Albums: New music from Rag'n'Bone Man, Weezer, Iceage and Pink Floyd
RAG'N'BONE MAN – LIFE BY MISADVENTURE
RAG'n'Bone Man's new album sees the musician showcase his baritone voice in a collection of reflective songs. The album was written and recorded in Nashville, and the city's influences can be heard in the Brit Award-winner's latest release.
Life By Misadventure, however, lacks some of the punch of his more upbeat 2017 debut Human. All You Ever Wanted, one of the standout tracks on the album, is a bright spot and sees him combine his signature powerful vocals with catchy instrumentals.
Yet, other tracks feel slightly unimaginative compared to the singer's previous work. Anyway Away From Here, a collaboration with US singer P!nk, feels slightly pedestrian, while other tracks on the album lack some of the flare of Human.
Nevertheless, Rag'n'Bone Man, real name Rory Graham, is sure to delight his fans later in the year when he heads out on tour, thanks to his phenomenal voice and larger than life stage presence.
WEEZER – VAN WEEZER
ANOTHER curious experiment in a career increasingly filling up with them, Weezer's 80s metal album (its title a nod to Van Halen) at least falls closer on the fun scale to their fan-service cover of Toto's Africa than Rivers Cuomo's move to writing songs by rhyming spreadsheet.
The riffs certainly deliver, scaling Iron Maiden-esque heights in places and providing a satisfying crunch. Yet Cuomo's reedy delivery is far from a natural fit with this material – to say nothing of his dreadful quasi-rapping on All The Good Ones.
Blue Dream showcases the best of what the album does well but is equally indicative of its weaknesses, while She Needs Me is the purest "classic Weezer – but metal" cut and the closing ballad Precious Metal Girl emerges as the stand-out track.
PINK FLOYD – LIVE AT KNEBWORTH 1990
IN THE summer of 1990, Pink Floyd topped the bill at Knebworth in front of 120,000 fans for a charity concert organised by the Silver Clef Awards.
Featured on 2019's mammoth The Later Years boxset, now the live recording of that show is getting a stand-alone release, remixed by David Gilmour.
The band deliver polished versions of evergreen hits – The Great Gig In The Sky and Comfortably Numb among them, and still have time for a 10-minute plus version of Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5.
This being 1990, Roger Waters has already left the group: on stage, Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright are joined by a dozen or so touring band members, including the superb Candy Dulfer, whose saxophone elevates Money considerably.
This is the Floyd at their glossiest and best-rehearsed – a snapshot of a band leaning into their later years with gusto.
ICEAGE – SEEK SHELTER
ICEAGE have come a long way from the unbridled anger of their 2011 debut New Brigade. The Copenhagen punks have refined their fury into something classier, more intelligent but still raw.
Musically, Seek Shelter is their most complete album yet, synthesising frontman Elias Bender Ronnenfelt's haughty, cracked vocals with a surprising range of sounds. Opener Shelter Song fits the Madchester swagger of the Happy Mondays, the re-purposed soul of Primal Scream and the gospel of Spiritualized into its six minutes. Drink Rain is a jaunty love song that channels Django Reinhardt by way of The Libertines.
Seek Shelter was recorded with Peter Kember, aka Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3. This, plus addition of guitarist Casper Morilla Fernandez, gives the band a depth of sound missing on previous records, and what Seek Shelter lacks in songwriting, it makes up in ambition.
Another strong effort from the ever-evolving Iceage.