This Week's Releases

28 January 2016 | 1:47 pm | Staff Writer

Sia — This Is Acting (Inertia) 

The long-awaited record from Sia is "the type of music you might put on while you complete the last items on your bucket list," full of songs that describe Sia's "current artistic status: AliveBird Set FreeUnstoppable". There are many stadium-ready songs, but "things get weirder during the second half of the album". We gave it three-and-a-half stars — "an emotional rollercoaster, which is nothing less than what you would expect from the superstar at this stage". 

Dream Theater — The Astonishing (Roadrunner)

This album could be "an exercise in prog-metal masochism" to the newcomer, but for the dedicated "this occasionally laboured effort will likely resonate". "The album's motifs such as robotics "assuming many jobs formerly completed by humans" could be viewed as thought-provoking or pretentious, but even though The Astonishing is not "career-defining work", the band's "desire to push themselves is truly "progressive"". We gave it three-and-a-half stars.

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Bloc Party — Hymns (Infectious Music/Create Control) 

With Kele Okereke making great solo music for years, our reviewer questions "why he continues to resurrect the seizing near-corpse of Bloc Party". Many of the songs come off as banal, "exasperatingly dull or frustratingly close to being something good", with "plenty of bands doing this music better right now". We gave it one star.

and the rest of the releases…

Avantasia — Ghostlights (Nuclear Blast/Caroline)
Basement — Promise Everything (Run For Cover Records/Cooking Vinyl)
Brothers Osborne — Pawn Shop (EMI)
Buddy Miller & Friends — Cayamo Sessions At Sea (New West)
Bury Tomorrow — Earthbound (Nuclear Blast/Caroline)
Charlie Puth — Nine Track Mind (Atlantic/Warner)
Choke Chains — Choke Chains (Slovenly/Black Gladiator)
Ecca Vandal — End Of Time (Create Control)
Eric Prydz — Opus (EMI)
Fascinator — Man (Spinning Top)
Hexvessel — When We Are Death (Century Media/Sony)
Lazertits  Aubergine Dreams (Independent)
Lemaitre — 1749 (Astralwerks/EMI)
Money — Suicide Songs (Bella Union/[PIAS] Australia)
Nevermen — Nevermen (Lex Records/ADA)
Night Beats — Who Sold My Generation (Heavenly Recordings/[PIAS] Australia)
Phil Collins  Face Value (Rhino/Warner)
Phil Colins — Both Sides (Rhino/Warner)
Rihanna — Anti (Universal)
St Lucia — Matter (Sony)
Turin Brakes — Lost Property (Cooking Vinyl)
Vanessa Carlton — Liberman (Universal)
Walking On Cars — Everything This Way (EMI)
Wet — Don't You (Columbia/Sony)
Wet Ones — Wet Ones (Slovenly/Black Gladiator)
Your Friend — Gumption (Domino/EMI)