ALBUM REVIEW: THE BASICS – INGREDIENTS

The Basics may be best known as “Gotye’s other band” but they are also three well dressed men with a knack for writing heart-warming tunes soaked in sweet harmonies and pop melodies. The Basics’ Ingredients tracks the progression of the underrated band, drawing together 20 songs taken from their first EP through to the latest one, Wait For You; a…

EP REVIEW: FLEA – HELEN BURNS

I dunno how Flea does it. When he’s not being Michael Balzary and father to Clara and Sunny he spends his downtime as a member of famous supergroups (hello: Atoms For Peace). His day job also means he does hand-stands (both literal and aural) for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. And somewhere in between (sources say back in 2007) he managed…

BOOK REVIEW: LISA GENOVA – LOVE ANTHONY

Reach for the box of Kleenex, Love Anthony is a tear-jerker. The third novel by NY Times best seller, Lisa Genova is as emotional, engaging and poignant as her previous works, Still Alice and Left Neglected. It is ultimately a tale of unconditional love that will force you to ask some big questions about yourself and life. It also means that this would…

ALBUM REVIEW: TEGAN & SARA – HEARTTHROB

Heartthrob brings Tegan and Sara’s sound closer to the decade the Canadian twins were born in – the ‘80s. Their seventh studio album is a shift away from the folk and indie genres towards electro pop music where the gals are sitting pretty in Day-Glo pink. Single, ‘Closer’ is a fine indication of this new sound. It’s a…

ALBUM REVIEW: GARY CLARK JR. – BLAK & BLU

In many ways, Gary Clark Jr. is like Michael Kiwanuka. Both are 20-somethigs with an affinity for the old. They both have smooth, soulful voices. And they produce music that sounds like it’s come from a crisp, new vinyl record. But Clark’s craft differs in that he has been anointed the next Jimi Hendrix. He certainly knows…

ALBUM REVIEW: NEW ORDER – LOST SIRENS

In recent years New Order has had more bad blood and dirty linen out in public than a C-grade horror flick. When bassist, Peter Hook left in 2007 a public slanging match ensued and his band mates would reform without him. He did hit back by performing their old albums with Joy Division and New Order under a new guise and writing two…

ALBUM REVIEW: EXPATRIATE – HYPER/HEARTS

After kicking goals with their stellar debut, In The Midst Of This, Sydneysiders Expatriate would take some inspiration from their namesake. They’d relocate to Berlin and plug their album while playing to a whole new fan-base. It was an experience that was full of opposites or plain old ups and downs like warm summers and freezing winters when…

ALBUM REVIEW: JOHN CALE – SHIFTY ADVENTURES IN NOOKIE WOOD

John Cale is a bit like Neil Young, seeing as he’s practically done it all. He’s created seminal albums as a member of the Velvet Underground. He’s worked with John Cage on classical music pieces and he’s produced records by a veritable who’s who of music. But it seems like Messer Cale is still a little restless…

ALBUM REVIEW: GLENN FREY – AFTER HOURS

The Beatles once sang about a hit your mother should know. It’s fair to say that the music you inherit from your parents can be a pervasive thing that stays with you long after the final note has sung. It seems like this idea prevails on Glenn Frey’s After Hours because this is a musician my father loves…

ALBUM REVIEW: VARIOUS – MINISTRY OF SOUND: CHILLOUT SESSIONS XV

Relax, take a chill pill. Or you could just try a musical compilation. Ministry of Sound’s Chillout Sessions XV brings together 42 tracks across two CDs. If it came with directions these would read: “For maximum enjoyment play while lying in a hammock, sitting at the beach or taking a snooze in the sun”. Let’s be clear…