12:24 Thursday 23 January 2014

Album reviews

Written byROB SMYTH

Heath Common

The Dream of Miss Dee (Warner)

3/5

An amalgamation of tracks from his first two albums recorded with former partner Chris Halliwell, known as ‘The Thin Man’, The Dream of Miss Dee is Heath Common’s first solo album.

Common’s sound is a hark back to his youth in the 1960’s North West. There’s an undoubted hippy sound to his music and in tracks such as ‘Powis Square at 4am’ where he speaks rather than sings, there is an element of a Mancunian Frank Zappa.

‘When The Dog Bites The Monkey’ experiments with a blues sound whereas ‘Bradford Park Avenue’ can definitely be traced to the travelers site where Common spent a lot of time during his younger years. Mythical interludes separate the tracks to create a journey through his life.

(Matt Cobb)

Sub Focus

Torus

4/5

Torus is the follow-up album to 31-year-old Guildford dance music producer Nick Douwma, aka Sub Focus.

Featuring more drops than your favourite rollercoaster, the album is an eclectic mix chart-friendly dance tracks.

Criticism has been levelled at the album for its lack of focus on a particular genre, but for someone with broad dance music tastes like me that is to the record’s strength.

The record opens with its track Torus, an electro track of seismic proportions. Other highlights include the hit single Tidal Waves, which has perhaps the catchiest bass line this side of the decade.

This is definitely worth a listen.

(Mark McKay)

The Twang

NeonTwang

2/5

I wasn’t impressed with this album one single bit

I resisted the temptation to turn it off and was relieved to find that it wasn’t so offensive to the ears after all.

The better songs are towards the end of the album, rather than the beginning, with stand-out tracks being Bigger Than You and Step Away.

The album is released on March 10 and is described as ‘ a series of recordings that encompass light touch balladry, dub, trip hop and sunshine pop.’

The album comprises of some interesting lyrics, so it might be worth a listen just for these but, on the whole, I would give it a wide berth.

(Sarah Bould)

HARD-FI

Best of 2004 - 2014

3/5

I had to admit that when I saw the title of this album, I had to read it twice to make sure it was correct.

In just 10 years, Hard-Fi have decided to release a best of album.

I first struggled to remember any of the songs but after putting it on the car, a few suddenly shot back into mind.

Cash Machine and Hard to Beat are some of the most memorable songs on the album, but it struggles to last the distance and is filled with a few numbers that cannot really lay claim to the title of ‘best’.

Fans will no doubt love this record but casual music fans will find it hard to stick with as the tracklist really does not scream hits.

(Rob Smyth)

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