan, Richter's palette is broad indeed utilising an orchestra of nine, a string quintet, solo piano, electronica, found sound samples and acoustic guitars, and if the brevity occasionally leaves you desperate for more, the overall effect is really rather beautiful (listen to some samples here).
Drew Bass

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The Raconteurs
Consolers Of The Lonely (Third Man/XL)

The RaconteursThere can’t be many people left who don’t know that The Raconteurs are the Jack White and Brendan Benson led Detroit outfit who mashed 60's rock, garage and Beatles style pop into Led Zeppelin riffs and clonking great blues stompers on their debut album Broken Boy Soldiers. Well now you can also add county, folk and psychedelia to the mix as the band delight in nicking whatever they damn well please from the past and recycling it into a huge great genre-mashing melting pot of an album, accusations of retro-thievery being bypassed by the simple expedient of it all being bloody huge fun.
Ruby Palmer

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REM
Accelerate (Warners)

REMMichael Stipe has apparently recently expressed his disappointment that Accelerate is being compared to the bands early material like Document and Life’s Rich Pageant, but whilst he, one assumes, views this as a backward step, fans of their music are hearing a band newly acquainted with what it was that fired them up in the first place (something nobody could have said about their last, lacklustre, effort Around The Sun), the opening trio, ‘Living Well Is the Best Revenge’, ‘Man-Sized Wreath’ and ‘Supernatural Superserious’, thundering out of the blocks and setting the scene for a newly invigorated Buck, Mills and Stipe.
Ray Harper

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Rocket From The Crypt
The Name Of This Band Is... (Castle)

Rocket From The CryptMuch missed U.S. outfit Rocket From The Crypt (who sadly disbanded in 2005) get a little re-release action as their State Of The Art On Fire EP is extended to include the five tracks from their Sympathy For The Record Industry singles ‘Boychucker’ and ‘On The Prowl’. It’s not as focussed as the albums which immediately followed (Hot Charity and Scream Dracula Scream), but it neatly outlines the bands ferocious and bum clenchingly intense ‘hardcore rockabilly punk with a side order of ass-kicking-horns’ blueprint and will hopefully lead the more interested listener to their excellent, if sadly much neglected, back catalogue.


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The Rutles
The Rutles: Limited Vinyl Replica Edition (Rhino)

The Rutles Less feted than Spinal Tap perhaps but, due in no small part to Ex-Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band-er Neil Innes’ spot on parodies, no less effective, Innes and Ex Monty Python ‘does she go eh? Does she go?’ man Eric Idle’s excellent Beatles parody finally makes it onto CD, and even digs out six extra tracks. From the early moptop jangle of ‘I Must Be In Love’ and ‘Number One’ to the acid fired experimentation of ‘Piggy In The Middle’ and all points in-between – including the famous Abbey Road rooftop parody of ‘Get Up And Go’ – The Rutles nails every Beatles period bang to rights and proves Neil Innes to be a songwriter of consumate skill.


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Rosy Parlane
Jessamine (Touch)

Rosy ParlaneHere in the TM-Online bunker we spend huge great chunks of each week hot swapping CD’s faster than our ears can feasibly accommodate, wading through vast swathes of derivative drivel, or just diving for the eject button halfway through track one, all of which makes interludes like Jessamine very welcome, if difficult to recommend. We are talking textures here, from the gently undulating to the downright ear shredding, spread over three parts and about as removed from the concept of a ‘song’ as you can get. Often beautiful, occasionally scary and altogether intriguing, we suggest you listen before buying, but we do suggest you listen.

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Reel Big Fish
Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album (Rykodisc)

Reel Big FishWhat the vast majority of punters in the UK know about Reel Big Fish can comfortably be written in long hand on a spratt's dorsal fin with a six inch paintbrush, so for the uninitiated RBF are, mainly, a punky ska outfit (blend equal parts the Offspring, Cake and the Beat with a huge dollop of Zappa style juvenile humour and plenty of swearing). They can also play a bit - in a staggering array of styles, just check out 'S.R' - and as any ‘fule no’ horn drenched ska is the best party music in the world, ever, no contest. You also can’t argue with the VFM quotient of any package that includes two live CDs and one live DVD. Ace.

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The Residents
Freak Show (Mute)

The ResidentsTaking the concept of ‘get the album see the show buy the t-shirt’ to typically Resident-ian lengths here is an album which was also a CD-ROM, a live theatre production, a graphic novel and now a beautifully packaged CD booklet (complete with selections from the graphic novel) and bonus DVD featuring videos, live numbers and an oddly compelling trawl through the grainy black and white history of circus freaks. The music? Well this being the Residents it's grotesque and unnerving, a demented carnival of woozy electronica and off kilter vocals which, if you felt too comfortable listening to it, would mean they had failed, wouldn't it?


