New music from Neneh Cherry, Paul Simon and Total Giovanni

Paul Simon
In the Blue Light
★ ★

This ten-track album culminates the closing chapter on singer-songwriter Paul Simon’s amazing career and accomplishments. Taking lesser known songs from his post-Garfunkel days he has re-orchestrated every song adding to the mix West African rhythms/chamber music/Dixieland with more than a dash of smoky jazz elements. At 77, Simon’s voice is still up to the task but for me the album falls flat with a little too much collision of these musical elements. – Terry Larder



Neneh Cherry
Broken Politics
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

She’s been making music for almost four decades but this only Neneh Cherry’s fifth solo album. Featuring production from Four Tet and contributions from Massive Attack’s 3D, this is a sophisticated and personal album. In the 80’s Cherry was full of bravado and sass, now we find a woman, a mother, reflecting on the world around her with songs about gun violence, immigration and demanding respect. A beautiful record that you can daydream along to. – Graeme Watson



Fresh Tracks

Chic featuring Lady Gaga – I Want Your Love The Mother Monster teams up with the biggest disco band in the world Kurt Vile – Bassackwards chilled out and slightly twisted, this is a new sound from Kurt Vile Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers – Apocalypse Now (and Later) sounds like ‘90s grunge, not a bad thing Julia Holter – I Shall Love 2 intriguingly interesting Holter’s beautiful voice is backed by an orchestra of weirdness Vikingur Olafsson – For Johan subtle and beautiful piano Thom York – Suspirium new tune from Radiohead frontman Goldie, James Davidson and Subjective – Inkolelo luscious mix of world music and electronic sounds Georgi Kay – Toxins sweet track from the singer’s long awaited debut album Take That – Pray (Odyssey Version) British boy band celebrates 30th anniversary with laidback version of one of their big hits David Bowie – Zeroes 2018 Bowie’s unappreciated 80’s album Never Let Me Down is being re-released with a new mix including strings by Nico Muhly, dive in and listen again John Grant – He’s Got His Mother’s Hips oh it’s glorious  

Total Giovanni
★ ★

This Melbourne band have sometimes sounded like a cross between Talking Heads and Arthur Russell, but on this album they retain an 80’s aesthetic while sounding very Australian so it actually sounds more like The Venetians crossed with Electric Pandas. They put out some great singles a few years ago but this collection really lacks bite, it was six tracks in before things got interesting, and then it immediately got boring again. If you want to hear some jazz influenced vocal electro just go put on a Blue Nile album. Graeme Watson