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Albums of the week - From Green Day to Louis Tomlinson


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Louis Tomlinson (Ian West/PA)

Louis Tomlinson (Ian West/PA)

Green Day

Green Day

Louis Tomlinson (Ian West/PA)

US rockers Green Day release their 13th record, Father of All, in a week that also sees the debut album from Louis Tomlinson, the last of the ex-One Direction stars to put out a solo effort.

NADA SURF - NEVER NOT TOGETHER

Try listening to So Much Love, the opening track on Nada Surf's ninth studio album, and not smile. It's nigh on impossible. And Never Not Together has another eight tracks that are just as good or even better.

The music is the same as Nada Surf have been making for a quarter of a century - Beatles-esque power pop, with an emphasis on pop (although Crowded Star has a dynamite guitar solo).

Singer and guitarist Matthew Caws is a great lyricist, which he shows on Mathilda, a heartbreaking song about growing up looking and sounding different and how cruel children can be. "My voice was kinda high, not a typical guy, they used to call me Mathilda, I was never sure why," he sings. It's brilliant, as is the whole album.

One day, Nada Surf will be recognised for their greatness.

9/10: Padraig Collins

GREEN DAY - FATHER OF ALL...

Well, it's been a while. Billie Joe Armstrong et al have done their thing since being inaugurated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, touring here, there and everywhere, releasing another greatest hits and writing Father of All...

Although it is described as being filled with the grungy, gritty rock sound we know of Green Day, I beg to differ. This isn't the angry, rampant guitar music that I remember. This is a well produced, glam-punk pop album. The grit from the American Idiot and Boulevard of Broken Dreams era has been rounded out.

This is not Green Day as you remember them. However, it is an awesome progression for the Californian band, offering another an alternative slice of modern Americana.

7/10: Rachel Howdle

MEGHAN TRAINOR - TREAT MYSELF

Following a long wait of four years since her previous album, Meghan Trainor is finally back with her third LP, Treat Myself.

Although the famously fun-loving star takes things a little more seriously here, with topics including self-care and therapy, it's still full of the dance-friendly bops that her fans know and love her for.

Treat Myself, which was originally set for release in August 2018 but was hit by multiple delays (the 26-year-old Grammy winner kept being inspired to write more songs). Thankfully, it was worth the wait.

It's full of the vocal powerhouse's trademark nostalgia- infused pop sound, a little bit retro and a little bit sassy, but with a more rounded and grown-up energy compared to her earlier work.

Standout tracks include album opener and single Waves, a moody-sounding pop track with an epic choral backing; Funk, a pure delight of a song that sounds almost like a Bruno Mars number; and the fun Evil Twin, on which she sings about a side of herself she doesn't like.

7/10: Lucy Mapstone

LOUIS TOMLINSON - WALLS

The former One Direction star breaks through with his long-awaited debut album.

He will leave listeners speechless with the bravery he shows on Two of Us, which contrasts with the lively beat heard in Defenceless.

With the first single being released back in March 2019, it is clear to see how much time and effort Tomlinson put into this album, and it has really paid off.

Of the 12 tracks on the record, the best is arguably Fearless, which sends the positive message to not let the opinions of others bring you down and to live your life without fear.

Walls is a thoroughly decent first album and proves that the former X Factor star has the talent and passion to be a solo artist.

7/10: Abi Hayward

SMOKE FAIRIES - DARKNESS BRINGS THE WONDERS HOME

Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies show the full range of their musical capabilities on this sixth studio album.

The duo's guitar-heavy sound has previously caught the ear of the likes of Jack White and Richard Hawley, and their early albums shared a producer with PJ Harvey, taking them far beyond any folk pigeon-holing - even if their 2014 Christmas album Wild Winter inspired a real ale.

On the Wing and particularly Elevator make for a potent opening one-two punch, while single Out of the Woods is a mid-album stand-out with its chiming hook.

8/10: Tom White

Belfast Telegraph