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Rodrigo y Gabriela (Rubyworks)

It’s simply that there’s not really all that much here.

thing is, Rodrigo y Gabriela have released loads of music. This is their fourth live release – with just 2 studio albums’ worth of material to support it. It’s not like that particularly matters, though, because frankly it’s hard to tell one song from another. Sure, it’s all perfectly adequate, pleasant music for a hot day sipping cerveza on the hacienda, but it’s never really much more than that. This set comes without even one of the duo’s fun covers of Metallica or Led Zeppelin, previously the highlights of their work. Come to think of it, I’d readily buy a Rodrigo y Gabriela set of just cover versions. Of course, anyone who bought and enjoyed previous Rodrigo y Gabriela releases is fairly likely to enjoy this also, and it’s not like there isn’t a certain thrill in the intricate arrangements. It’s simply that there’s not really all that much here.Christian Robshaw

T Lamb – Five (Strata) N

ow, kids – and I’m aware of how unbearably patronising that us, much like a twinset and pearls – way before James Blake produced some music that had more than a millibeat of space between noises, that was proudly loose; music that didn’t shove sirens, klaxons or any number of ‘RidinWivthaBigDog’ samples squeezed into a very regular 4/4 tempo, it was done by Lamb. The band that essentially comprises the haunting vocals of Lou Rhodes and the scatty programming of Andy Barlow had sustained success 15 years ago, when Trip Hop was a music genre and sounded less of an athletic event. Voice and beat were never scared of being at odds with each other, and you’d find yourself crawling manically after both. Their disbanding was a loss to the British electronic scene, but after subtly approaching solo careers, they’re back together, with ‘Five’. I’m no historian, but the pleasure at indulging in that angular ice sculpture that they sonically create is given to me from track 1. It sinister and ethereal, and even manages to bag Damien Rice for an inspired duet. This is Lamb –for fans of Lamb. Emma Garwood

hose who crave disappointment could do worse than see the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean, but one of the more enjoyable parts – after every part of Penélope Cruz – is Rodrigo y Gabriela’s

work on the score, which is bound to bring them a few new fans who missed them in 2006. The

It’s sinister and ethereal,

and even manages to bag Damien Rice

for an inspired duet.

Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm (Dirty Hit Ltd)


These songs could be easily heard on TV adverts, or as part of a reality show.

36 /July 2011/

t just 21, Ben Leftwich is doing pretty well for himself, supporting Noah and the Whale, appearing at Glastonbury and playing on Dermot O’Leary’s Live Sessions. Having taught himself how to play

guitar as a teenager, and following a childhood listening to the Rolling Stones, Nina Simone and

Bob Dylan, Ben has had two EP’s out previously, A Million Miles Out in 2010, and Pictures from earlier this year. In this, his debut album with its ten sweet songs, Ben gives us a bouquet of gentleness. His music is often quite saccharine sweet, particularly lyrically, but his playing is second to none. Deft and confident, although not the most innovative singer songwriter I have ever heard, he is certainly not the worst. These songs could easily be heard on TV adverts, or as part of a reality’s that kind of competant, acoustic sound. Stand out track by far is the first track, Pictures, which is a real heartwarmer. This would be ideal for you if you like a more mainstream Bon Iver-sound or a more ‘indie’ James Blunt. Wow, never thought I’d use those two names together in one sentence... Lizz

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