The best albums of January 2019

January’s normally quite a slow month in terms of new releases, but there were some great albums making their debut. Here’s my view on the best of the month – and a playlist to boot!

1: The Twilight Sad – It Won/t Be Like This All The Time

Rating: 8.5/10 – Read full review

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2: Julia Kent – Temporal

Rating: 8/10Read full review

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3: Lorelle Meets The Obselete – De Facto

Rating: 8/10 – Read full review

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4: Nils Frahm – Encores 2 (EP)

Rating: 8/10Read full review

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5: Rat Boy – Internationally Unknown

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

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6: Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow

Rating: 7/10 – Read full review

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7: Buke & Gase – Scholars

Rating: 7/10

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8: Balthazar – Fever

Rating: 7/10

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9: Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis

Rating: 7/10

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10: Bring Me The Horizon – Amo

Rating: 7/10

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New releases Friday 25 Jan – Reviewed and rated

Here’s my view on what were the best albums released last Friday 25th January. I’ve reviewed the top three if you want to discover more about the albums before listening. Links below. There’s also a Spotify sample playlist so you can get a feel for the artists.

Julia Kent – Temporal

Rating: 8/10Read full review

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Nils Frahm – Encores 2 (EP)

Rating: 8/10Read full review

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Rat Boy – Internationally Unknown

Rating: 7.5/10Read full review

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Balthazar – Fever

Rating: 7/10

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Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis

Rating: 7/10

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Bring Me The Horizon – Amo

Rating: 7/10

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The Beat feat. Ranking Rodger – Public Confidential

Rating: 6.5/10

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Gum Takes Tooth – Arrow

Rating: 6.5/10

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Toy – Happy In The Hollow

Rating: 6/10

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Mike Krol – Power Chords

Rating: 6/10

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Swervedriver – Future Ruins

Rating: 5.5/10

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The Dandy Warhols – Why You So Crazy

Rating: 5.5/10

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Nicola Cruz – Siku

Rating: 5/10

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Album review: Rat Boy – Internationally Unknown

Rat Boy - Internationally Unknown album cover

Chelmsford born Jordan Cardy, A.K.A. Rat Boy, has pulled off quite a trick with Internationally Unknown, merging pop, punk, rap, reggae, dance, dub and ska into a feast of infectious tunes.

Chip on My Shoulder launches us into the album headfirst and screaming, a raucous punk effort that will have you bouncing around. There are a fair few all-out pop-punk episodes peppered across the album including I Wanna Skate, Dad’s Crashed Car and So What, which are tremendously enjoyable tributes to Green Day et al. But it’s when Rat Boy pulls in other elements that the album gets really interesting.

My Name Is Rat Boy takes a trip around Reggae, Ska and Dub while Rat Boy raps almost as energetically as he plays trashy guitars. Night Creature, is a slower Reggae track that throws in a bit of Dubstep to boot.

There are influence flying in from all over the place, from The Clash and The Sex Pistols, to Fatboy Slim, The Specials, De La Soul, Sisters of Mercy and Rage Against The Machine. Despite all that, Rat Boy manages to pull them all together into coherent and hugely enjoyable pop numbers.

Internationally Unknown is undoubtedly a pop album at its heart, drawing on the tried and tested ‘Ode to disaffected youth’ formula. However, I get the feeling that it’s a pop album that arrived a couple of decades too late.

It’s most certainly worth half an hour of your time, but with so many throwback influences it may struggle to land with a younger audience. Perhaps Rat Boy is a boy out of time.

Release date: 25 January 2019

Rating: 7.5/10

Standout track: My Name Is Rat Boy

For fans of:

  • Green Day
  • The Specials
  • Fatboy Slim

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New Music Friday 25 Jan – What to listen to

Things are really stepping up this Friday with a glut of new releases to plough through. There’s a new EP from Nils Frahm to look forward to, some loud guitars from the likes of Bring Me The Horizon and Mike Krol, and the return on classic ska ban The Beat. Even the new Dandy Warhols album sounds promising.

It’s going to be a busy week…

Nils Frahm – Encores 2 (EP)

Swervedriver – Future Ruins

Julia Kent – Temporal

The Beat feat. Ranking Rodger – Public Confidential

Bring Me The Horizon – Amo

Mike Krol – Power Chords

Balthazar – Fever

The Dandy Warhols – Why You So Crazy

Nicola Cruz – Siku

Rat Boy – Internationally Unknown

Toy – Happy In The Hollow

Gum Takes Tooth – Arrow

Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis