Lemmy believes rock is the answer

Motorhead

The World Is Yours

****

As with all the band's previous releases, this one goes straight to the heart of the matter. You want to rock? Then Lemmy's your man.

The 10 tracks here are straight ahead, in your face, head-bangers. One of them is even called Rock 'N' Roll Music, just in case you miss the point.

The song describes the music as religion, which might upset a few fundamentalists but Lemmy means every word.

Sometimes cynical, Brotherhood Of Man is not what the title implies and, in places, is very dark indeed, but you can always depend on the honesty of it all. As the man says, rock and roll will save your soul!

Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi

****

Blessed with a haunting, soaring voice and displaying a dazzling guitar-playing skill throughout, it's not hard to draw comparison between half-Italian Londoner Anna Calvi and the late, great Jeff Buckley, particularly his collection of cafe recordings, Live At Sin E.

There are also sizeable nods to PJ Harvey and Patti Smith on this precocious talent's debut. That's not to say Calvi lacks ideas or her own sound.

Each of the 10 songs brim with confidence, and it'd be easy to mistake the likes of The Devil, Blackout and opener Rider To The Sea for the work of a much more seasoned artist.

Calvi's being tipped as one to watch for, but on this evidence, she's already arrived.

The Decemberists

The King Is Dead

****

The Decemberists have been a long time favourite with indie-folk fans and this, the Portland group's sixth studio album, manages to both surprise and impress.

While previously the band have embraced a flowery pop sound, The King Is Dead moves towards Americana.

Calamity Song and Rise To Me both set the tone for the rest of the album. Country guitar riffs are coupled with stripped back instrumentation giving Colin Meloy's vocals a new-found strength.

Highlights are the pensive January Hymn and the traditional folk-sounding Rox In The Box.

Special guests on the album are Gillian Welch and REM guitarist Peter Buck who both bring a touch of Americana nostalgia to proceedings and add to what is a very strong album indeed.

EMMA'S IMAGINATION

Stand Still

**

Emma Gillespie won Must Be The Music, Sky 1's autumn rival to The X Factor. It will be interesting to see how many of the show's 450,000 viewers actually buy the 27-year-old former busker's debut album.

Comprised of wistful folk-pop, it's a low-key affair that only really gathers pace on the KT Tunstall-esque Faerie Lights (Tunstall's one-time producer Martin Terefe, also helmed Stand Still).

Mainly, though, the album feels rushed; the arrangements are thin and the songwriting under-developed. It's also padded out with cover versions of songs by Bic Runga and Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

Gillespie has a pleasant voice and an exotic CV – she has rounded up cattling on a motorbike in the Australian outback and worked on a pearl fishing boat – but she needs stronger songs to sustain a career in today's unforgiving musical climate.

BRITISH SEA POWER

Valhalla Dancehall

***

Album No.4 from British Sea Power finds the Kendal/Brighton sextet brimming with confidence after their nomination for the Mercury Prize.

Who's In Control? and We Are Sound start the disc off at a fair old, bass-heavy lick before the pace slackens with the ruminative piano ballad Georgie Ray.

It's a brief lull before Stunde Null, Mongk II and Thin Black Sail pick up the cudgels again.

Luna could be the ace up their sleeve – a more expansive, twinkly and downright catchy cross between Echo and the Bunnymen and Pulp.

The only drawback is Yan Wilkinson's limited vocal range. DS