ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Magic Still Exists by Agnes (October 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

TRACKLIST: Spiritual Awakening; XX; 24 Hours; Freedom; Here Comes The Night; Love And Appreciation; The Soul Has No Gender; Selfmade; Fingers Crossed; Free Your Mind And Free Your Body; Magic Still Exists

33-year-old Agnes Carlsson hasn’t released an album since 2012’s Veritas and that was some considerable time after her commercial peak with the international hit and breakthrough single Release Me which reached number 3 in the UK in 2009.

  • Read on for reasons including why this is an album of the year contender
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Journey To You by The Blow Monkeys (September 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

RELEASED: Friday 24 September 2021

TRACKLIST: Dust At Her Feet; Time Storm; More Than A Miracle; One More Time; Each and Every One; Earthbound; Touching Distance; Unicorn Kisses; Journey To You; Teardrop Rock

The Blow Monkeys found fame in the late 80s by marrying a saxaphone-heavy dance pop sound with lyrics often criticising then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and it’s interesting that the muse for this 1st new album in 4 years is once again female but this time about love rather than hate.

  • Read on for reasons including how to see The Blow Monkeys on their UK tour later this year
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Fyr & Flamme by Fyr & Flamme (August 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

TRACKLIST: Hemmelighed; 112; Kamaeleon; Hvor Er Du Nu; Menneskeforbruger; Ved Godt Det Var Mig Der Tog Fejl; Dansemusik; Kaereste; Øve os på hinanden; Dine Ojne

Viewers of 2021’s Eurovision Song Contest may remember Fyr Og Flamme who represented Denmark finishing 11th in the 2nd semi final with 3rd single Øve os på hinanden.

  • Read on for reasons including why you should check out these 10 songs in Danish
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ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Crying On The Bathroom Floor by Will Young (week beginning 14 August 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

TRACKLIST: Daniel; Crying On The Bathroom Floor; Till There’s Nothing Left; Indestructible; Strong; I Follow Rivers; Everything Is Embarrassing; Losing You; Missing; Elizabeth Taylor

We last saw Will Young on stage in 2018 in Strictly Ballroom in London’s West End and for this, his 1st studio album since 2019’s Lexicon, he has decided to cover songs made famous by female artists.

  • Read on for reasons including how to see Will on tour in London next month
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ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Boy From Michigan by John Grant (week beginning 16 July 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

TRACKLIST: Boy From Michigan; County Fair; The Rusty Bull; The Cruise Room; Mike And Julie; Best In Me; Rhetorical Figure; Just So You Know; Dandy Star; Your Portfolio; The Only Baby; Billy

We’re reminded of the close of 2 of our favourite albums of the 90s – Pulp‘s His’n’Hers and REM’s Automatic For The People – by the tenderness and tunefulness of final track here, Billy.

  • Read on for reasons including how to see Grant on tour in London and across the UK soon
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella (Original Album Cast Recording) starring Carrie Hope Fletcher (July 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

TRACKLIST: Buns ‘N’ Roses; It Has To Be Her; Bad Cinderella; So Long; Unfair; Unbreakable; Hunks’ Song; Man’s Man; So Long (Reprise); Only you, Lonely You; The Queen’s Boudoir; I Know You; I Know You (Reprise); The Village Square; Unfair (Reprise); The Godmother’s Shop; Beauty Has A Price; Fanfare; The Cinderella Waltz; The Ball; I Know I Have A Heart; Act 2 Scene 2; I Am No Longer Me; Moment Of Triumph; What Were You Thinking?; Far Too Late; Ego Has A Price (Reprise); The Wedding Fanfare; The Wedding March; The Ceremony; The Vanquishing; Man’s Man (Reprise); Cinderella’s Solilioquy; The Wedding Party; Finale; Marry For Love; Only You, Lonely You

With former Killing Eve showrunner Emerald Fennell at the helm in the year she won an Oscar for Promising Young Woman this Cinderella was always likely to be a radical reinterpretation of the beloved fairy tale – and so it proves.

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ALBUM OF THE MONTH/GIG REVIEW: Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land by MARINA (June 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

RELEASED: 11 June 2021

TRACKLIST: Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land; Venus Fly Trap; Man’s World; Purge The Poison; Highly Emotional People; New America; Pandora’s Box; I Love You But I Love Me More; Flowers; Goodbye

GIG SETLIST (13 June 2021) Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land; Venus Fly Trap; Purge The Poison; Froot; Man’s World; Highly Emotional People; Blue; New America; I Am Not A Robot; Pandora’s Box; To Be Human; How To Be A Heartbreaker; Bubblegum Bitch; I Love You But I Love Me More; Goodbye

If Kate Bush had given birth to a daughter rather than a son in 1998 and she had gone on to make records, one suspects they would have sounded like this 5th collection from Welsh singer/songwriter/musician/producer Marina Lambrini Diamandis.

  • Read on for reasons including what went down at the album launch show available online on Sunday 13 June
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Discovery (Live In Rio 1994) by Pet Shop Boys (May 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

RELEASED: Friday 30 April 2021

TRACKLIST: Tonight Is Forever; I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing; Always On My Mind; Domino Dancing; To Speak Is A Sin; One In A Million/Mr Vain; Paninaro; Rent; Suburbia; King’s Cross; So Hard; Left To My Own Devices/Rhythm Of The Night; Absolutely Fabulous; Liberation; West End Girls; Can You Forgive Her?; Girls And Boys; It’s A Sin/I Will Survive; Go West; Being Boring

This tour of Australia and South America was Pet Shop Boys’ 1st not to arrive in the UK which is a shame because despite being less of a spectacle than their previous 2 productions it’s far more fun.

  • Read on for reasons including what Pet Shop Boys are working on next
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Poster Girl by Zara Larsson (March 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: ***1/2

OUT: 5 March 2021

TRACKLIST: Love Me Land; Talk About Love feat Young Thug; Need Someone; Right Here; WOW; Poster Girl; I Need Love; Look What You’ve Done; Ruin My Life; Stick With You; FFF; What Happens Here

We last saw Larsson live headlining at London’s Eventim Apollo in October 2017 and it is with a little surprise then that it has taken more than three-and-half years since to release this next album proper.

  • Read on for reasons including to see live performances of 2 of the album’s best tracks
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ALBUM OF THE MONTH: Choices by Lucy Spraggan (February 2021)

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

OUT: 26/2/21

TRACKLIST: Flowers; Roots; Sober; Run To The Hills; Heartbreak Suites; If I Had A God; I Spent A Night In The Desert; You’ve Let Yourself Down; Animal; Wild; Run; Choices (Don’t Be Afraid); Why Don’t We Start From Here?

If you’re familiar with singer/songwriter Spraggan it may well be thanks to her song Tea And Toast which was a top 20 hit before she’d even appeared on TV’s The X Factor live finals in 2012.

  • Read on for reasons including a link to details of live shows Spraggan is playing this year
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