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Damien Rice
9 (14th Floor)

Damien RiceFollowing the phenomenal success of his 2002 debut album O was never going to be an easy ask, but fans will doubtless be happy to hear that 9 continues in much the same vein as its predecessor – a lazy assed complaint made by the sort of reviewers happy to trumpet Dylan's new album as a radical departure. In fact Rice pushes in several different directions on 9 with folkier efforts, some (whisper it) rock, cathartic chorus profanity and even several million years of ambient noodling on the hidden track. Put simply, if you love Damo you still will, but if you have yet to discover him there is much here to recommend repeat listens.


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Lou Reed
Coney Island Baby: 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Sony/BMG)

Lou ReedHaving tried his record company's patience with the feedback riddled racket that is Metal Machine Music – the least played CD in many a ‘cool’ record collection – Reed, finding himself in deep financial merde, promptly presented his followers with a complete artistic volte-face, his record company with something they could market and perhaps his most accessible material since Transformer. This re-mastered and expanded issue includes unreleased versions of ‘Crazy Feeling’, ‘She's My Best Friend’ and ‘Coney Island Baby’ recorded with former VU colleague Doug Yule. Now if Sony could just get around to re-releasing Legendary Hearts...


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R.E.M.
And I Feel Fine: the Best of 1982-87 - the I.R.S Years (EMI)

R.E.M.There is a school of thought that R.E.M. really should have called it a day after Bill Berry jumped ship and there's also a, let’s call it, class of thought that insists the bands joyous byrds-ian clatter disappeared completely when they parted company with IRS. But regardless which (if any), of these camps you fall into surely everyone agrees this five year period was astonishingly fecund for R.E.M. (come to that it was astonishingly good in the U.S. indie scene full stop with bands like The Replacements, Husker Du and the Minutemen in full flow). And while you are at it do yourself a favour and pick up the two disc version.


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Red Hot Chili Peppers
Stadium Arcadium (Warner Bros)

Red Hot Chili PeppersCloaked in the most underwhelming sleeve this side of ‘Now That’s What I Call Not Having To Buy Singles Anymore 63’ and boasting a whopping 28 tracks spread over 2xCD’s (CD Jupiter and CD Mars, behind which there’s doubtless some hippy/dippy west coast theory), first impressions of the ninth RHCP’s aren’t good. Bung it in the player tho’ and, unlike the recent Foo Fighters double, you discover there’s little bloating, perhaps a few too many mid tempo ‘Under The Bridge’ types dotted in amongst the early era funky rock-outs and Californication style harmony-pop-rockers, but the end results are one and a half very good albums indeed.


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The Raconteurs
Broken Boy Soldiers (XL)

The RaconteursFormed around the core of old friends Jack White of the White Stripes and fellow Detroit musician Brendan Benson, The Raconteurs’ debut album Broken Boy Soldiers has elicited mixed reviews to date, not least because a lot of the material here is resolutely not White Stripes-esque, indeed there is far more here in common with later Led Zep or late ‘60s/early ‘70s psychedelia. But don’t be misled by those insisting it all goes downhill after excellent opening track ‘Steady As She Goes’ as prime single material like ‘Together’, the reincarnation of Mountain on ‘Store Bought Bones’ or the Beatle-esque ‘Hands’ are well worth you attention.


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Tom Russell
Love and Fear (Hightone)

Tom RussellIf you take the lyrics of this album at face value, Tom Russell is the kind of hard-livin’, hard-singin’ songwriter who has been there, come back, ill-advisedly gone back again and then finally jumped town, thanking his lucky stars that his poor sorry ass is still entact. Now living, according to his press notes, on a “2.68 badlands farms in the desert of West Texas”, Russell has some real Kerouac spirit. Fortunately, he’s also adept at crafting a memorable tune, especially on tracks like ‘The Sound of One Heart Breaking’ and ‘The Pugilist at 59’ both of which are curiously affecting paeans to the loss of love and youth.


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Rodrigo y Gabriela
Rodrigo y Gabriela (Rubyworks)

Rodrigo y GabrielaThe third outing for this talented Mexican guitar duo – Live in Manchester and Dublin was one of 2004’s overlooked classics – this time with Muse, Radiohead and Fall producer John Leckie manning the desk. Their base palette remains blisteringly fast and furious Latin flavoured flamenco with bold strokes of jazz layered into the mix and a heavy nod towards their metal roots with grin-inducing covers of Metallica’s ‘Orion’ and Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’, but it’s on their own material they really take your breath away, making what could easily have become numbing hi-speed technical proficiency sound soulful, fluid, and effortless.


