Given we are music lovers and not especially music reviewers (aside from Dan Sproull, who can literally do almost anything on his Thursday Sessions show) it is sometimes difficult to work out how to fill our fortnightly column. After all, music is so vast and there is so much to write about, which isn’t the new Taylor Swift album. You’ve probably seen enough of that.

So, we thought we’d give some brief reviews of a few albums we like.

Siberia by Echo and the Bunnymen

Far from being the most recognisable of the discography of Echo and the Bunnymen, with that accolade typically belonging to earlier albums such as Ocean Rain and perhaps the underrated, Ian Broudie produced Porcupine, Siberia is no means a lesser album.

Yes, it is a bit pedestrian in places, as in its probably different from the classic sound, but within that are some excellent, very listenable tracks. Particular highlights include the grooving Parthenon Drive, the very 2005 track ‘In the Margins’ which if it wasn’t for the distinctive voice of Ian McCulloch at the vocals, could easily pass as something by Keane or one of the many similar bands from that era which thankfully were not Coldplay.

Album Highlights: Stormy Weather, Parthenon Drive, In the Margins, What if We Are?

Keep the Village Alive by Stereophonics

We really must review this properly sometime alongside its predecessor and sister album, 2013’s Graffiti on the Train, both of which were recorded in the same session with this album conceived as the sequel to the former. But as it’s one on the must play of our founder presently, here’s a few thoughts on it.

The lead singles from this album are phenomenal, particularly ‘I Want to Get Lost with You’ and ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’. It’s a shame Stereophonics didn’t continue down this particular angle of song writing because it’s up there with their best, and unfortunately often overplayed tracks such as Dakota.

It’s not just loud guitars and crashing drums on this album either, with a range of instrumentation showing the band’s versatility. Fight of Flight and My Hero show a wider range of instruments and techniques to create quite enjoyable tracks.

Some real treats lie on the bonus tracks of the deluxe album, and here we find the excellent ‘Ancient Rome’, ‘Let Me In’ and ‘Blame (You Never Give Me Your Money), the latter of which we find to be a real treat.

It also includes an acoustic version of Stereophonics classic track You’re My Star, and an acoustic version of I Want to Get Lost with You, too, with both adding very interesting elements to the tracks they are based on.

Oh, and we almost forgot to mention C’est La Vie, too, but by which I do not mean the late 1990’s track by Bewitched, either. This particular version really starts the album on a loud, anthemic note.

Album Highlights – all we’ve mentioned above. Just listen to the whole thing.