The best albums of April 2019

1: The Chemical Brothers – No Geography

Rating: 9/10 – Read full review

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2: Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel

Rating: 8/10Read full review

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3: JAWS – The Ceiling

Rating: 7.5/10 – Read full review

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4: Priests – The Seduction Of Kansas

Rating: 7.5/10

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5: W. H. Lung – Incidental Music

Rating: 7.5/10

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6: Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Sacred Dreams

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

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7: Cowboy Flying Saucer– Travel Lodge

Rating: 7/10

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8: Ifriqiyya Electrique – Laylet El Booree

Rating: 7/10

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9: Lowly – Hifalutin

Rating: 7/10

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10: Various artists – For The Throne (Music Inspired by the HBO Series Game of Thrones)

Rating: 7/10Read full review

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26 April releases – Reviewed and rated

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation beat the not-too-stiff competition this week, while Game of Thrones pulled off yet anther of its trademark shockers by not producing a complete disaster of a pop album.

Spotify playlist at the bottom.

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Sacred Dreams

A psychadelic trip through the realms of electro-pop and lazy, hazy country blues desertscapes.

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

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Various Artists – For The Throne (Music Inspired by the HBO Series Game of Thrones)

A collection of pop tunes based on the smash TV series. Provides an absolute shocker by not being a complete disaster.

Rating: 7/10Read full review

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Otoboke Beaver – Itekoma Hits

Spiky Japanese girl-punk. It’s sometimes tricky to follow the thread of the tracks but satisfyingly aggressive at times.

Rating: 6.5/10

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The Cranberries – In The End

Emotional farewell from the band that carries many of the sounds that made them famous, but with a more mature and sombre edge.

Rating: 6.5/10

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Mammoth Penguins – There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win

Catchy indie-pop from this Cambridgeshire tiro, but the hooks and vocals fail to set the band apart from their many contemporaries.

Rating: 6.5/10

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Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky – Droneflower

Initally promising sparse and atmospheric folk-rock, but the album fails to kick on as hoped.

Rating: 6/10

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Catfish & The Bottlemen – The Balance

Radio-friendly indie rock, not unpleasant to listen to, but hardly inspiring.

Rating: 6/10

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Guided By Voices – Warp and Woof

24 songs in 37 minutes on this soft alt-rock album with the occasional hint of Bowie and country.

Rating: 6/10

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Bear’s Den – So that you might hear me

Bland indie-folk, heard it a thousand times before.

Rating: 5/10

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Here’s a playlist of all of the above if you want to listen to this week’s selected new releases.

Album review: Various artists – For The Throne (Music Inspired By The HBO Series Game Of Thrones)

For The Throne album cover

First things first – I really enjoyed ‘The Long Night’. [SPOILER ALERT] It might have been dark in places, surely that was the point, and it might have brought one major element of the story to an end sooner than many had expected but as a piece of event TV it was simply brilliant.

Right, back to the music. For The Throne is not a soundtrack featuring music from the series, rather a collection of songs from a range of artists that have taken elements of the series as their inspiration for tracks.

As musical rosters go, there’s quite a few well-known names on here, such as Mumford & Sons, Ellie Goulding, The National, SZA, and The Lumineers, to name but a few. Stylistically, the over-arching theme is pop in its many guises. Think of it as a ‘Now! That’s What I Call Game of Thrones‘ if you will.

With all that said, the potential for this to be disastrous is huge, but actually it’s carried off quite well. There are some good, atmospheric folky numbers such as opener Kingdom of One by Maren Morris, and Love Can Kill from Lennon Stella. This is interspersed with hip-hop and R&B pop from the likes of Ellie Goulding, SZA and the providers of the album’s standout track Chloe x Halle.

While never straying away from its poppy heart we do get some different styles in the form of some Gospel-pop similar to Rag ‘n Bone Man from X Ambassadors a bit of latino salsa from Rosalia and the faint whiff of rock from Lil Peep.

Regrettably there’s no ‘Hands of Gold’ as sung by Ed Sheeran from his universally panned cameo in season seven. To make up for it, they instead closed the album with Muse front man Matt Bellamy providing us with his usual bombast and over-earnestness while singing over a prayer in High Valaerian. We would expect nothing less.

It’s not an instant classic, but is enjoyable and as it largely stays away from laying on the GoT references too thickly, it can be enjoyed by most anyone. It’s also much shorter than an average episode so doesn’t outstay its welcome. Well worth a try if you like your pop and dragons.

Release date: 26 April 2019

Rating: 7/10

Standout track: Wolf at Your Door

For fans of:

  • Mumford & Sons
  • The National
  • SZA

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New Music Friday 26 April – The pick of the latest album releases

A few more items of interest here than last week. Really looking forward to the new one from Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation after being impressed by their performance at Mutations Festival earlier this year. There’s also an emotional release from The Cranberries, completed after the untimely death of lead singer Dolores O’Riordan. I’ve literally no idea what I’m going to make of the Game of Thrones-inspired collection of artists on For The Throne, but it may be good for a laugh. Hope Ed Sheeran‘s little ditty is on there.

Spotify playlist at the bottom.

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation – Sacred Dreams

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The Cranberries – In The End

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Various Artists – For The Throne (Music Inspired by the HBO Series Game of Thrones)

Listen on Spotify

Catfish & The Bottlemen – The Balance

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Otoboke Beaver – Itekoma Hits

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Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky – Droneflower

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Guided By Voices – Warp and Woof

Listen on Spotify

Mammoth Penguins – There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win

Listen on Spotify

Bear’s Den – So that you might hear me

Listen on Spotify

Here’s a playlist of all of the above if you want to listen to this week’s selected new releases.