Indya – Gimme Ya Luv

BRIT school trained. A dancer for West End shows like ‘Starlight Express‘. Appearing in One Direction vids. It’s possble to cast Natalie Indya West before even listening to her music. I did. Her wonderful album laughs at that folly, this is no sparse Nu Funk chart searcher, no ‘X Factor‘ diva, this has variety and an oddness which spits in the face of central casting.

We get:

Half rapped En Vogue funky confrontation for ‘Pink N Leopard’ and ‘If Ya Don’t Like It – Shove It!’,

Some harder Funk and rockier guitars on fuzzy ‘Tha Final Line‘, even semi growls here and the big bass bash of rather sleazy ‘Insane Love‘.

Hard Grunge Alice In Chains style riffing with a bubblegum vocal in the title track, Hair Metal touches ignite the radio ready ‘I Cast A Spell‘.

Balladic nonsense but nonetheless ‘Rewind My Love‘ will be enjoyed by many.

This is a surprise, not like the ones you get from the genito urinary clinic, something wonderful. Must remember to make decisions after listening to the music…

Out Independently

Remedy Rating: 5/5 Perfect Patient

Louise – Heavy Love

Louise unbound? From a nuclear showbiz family to a well papped break up, Ms Redknapp now Nurding again has been through it recently, but growth occurs through difficulty, we’re assured and this is her first album for 15 years. We can expect some growth, can’t we?

Well, not when the cliches of the girl band or Neo Soul diva are so calming. She rushes to them in a percussion heavy, faux sultry ‘Stretch‘, desperate to be a female Justin Timberlake, ‘Small Talk‘ a little airier but with a shuffling beat, eassentially the same, at least ‘Hammer‘ has a sleek momentum and ‘Settle For Nothing‘, flaunting the current dancefloor sound, is sweet.

This really settles, even though we can’t help but see the usual relationship problem lyrics as barbed, the only thing that makes visiting ‘Not The Same‘ worth visiting. Even an apparent attempt of a sparse Hip Hop sound on ‘Wonder Woman‘ comes off as kitsch. When she goes full dancefloor, it’s a different matter, the fun of ‘Straight To My Heart‘ is infectious, but too many songs here hug the walls of a room built by her and others.

A breakup album it might be, but by presenting hackneyed music like this, it sounds like a day at the mall. Heavy Love? Lightweight outcome.

Out On Warner

Remedy Rating: 2/5 Expected Results

Better Oblivion Community Center

This is like a mentor scheme; Conor Oberst, the well respected mainman of Bright Eyes palling up with causing a buzz Phoebe Bridgers. As might be expected, this is bruised folky Americana, aching for authenticity, whatever that is, even breaking out a creaky violin for ‘Sleepwalkin‘ (check out that missing G’).

The times when they duet and open up are great, a breezy ‘Dylan Thomas‘ is nice to meet and easy for forget, but stripped back pain delivery systems like ‘Service Road‘ just whine. Which makes ‘Big Black Heart‘ so special when it reveals with a big jagged explosion.

This is what a lot of people want. It must be, there’s a lot of it out there. Country Americana, the very title sounds safe. Just putting two names together doesn’t necessarily mean they automatically produce something great, for every Peters and Lee there’s a Cameron and Clegg, remember. This Community Centre needs more for people to do.

Out On Dead Oceans

Remedy Rating: 2/5 Predictable Test Results

Eminem – Music To Be Murdered By

The punch is the boxer’s last thing to go. Causing offence, ruffling feathers, is the last thing waning Rap talents have. We’ve had to endure the outrage of the passing lyric about the Manchester arena bombing, then the lack of Eminem apology causing apoplexy. Rightly so, you may say, but this is just playing his game, enter the album through the media scrum rather than the music. Look at that title, worthy of an Insane Clown Posse album: is that what you want to be, Marshall?

