Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City
We often look at Vampire Weekend with such parental fondness – only yesterday, the little hipster upstarts (hipstarts?) were putting an entire generation in checked shirts. Today, with Modern Vampires of the City, our little free-range cool kids are all grown up. This is a stunningly mature album, layered so deeply from beginning to end. Whether it’s the Angkor Wat-referencing Step or the old-time piano of Young Lion, the springtime punch of Unbelievers or the rollicking Diane Young, there’s very little to do here but stand back and marvel.
Demi Lovato – Demi
It’s very hard not to recommend this immediately on the strength of Heart Attack alone. Other things that are hard when it comes to Demi (behave):
– Realisation of just how young she still is to make this brilliance (not to mention the seminal Give Your Heart a Break before it)
– Belief that our other teen queen Cher Lloyd makes an appearance
– Restraint to not dance at every second song
– Holding back applause at all-round perfect, frothy teen pop.
Bo Bruce – Before I Sleep
We quite liked Bo Bruce on the first series of the Voice UK (mainly because she did an excellent cover of Running Up That Hill), but Before I Sleep essentially pits her as the Matt Cardle of this talent show, by way of Dido. Songs like Telescope and Save Me are pop most serviceable, while Speed the Fire is essentially a retread of Snow Patrol’s Set the Fire to the Third Bar. Obviously we can see what Bruce’s target market is, and for the most part it is a success if you’re a Radio 2 listener. Against our better judgement, we couldn’t dislike it.
The Neighbourhood – I Love You
LA troublemakers the Neighbourhood – well done on the correct British spelling, by the way – have been generating a lot of buzz ahead of this, their debut, called I Love You. If you like your indie-rock a little bit Foster the People (which, let’s face it, no one does), then this lot might be for you. It’s inoffensive even when it tries not to be, with songs like Afraid liberally dropping a (shock, horror) F-bomb or two. Tracks like Everybody’s Watching Me are passable if unoriginal, but it all simpers under nothingness. File under ‘forgettable’.