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Album Reviews
Paul Weller - Saturns Pattern
The man Noel Gallagher so dearly wants to be shows Noel Gallagher how it’s done. Weller continues his remarkable long purple patch with a 12th solo album (and 23rd album) that features both his penchant for studio trickery (kazoo through a fuzzbox, anyone?) but also cleaves to the sparky blues and soul rock that has been his solo preserve.
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Saturns Patterns runs rings around the competition. It's another addition to a remarkable body of work - a bespoke collection from the curator in chief of British blues, soul and rock. Watch and learn, Noel. Alan Corr
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Snoop Dogg - Bush
Snoop Dogg has given up rapping for the most part on his new album, Bush. From the second the trademark warm Neptunes synths enter on album opener California Roll, it’s clear that Snoop’s maturation into full-blown purveyor of funk is a good thing.
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Lacking in variety, at 41 minutes the album is a funky and fun listen, but tracks do have a tendency to sound alike. Bush may not change your life, but it might just change your night. 3.5 stars Odran De Bhaldraithe
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Dennis Rollins Symbiosis
UK trombone veteran Dennis Rollins and his two pals (Ross Stanley, hammond organ, Pedro Segundo drums) cook up some bluesy jazz and slower, moody tunes on this second album. A version of Pink Floyd’s Money is the business. However, The Rose - that old Bette Midler piece of cloying kitsch - can't be remedied no matter what you do. Daring, original. PK
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The Wombats - Glitterbug **
This third outing from the Liverpudlian japesters who scored hits with Let's Dance to Joy Division in 2007 and Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves) in 2010, is somewhat of a concept album about long distance love.
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It's all cocky synth pop bravado riddled with self-doubt but there is very little to love here. The Wombats have gone from Indie landfill to a big, bright and expansive American sound of shimmering synths and bludgeoning drums on nearly every song. Come in Wombats - your time is up. Alan Corr
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Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color ****
After the million-selling, Grammy-nominated surprise success of their debut album, Boys and Girls, Alabama Shakes find themselves at a crossroads for the follow-up - sell their soul to the commercial devil or surge forward into uncharted territory?
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They haven't done a KoL and made the same album again - Sound & Color lives up to its name with ventures into punk, prog blues, sweet southern soul, and even lovers rock on a record full of light and shade. Sound & Color is the sound of a band on a questing mission. Alan Corr
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