Jonathan O’Brien

Jonathan O’Brien

Revisiting ancient Rome

Revisiting ancient Rome

IMPERIUM, By Robert Harris, Random House, €14.99

The Frames: The Cost (Plateau)

The Frames: The Cost (Plateau)

Whatever else might be said of The Frames and their brand of introspective folk-rock, you can’t fault them for sheer staying power.

The Sex Pistols: Spunk (Sanctuary)

The Sex Pistols: Spunk (Sanctuary)

The elegantly titled Spunk last saw the light of day a decade ago as a bonus CD packaged with the re-release of Never Mind The Bollocks.

James Morrison: Undiscovered (Polydor)

James Morrison: Undiscovered (Polydor)

Until a few months ago, James Morrison was supporting Corinne Bailey-Rae on tour, an appropriate state of affairs, seeing as he’s basically her white, male equivalent: photogenic, well-produced, surfing a vast wave of record company hype and as bland

Paolo Nutini: These Streets (Atlantic)

Paolo Nutini: These Streets (Atlantic)

The little sticker on the sleeve of These Streets refers to it as an ‘‘astonishing debut album’’.

GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS - Nineteeneighties (Cooking Vinyl)

GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS - Nineteeneighties (Cooking Vinyl)

A decade or so ago, Phillips achieved middling fame as the frontman of Los Angeles trio Grant Lee Buffalo, who released four country -rock records of variable listen ability before calling it a day in 1999.

FATBOY SLIM - Why Try Harder (Skint)

FATBOY SLIM - Why Try Harder (Skint)

Fatboy Slim got rich quicker than almost any other pop figure of the last decade: Q magazine reported that he made £7 million betweenmid1998 and early 1999.

Sonic Youth: Rather Ripped (Geffen)

Sonic Youth: Rather Ripped (Geffen)

Sonic Youth’s moment has passed, all of 20 years ago in fact, when they rewrote the alternative rock template with the brilliant Sister and its even better follow-up Daydream Nation.

Various artists: Rip It Up And Start Again (V2)

Various artists: Rip It Up And Start Again (V2)

A spin-off from the excellent book of the same name by Simon Reynolds, this compilation takes an impressive stab at capturing the moment of frenzied creativity that occurred in the wake of punk, when rock music hurled itself in a thousand different s

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Stadium Arcadium (Warner Bros)

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Stadium Arcadium (Warner Bros)

Double albums are usually a bad idea for all sorts of reasons (overambitious, way too long, packed with filler tracks that should never have made it beyond the demo stage).

The Streets: The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living (679 Recordings)

The Streets: The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living (679 Recordings)

It’s taken two years for Mike Skinner to make the transition from a genuinely original songwriter into a tired hack writing songs about record companies, conniving groupies and dreary hotel rooms.

Flaming Lips: At War With The Mystics (Warner Bros)

Flaming Lips: At War With The Mystics (Warner Bros)

Like everything else the Flaming Lips have released in the past 15 years, At War With The Mystics is a terrific album.