It’s a British invasion, in this edition, with all five albums coming from UK artists (even though Elvis Costello probably spends more time in North America these days and Daniel Merriweather is technically Australian, but is based in London).

Kasabian - West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum

West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum


June 8, 2009 (UK)

Kasabian’s third album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, is brilliant. My only issue is the title of the album, as I had planned on writing a novel called “Worcester County Pauper and Lunatic Asylum” (seriously), but of course, now I’ll just have to come up with something else. You win this round, Kasabian. Grudges aside, West Ryder is brilliant and does the double, having excellent stand alone tracks like “Underdog”, “Vlad the Impaler”, and “Fire”, as well as creating an album I enjoy listening to from beginning to end, every single time. Best rock album of the year, so far, methinks.

For a taste, check out the music video for “Fire

love in technicolour, sprayed out on walls
well i’ve been pounding at the pavement
’til there’s nothing at all
i got my cloak and dagger
in a bar room brawl
see the local loves a fighter
loves a winner to fall

– Underdog

Daniel Merriweather - Love and War

Love and War

Daniel Merriweather

June 1, 2009 (UK)

For the first time in my life, I can honestly admit I had been eagerly awaiting a debut album from an artist. Two years ago, on Mark Ronson’s Version album, Daniel Merriweather stepped up with the vocals to the neo-soul “Stop Me”, a cover of The Smiths (fused with some Supremes). That song was huge, and I looked everywhere for some more music by this Daniel Merriweather, only to find nothing(!). Sure enough, after a bit of a wait, and guided by Ronson’s golden production abilities, Love and War is everything I could have hoped for. I’d like to avoid the formulaic comments about Merriweather being a clean, male version of Amy Winehouse, but it should be said that he brings the same kind of neo-soul, r&b, pop that comes to be expected when Mark Ronson is at the helm (as he did with Winehouse’s massive Back to Black). This album is a winner.

For a taste, listen to “Impossible”, a great song, and definitely in the mix for one of my faves this year

i saw a dried up river and a rich man turning on a garden hose,
i see a young man picking up a gun i guess that’s where the money goes (yeah),
am i just as good as a bad man sleeping when the rest are dying
or am i just as bad as a good man saying there’s no use of trying

– Change

Paolo Nutini - Sunny Side Up

Sunny Side Up

Paolo Nutini

June 1, 2009 (UK)

Just in time for summer, Paolo Nutini, everybody’s favourite Glaswegian, delivers his second album, served Sunny Side Up. As the title suggests, this is a feel-good, enjoyable listen to put on, have a BBQ, and a brew or two. That’s not to say there aren’t moments on Sunny Side Up that draw us into a softer side of Nutini (“Candy” is a sweet track that gets more intimate), but the overall feeling on this album is that at the end of listening to it, you ought to be in a better mood than when you began.

For a taste, check out the video for “Candy

darling i’ll bathe your skin
i’ll even wash your clothes
just give me some candy
before i go
oh, darling i’ll kiss your eyes
and lay you down on your rug
just give me some candy
after my heart

– Candy



Secret, Profane & Sugarcane

Elvis Costello

June 2, 2009 (US)

Elvis Costello, with his ubiquitous presence on TV, whether its his own show, or appearances in Stephen Colbert’s Christmas special, or the season finale of 30 Rock (giving Jack Donaghy the opportunity to deliver the memorable line: “or should I say Declan MacManus, International Art Thief”), might have you believe he doesn’t even do that whole music thing anymore. Not even close. Secret, Profane & Sugarcane is another album to add to his abundant canon, and has Costello taking a stab at country, with decent results.

For a taste, check out “Sulphur to Sugarcane

sometimes justice you will find
is just dumb, not colour-blind
and your poor shattered mind can’t take it all in
all those phantoms and those shades
should jump up on judgement day
and say to the almighty: “i’m still stinking of sin”

– Complicated Shadows



The Bachelor

Patrick Wolf

June 1, 2009 (UK)

My first response was “What the fuck is this shit?!?!?”. After I calmed down, and started listening, I was oddly drawn into The Bachelor. It’s a mix of good old-fashioned folk mixed with futuristic electronica. Yeah, that’ll work, you’re thinking. I know, right? But somehow, Patrick Wolf pulls it off. It takes a weird dude to be able to do that, and Wolf fits the part. The interesting thing is that The Bachelor, is actually the first half of an “epic” double, originally entitled Battle, with the second half, The Conqueror, expected out in 2010. So, yeah, there is more where this came from.

For a taste, listen to “Oblivion

losing my head to hollywood
my liver to london
my youth to tokyo
still on with the show

– Vulture