Jamie T’s second album in two years is a punk, rap, pop and hardcore tour de force
Cypress Hill IV
Like a tub of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, 'Behind The Front' is karma-friendly, a bit goofy and made by hippies. And it can induce a headache....
LA hip-hop trio Black Eyed Peas present an alternative to the bucks'n'bitches bravado of their rap contemporaries: "We don't use dollars to represent/We just use our innocence and talent" - that's them. Expressed upfront and soundtracked by sharp beats and the jazzy purr of guitars it can prove a refreshing testimonial. But too often this wilfully separatist stance leads to lyrical vapidity and musical blandness, as in 'The Way You Make Me Feel', which is as tongue-in-ear cringy as its title suggests. The glut of preachy aphorisms wailed by numerous interchangeable guest vocalists is enough to give anyone a bastard behind the eyes.
If those too-tasteful R&B workouts are used to prove that the Peas can do Babyface and A Tribe Called Quest, ultimately it's a show of ersatz sophistication that weakens the impact of more challenging grooves. 'Que Dices?' is spooky in a Fagin-from-Oliver Twist style, all skulking beats and oppressive vocals. 'Be Free', with its electro rhythm and '80s arcade-machine sound effects, is like the theme tune to a hip-hop version of Tron. It's a shame, then, that this inspired mix-up of styles is spread too thinly over an excessive 70 minutes.
No funky cold Medina, then. But not quite cheesy Peas, either.
Character studies and ready melodies abound in the latest record by the Oxford quartet
A battle-like record where fear and dread rule
Another gripping Pedro Almodóvar mystery, full of vibrant visuals and emotional revelations
The Californian succeeds, once again, in exposing the ugliness of mankind. It’ll get under your skin