Albums

835 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
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World - Released December 1, 2017 | Audiogram

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
In May 2009, shortly after the release of her third album, Lhasa, with the help of the team that helped her create this new collection of fine pearls, gave a few concerts ahead of a tour that was set to take place six months later.  Joe Grass on guitars, Sarah Pagé on the harp, Miles Perkin on the double bass and Andrew Barr on drums formed an organic whole with the singer, which held together very well. Naturally, they gave pride of place to the compositions of this recent Lhasa. Nine songs of the fourteen, which sound more or less like studio recordings, with a tendency towards a slowing-down of the tempo, became well-known on 1001 Nights, which reinforced their shadowy aspect. The group had no difficulty at all in appropriating some older themes, taking a jaunty, jazzy rhythm on Con Toda Palabra by The Living Road, transforming De Cara a la Pared, which opened La Llorona, by means of a long abstract intro. They lent an Andean air to Par El Fin Del Mundo, thanks to the foregrounding of a charango and a harp. All this might give a little insight into the plans of the singer who at the time wanted to pay homage to Latino icons Violeta Parra and Victor Jara. A departure from the norm in terms of her back catalogue, a magnificent cover of a Sam Cooke standard A Change Is Gonna Come and the echoes of an unruly intervention by Lhasa and her laughter fuse between the pieces. It is hard to grasp, in the face of such a spirited performance, that this was her last concert: she would die several months later, of cancer, at the age of just 37. © BM/Qobuz
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Opera - Released November 24, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month
We will gladly forgive the occasional "weakness" in sound technology in this recording of Troyens by Berlioz (recorded live in concert in April 2017). In light of the first-rate quality of the music and vocals that appear on the disc (a majority of which are French voices, with Stéphane Degout at their head) this immense work is from the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra and the three choirs which have been brought together – because the work demands immense swelling choirs – which are the choir of the Opéra national du Rhin, the Opéra National de Bade, and the Strasbourg Philharmonic's own choir. This recording rests, of course, on the complete original edition, which gives the listener a chance to hear Les Troyens as the work was performed in 1863, at the Théâtre-Lyrique, in which some intense chopping saw Acts I and II condensed into one part and Acts III to V into another, producing two distinct operas (La Prise de Troie and Les Troyens à Carthage). We also get a taste, naturally, of Berlioz's immensely rich orchestral innovations: with every new work, he would invent some exciting new prototype from scratch, never content to rest on his laurels. The listener should note the presence of six saxhorns, recently invented by Adolphe Sax (of whom Berlioz was an indefatigable champion, even if he didn't often use his instruments in his scores, no doubt because of the poor quality of the early instrumentalists who learned - however well or badly - Sax's instruments); bass clarinet, and an army of percussion pieces including several instruments which must have been rare in those days: crotales, goblet drums, tom-toms, thunder sheets... clearly, this is a milestone in the Berlioz discography. © SM/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 24, 2017 | One Little Indian

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Flitting between cutting edge technologies and organic sensations (verging on physical), Vulnicura resuscitated the Björk of Homogenic and Vespertine. We saw a Björk who had rarely been so exposed, with her break-up from the video and visual artist Mathew Barney being at the heart of this heavy album from 2015, both in her lyrics and her musical architecture. To help her with her task, the Icelander was surrounded by two accomplices from the electro sphere: the British Bobby Krlic a.k.a. The Haxan Cloa and the young Venezuelan Alejandro Ghersi a.k.a. Arca. The latter is now at the heart of Utopia which was released this autumn. Though he joined Björk on Vulnicura once the songs had been written, this time round he worked with her from the start of the project to the point that Björk constantly insists in interviews that the record was entirely conceived by the two of them. Like with the worlds of Actress or Oneohtrix Point Never, Arca has always known how to mix the most cerebral corners of electronic music with the most physiological. In other words, you couldn’t find better reasons to wander the planet of Björk. Yes, wandering. That’s how you feel with Utopia. This master at the top of her game takes you by the hand with her unique voice, carrying you through multiple textures, sometimes thick and heavy, (Arisen My Senses) but also airy like never before (Blissing Me, Utopia). It is however in the more understated compositions that Björk is at her most convincing. But Arca is not the sole key element of this tenth studio album. The Icelander brings back her weapon of choice that hasn’t left her side since the age of 5: the flute! It’s a common thread in her mad and fantasizing work that cannot be fully digested in a single listening. Björk Guðmundsdóttir is no Taylor Alison Swift and Utopia proves this! © MD/Qobuz
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French Music - Released November 17, 2017 | Mercury

