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Robbie Williams – Reality Killed The Video Star

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The knowing irony of Robbie’s new album title has been somewhat deadened by his recent comeback performance on the X Factor – even if he might claim he was being postmodern, wink to camera. Whatever, three years on from the generally panned Rudebox, the question isn’t is Robbie’s new album any good but rather, is Robbie the pop star worth the effort anymore?


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Leona Lewis Live Review

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Leona Lewis, Hackney Empire, London – November 2nd

Leona Lewis first appeared on the stage of the Hackney Empire when she was 13 years old. Eleven years later, the now sleek and shiny woman-sized Lewis returned to her hometown to play her first ever headline show before an audience of adoring fans last night. Security was heavy after Leona was recently punched in the face at a book launch. However, when she appeared on stage shimmering and trailing a long cloak, the Hackney resident cut a cool and confident figure as she launched into her first song…


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Imogen Heap Interview

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Imogen Heap’s new album Ellipse debuted in the US album charts at No.5 last month. We caught up with the woman who some call the Queen of the Digital Age to chat about why America loves her more than her native UK, how she’s now mates with Mika, how she’s managed to get over a million followers on Twitter and why she invites these friends to comment on her music as she makes it and buys them drinks into the bargain at Heap Tweet-Ups…


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Singles Club

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This week’s Singles Club is not covering Cheryl Cole’s new video because… Well, because we just reviewed her album and frankly she’s getting enough coverage in the greater world isn’t she? So we thought bugger it. Just so we’re clear. What we are featuring though is the likes of Alphabeat, Addictive, Imogen Heap, Foo Fighters, Miike Snow and Los Campesinos! who are all aces…

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Miike Snow – Miike Snow Review

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There’s been a flurry of hype around Miike Snow and their eponymously titled debut album – as the band themselves admit it’s something they never expected when they got together to “mess around”. But they’ve got form – of the trio behind the sounds, singer Andrew Wyatt has just finished Daniel Merriweather’s new album and Swedish pair Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg are also known as Bloodshy & Avant, the writing and production team behind Britney’s Toxic as well as a stack of other pop successes including Madonna, Sugababes and Kylie Minogue. So is their hybrid debut the sound of a hundred stars spun in a blender? Er, no…


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Cheryl Cole – 3 Words Review

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3 Words – it’s an invitation of an album title isn’t it? Could do better. You’re so ca-yute. Dubious trouser choice. But that’s to get away from the point isn’t it – and the point, after all, is the music. It being time to face it etc. Oh no, hang on, Cheryl is not an X Factor contestant, something it’s difficult to discern these days. Let’s get back to the music. Not the shredded MC Hammer trousers, the military garb, the Janet Jackson dance moves. The music. Following hot on the heels of Alexandra Burke’s debut last week which was more Leona than Leon, Cheryl Cole’s debut had better be a belter right? After an exhaustive week of listening in RealMusic Blog HQ, we can say that it’s no Girls Aloud. Instead, Cheryl’s plumped for military drumbeats, sleek R&B and production so shiny you could wear it round to your mum’s for tea and get a complement…


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News Bleed

This week’s news keeps bleeding, keeps keeps bleeding news…

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The Return Of Rihanna

The Wait Is Ova. Yes, not content with taking over the pop world with her squeaky vocals and rich tunes, Rihanna’s people are now rewriting the English language with the word ‘over’ simply not good enough for them. We could of course go off on one about grammar innit, be we won’t. Let’s instead concentrate your mind on the fact that Rihanna is back and covered in barbed wire in an explosion of fashion-meets-art. We assume the wire is rubber and not barbed otherwise we fear for her nipples; plus the eye patch is a bit Gabrielle circa 1996 but still. Rihanna’s fourth studio album, Rated R, is due to be released on November 23rd. Before all of that though, her first Ne-Yo-penned single Russian Roulette was launched on Tuesday – to hear what all the fuss is about, click here. Will the album live up to the hype? On the strength of the new image, yes; on the strength of her first single, the jury is still out…


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Spandau Ballet Live Review

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Spandau Ballet, O2 Arena, London – October 20th

“What you been doing for the last 20 years?” a beaming Tony Hadley asked the eager crowd three songs into Spandau Ballet’s two-hour set. Getting older would be the truthful reply, also an answer that applies to the five members of Spandau, quabbles now put aside, patched up and standing before us. Of all the 80s comebacks, Spandau Ballet’s always seemed the most unlikely. Last night however they put on a show that turned back time, the band tight and Tony Hadley producing emphatically clear and true vocals that enabled the audience to settle comfortably back into the early 80s…


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My 2009 Jackson Odyssey

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Before the beginning of this year I had never been within a continent of any member of the Jackson family. Michael was an eccentric faded pop star and his brothers were mythical creatures from around the time of my birth, freeze-framed in my brain wearing brown flares and comedy affros. However, 2009 proved to be a year where my Jackson spotting would finally up its game, and also proved to be a year that they will never forget. Beginning in March at the O2 with Michael, I have now been in the same room as every member of The Jackson 5 bar Randy – so if you’re reading Randy and fancy a coffee, get in touch…


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Take That + Robbie = ?

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So it turns out that in between spotting aliens and UFOs – oh, and making his next album craftily entitled Reality Killed The Video Star – Robbie Williams is back in the studio with the Take Thatters, writing with his old buddies once more. Now I’ve been rolling this thought around my brain for a few days now like a lone pea on an Olympic racetrack, pondering what I think. And you know what? My thoughts are stuck in a tepid pool of indifference.

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