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King Creosote From Scotland with love

From Scotland With Love is Kenny Anderson’s first full release since Diamond Mine, the Mercury nominated collaboration with Jon Hopkins. Of course, with a discography littered with CDRs, re-recordings and limited vinyl only releases, the story is not that simple. Tis is a collaboration between Anderson, film director Virginia Heath and film producer Grant Keir, described as an "audio- accompaniment" to a film of the same name to be released to coincide with the Commonwealth Games. Unlike most soundtracks, this works as a stand-alone album. Most of the tracks follow the KC template of Anderson’s rich-but-fragile voice over a modern take on Scottish trad/folk. Te backing is both more muscular and more sympathetic than previous KC releases and this does take some trips into the leftfield. Stand-out track Large is rollicking gypsy- folk-jazz, like a Scottish Gogol Bordello. Both Miserable Stranger and For One Night Only hint at James. Disturbingly, the school yard chanting in Bluebell, Cockleshell, 123 resembles B'Witched's Boy In Te Tree but, more disturbing still, is a damned find tune despite that. In the year of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the independence referendum, this is a well worked and moving tribute to Scotland that deserves success.

Manic Street Preachers Futurology

Te Manics burst out of Wales in the late 80s in a storm of eye-liner, vitriol and an aggressive self-belief, all Gn'R channelling the Clash. Since then there has been hits, tragedy and bigger hits. Twelfth album Futurology, released ten months after Rewind Te Film, heads in a new direction, the band raiding their early eighties record collection. Walk Me To Te Bridge channels New Gold Dream era Simple Minds. Let's Go To War is Blancmange with guitars. Lyrically self-critical Te Next Jet To Leave Moscow could be U2 stripped free of Bono’s proselytising. Sex Power Love and Money takes the chorus from You Love Us, a verse that incongruously but effectively mixes Wham! Rap, Jesus Jones and the Alarm and a Tin Lizzy style guitar solo. Instrumental Dreaming A City recalls forgotten pop-gothsters Balaam & Te Angel. Deviating from the eighties template, Black Square goes sixties and brings to mind a slowed down (Tere’s) Always Something Tere To Remind Me. Troughout, Stranglers style synths bubble away and there are hints of Soft Cell, Visage and Ultravox. Tankfully, this avoids being an eighties pastiche, thanks to a modern sound that eschews the worst excesses of that decade's production jobs. Overall, a good but not great album.

Sebestien Tellier L’Aventura

Oh Sebestien, with your flowing locks, French accent and unusual Eurovision entry, you are a romantic dream. Te cover for this, his sixth album, is reflective of his fantastical, colourful world and the perfect picture to draw all these magnificent songs together. Tis self produced, ten track album is a thing of summer bliss, of sunshine and bare feet, of laughing gaily with friends as you drink Gallic beers. It’s influenced heavily by Brazilian tones and he sings mostly in his native French but with the odd English and Italian phrases. Overall, it’s a massively happy album that’s full of light, with all sorts of unidentifiable instruments becoming involved, alongside Sebastien’s rather Jarvis Cockeresque voice. Tere’s the funky Ambiance Rio which features keyboard sounds straight from John Shuttleworth, Love, which is pure romance, Ricky l’Adolescent which you can’t sit still to, and the laid back L’enfant Vert. It’s all very lovely, and complex, whilst appearing to be so easily done. Sebastien! You’re going from strength to strength!




42 / July 2014/

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