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James Poole recommendations

Music can save us

It’s good to be back. I missed writing these pages. More to the point, I missed drinking music in at every possible opportunity. I’d become lazy. I was waiting for music to move me, as opposed to hunting it down. Maybe it’s that I no longer live around the corner from Rough Trade NYC. Maybe […]

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James Poole recommendations

I blame Liines

Liines. It’s their fault. Let me explain. While I was away, getting on with ‘real life’, I managed to let discovering new music slip down my priority list. It’s not that I didn’t bother at all, but I became pretty much reliant on the one source that I said I wasn’t going to dip into: […]

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James Poole recommendations

2019: Top ten albums

Here we are at the start of a new decade. And, here we are with a relaunched site and a new look for the freethinking movement. Refreshed, and ready to dive in. I’m looking forward to further re-invigorating these pages, and discovering more music… There’s no better way to breathe some life back into the […]

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James Poole recommendations

2018: Top ten albums

Look, I know it’s nearly the end of January. But, hands up if you’ve just spent the last few weeks moving house. I hope that you’ll give me a break in this being possibly the latest ‘best of 2018’ list out there, but I didn’t want to ignore an entire year’s worth of music. While […]

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James Poole recommendations

Janelle giving it maximum Prince

If you’re going to pay homage to Prince, do it right. Janelle Monáe has nailed it (admittedly, with a little help from the Purple Genius himself). On the strength of this, ‘Dirty Computer’ will be one of the releases of 2018. Built around a guitar lick that nods in the direction of ‘Kiss’, and synth […]

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James Poole recommendations

A year of new music

There’s a scene in Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry, looking perplexed, walks into a coffee shop. He’s struggling with what to order… the choice is so vast. After some reflection, he settles on a ‘vanilla bullshit’. Too much choice can be a bad thing. Access to a wide range of options limits your scope – […]

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James Poole recommendations

2017: Top ten albums

My top-ten album list for 2017 originally contained about 17 entries. That the final list doesn’t contain Spoon, St Vincent, Jane Weaver or Loyle Carner, in particular, underlines the quality of the ten I’ve culled it back to. Before getting to the list of albums, let’s just call out some stand out tracks for the […]

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James Poole recommendations

2016: Top ten albums

First of all, well done. If you’re reading this, you made it through 2016 alive. That in itself is an achievement. Much has been written, including here, about the losses we suffered last year. Prince. Bowie. Sharon Jones. A rationale electorate. A relatively stable World Order. But, I’ll keep this focused on the good stuff […]

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James Poole reflection

Prince

I can’t believe that I’m sitting here, writing a post about the passing of Prince. That’s like losing a limb. A really funky limb. Let me try to tackle this by taking a major detour to earlier in the week. To a time when Planet Earth was still graced by His Royal Purpleness. I shared […]

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James Poole recommendations

Of Radiohead, Prince and Roman GianArthur

OK, while we’re all sitting around waiting for Radiohead to release their new music, already, let’s talk Prince and let’s talk Roman GianArthur. Covering Radiohead is a dangerous game. Unless you’re Prince. If you’re Prince, covering Radiohead is not dangerous at all. For evidence, just watch him covering ‘Creep’ at Coachella. Prince can literally do […]

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James Poole reflection

Sir Terry, and Kate

Sir Terry Wogan may not be the immediate jumping-off point for a post on this site. But, on the day where the news of his passing is shared, I’ll be honest – there was a pang of real sadness for me. Sir Terry was my breakfast radio DJ as a kid. I remember sitting at […]

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James Poole reflection

Bowie.

It’s all been said. He was a genius. A real genius. He didn’t just break the rules, he ignored them. He refused to stand still. He stayed relevant. He turned death into performance art. There will never be another David Bowie. Yesterday was hard. It felt like an entire day spent in an out-of-body haze. […]