Imbruglia’s Come To Life

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AUSTRALIAN soaperstar turned musician turned style icon Natalie Imbruglia springs back into action after a four year absence with her new album, Come To Life.
Unfortunately, the revival is still unlikely to see her being known for anything other than millstone single Torn.
For the album, although featuring some excellent work – such as the thumping My God and the Coldplay collaborations Scars and Fun – is sadly less than the sum of its parts.
Because as a whole the album just doesn’t work for me, with no flow between tracks.

Hook goes back in the daze

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ALL the hallmarks of trailblazing Manchester superclub the Hacienda’s glory days are captured on Peter Hook‘s two-CD mix Hacienda: Acid House Classics.
There are throbbing, flanging keyboard melodies, piano stabs, whistles and horns, triangle taps, plodding retro house beats, crowd roars and 1990s-voiced female MCs saying things like: “Yo DJ pump the bass.”
The trouble is, for myself and anyone of the same age or younger, this is as much a history lessons as a new release – with only the Josh Wink and New Order tracks jogging any kind of nostalgia for me.
But if you were there, Hacienda: Acid House Classic will be an enjoyable trip back in time – especially with a corresponding book from the former New Order bassist also coming out.

Give Me Fire is hot stuff

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ON THEIR first tentative taste of the UK market, with their Mean Street EP, Swedish sensations Mando Diao dipped their toes – and now they’re ready to take the plunge.
Give Me Fire, their debut on these shores, is actually their fifth studio album – and it shows.
The LP showcases a slicker version of their introductory EP’s Hives-meets-Libertines sound, with rambunctious rock tracks like Dance With Somebody and Gloria containing enough of a whiff of cheese to trouble the charts over here.
Already a success in their homeland as well as Switzerland, Germany, Holland and Austria, Mando Diao could well be a hot property here too with Give Me Fire.

Deadmau5 in the hau5

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DESPITE yet another appalling album title, Deadmau5‘s For Lack Of A Better Name, the follow-up to Random Album Title, is dead good.
Since his minor label compilation At Play Deadmau5, real name Joel Zimmerman, has been firmly on the Sound Advice radar – and since then the DJ’s stock has risen faster than a loaf of Viagra bread in a helium-filled oven.
It’s not really surprising that he’s caught the public’s attention, given that he makes most of his public appearances donning a giant red mouse head.
However don’t be alarmed, this is a release to take seriously.
A complete album, the LP grows from the teaser of a drumbastic intro FML into hit single territory, mainly in the form of Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff featuring Pendulum‘s Rob Swire.
Then it’s on through the deep techno and house of the likes of Bot, and into late-night anthems The 16th Hour and Strobe without a pause.
It’s stunning work by the Canadian – in fact For Lack Of A Better Name will leave you lost for words.

Twi it out

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SET for a return next week are The Twilight Sad – and it should be a happy occasion for fans of Editors-esque indie rock.
The group, who hail from Glasgow, Scotland, peddle a doom-laden brand of indie rock on second LP Forget The Night Ahead which is epic enough to match the apocalyptic vibe.
The tracks here, which are a honed as they come on the likes of I Became A Prostitute and That Birthday Present, are housed inside a dense wall of feedback that does err towards becoming a dirge of noise in places on the studio effort.
But unleashed live, I have no doubts that the furious Forget The Night Ahead would soundtrack an evening to remember.

Splitting heir

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AFTER a massive wait, the massive Massive Attack return next week with their first new release since 2003’s 100th Window.
And the moody trip hop of the Splitting The Atom EP, the prelude to the eventual release of the long-awaited LP5 which has been on the cards since 2004, is not a massive disappointment.
The four track teaser starts with the sedated groove of the title track, before TV On The Radio‘s Tunde Adebimpe features on the awesome, atmospheric Pray For Rain.
Two remixes follow – the Van Rivers And The Subliminal Kid Remix of Martina Topley Bird collaboration Pysche and the Christoff Berg Remix of Bulletproof Love, which sees the Bristol group fratanising with Elbow‘s Guy Garvey – which are therefore unlikely to feature on the full length, due next year.
Overall it’s a tantalising return to the charts – Splitting The Atom may not explode immediately, but instead marks past masters lighting the fuse for a full return.