Psychedelic Pill is the 35th studio album from Neil Young and was written and recorded in collaboration with his sometime band, Crazy Horse, marking their first album of original material since Greendale in 2003. As with many of Young’s latter-day releases, the quality is less than consistent. Reviews from The Guardian and the Independent suggest that Psychedelic Pill contains “moments of majesty,” (The Independent) as well as some less impressive tracks. It’s unlikely that any of this week’s releases are going to shake Taylor Swift from her throne at the top of the UK album chart but with reassuring reviews in the mainstream press, Psychedelic Pill should prove popular amongst Young’s considerable fanbase.
Also released today is the interestingly-titled Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da, by veteran ska-pop band Madness. It’s the tenth studio album from Madness and contains 14 new tracks, as well as cover art from the ever popular pop-art legend Peter Blake (he designed the cover for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band). The Guardian gave the album an impressive 3 stars out of 5 but can Madness really recapture the youthful exuberance of their glory days, with this latest album? It seems unlikely that they’ll continue to enjoy the success that they experienced in years gone by.
It’s a strong week for artists with long, successful careers behind them, this week. Next up in the major album releases is everybody’s favourite pint-sized pop princess, Kylie Minogue. The Aussie singer and actress is releasing The Abbey Road Sessions this week; a retrospective look at her back catalogue, with the help of an orchestra and the historic magic that lies within London’s legendary recording studio, made famous by The Beatles. A treat for fans lies within, as well – there’s a new track, entitled ‘Flower’ to enjoy from the lady who’s currently celebrating 25 years in the music industry.
Calvin Harris’ serious breakthrough into the mainstream came when he released ‘We Found Love,’ with Rihanna. Having clearly decided that the secret to his success lies within a collaboration, his latest album 18 Months features a range of special guests, including Florence Welch, Dizzee Rascal and Ellie Goulding. You’ll be familiar with a lot of the material here, as the album contains singles that he’s been releasing since last year but there’s still plenty of new material to keep fans intrigued.
These last couple of weeks have been Bond-mania here in the UK. Anyone that placed money on Adele getting the first ever UK number one for a Bond will be sorely disappointed. Her theme tune, ‘Skyfall’ ended up at number seven, with Labrinth and Emeli Sande taking the top spot this week. There’s still plenty to enjoy on the Skyfall OST album (which does not feature Adele’s song), for Bond fanatics and soundtrack enthusiasts. It’s scored by Thomas Newman, a longtime collaborator of the movie’s director Sam Mendes.