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About Kieran Baddeley

Favourite Artists include: Björk, The Blue Nile, Brian Eno, Can, Cocteau Twins, David Byrne, David Sylvian, Elvis Costello, Fleetwood Mac, Goldfrapp, Genesis, Hot Chip, New Order, Orange Juice, Pet Shop Boys, Peter Gabriel, Roxy Music, Suede, Talking Heads, Talk Talk, The The, XTC.
Latest Posts | By Kieran Baddeley
Album Review: Róisín Murphy – Róisín Machine
9
2 weeks ago

Album Review: Róisín Murphy – Róisín Machine

There’s a misconception surrounding Róisín Murphy that’s followed her for a number of years now, something that sounds nice when written down but is ultimately a completely empty statement. Critics like to point out the unfair way in which Róisín Murphy hasn’t become a global superstar. Off the back of 2007’s impeccable pop masterpiece Overpowered, many jumped on the bandwagon that this would propel her to deserved universal acknowledgment and acclaim. Whether Overpowered should’ve done so is irrelevant. A truer assessment of Murphy’s career is that she has always been destined to be a cult favourite, always leftfield in some way. Murphy has been on an inexorable path throughout her career; from Moloko’s Statues to 2016’s Take Her Up to Monto, she has been honing a notably uncommercial strain of nu-disco, each release perfecting the previous’ imperfections. Róisín Machine is Murphy incarnate: relentlessly danceable and relentlessly uncommercial and relentlessly her.
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Album Review: Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot
7
5 months ago

Album Review: Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot

You return home, slowly locking the door behind you. Your ears still ringing, you make your way upstairs. Collapsing onto your bed, the same ringing that was once a comfort on your journey home now pierces the silence. High on the euphoria of the evening, you place your headphones on and search for the perfect album to play. Do you feel lonely? Or is it just the contrast of being surrounded by people and now being alone? You don’t know, but the evening now leaves a bitter taste. You decide on the B-side of Please. No- Bilingual. No- Elysium. You can’t decide. Further searching presents to you option D: Hotspot.
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Album Review: Björk – Vulnicura
10
9 months ago

Album Review: Björk – Vulnicura

On the plastic sleeve for the vinyl of Vulnicura, computer generated and mutating, Björk lies with her back stretching over a rock. A crevice splitting her chest, she is the embodiment of pain. As if all of nature’s might has physically and emotionally cracked her in two. Broken and bleeding, she holds her mouth ajar, a silent scream hits you as hard as the rock that surrounds her. It’s one of the most visceral and daring album covers in her discography and, now five years old, it remains one of the most visceral and daring albums of her career.
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Album Review: Steely Dan – Gaucho
10
1 year ago

Album Review: Steely Dan – Gaucho

Speaking about Aja, Steely Dan’s sixth album, guitarist Dean Parks said of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, “perfection is not what they’re after, they’re after something that you wanna listen to.” No other quote encapsulates the music of Steely Dan better. Indeed, on Aja, as evidenced by its sales, they really did find something you wanna listen to and, arguably, found perfection. It is what Parks said next that hits true poignancy in regards to Aja’s follow up: “… we would go past the perfection point until it became natural.” 1980’s Gaucho is evidence of what a Steely Dan album sounds like when it stops just before perfection- the sound of a band desperately striving for flawlessness but ending up with a finished product on the wrong side of their goal.
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Album Review: David Byrne – David Byrne
8
1 year ago

Album Review: David Byrne – David Byrne

In 1994, listeners got a tantalisingly brief glimpse at the real David Byrne, one they would have to wait a decade to witness again. On his self-titled album, Byrne raised the veil slightly; just enough to let his most personal song writing to date into the world.
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Single Review: Carly Rae Jepson – No Drug Like Me
8
2 years ago

Single Review: Carly Rae Jepson – No Drug Like Me

2015’s stunning Emotion was one of the best pop albums of the decade. It was a perfect mix of breathless hooks, simple narratives and underhand bitterness, lifting to something of cult status amongst fans. Since then, Carly Rae Jepson has kept us fans waiting; teasing us with 2017’s Cut to the Feeling and 2018’s Party For One… she’s been playing a long game.
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Album Review: Scott Walker – Scott 3
10
2 years ago

Album Review: Scott Walker – Scott 3

There’s a beautifully mournful moment about half way into the first track on Scott 3, It’s Raining Today, which sums up the whole of Scott Walker’s career. The strings which envelop the song, subtly change down a chord or two and suddenly Walker’s words have added gravity:
“We go like lovers / To replace the empty space /
Repeat our dreams to someone new.”
The first line is hopelessly romantic: a vision of something complete, two people in love going through life together. The next lines however, send shivers down your spine. This is love that is trying to fill something that’s lost, a repeated vignette that has not yet succeeded. Someone who’s been hurt before but goes into every relationship with the same gusto, sure that this time will be the one. This flip from happy to sad in the space of a few words sums up the whole song, the whole album and Walker’s whole career.
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Album Review: Can – Future Days
10
2 years ago

Album Review: Can – Future Days

At the bottom of the bed of sensuous purple that backdrops the cover to Can’s 1973 album Future Days is one of the ancient Chinese ‘I Ching’ symbols. Traditionally used as a way of telling the future, its inclusion is by no means a coincidence. Title aside, the similarities to Can’s discography are prescient.
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Album Review: Carly Rae Jepson – Emotion
8
2 years ago

Album Review: Carly Rae Jepson – Emotion

Pop music, in recent years, has become slightly disillusioned to the masses. A whole article could be taken up explaining how streaming and other technological advances have led to the increase of talentless artists creeping into the charts and the consciousness of the masses. While this may hold some truth, it’s an extremely cynical world view. In many ways, Pop music is better now than it ever has been. It’s become such a broad term that myriad artists and genres fall into its scope. Naysayers may argue that truly original and worthwhile Pop music is dead. 2015’s Emotion is an album that refutes this claim.
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Album Reviews: Brian Eno – Ambient 1, 2, 4
9.7
2 years ago

Album Reviews: Brian Eno – Ambient 1, 2, 4

In the pantheon of rock icons, there remains no one as singular or influential as Brian Eno. His career is one that would have been chronicled on terracotta pots a couple of centuries ago. It serves my purpose just to mention a couple of the artists he’s improved due to either his presence or production: Roxy Music, David Bowie, Talking Heads, David Byrne, Nico, U2, Laurie Anderson, Genesis, Paul Simon and many more. His run of four rock albums from 1974-77, is an unrivalled one in regards to innovation. But after this run came his greatest left-turn yet: Ambient.
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