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Rolling Stones
Rarities 1971-2003 (Virgin)

Rolling StonesYou may well imagine that there’s very little left in the Stones eons old and copious out-take barrel left worth rooting around the nether regions for but in fact you would be wrong, and perhaps surprised to find that in fact there’s one or two little gems left unreleased (although certainly not un-bootlegged, which may explain this official collection). Particularly worthy of note are typically raw takes on 'Fancy Man Blues', 'Wish I’d Never Met You' and Muddy Waters 'Mannish Boy'. Add some hard to find B sides, covers and live versions and you get a worthwhile xmas pressie for any Stones fans in the household.


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Rilo Kiley
More Adventurous (Brute/Warners)

Rilo Kiley Three albums in and the Kiley’s are finally beginning to make waves in the UK – front person Jenny Lewis is already quite well known in the US for her childhood acting past and also for her involvement in the more dance oriented outfit The Postal Service. Imagine Pavement fronted by a vocalist who sounds not unlike Nina Persson (from the Cardigans) via Michelle Shocked with a nod towards old Morrissey fave, Jewish lesbian punk singer/songwriter Phranc (what ever happened to Phranc?), sound intriguing? Well it is, and you can expect to see and hear a great deal more of them as the year progresses.

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Rammstein
Rosenrot (Universal)

RammsteinBest known in rock circles for the huge erupting phallus Till Lindemann wields as part of their punishing live sets, Rammstein’s live antics often overshadow their recorded output. Their fifth album continues the Berlin Sextet’s laudable insistence on refusing to bow to the UK/US market and still singing in German, this time around peppering their crunching industrial grindcore - think Front 242 with tunes – with lyrical nods towards Goethe. What the uninitiated might find surprising is how melodic much of this sturm und drang is (they even have Sharleen Spiteri helping out on ‘Strib Nicht Vor Mir’), rock opera never sounded so impressive.


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Ralfe Band
Swords (Skint)

Ralfe BandOccasionally something will find it’s way through our letterbox which is so off-the-wall it defies description. Naturally enough the vast majority of this noise is bloody awful, but just occasionally a ludicrous mish-mash will transcend it’s constituent parts and bingo! New music alert! Imagine the Kinks playing the Bonzo Dog Do Dah Band or Syd Barrett working in waltz format or even Will Oldham if he was into Eastern European country and western! The pleasingly skewed folk swing of Oly Ralfe and Andrew Mitchell reveals layer upon layer of ever more quirky, lovable and enticing treats with every listen, and we love it


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Rolling Stones
A Bigger Bang (Virgin)

Rolling StonesStudio album number 25, and despite the advanced ages of those involved, knighthood wrangles, brushes with cancer and general all around assumptions by nay-sayers of past-it-ness, the Rolling Stones come out punching with the best thing they've done since Some Girls. OK, on occasion they do sound a bit like INXS doing their best Rolling Stones impression, but then the Stones are probably the most plagiarized band on the planet so they can be forgiven on occasion for sounding a little like their camp followers as Jagger’s swagger, Keef’n’Ron’s dirty guitar stew and Charlie’s majestically aloof tub thumping still prove an irresistible recipe


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The Residents
Animal Lover (Mute/Cryptic)

The ResidentsAs you might imagine, given that we’re talking about a band who have successfully hidden their identity’s for the last three decades – even more remarkable given the ego driven world of ‘pop music’ – behind a series of ludicrous headgear (most notably large eyeballs), make music that is wilfully difficult and do less promotion that Bob Dylan on a grumpy day, this isn’t an ‘immediate’ listen. It does however repay repeats spins and sounds (for Residents newbies) not unlike the Beta Band fronted by a Satanic choir playing back their songs on a slightly knackered vari-speed tape machine, which is actually a good thing.

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Mark Rae
Into The Depths (Grand Central)

Mark RaeSecond solo outing from Grand Central supremo Mark Rae – of Rae & Christian’s Northern Sulphuric Soul fame – following on from 2002’s critically acclaimed Rae Road, and once again trading in the sort of hip hop-flavoured phat soul you would hear if you caught the man behind a set of decks. Vocalist Veba adds the requisite soulful oomph to the proceedings and, if some moments tend towards the overproduced – checking the credits suggests that a few tracks might have benefited from rather fewer ‘cooks’ – generally things truck along in a fine old-skool style.


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Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Live Manchester And Dublin (Rubyworks)

Rodrigo Y GabrielaGuitar fans of a certain age will (if they were lucky enough to come across it), recall sitting mesmerised listening to Paco De Lucia and Al DiMeola playfully displaying the sort of guitar virtuosity Yngwie Malmsteen and Co. would saw their right arms off to possess. Well if this is you then I promise you this is easily as good, if however you have yet to sample the delights of flamenco meets jazz meets rock guitar virtuosity played with passion and spirit - no pointless guitar wank-a-thons here, just astonishingly beautiful, fluid, musical magic - then look no further, this is brilliant.

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