Albums of the week: Ghostbusters soundtrack and many more
Enjoyed the new Ghostbusters movie? Check out the soundtrack, while folk-rockers The Leylines share Along The Old Straight Track and Lawson present Perspective. We round up the leading recent releases.
GRIEVING — DEMONSTRATIONS EP
Coming from a musical education chalked up in Cambridge’s grimier venues, Grieving is a punky four-piece with indie leanings, razor guitar-playing and vocals that shudder and arc with angst. Demonstrations is a tightly bound quintet of tracks, where the thrashing and screeching of Ownership plays foil to the emotional strumming and keening of My Friend, The Ghost and the twinges and twangs of Little Armoured. See past the name and there’s nothing to cry fitfully over here; in fact, it’s all sounding very promising.
LAWSON — PERSPECTIVE
It’s been four years since Lawson’s debut, Chapman Square was released, but finally the boys are back with their second album, Perspective. The first single, Roads, was released in 2015, but due to band member Andy Brown suffering from liver failure, the album had to be pushed back. Now it’s arrived and is typical Lawson: filled to the brim with catchy songs with choruses that will be stuck in your head for hours. Yet this is when Lawson are at their best.
While the album attempts a few ballads, such as Only Water and Where My Love Goes, they fail to sound anything other than generic boy band ballads, not dissimilar to the fare Westlife used to offer. Perspective has a more mature sound than Chapman Square, but there’s no doubt it’s still a pop album at heart.
ROONEY — WASHED AWAY
Robert Schwartzman is the only remaining founder member of Rooney, a band that had middling success in the Noughties, mainly for a song that ran on a Christmas soundtrack to The OC... He’s bolstered himself with a new crew who have helped push him towards more joyful, electronically charged prospects. My Heart Beats 4 U is positively giddy, boiling over with sunny energy (there’s many an “oooh oooh oooh” to sing-a-long to loudly), Don’t Be A Hero races with synths and chat, while the title track, Washed Away is heavy with drums and harmonious regret. Come On Baby sounds like a Badly Drawn Boy rip-off, saturated with the smash of cymbals, and You’re All I Need is saccharine, but as a whole, Washed Away harks back to some greats (Schwartzman has obviously worn out his Beatles collection) and is what can only be deemed the perfect soundtrack to a barbecue.
GHOSTBUSTERS: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK — VARIOUS ARTISTS
Who you gonna call? You’ll never want to hear that question again after listening to five versions of the catchy Ghostbusters theme song. There’s an a cappella version courtesy of Pentatonix, a rock version thanks to Fall Out Boy, and a Mark Ronson dance track, Get Ghost.
Walk The Moon copy Ray Parker Jr’s original theme, but the Eighties track has the privilege of closing the album. The four rehashed remakes are unnecessary, repetitive and enough to make you go for the skip button. Meanwhile, Good Girls is an original song by Elle King, whose gravelly vocals make it a track worth listening to. For the sexist critics of the film, the gritty, female empowering lyrics of Muddy Magnolia’s American Woman are an apt rebuttal.
While the soundtrack has some gems, the repetitiveness of the album overshadows them.
THE LEYLINES — ALONG THE OLD STRAIGHT TRACK
The Leylines are not about to rival Mumford & Sons in the folk-rock stakes. Simplistic guitar chords, and vocals that graze along without much nuance, even if they do give way to a fairly rousing jig every now and again (My Own Worst Enemy), mean the Somerset group find themselves mired in a bog of average folk.
Slapping a few drums over the top does not do much to improve things. Sorry My Friends is traditional to its bones, as is Things I Know, and The Reasons; in fact, it’s a whole bunch of traditional, complete with fiddles, angry expounding and strings for flicking your feet to.
Don’t expect to be inspired.