Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Albums of the Week

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Albums of the Week

Article excerpt

Pop PAUL WELLER Saturns Pattern (Parlophone) STILL needlessly associated with tired old dad-rock and less adventurous souls such as Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller has rarely seemed more full of ideas than he has in this decade. This is his third album in five years, perhaps made at such a pace that he forgot the apostrophe in the title. He's got the blues on the monstrous opener, White Sky, and the acoustic thumper, In the Car. The title track and Going My Way have a soulful centre but are dotted with all sorts of surprising sounds, including an unlikely rush of Beach Boys harmonies and handclaps in the latter. This might be classed as late period Weller but he still sounds like he has so much more to give.

David Smyth HOT CHIP Why Make Sense? (Domino) DESPITE their best efforts, Hot Chip have barely troubled the singles chart since Over and Over, their 2006 breakthrough hit. Yet these indie dance geeks have evolved into a formidable live band and their sixth album captures the giddy highs of a Hot Chip gig.

Huarache Lights opens the record with an insistent, bouncy groove adorned with a Seventies Philadelphia soul sample, robotic talkbox effects and lyrics of professional self-doubt. In fact, the south Londoners' songwriting is often sublime on this club music odyssey, which takes in brooding disco (Dark Night), Nineties R 'n' B (Love Is the Future) and, on Started Right, retro funk reminiscent of Stevie Wonder. As a vocalist, Alexis Taylor is clearly no Stevie Wonder. But there's no mistaking the quality of Hot Chip's affecting dance anthems.

Andre Paine BRANDON FLOWERS The Desired Effect (Virgin EMI) "SUNGLASSES, Pepsi and heat" is how Brandon Flowers describes the sound of his second solo album, recorded while his main band, The Killers, are on hiatus. You could have worse aspirations, I suppose, and of the 11 songs here, Between Me and You has an authentic scorch of glamour. But for the most part, producer Ariel Rechtshaid (responsible for recent offerings from Vampire Weekend and Haim) situates him somewhere more redolent of Eighties Soho than his native Las Vegas.

Can't Deny My Love is an attempt to locate his inner Pet Shop Boy, while I Can Change builds from a sample of Bronski Beat's Smalltown Boy only to bludgeon all the tenderness from the original. …

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