Album of the Fortnight
Live from the Royal Albert Hall
In their accomplished first live compilation, Las Vegas boys The Killers are enthralling. Since achieving mainstream success in 2004 with the now classic ‘Mr Brightside’, the multi-platinum quartet have had an expansive career. In July 2009, this killer act joined the greats who have performed a live set in the majestic surroundings of the renowned 138-year-old venue in London.
This impressive compilation encapsulates the band’s successes to date. The definitive frontman, Brandon Flowers, captivates his audience from start to finish as he delivers favourites such as ‘Somebody Told Me’, ‘When You Were Young’ and the more recent hit ‘Human’.
In a nutshell: With copious extras including bonus festival footage, an essential fix for avid fans.
Zoey Van Goey
The Cage Was Unlocked All Along
A tender folk-pop ballad belied by a morose postmodern paranoia; a quaint and carefree musical jaunt telling tale of a comic book Armageddon… this is an album with a bi-polar personality.
Having met in Glasgow, but coming from Ireland, England and Canada, the commonwealth collaboration that is Zoey Van Goey should snuggle in nicely somewhere in the vicinity of Josh Ritter, Adrian Crowley, and Beth Orton on the musical scale.
Expect no major spikes to the cardiogram; it’s a steady line in quirky and understated down home tunes with some Indie sensibilities and a dark mournful heart.
In a Nutshell: Definitely more moccasins than Converse.
This is definitely an album for people who have just started listening to rock music.
This 16-track record of the greatest Foo will be familiar to hardcore fans, but for the rest of us, the biggest ‘hit’ was likely ‘Learn to Fly’.
The album’s three unreleased tracks – ‘Wheels’, ‘Word Forward’, and an acoustic ‘Everlong’ – sound better than the hits themselves, and the compilation as a whole has a very depressed, teenage feel to it.
This album, sadly, is for the beginners of rock, diehard Foo fans, and depressed teens (or just for the depressed).
In a Nutshell: The ‘Greatest Hits’ are not so great after all.
JLS’ self-titled debut is exactly what you’d expect from a boyband that took second place on The X Factor. These guys carefully follow Simon Cowell’s patented recipe for “great music”: Take some insipid knacker dance beats for the fast songs like ‘Beat Again’, add a sprinkling of ooey-gooey piano solos and guitar riffs for the sad songs like ‘Crazy For You’, et voila! Thirteen fairly inoffensive but disposable pop tracks.
The lyrics are good for a laugh though: “I need you back in my arms, I need love CPR” is just one manifestation of the poetic genius lurking beneath the band’s shiny photoshopped surface.
In a nutshell: An overproduced, underwhelming attempt to appeal to the prepubescent schoolgirls and housewives of working-class Britain.
The first and most striking thing about relative newcomers Canterbury is how stunningly accomplished their debut full-length is – synthesisers, crude guitars and earnest vocals collide in a groove-laden, infectious collection bound by precocious aplomb. The band execute their diversely pitched songs with style and flair, working their way brilliantly through hardcore, nu-rave, and a lighter shade of indie rock.
Dazzling opener ‘Peace and Quiet’ sparks interest immediately, a focus kept firmly in check throughout the album by poised instrumentation and exuberant vocal styling. As exhilarating numbers such as ‘11’, ‘12’ and ‘Set You Right’ whip by gleefully, it’s hard to believe such a young group could pull off as diverse and layered an album with such dexterity. The band’s potential earmarks them as a rare delight, one that will hopefully find as wide an audience as possible.
In a Nutshell: Youthful lyrical enthusiasm set to rock and rave dance floor anthems. Bopping guaranteed.