Albums of Note... Rihanna’s seventh studio album, Unapologetic has been met with a mixed response and our reviewer reckons the Barbadian pop star phoned this one in. As her career becomes more of a marketing cash cow than an artistic endeavour, so her albums impress less and less.
Of course, there is also the ‘elephant’ that seems to appear in every room Rihanna walks into… an elephant known as ‘Chris Brown.’ He makes an appearance on the album, duetting with RhiRhi on a track called ‘Nobody’s Business.’ “Fun: it's something that's lacking a lot in this album, Unapologetic rattling on machine-like but with very little given away to the spirit of enjoyment… She doesn't have to feel apologetic for anything, but what's more concerning is that Rihanna doesn't seem to feel anything anymore, something all too apparent on this turgid LP.”
Five years after their infectious debut album, Tellison are practically a household name and Banquet (records) favourites with now more than just a cult following and to celebrate where it all began they've given us an anniversary issue of their instant classic Contact! Contact!
The London four piece are unrivalled when it comes to writing insidiously fun guitar pop and singer Stephen Davidson's poised British enunciation is only further accented by the impeccably tight instrumentals from Henry Danowski (drums), Peter Phillips (guitar), and Andrew Tickell on bass. Right from day one, Tellison have been one of the tightest bands around and this confidence is what's always been so charming about them, tracks like 'New York New York New York' which dizzily flip between electro sampling and a traditional pop-rock sound are so self-assured you can't help but get involved.
Check your coat and dignity at the door before listening to this record because it will leave you not just hot and bothered, but screaming every word as if it's just been branded onto you. There's not really a track out of these 14 (including two bonus songs) that doesn't have a blitz of a chorus even if it's just the word "Disaster" on a loop; they must be some of the finest writers this country has seen in years. Davidson's lyrics roll off the tongue in eager anticipation of finding what it is he's so desperately searching for in the emotionally electric world in which he lives: "And this view of your back is worth something more than that, there is a picture of this victory in every wartime gallery." Their formula is beyond amazing with every element down to the delightfully lush backing vocals considered with due care and attention, meaning that it never becomes formulaic; rather it becomes instantly recognisable as Tellison. Stephen Davidson's voice is as smooth as honey as he peppers his songs with references to literary figures such as John Keats, band members and friends like Henry, or even his music: "And seriously I hate my work, but someone's got to do it, though the poetry is lost on me," he croons on the uncharacteristically down tempo 'Hospital'.
Continue reading: Tellison - Contact! Contact! (5th Anniversary Edition) Album Review