Albums: Two Door Cinema Club, Hot Chip, Mark Ronson and Will Young
Two Door Cinema Club
THE Northern Ireland indie trio's fourth album leans further into the electronic stylings of its 2016 predecessor Gameshow, landing squarely in The 1975's wheelhouse.
Singles Talk and Satellite are two of the stronger offerings, particular the former's pulsating intro, while the rangy centrepiece Nice To See You deploys every trick up the band's sleeve – though could probably cope without guest rapper Open Mike Eagle.
The album's title, cover artwork (featuring the band themselves for the first time) and lyrics are heavily focused on technological anxieties and latest single Dirty Air cranks up the unease to its highest level, resembling The The with a rockier edge.
The album may not blow away the uninitiated and has not ended their wait for a chart single, but it is sure to please existing fans.
A Bath Full of Ecstasy
FESTIVAL season is upon us, and stage favourites Hot Chip are back with their melancholy yet joyous pop synth. Owen Clarke, Al Doyle, Joe Goddard, Felix Martin and Alexis Taylor have delivered their seventh studio album, A Bath Full of Ecstasy.
There is plenty of influence here from the 70s and 80s, hints of Depeche Mode, Prince and even a run reminiscent of mixtape favourite Tiffany's I Think We're Alone Now in the form of Spell (a jerky, rhythmic and foot tapping piece of magnificence).
Title track A Bath Full of Ecstasy that Hot Chip mix of falsetto bliss, vocoded lilts and production that has created a light, airy pop piece with heart.
Overall this album creates a deep breath sigh of relaxation, and delivers involuntary shoulder dancing and head bobbing as you lose yourself to the tempo and the heady euphoric Hungry Child is ready and waiting for your presence on the dance floor.
Late Night Feelings
A DEPARTURE in style from the unstoppable Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson shrugs off the upbeat in Late Night Feelings. The new album sidesteps late night euphoria to tell the story of early morning melancholy instead.
An all-female cast of vocalists (including Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys and King Princess) sing lyrics tinged with heartbreak born out of Ronson's recent divorce.
Anyone familiar with Swedish pop star Lykke Li will appreciate the choice to work with her for the album's title track and 2AM, as the sad-pop musician was the soundtrack to heartbreak way before Drake and The Weeknd started making people cry on the dance floor.
Why Hide sees Diana Gordon wallow in heartache for the sensual, R&B inspired number, while Spinning completely strips back for an ethereal finish to the 13-track album.
Late Night Feelings gives you exactly that: the combination of strong female vocals and a blend of funk and soul creates a powerful album with tracks bound to stand out individually.
WITH the release of a Will Young album, you can always be sure of one thing: the quality will never waver. The singer-songwriter has more than proved his worth as a viable, legitimate artist.
For this, his seventh record, Young allows a cast of other songwriters to contribute including the likes of singer-songwriter Tom Walker and his former collaborators Richard X, Jim Eliot and Mima Stilwell.
Kicking off with single All The Songs, a genuine cracker of a subtle dance-infused pop hit, to the smooth album closer The Way We Were, the record goes from strength to strength, taking the listener on a blissed-out journey through both uptempo and relaxing tracks. With an injection of effortless, almost Ibiza chill-esque stylings, particularly in the the songs My Love and Scars, Lexicon is perhaps one of the strongest albums of 2019 so far. It's not bombastic, it's not challenging, it's not experimental: it's just Will Young at his calm, measured, confident best.