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Soul - Released November 17, 2017 | Daptone Records

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
One year after she lost her fight against pancreatic cancer at the age of 60, Sharon Jones has sent down from heaven this posthumous record that she had the time to record before her death. Accompanied as usual by her explosive Dap Kings, this charismatic figure of soul, gospel and revivalist funk is as flamboyant as ever in her final disc. At no point do we get the sense of a soul sister running out of steam or nearing the end of her life. On the contrary! Her voice grips, caresses, whispers, roars, yowls and keeps coming back for more.  The record is defined by a direct, raw, unadorned style. Soul and rhythm’n’blues from the heart – and the guts. No ornament or vain effects in this journey to the heart of groove, which brings together all the art of soul and old-school gospel. This vintage groove never feels dusty thanks to the skill of our mistress of ceremonies. In the up-tempo Motown songs, and in the more romantic ballads which are orchestrated like mini–melodramas, Sharon Jones is brilliant and touching. With this record, the singer who has had such a unique career, meeting success after the age of forty, leaves the stage as she lived: with class. © MZ/Qobuz
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Soul - Released November 17, 2017 | Anti - Epitaph

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Ten years after signing with the ANTI label, Mavis Staples pursues her impressive resurrection. Still joined by Jeff Tweedy, the great soul gospel priestess even hands him the wheel in this If All I Was Black, for which the band leader of Wilco has penned all the songs. After We'll Never Turn Back produced in 2007 by Ry Cooder, You Are Not Alone in 2010, One True Vine in 2013 and Livin' On A High Note in 2016 (on which she asked Nick Cave, Ben Harper, Justin Vernon a.k.a. Bon Iver, The Head & The Heart, tUnE-yArds, Neko Case, Aloe Blacc, Son Little, Valerie June and M Ward to participate), Pops Staples’ daughter inhabits each composition and her voice tames the lyrics of songs that couldn’t be more politically motivated. A major figure of the Civil Right Movement, a regular of great causes and militancy in songs, this lady masters these anti-Trump pieces with her usual class, with strong yet subtle criticisms—that are never Manichean nor childish—of an American in full regression. Above all, the blend of gospel inwardness, soul power and rhythm ‘n’ blues groove that she offers perfectly combines with Tweedy’s rustic and 'no added sugars' production. A great soul disc! © MZ/Qobuz
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Metal - Released October 27, 2017 | Sanctuary Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Vocal Jazz - Released October 20, 2017 | Abalone Productions

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Metal - Released October 20, 2017 | Debemur Morti Productions

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 13, 2017 | Marathon Artists

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
A true wet dream for the fans of 2010s Anglo-Saxon indie rock: Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile joined together on a disc! Recorded at the Newmarket Studio in Melbourne, Australia, and produced by Callum John Barter, their album Lotta Sea Lice exudes both sincere complicity and mutual respect. The Australian and the American have in common their fascination for the Golden Age of a certain rock ’n’ roll classical style - think Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed, Kurt Cobain… It’s these values that they put through the mill of their time and tackle in a lo-fi and simple (but not simplistic) way. That doesn’t prevent the two long-haired singers to be first and foremost true songwriters. Two solid wordsmiths full of originality, self-deprecation and even caustic humor. Courtney has fun covering Kurt (Peeping Tomboy). And Kurt has fun covering Courtney (Out Of The Woodwork). Belly’s Untogether and Jen Cloher’s—Courtney Barnett’s life companion—Fear Is Like A Forest, are two other covers present on this unassuming disc which reveals itself to be one of the most convincing rock attempts of its time. Seriously. © MZ/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 6, 2017 | Pavane Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Full Operas - Released October 6, 2017 | LSO Live

