We take a look at this week's new albums and gig announcements 

Album Reviews

Kanye West


GOOD/Def Jam

Written and arranged in the space of a month and recorded in just one day, there is something admirably DIY and punk about the way Kanye West brought his eighth album to life.

The fact that it was borne out of a year of chaos, dumb public pronouncements, and a very public breakdown for this very 21st century pop star also promises much for Ye. Is this Kanye finally stripped bare (or barer than usual), an all-revealing confessional that might bring us into the heart of his malfunctioning genius?

Sadly, no. Ye very much sounds like it was, indeed, written and arranged in the space of a month and recorded in just one day.

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Even at 23 minutes and seven tracks, it still sounds like a self-indulgent sulk from the most self-indulgent pop star in the world. Hip hop’s Trump kicks the whole thing off with I Thought About Killing You, a warped, oscillating synth number on which Kanye free associates about murder and self-love.

He follows that chin-scratcher with Yikes, a hyperventilating churn of self-affirmation on which he declares "That’s my bipolar for ya, it ant no disability, it’s my superpower, I’m a superhero", which is nothing if not positive.

With West rapid cycling like this, it might be worth paying close attention to the lyrics but do they bear examination? For a man who once mined a seemingly bottomless pit of verbal invention, too many of the lines here are bemusingly surreal non-sequitors, which he clearly hopes the faithful will receive like tablets of truth.

"will this do?"

All Mine is several minutes of sparse, percussive sleaze in which he sings in a distracted falsetto about Kerry Washington, Naomi Campbell and Stormy Daniels. Wouldn't Leave, featuring Justin Vernon on synth, mentions Kanye’s recent pea-brained comments about slavery and avers that his wife - the deathless Kim Kardashian- called him screaming and crying after his words went public.  

No Mistakes has the good taste to include samples from the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Slick Rick and Orange Krush which at least saves this slice of blabbering and jabbering from Kanye, during which he mentions Ice Cube, a rapper who had something to say.

At best, Ye sounds like a petulant case of "will this do?"and at worse, it’s just a booming and bombastic case of sonic indigestion. **

Hilary Woods


Sacred Bones

Hilary Woods

Former teenage bassist and reluctant indie pin-up in Dublin nearly-rans JJ72, Hilary Woods has released her debut album and it is sharply at odds with the panoramic angst of her former band. Woods’ background in photography and film making might have informed these impressionistic and ethereal songs. Half-formed and translucent, she sounds like a ghostly waif drifting through dark landscapes singing fragile and rather consumptive-sounding sub-Emily Dickinson lyrics. It’s minimalist, atmospheric and dreamlike and the music mostly comes in barely there echoes of double bass, sharp piano notes and muted keyboard washes. At its best, as on Jesus Said, the mounting doom makes a real impact but on the likes of the processional Inhaler this funeral march becomes all too ponderous and wearing. **

Gigs of the week

Friday, June 8

The Magic Numbers, Cyprus Avenue, Cork

Mick Flannery, Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick

Saturday, June 9

The Magic Numbers, Róisín Dubh

Gorillaz, Malahide Castle, Dublin

Sunday, June 10 UN

The Magic Numbers, Whelan's, Dublin

Tuesday, June 12

a-ha, Live At The Marquee

Haim, The Olympia Theatre, Dublin

Wednesday, June 13

Haim, The Olympia Theatre, Dublin

Friday, June 15

The National, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin

Liam Gallagher, Malahide Castle, Dublin

Taylor Swift, Croke Park, Dublin

CHIC, Nile Rodgers, and Soul II Soul, Ormeau Park, Belfast

Music on TV

Friday, June 8

Prince: A Purple Reign, BBC Four, 9.00pm

Africa: a Journey Into Music, BBC Four, 10.00pm

When Pop Went Epic: The Crazy World of the Concept Album, BBC Four, 11.00pm

Saturday, June 9

Come Together: The Rise of the Festival, Sky arts, 9.00pm

Big in America: British Hits in the USA, BBC Four, 12.00am

Tuesday, June 12

Elvis: The Searcher, Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm

Friday, June 15

Classic Albums: Paul Simon’s Graceland, BBC Four, 12.30am

Ireland’s Top 10 albums

NEW (last week) 1 (this week) Ye – Kanye West (Def Jam)

3 2 The Greatest Showman Motion Picture Cast Recording (Atlantic/Warner Music)  

4 3 Divide - Ed Sheeran Asylum (Warner Music)  

5 4 Beerbongs & Bentleys - Post Malone (Republic Records)

6 5 Speak Your Mind - Anne-Marie (Asylum/Warner Music)

1 6 Wildness - Snow Patrol (Polydor/Universal Music)

2 7 Shawn Mendes - Shawn Mendes (EMI/Universal Music)

8 8 Staying At Tamara's - George Ezra (Columbia/Sony Music)

11 9 Picture This Picture This (Warner Music Ireland)

9 10 x - Ed Sheeran (Asylum/Warner Music)

Ireland’s Top 10 singles

1 (last week) 1 (this week) One Kiss - Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa (Columbia/Warner Bros)

2 2 2002 - Anne-Marie (Asylum)   

3 3 Nice For What - Drake (Cash Money/Republic Records)

6 4 Solo - Clean Bandit Ft Demi Lovato  (Atlantic)

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4 5 No Tears Left To Cry - Ariana Grande  (Republic Records)

11 6 Back to You – Selena Gomez (Interscope)

7 7 Better Now - Post Malone (Republic Records)

15 8 I'll Be There – Jess Glynne (Atlantic)

8 9 Paradise - George Ezra (Columbia) 

10 10 Answerphone - Banx & Ranx/Ella Eyre/Bane (Parlophone/Warner Music)

Chart courtesy of IRMA

Alan Corr @corralan