| 20.1°C Belfast

Albums of the week - from Henry Green to Bury Tomorrow


Close

Henry Green's latest album

Henry Green's latest album

Henry Green's latest album

New material from country music veteran Willie Nelson and Chicago quintet Twin Peaks.

DALAI LAMA - INNER WORLD

To say Inner World is probably the best debut album by an octogenarian you'll hear this year is underplaying its quality.

Released to mark the Dalai Lama's 85th birthday on July 6, this collection of mantras and chants goes beyond novelty, as befits someone with a Glastonbury Festival appearance under his belt.

Opener One Of My Favourite Prayers starts with a flute-like woodwind instrument, before the Dalai Lama introduces it in English, saying he daily repeats it up to 100 times.

The remaining 10 tracks follow a similar template, but you don't listen to a Dalai Lama album in the hope of hearing thrash metal, techno or an experimental jazz odyssey.

All proceeds go to charity, and while Inner World won't be for everyone, its New Age/ambient sounds will appeal to those seeking something different and a little deeper.

7/10

Matthew George

TWIN PEAKS - SIDE A

Twin Peaks realised at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic their recording efforts would be waylaid, so they finished the songs nearest to completion remotely for this EP, released digitally this week and on 10-inch vinyl in October.

The Chicago quintet sound nothing like the ethereal music associated with David Lynch's famed TV series, and are influenced more by garage rock, The Rolling Stones and cult favourites The Replacements.

Their natural habitat is on stage and their tour with Car Seat Headrest was cancelled, but they're heading to Australia in the autumn, and with luck can perhaps play these songs live in the UK next year.

7/10

Matthew George

WILLIE NELSON - FIRST ROSE OF SPRING

The grizzled drawl of a singing voice, the yearning of a pedal steel, the boxy sound of an acoustic guitar: it must be Willie Nelson!

First Rose Of Spring sees Shotgun Willie almost entirely in reflective mode, culminating in a lush version of the standard Yesterday When I Was Young.

In fact, a number of songs reference first love; but for a saccharine streak, the record would be a fine companion to later Dylan albums such as Time Out Of Mind.

But Nelson's not completely lost his edge.

He most successfully pulls at the heartstrings on the beautifully elegiac Stealing Home, but elsewhere his sentimentality becomes a little cloying.

6/10 Rachel Farrow

HENRY GREEN - HALF LIGHT

Early last year, Henry Green left his home town of Bristol for a sleepy Wiltshire village and began work on his second album.

Working from a cosy attic studio, the electronic producer and vocalist wrote and recorded the nine songs that would eventually make it on to Half Light.

The result is a dreamy, sensuous work that captures the earthy and natural, and deftly combines it with the synthetic and electronic.

While not yet widely known, Green's music has some high-profile fans: producer Kygo and actress Jenna Dewan, who has performed to his songs.

Opening track All introduces Green's shimmering vocals, recalling a less psychedelic version of Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

If Green's music strays towards the grandiose at times, with strings that soar a little too high, all can be forgiven.

Half Light is a soothing listen that reveals layers upon repeat listening.

7/10

Alex Green

BURY TOMORROW - CANNIBAL

Bury Tomorrow are something of an anomaly in the world of heavy rock.

The metalcore band, formed in Southampton in 2006, have scored three consecutive top 40s in the past six years, all without softening their sound for a mass audience.

On their sixth album, Cannibal, lead singer Dani Winter-Bates drills down into his own experience of poor mental health as his band attack some of their most full-throttle tracks yet.

What could become an unendingly dark affair is lifted by some rousing choruses and lyrics that strike an optimistic, if self-lacerating, tone.

Quake is as close to a ballad as Bury Tomorrow will ever stray.

Winter-Bates' candid exploration of his own mental health is especially poignant during the pandemic, given his long-standing job as a manager for the NHS when he is off tour.

For fans of the genre, Cannibal is a stylistic left-turn and offers an unobstructed view into Winter-Bates' mind.

6/10

Alex Green

Belfast Telegraph