A Week In Reviews... This week saw 14-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys head to the UK for a series of dates, and boy did it seem that the girl really was on fire. A storming appraisal from us here at Contactmusic, for her show in Manchester proved that Keys hasn't lost her spark over 16 years in the game."If one thing's for certain tonight it's that Alicia Keys is the perfect crossover star, with an old school approach to music and a new school approach to showmanship; the girl really is on fire" we reckoned.
Meanwhile, across the Pennines in Leeds, Mercury-nominated Ghostpoet was in town to perform plenty of new material. However, there was plenty to take in for both fans old and new, with Contactmusic's Joe Wild writing "Whilst the show was unquestionably a vehicle to promote his new material, the MC did sprinkle some Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam favourites into the set-list, such as 'Liiines' and 'Cash and Carry Me Home' to keep the faithful fans happy. But it was the renditions of newbies 'Dial Tones,' 'MSI MusmiD' and new single 'Meltdown' that really got the crowd amped and responding to his metaphor-laden lyrics and urban-decay-inspired beats."
Away from the live arena, The Thermals have returned with yet another new album. The indie stalwarts are now on their sixth album in 10 years, and it would appear that they aren't showing any signs of slowing down just yet - even if they haven't quite reached their peak on this one. In his review of new record Desperate Ground, Jim Pusey wrote "Desperate Ground is therefore not the best example of The Thermals at the peak of their powers, but it's an admirable attempt to tackle some big issues. While it may not resonate with every listener, it will no doubt please the band's core audience, who'll revel in some excellent guitar work throughout."
Renaissance: The Mix Collection, Tale Of Us features a smattering of deep house and techno cuts and remixes of some of the biggest names in the game, including Gold Panda, Simian Mobile Disco and Four Tet. As is the nature with compilation albums, it is a hit and miss affair, with peaks and troughs throughout. As our reviewer commented:"Tale of Us obviously isn't for everyone, but for those of you with an active interest in house or just electronic music in general, the mix is without doubt worth a listen."
A Week In Videos... Professor Green has a new single out, and perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that the tracks, 'Are You Getting Enough?' features current indie man of the moment, Miles Kane. Truly Kane is ubiquitous at the moment and he adds his vocal to this hard-hitting rhythmic-driven single.
The rise and rise of Tom Odell shows no sign of abating; we reckon there's a chance of a Mercury nomination and perhaps even a BRIT Award or two going into next year. Props to producer Naughty Boy then who has managed to tap into Odell's potential early and remixed his track 'Another Love,' turning it into a vast, murky slice of dark pop. Give it a listen below while you wait for Odell to go on to big, big things.
Having to change their name a few years ago from The Bees hasn't halted The Silver Seas in pursuing their jangle pop odyssey. Ahead of a new album, the Tennessee group have returned with a new track 'I'm The One,' with the accompanying video seeing lead vocalist enjoy the sights and sounds of a local mall - complete with old school carousel!
A Week In News... The BBC have been getting all excired about announcing that they'll be airing 250 hours of footage from this year's Glastonbury Festival, but it doesn't like many of that's going to surround headliners The Rolling Stones. Mick Jagger is apparently unhappy with the corporation's desires to air their whole set, and wants to limit them to the first four songs - if that.
The tension of being a judge on a reality singing contest shouldn't be underestimated, but should it really cause mutinous comments against your country? Maroon 5's Adam Levine has come under fire after muttering "I hate this country," after two of his Voice proteges were voted out. He's been defending his comments to CBS.
Justin Bieber's still playing up - or being a teenager, depending on your outlook. Back in his native North America, the underage star hit three New York night clubs, despite each of them advertising a strictly 21 and over policy. The 19 year-old is probably thankful to be back in a country where he can evidently do as he likes. He had a torrid time in Europe with some clubs refusing his under age pals entry, and others not even letting him in.