ALBUMS REVIEWS

Smoke Fairies - 'Wild Winter'

Smoke Fairies - 'Wild Winter'

For Smoke Fairies, winter is a part of the year that “will always be bittersweet and wild”. ‘Wild Winter’ is a Christmas album, but one that reflects on loneliness. ‘Christmas Without A Kiss’ is a deflated opener, a slow surge of...

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NME RATING

7/10

Los Campesinos! - 'A Los Campesinos! Christmas'

Los Campesinos! - 'A Los Campesinos! Christmas'

Nowadays, the one-off seasonal hit is a closed shop; indie bands after the kind of Christmas bonus Wizzard got in 1973 with ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ must be inventive. Comprising six tracks including reworked ’70s classics and...

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NME RATING

7/10

Mark Kozelek - 'Sings Christmas Carols'

Mark Kozelek - 'Sings Christmas Carols'

And so this is Christmas, and what has Mark Kozelek done? If you’ve kept abreast of the 47-year old’s antics this year – he dismissed an audience in North Carolina as “fucking hillbillies” and started a beef with The War On Drugs by...

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NME RATING

7/10

D'Angelo And The Vanguard - 'Black Messiah'

D'Angelo And The Vanguard - 'Black Messiah'

Since the turn of the century, when he reinvented soul music with his second album, 2000’s 'Voodoo', all we've heard from D'Angelo were rumours: drugs and drink, car crashes and rehab, but - a couple of controversial leaks aside - no new music....

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NME RATING

9/10

Nicki Minaj - 'The Pinkprint'

Nicki Minaj - 'The Pinkprint'

What to make of Nicki Minaj. The 32-year-old banged on the door of hip-hop’s boys club with explosive second mixtape ‘Sucka Free’ in 2008. In 2010, she kicked it clean off its hinges with the raging, electric ‘Pink Friday’, a debut album...

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NME RATING

5/10

Kid Astray - 'Back To The Ordinary' EP

Kid Astray - 'Back To The Ordinary' EP

In lead vocalist/pianist Benjamin Giørtz and singer/synth player Elizabeth Wu, Norwegian pop band Kid Astray count a junior golf champion and a prodigious young pianist among their number. But the sextet’s music isn’t nearly as interesting as...

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NME RATING

4/10

She & Him - 'Classics'

She & Him - 'Classics'

This is the fifth album from New Girl star Zooey Deschanel and Portland songwriter/guitarist M Ward. She & Him’s earlier records, ‘Volume 1’, ‘Volume 2’ and ‘Volume 3’, positioned original compositions alongside carefully chosen...

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NME RATING

5/10

Trash Kit - 'Confidence'

Trash Kit - 'Confidence'

Trash Kit have taken over four years to release this follow-up to their self-titled debut album. That might be cause for alarm if they were at all concerned with exploiting the hype cycle. Cheerfully, they’re not: they’re three London-based...

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NME RATING

7/10

Krill - 'Lucky Leaves'

Krill - 'Lucky Leaves'

If grungy Boston trio Krill prove anything on their debut album – originally out in the US in 2013 and getting a catch-up release over here ahead of a new record next year – it’s that more bands should write their own theme tunes. Opener...

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NME RATING

8/10

Various Artists - 'Shady XV'

Various Artists - 'Shady XV'

In its 15-year existence, Eminem’s Shady Records has enjoyed some monstrous successes (50 Cent), missed some golden opportunities (Detroit talent Obie Trice quit the label in 2008) and housed its share of dross (D12’s ‘Bane’ functions here...

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NME RATING

5/10

 
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