There’s not much in the way of big hitters to shake Les Miserables off it’s spot at the top of the UK album charts this week. The remainder of the Top 5 is still looking like a ‘who’s who’ of 2012, with Emeli Sande, Jake Bugg, Calvin Harris and Everything Everything filling the rest of the slots.
Straight outta leftfield this week is a new album from Adam Ant – a man plagued, in recent years, by a tarnished reputation. He initially announced the album title back in 2010 and then announced that it would finally be seeing the light of day back in September of last year. Entitled Adam Ant is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter, the album is being released on his own label, which he’s called Blueblack Hussar Records he’s previously described the album as “a live record that lends itself to performance,” which will feature “a kind of concept. It’s a very old fashioned, old school, step by step album.”
The album’s getting the deluxe release treatment, with a CD release, a gatefold vinyl release and to really appease the old school enthusiasts, a cassette release as well. Mixed reviews for the album have veered from a paltry 4 out of 10 from NME to an enthusiastic response from The Independent’s Simon Price – a long time Ant fan. It’s Ant’s first solo album since 1995’s Wonderful, so there’s a lot riding on this release in terms of his reputation and the sheer length of time it’s been in gestation.
Manchester’s I Am Kloot have been around since 1999 and now release their sixth studio album, Let It All In, produced by Guy Garvey and Craig Potter, of fellow Mancunians, Elbow. I Am Kloot have long been a well-respected band, even if they haven’t quite crossed over into the realms of national adoration just yet. A review from the Guardian suspects that it’s the presence of Garvey and Potter that makes this album worthy of a listen and elevated it above its “pervading drabness.” The Telegraph were more forgiving though, praising Bramwell’s vocals and storytelling, which remain high in the mix: “while these songs are like discarded pub furniture, Bramwell sounds like a wiley old alley cat, sat on top of it and looking up.”
Another release from the UK’s alternative scene, now, from The Joy Formidable. Their debut, The Big Roar, released on Atlantic Records, was a top 40 hit and now, they return with Wolf’s Law. Primarily written on the road whilst they toured the debut album, Wolf’s Law has been given the thumbs up by The Guardian’s Michael Hann, who praises the ‘hugeness’ of their sound and remarks that it’s no surprise they were invited to open for Muse last year. Equally, the BBC note that their “stadium-sized ambitions” do not dampen the band’s originality and also give the Welsh band another positive review.
From over the pond, Los Angeles punk rockers Bad Religion are still going strong after more than three decades in the business. Whilst their personnel has altered in that time, their fan base remains strong and True North represents their sixteenth foray into studio album releases, their first since 2010’s The Dissent of Man. Judging by a review from Los Angeles Daily News, it seems the band haven’t lost their touch when it comes to insightful, intelligent wordplay and with titles such as ‘F*** You,’ the band clearly haven’t lost any of their ferocity.