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Album Reviews
La Roux - Trouble in Paradise ***
Synth pop’s androgynous ice maiden Elly Jackson makes her return as a solo artist on this lush second album. It's not quite the departure from her hit debut she seems to suggest. Jackson does sound wounded after a period of personal and professional upheaval but this is still eighties-indebted pop of a very high stripe. Trouble in Paradise is a very enjoyable indeed - both danceable and thought-provoking. Alan Corr
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Morrissey: World Peace . . . ****
At 55, Morrissey returns with a droll but deadly serious set of songs blazing with new-found anger and sunken in sadness.
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He has recruited multi-instrumentalist Gustavo Manzur to spice up the tired old indie rock and what emerges is by turns elegant, flamboyant and really quite beautiful.
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With this bravado mix of waspish humour, pure mischief and deadly earnestness, a star really is reborn. The campaign for Morrissey's five-night stand at Croker begins here.
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Alan Corr
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Jarrett/Haden Last Dance
American veterans, bassist Charlie Haden and pianist Keith Jarrett recorded this album seven years ago, but it was only released in June. It includes imaginative spins on the classics, including Everything Happens to Me (Adair/Dennis), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s It Might As Well Be Spring, Theolonious Monk’s Round Midnight and Cole Porter's Every Time We Say Goodbye.Lasting and reflective. Paddy Kehoe
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David Gray - Mutineers ***
Has David Gray found his new Clune? For his tenth album he's teamed up with Andy Barlow of neglected trip hoppers Lamb to make a slight return to the electro dusting and serpentine rhythms of White Ladder.
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There is much to admire as declamatory words switch to percussive tranquillity and the Robert Kirby-like string work on Last Summer is quite something to behold. As ever, it is solid, dependable and pleasant fare.
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Alan Corr
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Sonny Rollins Contemporary Leader
This four-CD set assembles 42 diverse tracks from Sonny Rollins, the so-called “saxophone colossus”, who is still blowing his tenor at the age of 83. 1958 was a great year for the ebullient player, he topped jazz polls and he made some brilliant music. Then in 1959, he just walked away from it all. But he resumed his tenor sax adventures in 1962 and this very fine four-cd set bridges the before-and-after Rollins. P Kehoe
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