4 out of 5 Stars
Investigate Magazine – April 2006

Enter the Arctic Monkeys, holder of the British record for fastest selling debut album of all time – no small feat for a band whose only real promotion came via internet downloads and word of mouth.

As you might have guessed, I was surprised to hear that such a little-known rock band could achieve that kind of success, but fortunately from the opening track of Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not any questions I had were very quickly answered as the Monkeys’ infectious dance-rock sound oozed from within my stereo.

The Arctic Monkeys make their living by creating catchy tracks and hooks that appeal to listeners and this album features some of the most entertaining I’ve ever heard. But this band is far from a one trick pony. Yes, this album will have you tapping your feet, but it is also chock-full of great lyrics and some of the most dynamic arrangements around.

In an album of highlights it’s always hard to pick a single great track, but first single “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” definitely stands out. Overall, this album is one of the highlights of the year to date. Highly recommended.

4 out of 5 Stars
Investigate Magazine – April 2006

Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall’s unforeseen rise to stardom in the UK has gone largely unnoticed here in New Zealand, but since the quiet release of her debut album, her star has been steadily rising here too – and for good reason.

Eye to the Telescope sounds like it was designed rather than written, with each track constructed almost to perfection, every piece falling into place as an integral part of the whole. It’s hardly surprising since Tunstall draws from such a wide variety of sources and influences, and when you listen to tracks like “Suddenly I See” or “Other Side of the World” you hear how delicately they’ve been placed together.

Another great thing about Eye to the Telescope is that the songs don’t get weaker as the album goes on, even shifting into another gear on some of the later tracks. Tunstall’s voice is an asset on every track, silky smooth on slower ballads like “Silent Sea” and “Heal Over” but equally powerful when required on more intense songs like “Another Place to Fall”.

Eye to the Telescope is the perfect album for any fan of great songwriting or writers like Beth Orton, Brooke Fraser and Norah Jones. Highly recommended.

3 out of 5 Stars
Investigate Magazine – April 2006

If the soundtrack for No. 2 is anything to go by then the movies’ success internationally should be no surprise, with this collection of Kiwi tracks providing the ideal backdrop to a uniquely Kiwi movie.

I won’t say too much about the film (that’s Shelley Horton’s job) but one of the best decisions director Toa Fraser made was hiring local music legend Don McGlashan to serve as soundtrack producer. The result is a fantastic score, reflecting the culture of the film to great effect and reproduced here with additional hip-hop/dub tracks from NZ artists Che Fu, Tha Feelstyle and TrinityRoots.

I believe music is key to showing the culture of any film and McGlashan has captured the NZ/Polynesian feel of No. 2 perfectly. The individual tracks and score are great, however, as with any soundtrack album, No. 2 tends to lack coherence or direction when it doesn’t at least bring memories of the corresponding parts of the film, kind of like having a car with no engine or steering.

Besides, the music just sounds better when accompanied by the movie itself, so I would definitely recommend catching No. 2 at a movie theatre before grabbing a copy of this CD.