This week we take a look at the latest releases in music including Brian Eno and The Membranes.
Brian Eno – Reflection: Brian Eno’s music these days is about as far removed from his Roxy Music heyday as it is possible to get. His has been a fascinating musical odyssey, taking in glam rock and notable production duties. Since the late Seventies, however, Eno has shown an increasing interest in ambient music, with Reflection a seamless follow-up to 2016’S The Ship. Reflection consists of just one track, clocking in at just under an hour, and is like much of his recent work, namely understated electronica, occasionally arresting, at times a little self-indulgent, but never less than captivating. So, for those who love his work, Reflection is another excellent foray into ambient music, designed most certainly for discerning ears willing to allow an album to gradually reveal its hidden depths. Kim Mayo
The Membranes – Inner Space/Outer Space: The Membranes 2015 post-punk concept album Dark Matter/Dark Energy was a hit and now comes this remix version which features an impressive collaborators from James Dean Bradfield of Manic Street Preachers, to film composer Clint Mansell. Inspired by conversations with CERN scientists, the songs explore ideas about the origins and mysteries of the universe. Musically, it’s inventive, restless and ambitious spannigh rock, reggae, ambient, prog and more. Highlights include Phillip Boa’s thunderous mix of Do The Supernova, the dubbed up take on Space Junk by Reverend And The Makers, and Mark Lanegan’s brooding Dark Energy. If Brian Cox and Douglas Adams had formed a space-rock group, this is what it might have sounded like. Darryl Webber
Aaron Lee Tasjan –Silver Tears: Aaron Lee Tasjan’s second foray into the studio as a solo artist has produced a compelling and disarmingly funny album. Evoking Tom Petty and the satirical touch of Father John Misty.
Produced by Father John Misty bassist Eli Thompson, Silver Tears elevates Tasjan above the standard issue singer songwriter.
Little Movies, set to a trudging instrumentation, stands out, while 12 Bar Blues shows off Tasjan’s droll sense of humour and includes a tongue-in-cheek appeal for schools to teach poet Philip Levine.
Sonically, the album draws on every rock ‘n’ roll standard, but Tasjan’s strange lyrical quality boosts this beyond mere pastiche. Joe Evans
You Me at Six –Night People: Fans of You Me At Six have had to wait three years for this album, since the chart-busting Cavalier Youth back in 2014. Night People, Josh Franceschi and co’s fifth album, doesn’t quite match up to previous offerings though. The Surrey five-piece have ramped up the guitars, giving a heavier feel, and that’s no bad thing. But while this is chock-full of well-delivered pop rock, the songs aren’t quite there this time around. After the single Night People opens proceedings (and something with a bit more zip might have been a better start), there are a couple of highlights, with the rockier Plus One and Swear, but it descends into a bland collection of songs. Steve Crancher
Peerson – A Treatie of Humane Love: I Fagiolini, one of today’s leading vocal groups in the world of Renaissance music, is presently the Ensemble in Residence at York University. On this new release they are joined by the instruments of Fretwork in a programme of Motets and Chamber Music by the 17th century English composer, Martin Peerson, his influential place in the evolution of music only realised by recent research. This programme of 25 pieces published in 1630 becomes a major journey of discovery, validating his skill in creating a rich harmonic language. By modern standards he expresses love and desire in rather solemn garb, beauty of tone preferred to outgoing passion. Recorded in York’s National Centre for Early Music for the Regent label. David Denton