Favourite Five Recently Reviewed CDs

Five of the best albums from the recent postings at New Music From Elsewhere. Music too good to let slide into the archives. The Elsewhere place if you are looking for a quick fix of great and interesting albums.

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Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems (Sony)

6 Oct 2014

Although he long had the reputation of a “one-man Joy Division” or “Laughing Len” in reference to his gloom-soaked melancholy, Leonard Cohen always had an increasingly self-deflating streak. Just as he opened his Ten New Songs album of 2001 with the whispery and wry In My Secret Life (written and revised over a dozen years) and had the droll Because Of on Dear... > Read more

Nevermind

Engineers; Always Returning (Kscope/Southbound):

6 Oct 2014

 Another on the prog label Kscope -- home to Steven Wilson and his band Porcupine Tree, Blackfield, Anathema and others -- and this double disc (songs on one, instrumental versions on t'other) is mighty impressive, and comes in a hardback cover with lyrics. Engineers -- who have been through a few line-up changes -- are British multi-instrumentalist Mark Peters and drummer/composer... > Read more

Innsbruck (instrumental version)

Moana and the Tribe: Rima (Black Pearl)

29 Sep 2014

For my money the most powerful, enjoyable and important act on the mainstage at this year's Womad in Taranaki – and there were some over-acclaimed but perfunctory internationals – was Moana and the Tribe. They delivered a thumping, visually powerful and cleverly calculated implosion of waiata, haka and electronica-flavoured soul-funk. Moana also won the crowd with... > Read more

Aotearoa

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters: Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar (Warners)

15 Sep 2014

Although singing a generous number of highly reconfigured Led Zeppelin songs at his 2013 Vector show with this band, Plant continues to distance himself from Zepp's hard rock-cum-folk catalogue, leaving former bandmate Jimmy Page to mine the past while he moves further sideways through world music, American country, rebooted blues and even simple pop. With the Space Shifters discreetly... > Read more

Embrace Another Fall

Spoon: They Want My Soul (Spunk)

1 Sep 2014    1

For New Zealand listeners, there is a peculiar but interesting cover on this album by the never-predictable psych-cum-alt rockers Spoon from Texas. It is their rather straight version of Ann-Margret's bluesy I Just Don't Understand which the Beatles used to do live and which Tommy Adderley covered in the early Sixties in a very Merseybeat style. It's hardly out of place here on an album... > Read more

Let Me Be Mine