Surrender to Hurts

Synth pop aficionados Hurts return with a third studio album, Surrender, on 9 October. The duo have a fine ear for classic pop melodies but this time they have expanded their sound, citing Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, and even Motown as influences. “We decided to see how things would turn out if we enjoyed ourselves!” singer Theo Hutchcraft explains. “It was quite a dark time making the last record, and the content was quite refl ective of our state, but once we’d finished it and exorcised the demons our mood shifted quite a lot.” The duo joined forces with Madonna’s Grammy Awardwinning producer Stuart Price and Ariel Rechtshaid (Haim, Vampire Weekend) to sculpt the new opus, and a first taster, Some Kind of Heaven, is available on iTunes now.

Aero Flynn - Aero Flynn Album Review

Worthwhile addition to the burgeoning ‘Bon Iver and related’ section An old pal of Justin Vernon’s from the University Of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, Josh Scott was highly regarded by his peers but turned his back on music for 10 years while suffering from kidney disease and depression. Coaxed back into the studio by Vernon, this is Scott’s debut solo album. Understandably there is a tense, troubled air to many of these songs, the combination of tightly coiled guitar or piano figures, glitchy rhythms and Scott’s high, keening vocals inviting comparisons with Alt-J and various Thom Yorke projects. But the likes of “Plates2” and “Moonbeams” mirror the story of the album by unfurling gloriously into expansive soft-rock vistas.

Classic Pop: Boy George - Everything I Own Album

Written by singer David Gates as a tribute to his father after attending his funeral, Gates’ band Bread took Everything I Own to No. 5 in the US in 1972. Two years later, prolific reggae singer Ken Boothe took it to No. 1 in the UK and it was his version that Boy George echoed in his first single following Culture Club’s split. Seven months after his arrest for heroin, it appeared to mark calmer times for George as he launched his Sold album. “I’m still trying to fi nd out why I got on drugs in the first place,” he said at the time. “When I have the answer, I’ll be able to tell people ‘Look, don’t do it.’” Other covers of Everything I Own have included Shirley Bassey, *NSYNC and Rod Stewart.


Despite having one of the fattest address books in contemporary pop, Joss Stone disappeared in a camper van to travel Europe anonymously – perhaps motivated by 2011’s bizarre plot to behead her – returning with songs infl uenced by her adventures. These the barefoot soul contessa added to reggae-fuelled tracks inspired by weed-fuelled sessions with Damian Marley and Dennis Bovell to deliver Water For Your Soul, a jubilant journey into (the) Stone(r)’s self-confessed hippie psyche. It’s a colourful departure but her fruity voice perfectly matches the Caribbean-vibed Love Me and Harry’s Symphony, while the vintage soul of Sensimilla and This Ain’t Love give Alicia Keys a run for her money. Stone free! Rating: 80/100


An outstanding song with great melody and lyrics, but the mix is all wrong. Paul’s vocals have developed wonderfully over the years, but you wouldn’t guess from this. The vocals aren’t loud enough, they’re double-tracked in the wrong place, there’s too much reverb. Top marks for Weller, but a kick up the arse for the mixer. I’d be telling him: “I can’t hear my own vocals!”


With new album Paper Gods arriving on 11 September, Simon Le Bon is sounding committed. “The big thing is to keep Duran Duran going. I want to make a really serious body of work. That’s my big ambition.” The band will tour the UK this winter, kicking off at Manchester Arena on 27 November. Pick up the next issue of Classic Pop for an exclusive feature!

5 BEST BB KING ALBUMS (Top BB King Records)

SINGIN’ THE BLUES (1957) King’s debut compiled some of his most successful singles to date, including four R&B No 1s: “3 O’Clock Blues”, “You Know I Love You”, “Please Love Me” and “You Upset Me Baby”. It may say “Singin’” on the sleeve, but guitar playing is really what’s going on as this strong primer for King’s early work amply illustrates.

Marilyn’s Sweet Dreams

For his second Under-g cover story, Marilyn Manson met writer Chris Heath at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant in Hollywood and saw the Christina Ricci movie The Opposite of Sex.

Jason Isbell’s New Morning

Jason isbell felt a rush of familiarity when he watched the final episode of Mad Men on his tour bus.As he saw Don Draper go AWOL from his advertising job and embark on an aimless cross-country road trip, Isbell recalled his own life around 2008, after his first marriage had fallen apart and he’d been fired from the Drive-By Truckers due largely to his heavy drinking. Isbell bought a motorcycle and took off from his home in Alabama. “I drove down to Florida, back up through Georgia and visited some of the girls I had met on the road,” he says in a husky Alabama drawl. “It’s a wonder I didn’t kill myself. I got home feeling and looking worse than when I’d left, just completely lost.” Isbell eventually went to rehab and turned his dark past into some of the best music to come out of Nashville this decade. On 2013’s Southeastern, he reflected on cocaine nights at Super 8’s, mistreating vulnerable women, and starting over. “I was behaving in a way that was deplorable on a lot of levels,” Isbell says, drinking Red Bull and smoking cigarettes on his tour bus, outside the Capitol Theatre in Portchester, New York, one recent afternoon.

Keith Richards “Trouble”

Spin this salty jam for the first time, and you just might think you’ve stumbled across a most excellent outtake from Nellcôte in the Seventies. Nope – it’s a promising preview of Keith’s  upcoming solo album, Crosseyed Heart, due this fall.