Well, well, well, it looks like our prediction that the Sugababes 'brand new image' (read: FHM pin-ups with less class) may not be paying off was an accurate one. Their new album stalled at no. 14, which, if they were a brand new indie band who had just completed a tour of Milton Keynes would be a success, but seeing as they're signed to a major, have a well-known brand as their moniker and have had a lot of press - all publicity is good publicity, right? - this is not good. The White Stripes' fist live album entered just outside the Top 20, whilst the Laura Marling single was nowhere to be seen. Odd. Perhaps it's the fact that the video looks like something Sting would knock out as a holiday video?
I Speak Because I Can by Laura Marling
Forget the fact that Marling has only been able to vote for the past two years and focus instead on the fact that she seems incapable of writing a shit song. I Speak Because I Can may feel slight on first listen but beneath the fragile exterior the songs quietly rage about everything from the perils of marriage, the plight of women in society and, most significantly, not riding bikes down to the sea (the brilliant title track makes this seem like the saddest thing not to do, ever!). Musically, it's all plucked guitars, stark strings and the muted kick of the drum and on top of that Marling's weathered vocals sound simultaneously desolate and pissed off. Dismiss this as Mumford & Sons-esque Top Man folk at your peril.
BUY THIS, COPY IT, RETURN IT
Greenberg: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by James Murphy
Greenberg is the new film by Noah Baumbach, he who directed that one with the dysfunctional family and that other one with the dysfunctional family (he's the one that's NOT Wes Anderson) and it's soundtrack features twelve new songs by James Murphy, aka the guy from LCD Soundsystem who looks like a rebellious accountant. The songs are mostly short pieces, some with just the odd flutter of piano, but on tracks like 'People' and 'Photographs' you start to realise how versatile this Murphy man is. The album also features a song by Albert Hammond Jr's Dad and Galaxie 500, who also have some reissues out this month, which we tried to buy but HMV is, quite frankly, a dog shit establishment...unless you're looking to buy Hannah Montana on DVD, in book form and the computer game for the PSP.
'Kobwebz' / 'Speaketh' by Gonjasufi
We kind of missed the boat with these guys and we forgot to mention they're amazing new album, A Sufi and A Killer, which was out on Warp records the other week. Anyways, this double A-side single features the brilliant 'Kobwebz', which sounds like the work of some seriously drugged up nomads who live in the desert (appropriately enough), and the non-album track, 'Speaketh'. What they lack in spelling skills they more than make up for in spooky, dry-as-a-bone, freaky, space rock.