Music Reviews

Billy Joe Shaver - Freedom's Child

Hard-country survivor soldiers on with his 12th studio album

Just Jack - Diversion Tactics

Home-grown hip hop which is proud of its origins

Shy FX & T-Power - Set It Off

Return of drum'n'bass, weirdly

Mick Turner - Moth

Fine Australian guitar sketches

Ian Brown - Remixes Of The Spheres

Monkey man sends out mixed messages

Kirsty McGee - Honeysuckle

Strong debut from sensitive Lancashire singer-songwriter, with Boo Hewerdine providing the backing

Noriko Tujiko - Make Me Hard

Electronic siren songs

LL Cool J - 10

Tenth album from veteran rapper sounds as fresh as his first

Missy Elliott - Under Construction

Business as usual for newly slimmed-down genius

That Old Black Magic

More American recordings with Rick Rubin from everyone's favourite cowboy

Various - Homesleep2: Cover Songs

Italian lo-fi indie label collates impressive covers album

Xzibit - Man Vs Machine

Fourth album from Eminem chum

KTB - All Calm In Dreamland

Gentle debut from youthful singer-songwriter produced by her brother from Goldrush

Various Artists - The Fire This Time

Shaming secret history of the war on Iraq, soundtracked by Aphex Twin, Orbital and co

The High Cost Of Living

Dark, worldly-wise solo return from Van der Graaf Generator man

TLC - 3D

Two surviving members of "No Scrubs" trio carry on without Lisa Left-Eye Lopes

Jay-Z - The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse

Double CD follow-up to last year's mainstream rap classic proves that bigger is rarely better

Smashing Pumpkins - Earphoria

Classic live Pump action from early '90s

Erin McKeown - Distillation

Brilliant debut, released early 2003, from US roots singer

Kinky

From Monterey, Mexico, Kinky's extraordinary debut album was recently shortlisted for the American...

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Editor's Letter

The 46th (And Last) Playlist Of 2014


Sorry I didn't manage to post a playlist last week; a combination of germs, deadlines and various other professional/seasonal distractions meant that I ran out of time.

Here, though, is our last office list of 2014, with lots of strong new entries. A few highlights...