Album review

Jackie Leven - Shining Brother, Shining Sister

The wilfully weathered Leven wears his art on his sleeve: his new work incorporates poems by Rilke, ee cummings and Edith Sitwell, read by Ron Sexsmith, Robert Bly and David "Pere Ubu" Thomas. Despite Leven's wry sleevenotes, it's nothing if not earnest. When it doesn't click, it's a bit Chris Rea/Dire Straits, but when he allows himself to croon songs of honest personal heartbreak, like the lovely "Another Man In The Old Arcade", the library lets some light and shade in and his lilting voice moves you to the marrow.

Rating: 3 / 10


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Introducing… Elvis Costello: The Ultimate Music Guide


In June 1977, Allan Jones of the Melody Maker took a familiar route to the offices of Stiff Records in West London. His appointment, that day, was with a notably irascible young singer-songwriter from Hounslow. In the course of a frequently startling interview, the man who had chosen to call...