Album Reviews 11/09/09
Turin Brakes - Bottled At Source: The Best Of The Source Years (EMD Int'l) When Turin Brakes quietly exploded onto the scene in 2000, they were rightly heralded as one of Britain's best bands.
They were at the forefront of the made-up New Acoustic Movement, along with the likes of Starsailor, Travis and I Am Kloot.
A Mercury Prize nomination for the London duo's 2001 debut The Optimist LP followed, but from there on in they were never quite able to live up to expectations.
Radio 2 hits came in the shape of 5 Mile and their second album Ether Song's big hit Painkiller, but interest dwindled even more by the time of JackInABox and Dark On Fire, both of which are understandably scarcely represented on this two-CD, presumably contractually-obliging retrospective.
A shame how it's ended up for the duo, but that doesn't stop Underdog, State Of Things and Mind Over Money being minor classics.
Reviewed by Andy Welch
Richmond Fontaine - We Used to Think the Freeway Sounded like a River (Décor)
Willy Vlautin (the one in the checked shirt in this picture of Richmond Fontaine) is a man of many talents — as well as being a songwriter of note thanks to his work with Richmond Fontaine, he's also fast becoming a novelist of some distinction.
This eighth album will provide few surprises to anyone familiar with his previous records or books.
His inspiration is still culled from a pool of downtrodden, Steinbeck-meets-Paris, Texas characters.It's a source that springs some superb songs, not least Maybe We Were Both Born Blue.
Reviewed by John Meagher
Jet - Shaka Rock (Eleven Seven)
Although critics sometimes dismiss them as a band lacking original ideas, Aussie rockers Jet rather refute that idea with this uniquely ballsy blend of the best bits of Brit rock history lashed to a distinctly Antipodean sense of fun.
With worldwide album sales topping 4.5 million since 2003, when they landed the opening slot on the Rolling Stones' Australian tour, Jet have built a loyal fan base.
The group's energy is truly relentless for the duration of a dozen tracks on this latest offering.
Beat On Repeat and Goodbye Hollywood display their frenetic swagger particularly well and, while not quite matching the full singalong glory of their earlier hit single Are You Gonna Be My Girl, there can be no denying that She's A Genius finds this promising quartet firing impressively on all cylinders.
Reviewed by Patrick Gates