Lot of guests here, needs the help, ‘Unacommodating‘ has the clicking backing we’ve heard a million times, that fast flow always impresses, but we’ve heard that a million times too, what else you got? Well, there’s the fast flow of ‘You Gon’ Learn‘, oh yeah, we’ve had that, ah, you want a false Yacht Rock chorus for ‘In Too Deep‘, that’s pretty popular these days, isn’t it? Hey, there’s that very fast rapping in ‘Godzilla’...oh yeah…

There’s a mea culpa song of course, here it’s ‘Darkness‘, a ‘poor me’, then ‘poor me with an uzi’, sounds like a violent wank fantasy; to feel impotent with so much money, who knew? Put those hands down. Yep, ‘Stepdad‘, of course, but at least this has a squelchy backing to give his raps air and then we’re back to the apology for his behaviour, boy band chorus, apology purchased with ordinary rap, see ‘Never Love Again‘.

It’s left to an Alfred Hitchcock impersonator to cheer us in the skits and a vocoder to make us howl with derision (that’s you, ‘No Regrets’).

This makes a run of 3 poor releases. You know the other thing about blown out boxers? They don’t know when to stop, the trash talk continues; that’s what we have here. It’s over, Marsh.

Out On Interscope

Remedy Rating: 2/5 Missed Appointments

Whyte Horses – Hard Times

Hard to categorise, those Whyte Horses. What is their sound, apart from frequently excellent and often frustrating? Here there’s a ‘Sgt PeppCa Plane Pour Moiers…‘ style cover, or maybe a ‘Their Satanic Majesties…’ a rolling piece of nothing, ‘Red Lady‘, to start, La Roux wasted on a faceless Country Rock ‘Mister Natural‘ too, easy on the ear though it is. John Grant fares better, his work on the title cut is a Motown sound, horns, bongos, you know, with his deeper tone keeping us on our toes; better still is the Bolan banger ‘Tocyn‘ with Gruff Rhys’ spacy vocals exactly right.

Elsewhere, ‘Seabird‘ is such an innocuous Americana roll, it could be a pastiche, similarly with that Brit variety burner ‘Bang Bang‘, but how enjoyable, Chrysta Bell so sultry, but they make ‘I Saw The Light‘ Indie ordinary, then parping version of Plastic Bertrand’s ‘Ca Plane Pour Moi‘ is hugely enjoyable.

See the pattern here? Consistency lacking. Or experimenting with our expectations. They’re achingly ironic, with those ‘interesting’ covers and all, but you may have a Hard Time loving this album.

Out On CRC Records

Remedy Rating: 4/5 Unexpected Results

The Cobra Lamps

Used to call someone I worked with Little Barrie. It wasn’t an insult, in fact it was an acknowledgement that we both liked the band, us among too few. And now frontman Barrie Cadogan has new music, with the backing of iconic Brian Jonestown Massacre mainman Anton Newcombe no less, who heard this music and liked it enough to put the album out on his A Recordings label.

What’s in these 4 tracks then? Gorgeously made 60’s Pop, with the drums on ‘Known To All‘ seeming to have their own notes, a discombobulated guitar solo unsettling and Barrie’s vocals located in the corner of the room, ‘The Indicator‘ is so languid, it can barely finish itself off but ‘Can’t Uncorrupt‘ boasts a rolling Mod resurgence backing that Miles Kane would nod at, which is good as it relies on that, depite a dirty guitar.

This has all the hallmarks of a sweet little diversion and nothing more. It deserves more attention; a little gorgeous gem glimmering in the corner. Shine a light on it.

Out On A Recordings

Remedy Rating : 4/5 Private Medicine

Julian Taylor Band – Avalanche

Julian may not want to break big, his area of musical preference will probably make that more of a possibility though simply because he’s playing souped up Blues and loads of others are doing the same thing at the moment. Johnny come latelys; Julian has done a lot, seen the possibility of big success, done the covers band circuit, run his own label, he’s time served.

The music doesn’t sound tired though, almost Purdie shuffle on those drums, nice jabbing horns on the periphery, bubbly riff, jam packed vocals, ‘Time‘ is suburb funky stuff, but there’s air in this groove too, ‘Back Again‘ is a warm breeze, ‘Sweeter‘s smoky Blues, sassy strut of ‘Learn To Love‘ and dancefloor mover with whispering organ and bongo additions, electric joanna line, easy to like guitar solo, ‘Never Let The Lights Go Dim’.

There are loads of artists doing this, but Julian doesn’t seem to mind, he’s in his comfort zone and therefore so are we; not an avalanche, more like a heated snow lodge with a hot choc; much more preferable.

Out On Gypsy Soul Records

Remedy Rating: 4/5 Rest Cure