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Taylor Swift


The rise of Taylor Swift’s mercurial star continues to ascend and rightly so with this truly compelling release. ‘Red’ is the kind of album which throws out its pop (yes, pop) hooks from the off and instantaneously grabs the listener by the ears in a quite seductive spell. Despite some remnants of a country sound (‘All Too Well’ ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’), Taylor Swift has gambled with a (near complete) change in musical direction and it’s paying dividends as the opening indie-sounding ‘State Of Grace’ and radio-friendly ‘22’ testify. The supremely addictive ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ solidifies further  this new found direction as does the intriguing choice of duet with Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody on ‘The Last Time’. Without wishing Taylor Swift to completely ditch her country roots, one cannot help but feel genuinely moved by this change in direction, whilst not entirely original, as ‘Red’ is proving many doubters wrong.

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The World Explained

Big Boy Bloater & The Limits


Being on the road for any band can have its drawbacks, especially if you’re Big Boy Bloater. Clearly attesting to such difficulties is the feverish cocktail ‘Leonard Cohen’, as it conjures up a set of memories best forgotten of a tour from the depths of hell itself with only a ‘cheerful’ reminder of Mr Melancholy swinging into focus every now and then. Shimmering next into view is the precarious emotions of ‘Lifetime Money Back Guarantee’ followed by the superb yet longing ‘I Can’t Forget About You’. Clearing out the cupboards further is ‘Stop Dragging Me Back’ casting reflection on a musical past with a firm desire to leave it there. The instrumental ‘Black Sambuca’ showcases Bloater’s guitar wizardry, whereas ‘Insanely Happy’ is a double-edged sword of admission yet brings a twisted smile to the face nonetheless.

At times tearstained, and on other occasions irritated by certain constraints, ‘The World Explained’ is an honest and darkly humorous take on life’s predicaments.

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Family Tree

Eve Selis

Hippy Chick Twang

Eve Selis has really pulled out the trump card with ‘Family Tree’ as it is an album full of intimacy and rich in consistency. The gritty power of opener, ‘Power and Glue’ really states its intentions, and nicely succeeded with ‘Any Day’, which would grace any radio station’s playlist as it has ‘Hit’ single written all over it. The straight up country jaunt of, ‘When Is Everything Enough’ is a topical reminder of the current financial predicament told through the eyes of a love song. But it is the title track itself which really stirs emotionally, as it is a lump in the throat realisation of separation when the empty nest syndrome becomes a reality. It would seem that Eve Selis is at the peak of her powers as ‘Family Tree’ deserves to be a lasting success.

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