Albums: The Go-Betweens, Liam Payne, Camila Cabello and Will Samson
G stands for Go-Betweens: The Go-Betweens Anthology Vol 2
THE Go-Betweens were an Australian band who released six albums in the 1980s and another three after reforming in the 2000s before one of their two songwriters, Grant McLennan died aged 48 in 2006.
The other songwriter, Robert Forster, has kept the band's legacy alive through the G Stands For Go-Betweens box sets. The second volume features 129 tracks over five LPs/CDs, concentrating on the second half of the 1980s – including their acclaimed albums Liberty Belle And The Black Diamond Express and 16 Lovers Lane. The latter includes the pop classic Streets Of Your Town which, despite BBC Radio 1 play, failed to chart.
For hardcore fans, there are b-sides, radio sessions, live tracks and 28 demos that have stayed in the vaults for 30 years, including the lost Forster classic I Love You, Still and McLennan's exceptional Haunted House.
If the band is new to you, start with a best of collection; if you already know them, you'll want this.
CAMILA Cabello is clearly a gooey-eyed young woman having the time of her life thanks to her high-profile (and sometimes queried) love affair with her Senorita co-star Shawn Mendes.
Her second album is playful and sexy and oozes the easy confidence of a musician who has really found her feet in the industry. Since leaving Fifth Harmony, Cuban-American singer Cabello (22) has nailed her chart-friendly sound, all tropical, Latin vibes coated with classic R&B, pop and dance elements.
On Romance, there are the fun and breezy singles that act as anchors for the album, such as Liar and Senorita, and then intriguing surprises such as the exciting Bad Kind of Butterflies, an almost opera-tinged track with a chunky beat and an aria-style falsetto throughout, and the reggaeton-infused My Oh My with rapper DaBaby.
Cabello has successfully blended genres to suit her, with a shade more cheekiness, style and elegance than most.
CREATED in the aftermath of using magic mushrooms to try to deal with mild PTSD triggered by grief following the sudden death of his father, Will Samson's fifth album is low-key and made for late-night headphones listening.
Not noticeably psychedelic, the eight subtle, glitchy tracks are as much moods as songs, with his gentle falsetto delicate vocals shrinking into the background on tracks such as the yearning closer, The Smallest Silver.
The album succeeds in its intention to evoke the experience of using flotation tanks, although I would be keen to see how he approaches recreating it when he tours next year.
This fragile music is likely to be appreciated by fans of James Blake, while his voice has been compared with Sufjan Stevens. Although it won't change the world, it does make it a better place.
THERE was a time Liam Payne was the frontrunner to become the Gary Barlow of One Direction – but Payne's solo career has taken him off in a different tangent.
With the release of his long-awaited debut solo record, the 26-year-old has somewhat missed the mark with this rather nondescript offering. It's not terrible by any means – each of the 17 songs is a fair effort – but the only real stand-out is single Strip That Down.
It's all a bit 'easy background listening', especially when compared to the releases from his former 1D cohorts Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik, each of whom has managed to nail a more successful solo sound.
Payne's album is a mish-mash of everything that seemed to have worked in the charts of the past decade, such as chilled R&B, rap, trap, Latin and ubiquitous Ed Sheeran-flavoured pop, but without the right amount of flair to make it really pack a punch.