June music review

Its time for the June music review (OK, so it is July - just...) and while it hasn't been quite as great a month as May, this continues to be a strong year for music.

The Gaslight Anthem shot to public notice when Bruce Springsteen started taking an interest and even turning up to perform with them. And their third album, American Slang, wears its Springsteen influences very obviously; along with touches of a British punk / R&B influence (The Clash, Graham Parker & the Rumour).

I can see why it split the reviewers somewhat; Pete Paphides in the Times really wasn't keen while Uncut gave it 5 stars. It is a little obvious; you can pretty much guess what is coming next in terms of big choruses, and lyrics about girls and growing up. But there are half a dozen songs on here (including the title track and 'We did it when we were young') that will have the audience singing along, arms in the air, at the festivals over the summer, and that can't be a bad thing. 8/10.

Lissie with "Catching a Tiger" is another young female from what seems like an inexhaustible talent stream at the moment. A good companion for the Mynabirds album which I reviewed last month; this is another folk / blues / country / pop album from a talented singer and songwriter. If at times it veers dangerously into Duffy MOR territory, it swerves back pretty quickly with an edge to songs like 'Little Lovin'' that take her into a different league. Meanwhile, Oh Mississippi is a lovely piano driven gospel ballad sung with great skill and emotion. I thought it was a 7/10 at first listen; a few more times and the songs have got their hooks into me so I give it an 8. And she does some very left field covers (not on the album), which demonstrate she really can sing;  here is her rather brilliant take on Metallica!

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