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Alternative & Indie - Released November 22, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Ever since Coldplay started out in 1998, their leader Chris Martin has certainly not shied away from religious references. This habit, however, seems to have reached new heights with Everyday Life, the group’s eighth album. In some cases, the spiritual outbursts are characterised by a distinct (and never over-the-top) gentleness. The simple guitar/voice/birdsong track comes WOTW/POTP to mind, as does the eight-person gospel song performed with no accompaniment (BrokEn). At other points, the musical colour and content are much more lyrical, like in Church, When I Need a Friend, and Arabesque, a call for peace. This last song features Stromae (who sings in French) and the Nigerian saxophonist Omorinmade Anikulapo-Kuti. The other “big” track on the album is Orphans: over Coldplay’s typical soaring pop-rock rhythms and a large choir, Chris Martin carries the torch for forced migrants and refugees. Divided into two parts (Sunrise and Sunset), Everyday Life constantly plays with the idea of yin and yang, something which is evident even on the album cover; the quartet pose like traditional fanfare musicians next to Friedrich Nietzsche! The image appears both the right side up and upside-down. All throughout the album, Coldplay alternates between positive energy (like on the soft voice/piano song Daddy) and anger-filled denunciations of today’s social ills (such as on the rock-guitar track Guns). Towards the end of the album we find a song with an unusual title and lyrics - for a mainstream Western album that is. Entitled بنی آدم (Children of Adam in Arabic) and beginning with a melancholic waltz on the piano, the piece was inspired by Bani Adam, a text written by the Persian poet Saadi Shirazi. Chris Martin’s spiritual, benevolent way of thinking - especially evident on this album – seems to be summed up in just the first two lines: “The children of Adam are members of a whole/In creation of one essence and soul”. © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 22, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Ever since Coldplay started out in 1998, their leader Chris Martin has certainly not shied away from religious references. This habit, however, seems to have reached new heights with Everyday Life, the group’s eighth album. In some cases, the spiritual outbursts are characterised by a distinct (and never over-the-top) gentleness. The simple guitar/voice/birdsong track comes WOTW/POTP to mind, as does the eight-person gospel song performed with no accompaniment (BrokEn). At other points, the musical colour and content are much more lyrical, like in Church, When I Need a Friend, and Arabesque, a call for peace. This last song features Stromae (who sings in French) and the Nigerian saxophonist Omorinmade Anikulapo-Kuti. The other “big” track on the album is Orphans: over Coldplay’s typical soaring pop-rock rhythms and a large choir, Chris Martin carries the torch for forced migrants and refugees. Divided into two parts (Sunrise and Sunset), Everyday Life constantly plays with the idea of yin and yang, something which is evident even on the album cover; the quartet pose like traditional fanfare musicians next to Friedrich Nietzsche! The image appears both the right side up and upside-down. All throughout the album, Coldplay alternates between positive energy (like on the soft voice/piano song Daddy) and anger-filled denunciations of today’s social ills (such as on the rock-guitar track Guns). Towards the end of the album we find a song with an unusual title and lyrics - for a mainstream Western album that is. Entitled بنی آدم (Children of Adam in Arabic) and beginning with a melancholic waltz on the piano, the piece was inspired by Bani Adam, a text written by the Persian poet Saadi Shirazi. Chris Martin’s spiritual, benevolent way of thinking - especially evident on this album – seems to be summed up in just the first two lines: “The children of Adam are members of a whole/In creation of one essence and soul”. © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 20, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 20, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released November 15, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 15, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released November 3, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 24, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 24, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 30, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Much like fellow grime originators Dizzee Rascal and Wiley, Kano released a highly acclaimed debut album during the genre's first wave circa 2003-2005, then proceeded to spend the following decades alternating between commercially oriented and underground-minded material, with varying results. While Kano has never had chart-topping hit singles like the other two, he's remained steadily popular, with all of his studio albums reaching the Top 50 of the U.K. albums chart, and he's stayed visible through frequent guest appearances (Gorillaz, Chase & Status, Lethal Bizzle) and acting roles. With 2016's Made in the Manor, his first album in six years, he refocused his energy and produced his most successful effort to date, becoming his first Top Ten-charting full-length and winning Best Album at the 2016 MOBO Awards. 2019's Hoodies All Summer is even sharper and more direct, casting off the populist tendencies of some of his earlier releases and emphasizing the emcee's aggressive, razor-sharp lyricism. Addressing problems such as inner-city violence, police brutality, and politicians' indifference to these issues, his words are frank and unsparing, yet he retains a sense of hope and levity throughout. While plenty of Kano's earlier songs were preoccupied with partying, here he references drinking and dancing as essential coping mechanisms for dealing with the ongoing struggle of city life, pledging to "pop ten bottles of escapism" on the Popcaan-featuring "Can't Hold We Down." Other songs such as "Trouble" and "SYM" (featuring the ludicrous taunt "suck your mother and die") are graced with choral vocals, gospel-tinged pianos, and even string arrangements, lending a strong sense of hope but never bogging things down with overwrought sentiments. The production, handled almost entirely by Blue May and Jodi Milliner, is consistently inventive, with jagged, abstract beat patterns befitting Kano's invigorated flows, occasionally breaking for relevant clips from news broadcasts and speeches. Longtime collaborators D Double E and Ghetts (who started out as members of the legendary N.A.S.T.Y. Crew along with Kano) show up and throw down on the brash, defiant "Class of Deja," filled with complex beats and crystalline melodies. Thoroughly inspired as well as creative, Hoodies All Summer is arguably the best work of Kano's career. ~ Paul Simpson
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 21, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 18, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 18, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released February 15, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released February 15, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released February 15, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released February 15, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released February 15, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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David Bowie broke away from the mainstream pop of Tonight with 1987's Never Let Me Down, turning out a jumbled mix of loud guitar rockers and art rock experiments like the failed "Glass Spider." While it's not as consistent as Tonight, it's far more interesting, with the John Lennon homage of the title track being one of his most underrated songs. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released February 15, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Pop - Released February 15, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Originally released as part of the comprehensive 2018 box set Loving the Alien, Serious Moonlight (Live '83) is an audio release of the 1984 home video release Serious Moonlight, which itself aired earlier on the cable network HBO. In any incarnation, Serious Moonlight captures Bowie at the peak of his coolly calculated superstardom, streamlining his eccentricities so they are slick yet still a bit strange. It ain't rock & roll, it's entertainment, but that's also the charm of the record: it's big and glitzy, with Bowie acting justifiably proud of his grandiose moves but also performing with a sly, knowing wink. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine