Album Reviews

TV On The Radio – Nine Types Of Light (Polydor B004NHRGQW) £13.99: Whether it be a cappella on their first EP, twisted techno-jazz on their debut album Desperate Youth or thundering post-rock on follow-up Return To Cookie Mountain, the New York quintet are close to trying it all. So what will their passionate fans make of Nine Types Of Light, when they realise TOTR have gone, well, a bit soft? Singer Tunde Adebimpe has turned his demented but soulful vocals for the first time to the subject of love. The album proves TOTR can be warm and uplifting – yet another string to their bow. Who knows where they’ll go next. JG.

Metronomy – The English Riviera (Because B004LSJC8I) £10.99: Joseph Mount, the composer and arranger behind Devon-based band Metronomy, has finally produced an album to match his undoubted talent. The English Riviera is quirky yet immediately appealing, opening to the sound of seagulls and crashing waves before segueing into the album’s best song, We Broke Free. Admittedly, vocals are not Mount’s strongest point but, no matter, it’s an intriguing listen and suggests Mount and his band could be on the verge of that all-important commercial breakthrough.KM

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Shostakovich – String Quartets (complete) (Auditw 21.411 (5CDs) £39.99: The Mandelring Quartet have the key to the door through which you will discover the real Shostakovich. From the inner peace of the First, through the conflict of war in the Third, to the highly-charged Eighth to the pain, anguish and sadness of the Fifteenth, no other recorded cycle passes through such vast mood changes so compellingly. The required harshness is here; there is an occasional glitch, but technically the playing oozes with virtuosity and the sound quality is excellent. Absolutely indispensable. DD

Debussy – La Mer/Jeux/Prelude (LSO Live LSO 0692) £9.99: From the shimmering picture of sea rippling over pebbles to the cataclysmic force of crashing waves, this has to be the most graphic picture of La Mer placed on disc. For conductor, Valery Gergiev, the London Symphony produce a display of detailed virtuosity, before moving to a whole spectrum of subtle sounds in the playful Jeux. The seductive flute of Gareth Davies opens the disc with Prelude a l’apres midi d’un faune. A demonstration in the art of orchestral recording. DD