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Solo Piano - Released October 6, 2017 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama
‘Sophisticated colourist and cerebral virtuoso though he is, Nelson Goerner nevertheless brings out the moments of weakness, the hesitations, the lightning passions in the labyrinth of Chopin’, wrote Diapason on the release of the Preludes in 2015 (Diapason d’Or, Choc de Classica). ‘Serenity’, ‘balance’, ‘clarity’, ‘phrasing’ are the key words that recur in reviews of the discs and concerts of the Argentine pianist, whose fifth solo release on Alpha this is. His latest venture is a complete recording of the Nocturnes, a highpoint of Chopinesque poetry. These twenty-one miniatures accompanied Chopin over a good part of his life, for he composed them between 1827 and 1848. They are tributes to Italian bel canto, expressing reveries but also complexity of feeling and a profundity that far transcends their apparent simplicity. Nelson Goerner’s feeling for melody and tempo works wonders in these pieces, which he recorded in the ideal surroundings of the Salle de Musique of La Chaux de Fonds (Switzerland). © Alpha
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Alternative & Indie - Released October 6, 2017 | [PIAS] Le Label

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
"For Lilies I just wanted to retreat to a cave with my Pro-Tools, my computer, and my cheap, 100Euro Shure SM-58 microphone. I could have gone to a big studio, made a big production – but I wanted none of that. I wanted to go back to the seed of creativity, the simplest materials. I was in this room where there was no light, no night or day at all, no heat. Very uncomfortable. But I felt free. I was happy to have this feeling – ‘I don’t need more, I have everything I need here.’” The spirit and the context in which Melanie De Biasio created Lilies are certainly in keeping with this unique artist's life and work... A singer-musician who is always ready to question and challenge herself anew and push the boundary markers which are so often set down between musical genres. Released in 2013, her album No Deal excelled as an atmospheric meeting of jazz, electro and rock. The Belgian who worships Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln took another departure from the beaten track with what is commonly called vocal jazz, and wandered towards soul, trip hop, blues: into the most impalpable of ethers. In these weightless sequences, Lilies is firmly stamped with the De Biasio hallmark. This is a way of doing away with labels and playing with light and dark, day and night. © MD/Qobuz
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Ash

Electro - Released September 29, 2017 | XL Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
Everyone knows the English language. Fewer people are familiar with Yoruba… Thanks to Ibeyi’s first eponymous album released at the beginning of 2015, most people have been able to discover or rediscover this African language imported into Cuba in the 17th Century by slaves coming from the country that is now Nigeria. Ibeyi is the name of this duo led by two French Cuban twins of Venezuelan descent who shape a beautiful soul music, both driven and spiritual. Therefore they sing in Yoruba, but also in English and in Spanish. After offering large sections of melancholy that they sometimes transform into percussive hymns, Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Diaz continue with Ash to mix music from their Afro-Cuban heritage (their father was none other than Anga Diaz, the drummer from the band Irakere) and from their own time, from electro to rap to pop. It’s a blending that they also apply to instruments, whether acoustic, electric or even electronic. Ibeyi even has some fun with Auto-Tune here! Finally, it’s worth noting that this second album is also a confluence of people with good taste, as we cross paths with the atypical Canadian pianist Chilly Gonzales, the furious Californian saxophonist Kamasi Washington, the bass player Meshell Ndegeocello and the Spanish rapper Mala Rodriguez. © MD/Qobuz