Albums of the week - from Chris Kamara to Fall Out Boy
This week's new musical offerings include a greatest hits collection by rockers Fall Out Boy and a festive-themed album by Chris Kamara.
CHRIS KAMARA - HERE'S TO CHRISTMAS
Before I go any further I'll put my hands up and admit I am a Christmas album fan - the tackier the better in my eyes. I will be in my festive element, even in August.
Now, when I heard Kammy was hot on the heels of a certain Mr Christmas (aka Buble) I was sceptical. In fact I may even have uttered "Unbelievable Jeff!" much to the surprise of Helen, who I was sat next to!
Put away your ideas of tacky, comedy and general seasonal tack. Pick up your lounge suit, Rat Pack longings and chilled out vibes. Chris Kamara has delivered a smooth, big band swing album that is pure class.
You will fight singing along to the classics Winter Wonderland, It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, Frosty The Snowman and Santa Baby.
The one down point? It's over far too soon! Lay down your misgivings and pick up your mulled wine and listen to the Christmas album you never knew you needed.
TINDERSTICKS - NO TREASURE BUT HOPE
Three years after their last studio album, Tindersticks return with a fine addition to their legacy. All the classic Tindersticks elements are present and correct, led by Stuart Staples' rumbling baritone, deeper than a politician's lies, with delicate piano, strings and brass filling out the sound.
It's not exactly party music, more an accompaniment to drinking whisky after midnight in a second-hand suit while the rain lashes against the window.
You could argue Tindersticks haven't changed much since they emerged in Nottingham at the dawn of the 90s, but I don't want to hear their new drill direction or their Jazz Odyssey.
This is timeless music, not nostalgia, with Take Care In Your Dreams and the title track up there with their best, while the poignant The Old Man's Gait reflects on a son's relationship with his father.
FALL OUT BOY - BELIEVERS NEVER DIE VOLUME 2
The latest greatest hits album from Fall Out Boy is a brilliant taster with something to satisfy both dedicated or casual listeners.
As a sequel to their 2009 compilation, Believers Never Die Part 2 spans the band's work following their hiatus and return to music in 2012.
The 13-track compilation shows the band's growth and the result is a cohesive album that proudly displays the wide-ranging talents of the once pigeonholed group.
It opens strongly with the iconic My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark, while Young Volcanoes merges pop and rock with bouncy guitar in a perfect demonstration of Fall Out Boy's range.
These impressive highlights are accompanied by more recent singles While I've Been Waiting and Dear Future Self, while a third new single, Bob Dylan, is a smooth end to the talent-filled album which is a perfect introduction for new fans with its carefully selected highlights.
CHRISTOPHER HOLLAND - GOLDEN HOUR
Having such a famous sibling in Jools has probably led to Christopher Holland being overlooked by many music fans down the years.
Given what is on show here, that is somewhat a shame.
Christopher doesn't go in for the big arrangements but prefers to keep things more personal and intimate, which leads to more melodic and gentler style.
On this showing, Holland Minor, deserves his own share of the limelight and not just as one of his brother's backing band.
GRAHAM COXON - THE END OF THE F****** WORLD 2, ORIGINAL SONGS AND SCORE
Channel 4's berserk and brilliant dark comedy drama The End Of The F***ing World is back for a second season - as is former Blur guitarist turned solo artist Graham Coxon to soundtrack teen runaways James and Alyssa's misadventures.
The use of music in the show is striking, almost Tarantino-esque, though much of Coxon's score consists of haunting backdrops while music supervisor Matt Biffa does a lot of the heavy lifting with his incongruous, ingenious selections for key scenes.
Coxon gets in on that act with the bizarre, folky Mash Potato in episode three and plays his part in a wonderful show, though the major contributions come from elsewhere.