**PIC Blur-endorsed Icelandic duo move from techno to post-punk on an itchy claustrophobic debut
Album of the year so far.
Hence 'Country Grammar', slurred and slow and damn proud of it. Nelly is legit and eased between Cedric The Entertainer's dumb-ass yokel 'Intro' and 'Outro' is the year's dreamiest new hip-hop discovery. Nelly takes Tupac's sensitive use of soulbro' history, wacks in some of that good ol' Ruff Ryders rumpus, rolls it together with a pinch of pungent Cypress Hill and exhales it cool, clear and original.
A rarity for a rap album - make that any album - there's no waste on 'Country Grammar', no fillers or bummers. The whole deal just cruises. 'Ride Wit Me' is glorious, streamlined on DeBarge and easily the most seductive rap/pop crossover since Tupac's 'California Love'. 'Luven Me' also tips respect to Shakur, a sweet virtual rewrite of the deceased's 'Dear Mama', while 'Wrap Sumden' is a riotous weed anthem, Nelly so high, he can hardly be arsed to finish his lines. 'Batter Up' is like DMX with a humour infusion, a bold, barking claim to the big league, 'Utha Side' is like feline and focused Prince before he went bonkers and traded in songs for jams, and 'EI' is just one big-up whoop of testosterone.
Little wonder, then, that the A&R machine is currently cruising the St Louis environs for more where this came from. They won't find it, of course. This one's one in a million; pure gold. Album of the year so far.
The Californian garage king's T Rex covers album shows his melodic muscle
Johnny Depp plays a monstrous Boston gangster in a disguise so unsettling you’ll struggle to recognise him
An EP dedicated to victims of the Paris attacks shows the Foos are on defiant form
The Radiohead guitarist explores traditional Indian music, with mostly impressive results