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Janelle giving it maximum Prince

Janelle giving it maximum Prince

If you’re going to pay homage to Prince, do it right. Janelle Monáe has nailed it (admittedly, with a little help from the Purple Genius himself). On the strength of this, ‘Dirty Computer’ will be one of the releases of 2018. Built around a guitar lick that nods in the direction of ‘Kiss’, and synth […]

A year of new music

A year of new music

There’s a scene in Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry, looking perplexed, walks into a coffee shop. He’s struggling with what to order… the choice is so vast. After some reflection, he settles on a ‘vanilla bullshit’. Too much choice can be a bad thing. Access to a wide range of options limits your scope – […]

2017: Top ten albums

2017: Top ten albums

My top-ten album list for 2017 originally contained about 17 entries. That the final list doesn’t contain Spoon, St Vincent, Jane Weaver or Loyle Carner, in particular, underlines the quality of the ten I’ve culled it back to. Before getting to the list of albums, let’s just call out some stand out tracks for the […]

2016: Top ten albums

2016: Top ten albums

First of all, well done. If you’re reading this, you made it through 2016 alive. That in itself is an achievement. Much has been written, including here, about the losses we suffered last year. Prince. Bowie. Sharon Jones. A rationale electorate. A relatively stable World Order. But, I’ll keep this focused on the good stuff […]

Of Radiohead, Prince and Roman GianArthur

Of Radiohead, Prince and Roman GianArthur

OK, while we’re all sitting around waiting for Radiohead to release their new music, already, let’s talk Prince and let’s talk Roman GianArthur. Covering Radiohead is a dangerous game. Unless you’re Prince. If you’re Prince, covering Radiohead is not dangerous at all. For evidence, just watch him covering ‘Creep’ at Coachella. Prince can literally do […]

2015: Top ten albums

2015: Top ten albums

It’s been a quiet year for the freethinking movement; relocating from the US to the UK has knocked the arse out of any free time, and has put a serious dent in my ability to sit and write. It’s a shame, as 2015 has been jammed with outstanding music. This, the sixth compilation of my […]

2014: Top ten albums

2014: Top ten albums

I’ve been posting an annual ‘best of’ list for a few years now – this is the fifth run through. I can honestly say that this is the easiest year by far. That isn’t a reflection on the scarcity of good material. Rather, the ten albums listed below stand head and shoulders out there as […]

Vote ACR for Brazil 2014!

Vote ACR for Brazil 2014!

In these days of global warming, political and economic turmoil, Orwellian government surveillance and the very real threat of a new Coldplay album, there’s one issue that has crept onto my radar today, and which stands head and shoulders above all else in terms of importance. Let me explain… The World Cup is drawing closer. […]

The return of Matt Deighton and Michael Head

The return of Matt Deighton and Michael Head

2013 is littered with unfinished business. There’s much for me to write about that I have just not had the time to share. Like seeing the Pixies tear through an awesome set at Music Hall of Williamsburg (with a highlight as staggering as it was surprising: ‘Bagboy’). Or Janelle Monae lighting up the Apollo as […]

2013: Top ten albums

2013: Top ten albums

In any other year, the 2013 releases from Laura Mvula, Disclosure or Unknown Mortal Orchestra may have made the cut for the ‘best ten’. But, 2013 was about as solid a year for music as you can hope for. Even a rejuvenated and frankly otherworldly David Bowie didn’t make the list this year. And, I […]

Better than Mick

Better than Mick

I often think that the UK’s Smooth FM should run with the advertising slogan: ‘where you’re never more than 30 minutes away from Simply Red’. It’s truly the place where music comes to die. I consider it to be the opposite of freethinking. So, let’s just talk about Simply Red for a minute. I recently […]

That'll be Daughter. They're not like Macklemore.

That’ll be Daughter. They’re not like Macklemore.

One of the more surprising bits of feedback I’ve received regarding the freethinking movement came from a colleague of mine a couple of years ago. She attended one of the early freethinking nyc nights, and ended up becoming a regular ‘freethinker’. She came straight out with the feedback: ‘I now know the real James’. The […]