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Album reviews: Thomas Dolby, Spectrals, Louis Jones

THOMAS DOLBY: A Map Of The Floating City.One of the leading lights of pop’s intelligensia for many years so you’ve got to approach this first solo album for almost two decades with a very open mind as he steers you through a wildly varied and eclectic soundscape from straight-up pop to soft, brassy salsa, rootsy American bluegrass, dreamy ethereal reflection – and then the weirder stuff.

THOMAS DOLBY: A Map Of The Floating City.One of the leading lights of pop’s intelligensia for many years so you’ve got to approach this first solo album for almost two decades with a very open mind as he steers you through a wildly varied and eclectic soundscape from straight-up pop to soft, brassy salsa, rootsy American bluegrass, dreamy ethereal reflection – and then the weirder stuff. It’s split into three parts – Amerikana, Urbanoia and Oceanea. Give him plenty of slack – after all he came up with the polyphonic ringtone synthesiser for mobile phone giant Nokia.

SPECTRALS: Bad Penny.Debut album from the Spectrals who is also known as 21-year-old Louis Jones from Heckmondwike. He’s looked back longingly at emotive 50s, early 60s pop, giving his sound a plaintive air one moment while dancing into a nostalgic frenzy the next. If you like Richard Hawley then give Louis a listen. He does the far-off vocals and all the instruments while brother Will pops up on drums.

JUSTICE: Audio,Video, Disco.Prog rock meets glam synth pop which starts to explain the strange mash-up that goes on here – often in instrumental form. They may not be stereotypical but they’ll take some understanding. Think of Giorgio Moroder meeting Iron Maiden down at Fabric.

 

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