Arts

Albums: New music from Reef, Kelly Lee Owens, Kehlani and Jason Aldean

REEF – SHOOT ME YOUR ACE

THANKS to Chris Evans and TFI Friday, a whole generation had It's Your Letters – adapted from Put Your Hands On by Brit-rockers Reef – stuck in their heads

Having now expanded the band, Gary Stringer, Jack Bessant, Jesse Wood and Luke Bullen are rocking harder than ever, and not hindered by Andy Taylor's (yes that one) production.

Keeping funk vibes that made them a firm favourite during the mid-90s they've ramped up the bluesy rock and have a real AC/DC feel coming across.

Stringer's vocal fry crackles like it's a morning after the hard rocking night before, coming strong straight out of the gates with Shoot Me Your Ace.

Best of Me is a funkier summer vibe that reminds you of why they quickly rose to fame.

This is a powerful summer rock album.

Rating: 4/5

KELLY LEE OWENS – LP8

ELECTRONIC musician/producer Kelly Lee Owens is back with a third album, LP8, dripping with the pulsating, hypnotic techno she's become known for.

Still, Owens' new record comes slightly out of left-field with a more ethereal techno slant: where her previous album Inner Song was more about the party, LP8 is for introspection.

Tracks Anadlu and Olga are meditative, reminiscent of the small hours of the morning with the sun gently breaching the horizon, and Nana Piano is almost a lullaby, all twinkling keys and soothing melodies. Closing track Sonic 8 jolts you back with discordance and distortion, coming full circle from the abrasive opening track Release.

The more introspective mood is perhaps to be expected: LP8 was recorded in a matter of weeks during lockdown in Oslo. Despite its subdued tone, the record thankfully settles on the right side of boring, showcasing the breadth of Owens' talent and just how much more she has in the tank.

Rating: 3/5

KEHLANI – BLUE WATER ROAD

SULTRY R&B icon Kehlani has done it again with this steadily sensual record which opens with a stripped back and engaging opening track Little Story and then takes us through emotional movements and exciting collaborations.

Her meeting of minds in the form of Up at Night with Justin Bieber is refreshing and has an engaging hook, which of course, both artists have previous for, however the 2017-esque bass feels a little tacky for such a great record.

One thing is for sure with this album – Kehlani is here, and is continuing to carve her place in the R&B hall of fame with slow and sexy songs and earworm melodies.

Rating: 4/5

JASON ALDEAN – MACON, GEORGIA

JASON Aldean has rounded off his double album with the release of Georgia after previously debuting Macon last November.

The latest 15 tracks from the American country singer offer 10 new tunes and five unheard live takes to complete the ambitious 30-song project.

From the opening track Whiskey Me Away, his deep voice and classic brooding style exploring heartbreak takes centre stage accompanied by powerful guitar solos.

The album maintains its chilled, mid-tempo sound throughout, with the live tracks providing a welcomed, rawer variation.

Discussing the project, Aldean said: "After nine albums and 16 years of recording, I hope people can tell I wanted to make this tenth album fun and different from anything we've done before."

He doesn't offer anything drastically different this time around but his collective of loyal fans will most likely appreciate a selection of new songs to add to their repertoire.

Rating: 3/5

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