On her third album, the former Nickelodeon star sheds the cute popstar image, adopting a message of empowerment that rings true
'Tough-as-old-boots, postmodern and ugly-beautiful': that'll be the epitaph for Middlesex trio [B]The Bitter Springs[/B] when they finally put these endearingly quaint nu-folk strumalongs to rest....
It's 'Five Die...''s brittle, earthy simplicity and oblique meanings that will win hearts. It's an album that bellows heartily in favour of strings, accordions and pianos with a gentle, old-school pop oddness, but which has no truck at all with the notion of playing faster than a panting tortoise.
Or maybe it's the spicks and specks of other people's tunes that will draw people to their souls. 'Simple Life' is Stephen Jones singing the songs of The Divine Comedy. Meanwhile 'A Good Provider' apes Bacharach's 'I'll Never Fall In Love Again' and melds it to a tune equally as 'easy listening'. Elsewhere you might think James, The Velvet Underground, Julian Cope and - yup - Chicory Tip.
But all done in the best possible taste, you understand.
A smarter and more mature film than the first Bad Neighbours, albeit one that still loves a good dick joke
A satisfying return to Verve form that’s also a churning maelstrom of death, riots, revolution, terrorism and two-faced politicians
Oscar Scheller’s been compared to Blur and Elastica, and that sounds about right
Medium-sized guests and the vibey sounds of tropical house combine on an album that's not quite euphoric