The Student Playlist

Showcasing the Best New Music, Curating the Classics

Tag Lauren James

CLASSIC ’00s: Muse – ‘Absolution’

Muse’s third album ‘Absolution’ turned them from critical successes to household names, and its dystopian overtones are still prescient more than a decade on.

CULT ’00s: The Knife – ‘Silent Shout’

by Lauren James As The Knife‘s Silent Shout celebrates its 10 year anniversary, it’s necessary to look back on this landmark electronic album, whose aftershocks can still be felt a decade on. As the Swedish duo did most of the album promo wearing masks, the record represents the siblings trying on different identities and shape shifting to expose the grim realities of society. Before the strident politicism and prismatic beats of Shaking

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The Top 50 Albums of 2015

2015 has been our first year of operation under our new name The Student Playlist, and it’s been a year of steady expansion. There are now five of us, with a view to adding yet more talented, passionate writers in the new year as we continue in our quest to point out the best new music, rediscover old albums, both stone-cold classics and hidden treasures, and cause lively debate with

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REVIEW: The Dead Weather – ‘Dodge And Burn’ (Third Man Records)

by Lauren James Five years is a long time – especially when you’re Jack White and have a dozen plates spinning from every knuckle and kneecap. Despite half a decade’s wait after 2010’s Sea Of Cowards, it came as a surprise to many that the prolific rocker had time to spare for his bluesy, moody supergroup The Dead Weather at all. In the two years since third album Dodge And Burn

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REVIEW: The Maccabees – ‘Marks To Prove It’ (Universal / Fiction)

by Lauren James For some reason, I’ve always associated The Maccabees with indie dance club hooliganism. After a gruelling recording process, they’ve dropped their fourth release – and it wasn’t an easy birth. Written and recorded solely in the band’s small London studio, Marks To Prove It may as well be named after the paranoid wall etchings of a mental patient holed up in a cell. “It’s tough because you’re not

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REVIEW: Tame Impala – ‘Currents’ (Modular / Fiction)

by Lauren James & Ed Biggs As the auteur behind Tame Impala, arguably the most celebrated new guitar band of the 2010s, Kevin Parker is nothing but an experimentalist. As soon as the world had begun to demand more of his retro brand of ’60s-inspired nu-psychedelia after the critical and commercial triumph of 2012’s Lonerism, he announced that he was jumping lilypads to a sound that is more synth than fuzz; more hipster,

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REVIEW: Years & Years – ‘Communion’ (Polydor / Universal)

by Lauren James I should know better than thinking “hotly anticipated debut” is for anything other than PR and lazy showbiz journalism, yet I still clung to the hope that the much buzzed-about Years & Years would deliver a sound to define 2015. Communion is crammed with the kind of slickly produced house-pop London does so well, yet even singer Olly Alexander’s boyband-perfect voice fails to carve any palpable emotion into

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The 100 Greatest Albums of the 2010s… So Far

To adapt that famous misquotation attributed to Mark Twain, reports of the album’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Ever since the turn of the millennium, conventional wisdom has had it that the traditional long-player is on its way out, an arcane format out of time with the digital world that will cede inexorably to a future of singles and playlists. But while many artists have experimented with what an album

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