Startin’ from Scratch: How a Thug was Born
Fairly average gangsta rap record from Bone Thugs-n-Harmony member Layzie Bone, drawing (as the title suggests) on his own life experience. It’s well-trodden territory but the production is always sound, sometimes fresh (’Ride Wit Me’). Also of note: guest spots form Bone Thugs member Flesh-n-Bone (recently released from a long stretch in prison) and Tupac (from beyond the grave).
ipod essential – Round & Round
Architecture in Helsinki
Places Like This
This intriguingly-named eight-piece, having recently left native Melbourne, have shifted away from their cutesy indie pop to something more manic on their third album. ‘Heart It Races’ sounds like The Knife gone bhangra, while ‘Hold Music’ combines B52s boy-girl vocals with a fuzzy synth bassline. The deliberately eclectic approach isn’t always successful, but makes for an enjoyable ride.
ipod essential – Feather in a Baseball Cap
That Joe Henry can remind you of heavyweights like Tom Waits and Paul Kelly in the space of a just few songs, reflects the timeless quality of his songwriting, more than any lack of originality. Henry’s songs, and in particular his lyrics, are the focus here, but the playing and arrangements provide perfect complements to his weary-but-not-jaded approach.
ipod essential – Civil War