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22 best songs of March 2015

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 13:38 on 31 Mar 2015
22 best songs of March 2015
This collection of best tracks from the past four weeks is a highly sophisticated affair, featuring sounds that can only be described as cooly reserved or emotionally detached. Basically if you don’t look exactly like one of the members of Chromatics in the above image then you probably don’t have any business here.

Review: Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 21:12 on 25 Mar 2015
Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
One of my favourite traits of Courtney Barnett is the way she delivers lyrics in an utterly deadpan manner, just on the right side of monotone, but will suddenly find the melody in the music, remembering that she’s technically ‘meant’ to be singing, and deliver something completely uplifting, beautiful and transformative.

Death Grips continue to call, text, go on world tours, despite break-up

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 22:48 on 24 Mar 2015
Death Grips continue to call, text, go on world tours, despite break-up
Popdin and Death Grips have had a difficult but lengthy relationship which finally came to an end last summer. What began as an exciting if occasionally terrifying affair, soon turned to bitter acrimony as Death Grips began sharing pictures of its huge genitalia around the internet, arguing with its bosses at work, swearing in front of Popdin's mum and generally acting in an unpredictable, sweaty manner. It was never going to last.

Review: Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 08:55 on 19 Mar 2015
Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
Kendrick Lamar is basically a genius. An untouchable creative talent who writes lyrics that place current socio-political themes within a historical context. He balances an incredibly dextrous lyrical flow with a deconstructivist take on hip-hop. He's a Grammy nominated, platinum-selling artist, whose last album good kid, m.A.A.d city managed both commercial and critical success by dismantling the gangsta rap genre and in doing so made the best gangsta rap album of this or any other generation. And despite having the gruff delivery of a middle-aged chain smoker, he is only 27. Like I said the guy's a genius.

To Pimp a Butterfly, Lamar's third full-length album, is a wild, challenging, complex work that can barely contain the man at the centre of it.

The Venn Diagram of Kanye West & Jeremy Clarkson petition outrage

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 14:52 on 17 Mar 2015
The Venn Diagram of Kanye West & Jeremy Clarkson petition outrage
Thank you to our team of data analytics experts and to the three or four people who will tell me I do Venn Diagrams wrong.

Purity Ring's Another Eternity and 10 more albums I've been wrong about

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 12:43 on 11 Mar 2015
Purity Ring's Another Eternity and 10 more albums I've been wrong about
It will probably surprise you to hear that I’m big enough to admit when I'm wrong. In my round-up of last week's new album releases I gave Purity Ring's second album Another Eternity a fairly poor review, claiming that it was a mediocre, homogenous lump of chart-friendly EDM, with little of their debut's twisted, glitchy beats or fairytale darkness. Now as i write this five days later, I have something to admit… I was wrong. Another Eternity is actually brilliant.

Listen Without Prejudice: Mumford and Sons - Believe

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 13:42 on 10 Mar 2015
Listen Without Prejudice: Mumford and Sons - Believe
It’s the first instalment of a semi-regular feature where I listen to a new song by a band or artist who I’ve said terrible things about in the past and review it. The only difference here is that I’ve put all my preconceptions of the band or artist in a little drawstring bag labelled ‘bag of prejudices’ and have locked it forever in a drawer marked ‘drawer of prejudices’ so that absolutely no poisonous thoughts can invade my brain and colour my opinion during the listening process.

This week: Mumford and Sons - Believe

Grimes shares 'rubbish' new track, actually brilliant

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 22:41 on 09 Mar 2015
Grimes shares 'rubbish' new track, actually brilliant
Grimes has fired off another "poorly recorded mess" that was "never meant to be heard by anyone" and in doing so has, for the third year in a row, released one of the best tracks of the year. [divider] Last year Grimes released 'Go', a song originally written for and subsequently rejected by Rhianna. Un...

Review: Madonna - Rebel Heart

Posted by Lee Bennett at 15:05 on 09 Mar 2015
Madonna - Rebel Heart
So here's the punchline up front: Rebel Heart is the best Madonna album since Ray Of Light. Always at her best when she has something to say personally, politically or spiritually, Rebel Heart showcases a Madonna prepared to, ahem, open her heart (sorry, it's not easy writing a Madonna review without accidentally mentioning a song title).

This week's new albums reviewed and rated for your convenience

Posted by Christopher Ratcliff at 10:01 on 06 Mar 2015
This week's new albums reviewed and rated for your convenience
You name me a band or an artist and I'll find you a publicity photo of them taken while they lean against a wall.