Our Favourite Albums

Read the detailed reviews of these top albums, carefully selected and recommendeded by The Vault

Boz Scaggs

Out of the Blues


William Royce 'Boz' Scaggs is an American singer who has been crafting blues, jazz and R&B songs for five decades, including his hit singles 'What Can I Say' and 'Lowdown'.  Scaggs began his career as the guitarist for The Steve Miller Band in the 60s, before releasing his chart topping and Grammy award winning solo singles in the 1970s. This paved the road to success for Scaggs, as he continued to create meaningful and passionate songs.

‘Out of the Blues’ is the third album of a trilogy, beginning with ‘Memphis’ (2013) and then ‘A Fool to Care’ (2015), declaring a return to his Blues roots that sparked his career.  Scaggs' first two albums reflected his devotion towards his favoured blues sound however, this passion seemed to have simmered down during the 70s, where he transitioned to smooth disco and pop songs.  He decided to take an extended break between 1980 to 1988.  This album shows his audience that he has left his pink pop jacket behind him, and has ignited his blues sound once more.  

This 9 track blues album is commercial and accessible with a live feel.  There is a little over dubbing which creates a raw sound with intensity.  Out of the Blues truly defines who Boz Scaggs is, exposing the sheer joy that overcomes him when writing and performing the blues.  Almost half the album was written by his friend Jack Walroth, who drew influence from Bobby 'Blue' Bland and Jimmy Reeves, two of Scaggs' idols who helped to shape his style and sound into what we hear today.  Scaggs only wrote two tracks from the album, the rest are pre-existing songs carefully selected upon the meaning they exert.  This includes my favourite track from the album, 'On the Beach'.  This is a sombre rendition of Neil Young’s song, revealing the pain and struggle of living a life in the limelight.  'The world is turning, I hope it don't turn away' is a thought-provoking lyric repeated throughout the song.   These expressive lyrics in combination with electric guitar flourishes creates a rhythmic and Smokey atmosphere.

Through the entirety of the album, it is obvious that Boz Scaggs has enjoyed every moment while recording, and I can whole heartedly say that ‘Out of the Blues’ has been very entertaining to listen to.


Written by Millie Pick


Harry Styles

Self Titled

Harry Styles, aged 24, is the handsome heartthrob every teenage girl across the globe fantasizes over, and he is typically known for his role in the pop band 'One Direction'. Their reign lasted five years over which time the five members impressively sold more than 70 million records, achieved 14 UK number ones and stole the hearts of over 10 million fans worldwide. Since the boys hiatus in March of 2016, Styles has taken on a more mature sound where he seems to have drawn influence from the likes of David Bowie and Queen, which was a shock to the pop-loving 'Directioners'. It seems that Harry Styles is on the road to solo success, followed all the way by his wider, more varied audience.

On the 31st of October 2017, Harry Styles released his debut album where he toys with a seventies soft-rock vibe. Styles wrote the entirety of his diverse 10 track album in Jamaica in order to detach himself from reality and focus on his art. In this place of solitude, he dedicated himself to his untouched thoughts and feelings which is noticeable within the album where he uses multiple techniques like layering vocal passages and harmonies to amplify his raw emotion.

My personal favourite track on the album is Kiwi, where Styles recites his infatuation with a woman he met in New Zealand. This song in particular sparked an interest in many as he experiments with a hard rock sound, assisted with heavy drums and electric guitar passages. Kiwi is brimming with excitement and passion, electrifying his audience with the contagious buzz of head-banging fever

This is a direct contrast to the final song of the album: From the Dining table. Throughout this song, Styles expresses his sorrow and provides a mournful view towards the end of an important relationship. A sombre atmosphere is created by the slow tiptoeing melody and the melancholy lyrics as if carved by his heart. This is a brave song to release by the new solo artist as he reminds his fan base that he isn’t just an idolised silhouette of a 'perfect' human, but a person capable of feeling raw and heart-straining emotions.

The album itself is very thought-provoking and personal as it narrates the story of Style's romances, where his listeners are invited to hear about his playful, yet delicate feelings. I, among millions of others, are impressed by the vast variety of moods created within the album, reflecting Style's wild emotions. I can wholly state that I have very much enjoyed listening to this carefully crafted album and I look forward to his music in the future.


Written by Millie Pick








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