Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cds of the Week

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cds of the Week

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SMYTH;CHRIS ELWELL-SUTTON;BARRY MILLINGTON;JACK MASSARIK

POP

Kasabian Empire

(Columbia) ****

"EMPIRE" is Kasabian-speak for "unimpeachably brilliant". If the Leicester quartet were reviewing their second album themselves, it would have a million stars. This time they've managed to back up their tiresome arrogance with something of substance.

Almost every track sounds enormous, bulging with clattering dance beats, glam swagger and Tom Meighan's vitriolic sneer. Kasabian's ear for the anthemic promises to unite thousands at the huge arena gigs the band have already booked.

The dirge-like British Legion proves they still can't do ballads, but when firing on all cylinders, they're unstoppable.

DAVID SMYTH

Amp Fiddler

Afro Strut

(Genuine) ***

VOCALLY, and in terms of his timeless, silky-smooth production, Fiddler brings to mind the greats.

Heaven, a sizzling duet with Stephanie McKay, captures the engaging passion and tenderness of Marvin Gaye's duets with Diana Ross. And the old-school synths and warm, soaring vocals of You Could Be Mine are reminiscent of Stevie Wonder.

Despite these delights, and the impressive variety displayed by If I Don't - an upbeat jazzy corker laced with a cheeky minor-key clarinet - these selfpenned tracks fail to deliver the promised brilliance. He should follow Gaye's example and enlist some songwriters.

CHRIS ELWELL-SUTTON

CLASSICAL

Mahler Resurrection Symphony

Budapest FO/Fischer

(Channel Classics, CCS SA 23506, 2CDs) ****

HOT on the heels of Boulez's remarkable Resurrection Symphony on DG comes this almost equally superb version from Ivan Fischer. It benefits from one of the world's most vibrant, polished ensembles, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and from that city's new Palace of Arts, with its adjustable acoustic canopy. …

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