The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Category Reviews

REVIEW: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – ‘Chasing Yesterday’ (Sour Mash)

by Ed Biggs Ever since the disappointment of Oasis’ third album Be Here Now, the fall-out from which was enough to kill off an entire musical movement in one go, the genial Noel Gallagher’s career has been something of a paradox. His forthright, self-effacing interviews are invariably a lot more entertaining than the music he’s there to promote. This has been problematic for his development as an artist, since no

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REVIEW: of Montreal – ‘Aureate Gloom’ (Polyvinyl)

by Ed Biggs Few would have thought that of Montreal would ever turn into a minor musical institution, but that status seems to have snuck up on them by accident in the last five years. The group has been elastic in number since its 1997 debut, with leader Kevin Barnes using it as a vehicle to explore the darker corners of his own psyche and allow his fancies to take

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REVIEW: Moon Duo – ‘Shadow Of The Sun’ (Sacred Bones)

by Matthew Langham Far from being a side project to his other band Wooden Shjips, Ripley Johnson formed Moon Duo with his partner Sanae Yamada during 2009 as a means of exploring Krautrock-influenced rock, rather than his primary band’s Spiritualized / Doors-inflected explorations. Now on their fourth record, Shadow Of The Sun sees an experimental new sound treading into the electronic element of psychedelic rock. Album opener ‘Wilding’ is a

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REVIEW: Public Service Broadcasting – ‘The Race For Space’ (Test Card Recordings)

by Matthew Langham Inform-Educate-Entertain was one of the most distinctive releases from 2013, made of up of public service audio clips, and interweaved with choppy riffs and electronic interludes; Public Service Broadcasting’s second release shows that they aren’t a one trick pony. The core elements of their debut remain. Archived audio clips from the British Film Institute mix with a plethora of moody rhythms to boost the emotional resonance of

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REVIEW: Carl Barat & The Jackals – ‘Let It Reign’ (Grand Jury)

by Matthew Langham Carl Barât’s first solo album back in 2010 was a damp squib. Rarely acknowledged by the press, it was a squalid effort lacking in inspiration, something admitted by Barât himself. His post-Libertines solo career hasn’t worked out in the same way that bandmate Pete Doherty’s has – Dirty Pretty Things disbanded in 2008 having registered one minor hit. Five years after his career seemed to have fizzled,

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REVIEW: Imagine Dragons – ‘Smoke And Mirrors’ (Interscope / KIDinaKORNER)

by Ed Biggs Having cast a huge shadow over the charts worldwide with ‘Radioactive’, which sold over nine million copies in the States alone and spent more than a year on the Billboard charts, Vegas-based quartet Imagine Dragons return with a second record. Normally, having such an enormous success under your belt makes it difficult to emulate that success in the future, as it becomes an albatross of expectation that

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REVIEW: Black Rivers – ‘Black Rivers’ (Ignition)

by Matthew Langham It’s been a long five years since Doves took a hiatus from their lengthy and successful career. The last twelve months has seen their frontman Jimi Goodwin release his critically acclaimed debut record Odludek, whilst it’s now turn of Doves family duo Andy and Jez Williams with the release of their new project Black Rivers. It’s unlikely that the brothers will repeat the success of their previous

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REVIEW: Idlewild – ‘Everything Ever Written’ (Empty Words)

by Ed Biggs Six years out of the game isn’t that long when you compare it to the huge swathes of time groups like My Bloody Valentine and Suede have left between records, but it’s proved to be too much for Idlewild fans, who successfully launched an online petition for their heroes to make more music early last year. But why? Though they frequently landed Top 40 singles, Top 10

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REVIEW: Kodaline – ‘Coming Up For Air’ (Sony / B-Unique)

by Ed Biggs Boy, has Chris Martin got a lot to answer for. Irish ‘alternative rock’ quartet Kodaline, having found chart success with their brand of polished, radio-friendly pop-guitar ballads with their first full-length In A Perfect World, give us a follow-up less than two years later. But as with that, their second album Coming Up For Air must rank as one of the most egregious instances of musical mis-labelling

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REVIEW : Father John Misty – ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ (Sub Pop)

by Matthew Langham Former Fleet Foxes member Josh Tillman, a.k.a. Father John Misty, returns with I Love You, Honeybear, his follow-up to his 2012 debut record Fear Fun, the second under his latest moniker. The self-described concept record is more of a confessional, offering his revelations on love and life following his marriage. This doesn’t make it a soppy record exactly, but it gives a very visual context to his

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