Arts

Albums: New music from Michael Buble, Walt Disco, Tempers and Confidence Man

Michael Buble – Higher

MICHAEL BUBLE – HIGHER

ALTHOUGH his dulcet tones throw you back to the era of Frank Sinatra, this album also has a touch of modern pop, particularly in Barry White's You're The First, The Last, My Everything.

Of the 13 tracks on this album, just three are original songs showcasing the jazz singer's songwriting skills, which are often overlooked in favour of covers.

The opening number, I'll Never Not Love You is a love anthem tailor made for a Hollywood rom-com, in contrast with Higher which feels as though it could accompany an Argentine Tango, while Mother is a slow and emotional piece.

The album is a star-studded ensemble, featuring country legend Willie Nelson's grizzled voice in a duet of Crazy.

It closes with Charlie Chaplin's classic Smile, a gospel choir elevating it to new heights.

Buble gives a fresh take on timeless classics, but the original songs are so good you cannot help but crave more.

Rating: 4/5

WALT DISCO – UNLEARNING

DRESSING for an evening at the Blitz Club in 1981, Walt Disco also take musical inspiration from melodramatic New Romantic styles.

First track Weightless piles on the beats and synths, lead single Selfish Lover adds that 80s staple, slap bass, and the apocalyptic Cut Your Hair has the scratchy guitar used by the likes of Orange Juice.

On tracks like Timeline and Be An Actor, frontperson James's singing is reminiscent of Billy Mackenzie of the Associates. Queen are another key influence, with a tendency to throw the kitchen sink in if there's one handy, while the vocals occasionally veer towards the operatic.

There are earworm tunes like Selfish Lover and My Dear, lyrical themes of discovery and heartbreak between queer people and the idea that it is never too late to become what you might have been.

Walt Disco could go anywhere from this promising start.

Rating: 4/5

TEMPERS – MULTITUDES

NEW York duo Jasmine Golestaneh and Eddie Cooper's new album features the half-whispered vocals and monochrome new wave melodies that are very much in vogue at the moment.

Their chosen topic is also relevant: these songs explore our coping mechanisms in a world experiencing an apparently ongoing state of crisis.

Their take on moody synth-pop is not groundbreaking, but is delivered with enough class to stick.

The title track has a strange pulsating groove that owes something to the more ominous side of house music. Meanwhile, her spoken word piece on It Falls Into You evokes the healing power of nature against a bleeping techno backdrop.

Secrets And Lies manages to be simultaneous louche and vulnerable, with a tasteful one-tone guitar solo that would please the late Lou Reed.

Even at their most energetic, Golestaneh and Cooper sound like they are playing in slow motion, such is the languid vibe they bring to this record.

Rating: 3/5

CONFIDENCE MAN – TILT

AUSSIE indie electro pop band Confidence Man return with a follow-up packed full of dance tracks with nods to house, disco and funk.

The album opens with single Woman, which, along with its house vibes, ultimately belongs on the dancefloor.

Feels Like A Different Thing takes influence from the 90s with drum and bass sounds similar to Chase & Status, whereas What I Like appears inspired by the weirdo acid jazz of Jamiroquai.

Trumpet Song is a funky track built on a jazz riff aided by a backing beat reminiscent of trance, while Angry Girl is a comedic narration by the eponymous character.

A lengthy outro comes in the form of Relieve The Pressure, featuring some French vocals and even containing elements of breakbeat and jungle akin to early Prodigy.

Tilt is a step forward for the group and could earn serious airplay on radio and in clubs if their fame transcends past the land of Oz.

Rating: 4/5

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