Album Review: Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man

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Generally in life, the things that we least understand are the things that intrigue us the most – some of us anyway. David Lynch’s films, Lee Evans’ popularity, Paul Galvin’s dress-sense. I came upon Bat For Lashes – aka Natasha Khan – after the release of her second album, Two Suns. Lead single Daniel received some airplay on Irish commercial radio, providing some welcome respite from hearing Sex On Fire fifty times a day. So, having never been one to ‘wait til I hear the next single’ before deciding to buy an album – a policy which has seen me amass quite a number of duds over the years (The Hives, I’m looking at you) – I rushed out and bought Two Suns, along with its fellow Mercury-nominated predecessor, Fur And Gold. I wasn’t disappointed. Of the above, Two Suns was far more accessible and several tracks (Pearl’s Dream, Daniel, … There’s more

Album Review: Cat Power’s Sun

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We live in a world where even the most minor celebrity ‘crisis’ is blown up out of all proportion. I recently spotted the cover of Heat, or some similar publication, fretting about Cheryl (Cole or Tweedy, whatever you’re having yourself) and her 3am dash to McDonalds. Viewed through any prism, Chan Marshall’s story is one of bona fide tragedy and turmoil. Marshall – Cat Power to you and me – has endured a tumultuous life for almost all of her forty years. She grew up with a family heavily immersed in alcoholism, while still living in her native Atlanta in the mid-1990s, her then-boyfriend died. This was the first of a number of setbacks for the some-time actress, model and charity worker. Drug and alcohol addiction and on-stage meltdowns followed. An achingly honest 2006 interview with Spin, done just after Marshall had emerged from a spell in a psychiatric ward, … There’s more

Games Review: FIFA 13 (Xbox 360)

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“Predictable unpredictability”. That’s what FIFA Lead Producer, David Rutter, picked out as the defining feature of FIFA 13 when we interviewed him back in May. It’s got to be difficult for the EA teams working on annual titles like FIFA to give punters something to justify the yearly outlay but, whilst 13 may not be as big a step on as 12 was, the unpredictability and realism is a key strength here. Gameplay There’s been a number of game engine improvements. First up is the revised First Touch mechanic, which is significantly different to previous titles. This means that even particularly talented players are no longer guaranteed to control the ball upon receiving it as it may be a bad pass or they may be under pressure. The attacking AI has also been revised in that players will bend and delay runs to ensure they get the best opportunity to … There’s more