08:56 Friday 20 December 2013

Album reviews

Written byROB SMYTH

Parov stelar

The Art of Sampling (Dramatico) 3/5

WELL this certainly is an interesting record.

Parov Stelar, for those who do not know, is an Austrian DJ/producer/musician Marcus Fureder and his band who create quite a mixture of musical sounds.

These range from warm electronic pop to European club sounds.

There are obvious nods throughout to the likes of Daft Punk and even Nina Simone

If I am honest it would not be something that I would probably rush out to buy but it certainly was an interesting way to spend a few minutes while driving into work.

Not trailblazing but worth a listen I would say.

(Rob Smyth

MANU CHAO

Clandestino (Because Music) 3/5

THIS album features a lot of tracks, 23 in total, and comes packaged in a comic book with a rather strange set of illustrations.

Sung entirely in French, the album’s songs focus heavily on life in France.

When the album was originally released ti sold more than five million copies worldwide.

The record can also be very dark in places including a tribute to one of Manu Chao’s good friends who died of a drug overdose while he was making the album.

The album is very catchy in places and, even if you do not speak the language, it is something that might take your fancy if you are after something a little different.

(Rob Smyth)

CARAVAN PALACE

Panic (Republic) 4/5

THIS is an intense sounding little gem that will wow jazz lovers who like their music a bit more upbeat.

The record fuses electronic dance music to the limits while also bringing in references to jazz and classic swing to form something that is actually quite good.

The songs on the album also see the band make use of all manner of instruments including a double bass and a violin.

The album is packed with jaunty, up -tempo, swing and hacked up sound and features a compilation of raging tunes and big beats.

A really present surprise and one that I will continue to listen to well until the new year.

(Rob Smyth)

Dale earnhardt jr jr

The Speed of Things (Warenr Bros. Records) 3/5

THESE artists has, in the past, been likened to bands such as The Beatles, the Beach Boys and classic Motown and after listening to their latest effort, it is easy to see why.

The band, made up of Detroit duo Josh Epstein and Zott, are now on their second album and it really shows.

This effort is more polished and has a really good feel to it.

It really is like the Beatles and the Beach Boys fed through an electronic filter.

If you are feeling the cold this winter, this record will give you a winter warmer and throw some sunshine on your day.

(Rob Smyth)

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