Classic sounds

HOT SOUNDS: Latest CD reviews including the new album by The Charlatans. . Picture credit: PA Photo/Handout.HOT SOUNDS: Latest CD reviews including the new album by The Charlatans. . Picture credit: PA Photo/Handout.
HOT SOUNDS: Latest CD reviews including the new album by The Charlatans. . Picture credit: PA Photo/Handout.
We take a look at all the latest new releases including The Charlatans best ever album?

The Charlatans – Different Days: Different Days is the 13th album from The Charlatans. Paul Weller, Sharon Horgan, Ian Rankin, Kurt Wagner are just a few of the names amongst a daunting list of contributors. Johnny Marr plays on three songs, the best being single, Plastic Machinery, a pulsing, Faces-esque stomper. It would be easy to see how so many contributors could cause the album to lose focus, but there is a freshness and confidence throughout. It is difficult to think of any band 10 years into their career who could produce something as relevant and vital as this, never mind a band who formed 27 years ago. Where most of their contemporaries rely on past glories, The Charlatans continue to confound expectations by producing their best material late in their career. Colm McRory

The Amazons – The Amazons: The Amazons’ debut album opens with the rip-roaring Stay With Me, and you’ll definitely want to stay with them until track four, where things get shaken up with the booming anthem Junk Food Forever. The album is full of heady choruses and exciting riffs, and the oddly familiar and authoritative vocals of lead singer Matt Thompson. It’s fair to say this rock band from Reading, included in the BBC’s Sound of 2017 list having, have a formula. But it works for their sound, heavily influenced by the Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood and Rage Against The Machine among many others. Some of the tracks blend into one another, but it’s a record that flows and keeps you entertained right through to the closing track, a ballad called Palace, slowing things down just at the right moment. Lucy Mapstone

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Justin Townes Earle – Kids in the Street: On Kids In The Street, Earle displays a growing confidence - songs that urge you to take a step back from Spotify playlists and smartphones and instead immerse yourself in the tales. There’s a mix of old fashioned country balladry with a penchant for idle genre-hopping that brings to mind Ryan Adams or, yes, his old man country legend Steve Earlie. But the jumps are never jarring. Lead single Champagne Corolla plays semi-sardonically on the Americana ‘kids and cars’ trope. Maybe A Movement has a pleasant light glow to it, and standout title track Kids In The Street is a rootsy tour de force, a bittersweet reflection on his youth which considers the the impact of economic “progress” on the humble suburbs – Springsteen for the 21st century. Stephen Jones

Guy Wampa & Justin Percival – Ammut: Yorkshire-based electronic duo Guy Wampa & Justin Percival’s second LP Ammut, is a soulful, yet industrial pop soundscape. The overall feeling from this conceptual piece is carried by a rich and silky voice dripping with melancholy. Divide And Conquer has an undertone of a person trapped in a half-life. Each track takes you on a journey, seamlessly running into the next. The bleakness of Guy Wampa’s background juxtaposed with the hopeful voice of Justin Percival.As Remember These Words fades into Reflex it is almost like the middle act of a fairytale, where the hero is entering the enchanted forest. Voices of the past and sharp thorns tearing at their body. For The Talkers is much more hopeful and the round bass sound bouncy and lively. Rachel Howdle

Tenebrae – Music of the Spheres: Twenty tracks of British Part Songs from composers as diverse as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Bob Chilcott, sung by the chamber choral group, Tenebrae, conducted by Nigel Short. The poems speak of pastoral scenes in Elgar’s There is Sweet Music, Stanford’s The Blue Bird and Jonathan Harvey’s Song of June, and of the utter sadness of death in Judith Bingham’s The Drowned Lovers. 
They are here performed in such a pure beauty of sound that Tenebrae produce throughout the disc it does at times rather overrides the nature of the song they are singing, and makes it difficult for them to express the words. The recording on the Bene Arte label has been made in the over resonant All Hallow’s Church in London. David Denton