IN&OUTTONIGHT REVIEWS 28 Monday, 2 November 2009 London Lite The only Stroke who actually growls down a microphone for his day job has finally released a solo record of his own, following efforts by Fabrizio Moretti (Little Joy) and Nikolai Fraiture (Nickle eye). Phrazes For The Young is a brief eight-tracker that marries Casablancas sultry vocals with frantic, almost hoedown-y jollity (Out Of The Blue), a curious electropoppy twitch (Left & Right In The Dark) and cranked-up BPMs, all of which imply, even on lyrically despondent tracks, that hes a much happier chappy than he was in 2001. M DE L REVIEWSMUSIC Robbiemakes a slick return Solo spot: Stevie Nicks NostalgiarulesinMaccomeback THE BIG NOISE Robbie Williams RealityKilledTheVideoStar(Virgin,12.72) HHHII PAUL CONNOLLY ROCk Bon Jovi TheCircle (Mercury12.72) HHHII After the schlock horror of 2007s Lost Highway, a terrible attempt at crossing over into the country market, Jon Bon Jovi and his pop-metallers have returned to what they do best. Big poodle-haired rock blended with the rough blue-collar stylings of Bruce Springsteen. When they get it right, as on the rumbustious Work for the Working Man (which borrows the chugging rhythm of Livin On A Prayer) and Live Before You Dies dusty, big-boned melancholy, they forge clean, pure pop steel from scrap metal. even though Bon Jovis lyrics can be truly dreadful and hell never be as evocative as Bruce, its good to hear him back, belting out the anthems like its still 1986. PC PaSTIChe powers proceedings on these silly Kiwis new record as Bret and Jemaines doolally alter egos peddle peculiar views about gay sex, genitalia and posers on parodies of Black eyed Peas My humps (Sugalumps), Paul Simons 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (Carol Brown) and Pet Shop Boys (Fashion Is Danger). Its less melodically accessible to people ignorant of their telly show that album one, but they do merge the Rolling Stones You Cant always Get What You Want with Velvet Underground-style twinkling triangle on angels, a ditty about cherubic copulation, and thats gotta be a first. MARTHA DE LACEY LIVE Fleetwood Mac WembleyStadium HHHHI DAVID SMYTH To order any CD reviewed, call The London Lite CD service on 01634 832789. All prices include P&P COMEDY Flight Of The Conchords IToldYouIWasFreaky (SubPop,11.74) HHHII POP Joss Stone ColourMeFree (EMI,12.72) HHIII POOr Ms Stone, she of the ever-shifting accent and perpetually bare feet, has fallen out big time with her record label. She gives free rein to her frustrations on her fourth album. It all starts rather splendidly with free rein, a magical Aretha-like slinky little soul-pop tune that fits her voice perfectly. She even squeezes in a cheeky reference to eMI. thereafter, however, its a swift charge downhill as the dreadful ballads and slow jams -- replete with her squalling voice flying around like a drunken seagull -- take over. Only the Nas-featuring Governmentalist bucks the trend with its funky Seventies vibe. Download these two tracks and forget the rest. PC POP Julian Casablancas PhrazesForTheYoung (RoughTrade,11.74) HHHII R eALLY, who the hell is robbie Williams these days? themanwhoLiamGallagher once called the fat dancer from take that has had more makeovers than Madonna and has never seemed able to settle on one kind of sound. Just take his last album, rudebox, which many critics are now trying to re-evaluate as some kind of magpie-pop masterpiece rather than the sloppy mess it really was. One month after its commercial flop in 2006, his old band take that returned with their monumentally successful comeback album, Beautiful World, and theyve continued to blow Williams out of the water since. His reaction? to go UfO-chasing in the American desert and grow a beard. So, has take thats hugely lucrative return managed to focus Williamss mind? You betcha. reality Killed the Video Star is his most coherent album since 2003s escapology, which featured what remains his best song, feel. Joined by eighties produc- tion titan trevor Horn (the man behind the Buggles Video Killed the radio Star), Williams has fashioned a set of slick, understated pop that bears the influences of the Beatles, David Bowie, Pet Shop Boys and Bon Jovi. Original it aint, but its a solid return. the Beatles influence is evident on album opener Morning Sun, with its chunky piano riff, soaring chorus and a chunk of I Am the Walrus halfway through. It may be the kind of song that Noel Gallagher used to write on the back of a fag packet but its effective and will likely follow Bodies as a single. Bodies itself, with its Bowie-esque melodrama, highlights a perennial Williams problem -- his often risible attempts at clever lyrics. He thinks I got laid on a ley line is elvis Costello but its more Oasis. On the Last Days Of Disco Williams shows that, as with feel, he does possess a lightness of touch. It may owe a debt to Pet Shop Boys but its fleet-footed and one of the albums highlights. I suppose the question is whether reality Killed the Video Star will allow Williams to compete with take that. the short answer is no, but theres enough evidence here to suggest that the shapeshifting one is back in the game. And thats a start. Coherent: his new album is Williamss best since 2003 HOW heartwarming it is when a band of a certain vintage recognises that another new album would be about as welcome as rheumatism and heads out to play everyones favourite songs with no ulterior motive. We said, Lets just go out and have fun, announced guitarist Lindsey Buckingham as fleetwood Macs Unleashed tour arrived in London for the first of three shows. there have been rumours of a new album and even of Sheryl Crow replacing the long-departed Christine McVie, but perhaps they grew bored waiting for inspiration and decided to remind themselves of their many finest moments. With a set drawn largely from the classic Seventies album trilogy of fleetwood Mac, rumours and tusk, there could be few complaints about song choices. Other bases were briefly covered with a solo composition each for Buckingham and co-vocalist Stevie Nicks, a nod to the bands early hard-blues incarnation with Peter Greens stormy Oh Well and even a gibbering Mick fleetwood drum solo. But the music which dominated was that written by Buckingham and Nicks during their agonising relationship break-up. Dreams, Second Hand News and Go Your Own Way all summoned glorious melodies from a painful place. Here the ex-couple arrived on stage arm in arm and embraced after Nicks finished her ballad Sara. In his sixties, Buckingham has become more of a rock singer than he was, often barking his lines and offering a finger- bruising solo interpretation of Big Love. fleetwood Macs passion for playing suggested a simple truth: they love these songs as much as the rest of us. index.html2.html3.html4.html5.html6.html7.html8.html9.html10.html11.html12.html13.html14.html15.html16.html17.html18.html19.html20.html21.html22.html23.html24.html25.html26.html27.html28.html29.html30.html31.html32.html33.html34.html35.html36.html37.html38.html39.html40.html41.html42.html43.html