Album reviews: Chris Kamara, Tindersticks, Fall Out Boy and Graham Coxon
Here's to Christmas
WHEN I heard that Kammy was hot on the heels of a certain Mr Christmas (aka Buble) I was sceptical. In fact I may even have uttered "Unbelievable, Jeff!"
Put away your ideas of tacky, comedy and general seasonal tack. Pick up your lounge suit, Rat Pack longings and chilled out vibes. Chris Kamara has delivered a smooth, big band swing album that is pure class – and sounds, just like Kammy! And it works.
You will fight singing along to the classics Winter Wonderland, It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Frosty The Snowman and (the one track I was rather sceptical about) Santa Baby – I had no reason to be, it was just sublime.
The one down point? It's over far too soon! Lay down your misgivings and pick up your mulled wine and listen to the Christmas album you never knew you needed.
No Treasure But Hope
THREE years after their last studio album, Tindersticks return with a fine addition to their legacy. All the classic Tindersticks elements are present and correct, led by Stuart Staples' rumbling baritone, deeper than a politician's lies, with delicate piano, strings and brass filling out the sound.
It's not exactly party music, more an accompaniment to drinking whisky after midnight in a second-hand suit while the rain lashes against the window.
You could argue Tindersticks haven't changed much since they emerged in Nottingham at the dawn of the 90s, but I don't want to hear their new drill direction, or their Jazz Odyssey. This is timeless music, not nostalgia, with Take Care In Your Dreams and the title track up there with their best.
See My Girls seems to reference missing family while on tour, while the poignant The Old Man's Gait reflects on a son's relationship with his father.
Fall Out Boy
Believers Never Die Volume 2
A SEQUEL to their 2009 hits compilation, Believers Never Die Part 2 spans the band's work following their hiatus and return to music in 2012.
The 13-track compilation shows the band's growth that proudly displays the wide-ranging talents of this once pigeonholed group. Opening strongly with My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark, Patrick Stump's passionate vocals set the tone for an enjoyable and well-crafted album.
The track Young Volcanoes, taken from the 2013 album Save Rock And Roll, merges pop and rock with bouncy guitar in a perfect demonstration of Fall Out Boy's range.
These highlights are accompanied by two recently released singles and a third new single, Bob Dylan. While I've Been Waiting has a peppy mainstream feel, the second single Dear Future Self feels blander than its counterpart.
However, Bob Dylan certainly makes up for the loss as a smooth end to the talent-filled album which is a perfect introduction for new fans with its carefully selected highlights.
The End of The F***ing World 2: Original songs and score
CHANNEL 4's berserk and brilliant dark comedy drama The End Of The F***ing World is back for a second season – as is former Blur guitarist turned solo artist Graham Coxon to soundtrack teen runaways James and Alyssa's misadventures.
The paranoiac She Knows was unveiled ahead of the series landing on All4, while Coxon also hauntingly covered Billy Idol's White Wedding for the trailer (though it is sadly not included here).
The use of music in the show is striking, almost Tarantino-esque, though much of Coxon's score consists of haunting backdrops while music supervisor Matt Biffa does a lot of the heavy lifting with his incongruous, ingenious selections for key scenes: highlights include Fairport Convention's Who Knows Where The Time Goes and Chills And Fever by Jet Harris.
Coxon gets in on that act with the bizarre, folky Mash Potato in episode three and plays his part in a wonderful show, though the major contributions come from elsewhere.