Artist: The Chemical Brothers
It’s somewhat of a surprise that the Chemical Brothers are still churning out albums at the end of the decade. The ‘genre’ they were instrumental in creating; ‘Big Beat’ was a short-lived distraction, favoured by Freshers high on E-numbers and 50 pence double voddies. I was never convinced, but many were, and the band sold a feast-full of records with some impressive highlights. ‘Further’ represents the duo’s maturation, with more restrained tunes traversing genres such as Dub, Ambient and Deep House. It’s a signal that this act was not all cheese and quick-wins and that the future is still bright for credible commercial dance.
Artist: Julian Lynch
Singer-songwriter Julian Lynch is a student of ethnomusicology in the States and his music certainly expresses an academic harnessing of sound along with a naturally-talented one. On ‘Mare’, a broad range of influences, such as Jazz and Ambient are incorporated to produce an eclectic package of soothing tracks. The vocals are intermittent and complement rather than overpower the soul of the tracks and there are lots of innovations, making what seems to be a simple record a beautifully complex one. At its heart the album has a dream-like quality and is a welcome accompaniment to late-night introspection.
Artist: Ozzy Osbourne
My first memories of Ozzy Osbourne are from the album ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’, which as a ten-year old I picked up on vinyl at a local car-boot sale. Some years later the singer from that album was fumbling around a mansion on TV swearing at everything and experiencing the kind of family life that only a lunatic could endure. Somewhere in between he snorted lines of ants and bit the head off a live bat on stage. Ozzy is a mere product now and Scream is more rocks and metal, more gothic lyrics and more of the same, an album only for the die-hard fans, who like the artist, simply refuse to give up.