SOUTH Londoner Lianne La Havas has already piqued interest, with fevered excitement growing around her debut album, after being championed by Jools Holland, Bon Iver, Stevie Wonder and Prince, as well as DJs Zane Lowe and Fearne Cotton.
The 22-year-old's ethereal vocals, much like Corinne Bailey Rae's, can be heard throughout the 12 tracks from soulful opener Don't Wake Me Up, the heartrending Lost & Found, the toe-tapping Au Cinema and No Room For Doubt, featuring Willy Mason. There's nothing to find fault with here: Age is a slice of sunny soul you'll want to sing along to, while she shows her angry side in Gone. An impressive debut from an up-and-coming starlet, who is definitely one to watch.
The View - Cheeky For A Reason
THE View's lead singer Kyle Falconer has claimed the Dundee rockers' fourth album was "Fleetwood Mac's Rumours done by The Clash", but Cheeky For A Reason sounds just like The View.
The fact that the amiable Scots – Falconer, Kieren Webster, Pete Reilly and Steven Morrison – have developed an almost instantly recognisable sound can only be a positive, but apart from The Clock, which is very much a homage to Fleetwood Mac's Rhiannon, there appears to be no obvious change in direction. Lead single How Long has the trademark killer chorus and punchy vocal and is the band at their best, while more mellow moments such as Anfield Row and Bunker (Solid Ground) are also highlights.
Various - Pete Waterman Presents The Hit Factory
NOEL Coward could have been talking about the songs that rolled off the production line at Pete Waterman Limited (PWL) when he said: "Extraordinary how potent cheap music is."
Producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman clocked up hit after hit during the 1980s, with bubblegum pop by Kylie (I Should Be So Lucky), Jason Donovan (Too Many Broken Hearts), Rick Astley (Never Gonna Give You Up) and Bananarama (Love In The First Degree) resonating with teenage listeners of that generation. PWL also produced the high-energy disco of Liverpool band Dead Or Alive's You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) and the smooth soul of Princess' Say I'm Your Number One. For relentless hits and unashamed pop indulgence, this will not disappoint.
Newton Faulkner - Write It On Your Skin
SURREY-born singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner's third album drips with cynical optimism, perhaps indicating a jadedness brought on from the overexposure of his 2007 debut Hand Built By Robots, and his second release's relative obscurity in 2009. Stand-out tracks include the simple yet beautiful folky Long Shot and upbeat opener Pulling Teeth, while the soaring harmonies in ballad In The Morning make it perfect for a live show.
The 27-year-old even channels an Elbow-like vibe on Pick Up Your Broken Heart. Lyrically, the album calls for people to be true to themselves and there is little diversion from this, but the infectious, optimistic pop of top 10 tune Dream Catch Me is sorely missing.