LUPE FIASCO: Lasers.The Chicago-born rapper has taken the genre his own way, mixing in synths, soul and lyrics way away from the cliche-ridden norm which is why Lasers cuts straight across the rest and can be rightly tagged as ground-breaking. He goes for the jugular when it comes to the big themes from right wing politics right through to terrorism. And yet Lasers is an acronym for Love Always Shines Everytime: Remember to Smile. His stand-out tracks reach great heights – especially the fanfare Out Of My Head which is one of the year’s best songs so far and shouts out loud to be unleashed as a single.You’re even happy for it to stay in your head. Just about every track has a huge hookline to drag you in to make sure you listen to what he’s saying.
NORMAN PALM: Shore To Shore.The songsmith has a weirdly nasal ring to his voice that is paradoxically unsettling yet strangely intriguing. As an art school graduate in visual communication it’s always best to expect the unexpected because that’s what you get in everything he does.