Review: You can almost feel the California sun reflecting back off 'Los Angeles', the opening track on HAIM's third album. An unapologetic ode to their hometown - as is made clear with straight-shooting lyrics like "New York is cold/I tried the winter their once/Nope" - it's also an unapologetically smiley and smile-inducing slice of strutting pop. While first appearances can often be deceiving, and books shouldn't always be judged on their covers, in this instance the first bite is a fitting preamble for what follows. There's plenty of variety, for evidence just compare the reflective and damaged air of 'I Know Alone', and its razor sharp shimmering production, with the back-to-basics acoustic build of 'Leaning On You'. Ultimately, though, it's all sophisticated and intelligent pop, celebrating the genre's breadth by showing how capable of matching that scope this lot are.
Review: You might have heard about this LP..... After a pre-release campaign that took on Hollywood-esque proportions, French pair Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter return as Daft Punk with their fourth studio album Random Access Memories sporting a A-list cast of guests and contributors. Given the input of disco icons Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rogers it's entirely understandable that the overbearing sound on Random Access Memories is one of classic disco with lead single "Get Lucky" a good indicator for what to expect. There's also a smattering of yacht rock within the thirteen track set, whilst the ubiquitous Panda Bear turns up on the midnight stutter funk album highlight "Doin' It Right". Those expecting a return to Daft Punk's Homework heyday will be disappointed but Bangalter and de Homem-Christo are touching forty so the polished, expertly constructed disco direction makes perfect sense.
Review: When it came to following up their surprise 1994 hit album "Amplified Heart", Everything But The Girl's Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn decided to rip up the rulebook and do things differently. Previously, their music has been considered, downtempo and - whisper it quietly - Balearic. 1996's "Walking Wounded" retained their inherent beauty and sense of melancholia, but updated their musical blueprint to include far more influences from (then) contemporary dance music. As this half-speed re-mastered reissue proves, they largely hit the spot, with warm deep house cut "Wrong", the sparkling drum and bass pop of the title track and the similarly minded "Big Deal" standing out.