Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
NERD : Maybe
Fashionable American people reinvent soft rock and get away with it...
It wouldn't be completely beyond the realms of probability to find out that MOR balladeer Billy Joel had a hand in this. After all, there's a tinkly piano, a smudge of rock guitar and a floating melody that dips in and out of each ear like some sort of confused bird intent on nibbling your brain. He didn't, of course, because Joel's The Uncoolest Person Ever and N.E.R.D are The Coolest People Ever, but the dividing line is incredibly thin (Lenny Kravitz is on guitar). It's another slice of fabulously odd, radio-friendly rock which, bearing in mind how famous N.E.R.D are for being R&B super-producers, is a huge middle-finger in the face of those who'd like to nail music down into easily marketable categories. A victory, then.
The Cavan teenagers attack album two with abandon, largely at the expense of quality
A still-vital John Lydon rages towards retirement on a saucy, scuzzy new album
10 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (26/8/2015)
Oxford's finest flit between gnarly rock and frustrating slickness on an often-brilliant fourth album