Justin Vernon’s third Bon Iver album is a weird and wonderful thing
Nelly Furtado : Whoa, Nelly!
Eclectic debut from eclectically-raised singer
Already huge in America, Portuguese by heritage and Canadian by birth, she uses her multi-cultural background for an easy eclecticism that takes in traditional female singer-songwriting alongside Latino,
R&B and gentle hip-hop. Accordingly - and blessed with model looks - she's already a
style mag's dream.
Whether she'll be a musical
one is more tricky. Which - as it's already on heavy rotation - makes her decision to call another song 'Shit On The Radio (Remember The Days)' just a little rich. Or it would be, if that song didn't prove Nelly has just enough alternative style to give it a backbone of R&B steeliness. Meanwhile, 'Baby Girl' is sweeter, with fiesta horns and an electro-smooth take on Destiny's Child's lyrical concerns. Opener 'Hey, Man!' sounds like The Sundays gone Mardi Gras crazy. Lord.
Allowing bonus points for successfully merging personal lyrics and shuffling beats
without once evoking lazy trip-hop, she still too often confuses blandness for adult sophistication.
There's enough here, however,
to suggest she could become
a less irritatingly prima donna
Jennifer Lopez, or an interesting, beat-driven Dido. All she need
do is refine her musical syntax.
With their bigger and better second album, London-based indie/dance band Boxed In have earned their breakout moment
Islamic mythology meets the horror of war in this claustrophobic, low-budget spine-tingler
California’s coolest lift their usual murk on a free-spirited, adventurous third album at odds with its ‘mature’ description
The New York new wave reprobates’ debut delivers instant gratification via boisterous choruses and loveable melodies