A few words about MusicRiot before we get underway. You won’t find any negative reviews here. There’s way too much negativity everywhere around us; why add to that? We pick music that we like, live or recorded and we tell you about it; nice and simple. Well, it is most of the time, until you bump up against an album like “Trouble Holding Back”. It’s Helen Rose’s debut album, it’s a labour of love and she’s poured a lot of herself into it. Which brings us back to negativity and how we try to avoid it.

There are some truly outstanding songs on this album but (and here’s my subjectivity cop-out kicking in) there are a couple that I just don’t get. I’m not dwelling on them, but I can’t see the need for another cover of “When the Levee Breaks” and the title track, to my ears, is an over-cooked glam rock stomper. So let’s look at the positives.

The album’s second song “Flatlands of North Dakota” is a little classic, combining echoes of Bobbie Gentry with sweeping string arrangements and a nod in the direction of Roy Budd’s “Get Carter” theme. Match that up with a message about mothers doing what they have to do to bring up a family and you have a great song. “Mississippi Moon” is subtle, lush and atmospheric with a tasteful close-miked sax solo and not too many frills and “Oh Glory Be” is a full-on rock ‘n’ soul production with a horn section and a call and response gospel refrain. And let’s not forget the beautiful stripped-back version of Steve Earle’s powerful indictment of strip-mining, “The Mountain”. There’s more than enough good material here to make this well worth listening to.

“Trouble Holding Back” is released on Friday January 25th 2019 on Monkey Room Music (MRM 0008).

Malcolm Middleton as SantaChristmas number 1’s don’t always have to be 100% marketing-driven X-factor winners, despite what you may have thought from the past few years. And ex-Arab Strap man Malcolm Middleton is doing his best to prove this, with his bid for the Xmas number 1, “We’re all going to die”.

If you want to help get this to number 1 then you have today and tomorrow to buy the single, from iTunes, etc. or as an old-fashioned limited edition 7-inch. Go to Malcolm’s Myspace for more links. And you can find out a bit more of why Malcolm is doing this when we got the chance to pose him a few questions. Read more

Hard-Fi - Album coverThe lads from Staines, Hard-Fi, have topped the album charts tonight (9th September).

Their new album ‘Once Upon A Time In West’ has topped the album charts kicking Newton Faulkner’s ‘Hand Built By Robots’ off the top spot.

Meanwhile Klaxons have experienced the Mercury Prize effect with their winning album ‘Myths Of The Near Future’ rising from Number 65 to Number 41.

The singles chart sees a return to days of yore with the re-release of ‘Young Folks’ by Peter, Bjorn and John entering at Number 38, while Pavarotti who died last week enters at Number 24 with ‘Nessun Dorma’

Top Ten singles chart is:

1. Sean Kingston – ‘Beautiful Girls’
2. Plain White T’s – ‘Hey There Delilah’
3. Kanye West – ‘Stronger’
4. James Blunt – ‘1973’
5. Girls Aloud – ‘Sexy! No No No’
6. Rihanna- ‘Shut Up And Drive’
7. Robyn – ‘With Every Heartbeat’
8. 50 Cent feat Justin Timberlake – ‘Ayo Technology’
9. Scouting For Girls – ‘She’s So Lovely’
10. Timbaland ft Keri Hilson – ‘The Way I Are’