February CD Reviews


Belle and SebastianBelle and Sebastian

Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance

Nine albums and nineteen years into their recording career, Belle and Sebastian have surprisingly changed their sound and released an album filled with electronic disco sounds. The baby hasn’t been thrown out with the bathwater though, their classic twee folky sound and clever lyrics remain. Lead single ‘The Party Anthem’ is a stomper, while ‘Enter Silvia Plath’ is an intriguing dance tune, other songs like ‘Nobody’s Empire’ and ‘Ever Had a Little Faith’ are more familiar sounding. Quality from start to finish. – Graeme Watson




Aphex TwinAphex Twin

Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments

After a 13 year hiatus, last year Aphex Twin released the acclaimed album Syro. Now just months later comes this shorter album that clocks in at just over 30 minutes. Filled with drums, cymbals and clunky piano this is a very different musical journey, but one that is just as interesting. ‘Piano Un10 it Happened’ is a gorgeous piano tune, while ‘Diskhat ALL Prepared1Mix 13’ is a funky number that retains a raw sound filled with so many intriguing sounds. If you really want to get into Aphex Twin he just put 110 older tracks up on Soundcloud.
Graeme Watson




misterandsunbirdMister & Sunbird

The Anatomy of Mister & Sunbird

The Perth based Swings/Blues/Latin extravaganza have entered 2015 with an album that delivers a creative package served as part book, part album broken down into different body parts. It as wonderful as it sounds. Chapter 1 (in both the small book/record) equals BONES, with ‘Rockin’ in the Soft Parade’ and ‘Girls don’t like Rhyme’ standing out as the two strongest tracks. Moving through chapters BLOOD, ORGANS, BRAIN AND BIRTH, the record finishes up with a Latin guitar instrumental that leaves you swooning. – Hope Wealcan



Bjork’s ninth solo album of her adult music career has been rush released after the tracks leaked online. Bjork is one of their artists who is consistently delivering high quality work but yet you find yourself thinking; ‘Do I need yet another Bjork’ album?’ The answer is an astounding yes! Bjork delivers a wonderfully interesting record. Filled with a symphony orchestra, clever beats and Bjork’s endlessly interesting voice. With several long tracks on the album, the longest is over 10 minutes, Bjork has been given the artistic freedom to really explore new territories. – Graeme Watson



My Brightest DiamondMy Brightest Diamond

This is My Hand

Starkly contrasting with Counting Crows, My Brightest Diamond kick starts the record with an instrumental that is pure bliss to the ears and leads to incredible vocals backed with a heavy bass that you wouldn’t expect to accompany such sultry tones. A surprise introduction to this artist has left me searching for more, that’s a successful record, right? There’s not one downfall to this well-produced album that blends musical components you wouldn’t expect to work. – Hope Wealcan




Cover-Maxence-Cyrin-Nocturnes-1024x935Maxence Cyrin

Nocturne (Solo Piano)

Cyrin first gained attention with his album ‘Modern Rhapsodies’ which saw him deliver classical versions of modern dance tracks. Cyrin’s own work is equally as beautiful. Opening up with the ‘A Tale from the Past’ a mellow and sparse piano work the tone is set for this largely laid back sounding album. The pace picks up on ‘China Club’ a sprightly number with a definite nod to traditional Chinese melodies. ‘In the Grey of the Night’ and ‘Frozen Palace’ quickly return the mood to more mellow territory. Closing track ‘It was a Very Good Year’ has an intricate melody. – Graeme Watson



Counting Crows

Counting Crows

Somewhere Under Wonderland

The latest record from the Counting Crows is a collection of uninspiring tracks that blend from one song to the next. The record starts with a long instrumental intro into a country style crooning that is irritating at best. Eight minutes of ‘Pallisades Park’ leads into ‘Earthquake Driver’, a song best suited at a tacky wedding reception once the elderly start getting up to dance. Two tracks start with vocal count in’s (aren’t they reserved for live sets?). The only good song is the final track ‘Possibility Days’, still not worth the wait.
Hope Wealcan



Diana KrallDiana Krall


Diana Krall has made a career out of delivering luscious versions of classic tunes. On this new record she takes on well-known songs from the ‘70s and ‘80s and the results are simply gorgeous. Krall drapes her sultry vocals over ‘California Dreaming’, as well as The Eagles’ ‘Desperado’, her take on The Carpenters’ ‘Superstar’ is a slow and hazy backed by a full orchestra – it’s heaven. Also on the menu well known songs from Crowded House, 10CC, Bob Dylan and Jim Croce. Most impressive is her take on Elton John’s ‘Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word’ – which strikes the perfect balance of melancholy and woe. – Graeme Watson

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