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February: 18 albums you need to hear this month

That's the month sorted, then

  • Mixmag Crew
  • 3 February 2017
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Zak Abel 'Only When We’re Naked Atlantic Records' (Atlantic Records)

The debut album from soul vocalist Zak Abel has been a long time coming. The North Londoner whetted appetites in 2015 with his soul-bearing ‘One Hand On The Future’ EP, collaborating with Kaytranada and Karma Kid. But ‘Only When We’re Naked’ finds his authentic, unmistakeable voice at its most vulnerable yet. While the synth and drum-led production is upbeat, there’s emotion behind his stories. ‘Rock Bottom’, boasting a heartfelt verse from Wretch 32, is about crumbling under pressure, ‘Awakening’ uplifts thanks to a gospel-style choir and ‘All I Ever Do (Is Say Goodbye)’ tackles moving on from a relationship. Euphoric sing-along ‘Unstable’, though, is the real standout. Ben Jolley

8/10

 
 
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