Albums of the week: From Taylor Hawkins to The Script
British hip-hop duo Krept & Konan drop their new studio album Revenge Is Sweet and there's a solo record from Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.
TAYLOR HAWKINS AND THE COATTAIL RIDERS - GET THE MONEY
Music is coming around all over again and this time it's the late 70s and 80s prog-rock scene. Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and his side-project The Coattail Riders have crashed in with Get The Money, a mix of Yes, Wizzard, Rick Wakeman and ELO.
Get The Money is a really easy listen. In fact, for me, it was over far too soon and I was left wanting more. Not to mention that this third offering from the band is a veritable who's who of the rock world.
Hawkins has obviously been flexing his contacts here, because Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl features on four of the 10 tracks.
Album opener Crossed The Line is a funky alien-like affair with Yes guitarist Jon Davison along for the ride. Don't Look At Me That Way is a breath of wafting fresh air with appearances from Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan and Heart's Nancy Wilson.
In Shapes Of Things there is a real rock love-in with Queen's Roger Taylor, Foo Fighters' Pat Smear, Sex Pistols' Steve Jones and former Coattail Rider Gannin Arnold.
Get The Money is a masterclass in reviving and improving a genre.
KREPT AND KONAN - REVENGE IS SWEET
Despite a decade of music behind them, Krept and Konan - Casyo Johnson and Karl Wilson - have released just one album, 2015's The Long Way Home.
This is a step up, a remarkable collection that feels loose and unpredictable. Goat Level opens with a salvo of life lessons. Focus on its operatic beat and you might mistake the message for bravado. But the south Londoners are taking aim at their rivals as immature and inexperienced, for wasting their money and failing to use their healthy success to make real life changes. "I came out of real estate, then guess what?/I went back into real estate," Krept raps.
As an instant counter-point, Salaam is a soulful tribute to the late rapper Cadet, Krept's younger cousin, who died in a car crash while on his way to a concert in February. He even makes a posthumous appearance on Keep Talking, alongside grime superstar Stormzy.
Recent events have positioned Krept and Konan as community gate-keepers - they were even invited to Parliament by Labour MP Diane Abbott to discuss drill music.
Revenge Is Sweet, however, cements their standing as the rap scene's most potent duo.
KELE - 2042
This is the Bloc Party frontman's fourth solo album. The title refers to a Census Bureau prediction of the year when ethnic and racial minorities will become the majority, and Kele calls it his most political yet.
He references the Grenfell and Windrush scandals as well as American Football star Colin Kaepernick on the standout St Kaepernick Wept.
The angry Let England Burn contrasts with the reflective Back Burner on an album that encapsulates Britain at the end of a tumultuous decade.
ALED JONES AND RUSSELL WATSON - BACK IN HARMONY
For the second successive year, the two much-loved classical singers team up in time for the Christmas season and fans of the duo will have plenty to enjoy here.
Watson's 'people's tenor' voice pairs perfectly again with Jones' baritone on a wide range of songs - Shenandoah and Nella Fantasia showcase them perfectly and there is also a deft take on Milton Berle and Buddy Arnold's Lucky, Lucky, Lucky Me.
This time there is a selection of five Christmas songs to round out the album - the pick of which are probably The Loveliest Night Of The Year and the closing Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
THE SCRIPT - SUNSETS & FULL MOONS
The Script's latest album is an anxious offering which pulls off its emotional depths well, but ultimately doesn't seem to know its own identity.
The songs blur into each other and fail to distinguish themselves into anything meaningful. These soft poetic numbers are very enjoyable in isolation, but the album as a whole feels largely repetitive and fails to capture a listener's attention.
There is an undercurrent of raw emotion threaded through the band's sixth album, which makes the lost potential even more disappointing.
When the album does find its identity, it works brilliantly and the tribute to friendship in Run Through Walls is a high point.