Albums of the week - from Liam Payne to Camila Cabello
Australian outfit The Go-Betweens make a resounding impact with their latest box set collection, while the second album from Camila Cabello shows off her fun and cheeky side.
The Go-Betweens - G Stands For Go-Betweens
The Go-Betweens were an Australian band who released six albums in the 1980s and another three after reforming in the 2000s, before coming to an abrupt stop when one of their two songwriters, Grant McLennan, died aged 48 in 2006.
The other songwriter, Robert Forster, has kept the band's legacy alive through the G Stands For Go-Betweens box sets.
The second volume, with 129 tracks over five records and five CDs, concentrates on the second half of the 1980s, including the albums Liberty Belle And The Black Diamond Express and 16 Lovers Lane - two of best records of the 1980s by anyone. The latter includes the pop classic Streets Of Your Town which, despite BBC Radio 1 play, failed to chart.
If the band is new to you, start with a 'best of' collection; if you already know them, you'll want this.
Camila Cabello - Romance
Camila Cabello is clearly a gooey-eyed young woman having the time of her life thanks to her high-profile (and sometimes queried) love affair with her Senorita co-star Shawn Mendes. Her second album is playful and sexy and oozes the easy confidence of a musician who has really found her feet in the industry.
On Romance the 22-year-old Cuban-American singer almost has tunnel vision when it comes to love but it's more cute than cloying thanks to her sassiness and fun side.
Cabello is not reinventing the wheel but she has successfully done what so many artists are trying to do in terms of blending genres to suit her, but with a shade more cheekiness, style and elegance.
Will Samson — Paralanguage
Created in the aftermath of using magic mushrooms to try to deal with mild PTSD triggered by grief following the sudden death of his father, Will Samson's fifth album is low-key and made for late-night headphones listening.
Not noticeably psychedelic, the eight subtle, glitchy tracks are as much moods as songs, with his gentle falsetto shrinking into the background on tracks such as the yearning closer, The Smallest Silver.
This fragile music is likely to be appreciated by fans of James Blake, while his voice has been compared with Sufjan Stevens, and although it won't change the world, it does make it a better place.
Liam Payne - LP1
There was a time Liam Payne was the frontrunner to become the Gary Barlow of One Direction. The one who would grow into an effortlessly skilled songwriter and performer who could turn his hand to both penning heartfelt ballads and upbeat film soundtrack staples while rattling out a live performance for the Queen, but Payne's solo career has taken him off in a different tangent.
With the release of his long-awaited debut solo record, the 26-year-old has somewhat missed the mark with his rather nondescript offering. It's not terrible by any means - each of the 17 songs is a fair effort, but not one is a standout apart from lead single Strip That Down.
Payne's album is a mish-mash of everything that seemed to have worked in the charts of the past decade, such as chilled R&B, rap, trap, Latin and ubiquitous Ed Sheeran-flavoured pop, but without the right amount of uniqueness and flair to make it really pack a punch.
Deep Purple - Live in Rome 2013
Deep Purple formed in 1968, broke up in 1976 and reformed in 1984. Their comeback album, Perfect Strangers, was a worthy successor to their golden era of the early 1970s, but the nine studio and dozens of live albums that have followed over the last 35 years have brought ever diminishing returns.
The low point of Live In Rome is Hard Lovin' Man. It was never a particularly good song anyway, but to hear it sung by a then 66-year-old Ian Gillan is just embarrassing.
The best thing that can be said about The Mule is that Ian Paice's drum solo is pretty good for a 65-year-old.
Perfect Strangers, with a very bluesy take, is the high point, but nobody outside completists really needs another Deep Purple live album.