CD: Craig David - The Time is Now The singer's re-rewind continues. But are the songs still as g

From The Arts Desk The Time is Now sees Craig David's career well into its Indian summer. The story of how he got here is well known: back in the early noughties a series of hits like "7 Days" made him the toast of the UK Garage scene. Then comedian Leigh "Bo' Selecta " Francis turned David into a figure of fun. The singer relocated to Miami to become a club DJ. Finally, he returned to the UK and released the Number One album, Following My Intuition. It wasn't just the latter's sales figures that were impressive. Over the past two years, David has also picked up a MOBO and filled London's 02 arena, showing him to be nothing if not a highly credible artist. And yet the question remains, is cr

Albums of the Year 2017: Yusuf/Cat Stevens - The Laughing Apple The spiritual songsmith rode back on

From The Arts Desk 2017 was the year I began to feel my age. It started with mild fatigue and soon progressed to general world-weariness. I wasn't the only one feeling worn-out. This year everyone seemed tired and angsty. From Brexit to Harvey Weinstein, hardly a week went by without some section of society becoming upset. The world was in dire need of some old-fashioned peace, love and understanding. I got my dose from Yusuf's The Laughing Apple. I first heard the songs at the album's launch party in London where Yusuf was playing live. On the walls were a selection of photos from the Cat Stevens days, showing the singer looking handsome and freewheeling. The man in front of us, by contrast

CD: Alexander Armstrong - In a Winter Light Mr Pimms O'Clock invites us in for some festive chee

From The Arts Desk Alexander Armstrong is one of TV's great Renaissance men. Not only is he the genial host of Pointless, he's also an actor, comedian, and, of course, the voice of Danger Mouse. But Armstrong's first love is music. Singing earned him a scholarship to Cambridge, and, in recent years, he's crooned his way through two successful albums. It was surely just a matter of time before he set his sights on Christmas. In a Winter Light sees Armstrong trying his hand at a range of festive styles, from carols to easy-listening. Unfortunately, Armstrong's baritone is not suited to everything. Take "White Winter Hymnal" by Fleet Foxes. The original was an ethereal piece of folk-rock. This

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