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Mike Diver

Mike Diver

Mike Diver writes about music between feeding his cats and seeing his football team of choice capitulate in the final throes of any given game. He is the former editor of DrownedinSound.com, was editor of Clash magazine’s website, and has contributed to titles including NME, Rock Sound, Plan B and The Fly. He is now Senior Editor at Waypoint, formerly Vice Gaming.

List of articles in the library by artist

Adele: 19 (XL Recordings)

Review by Mike Diver, Drowned in Sound, January 2008

STRAIGHT UP, that last single, the one about the pavements: belter. Bullshit, but belter. ...

Arcade Fire: Neon Bible

Review by Mike Diver, Drowned in Sound, March 2007

FORGET your wake adages: this isn't the post-Funeral party, the celebratory exhalation of relief following the enduring of an impossible to pinpoint pain. ...

Arcade Fire: The Suburbs

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, August 2010

IF 2007'S NEON BIBLE was supposed to be Arcade Fire's difficult second album, it didn't show. Top marks from a cavalcade of critical tomes saw the Montreal ...

Arcade Fire: Reflektor

Review by Mike Diver, Clash, September 2013

ARCADE FIRE's penchant for an album-uniting concept is nothing new. 2010's multi-award-winning The Suburbs arrived informed by its makers' upbringing, at the fringes of bigger-city ...

Arctic Monkeys: Humbug (Domino)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, August 2009

PUT ASIDE ALL thoughts of imminent backlash immediately, as Humbug is Arctic Monkeys' most enjoyably complete album to date. ...

Beyoncé: Beyoncé

Review by Mike Diver, Clash, January 2014

...

Beyoncé: I Am… Yours: An Intimate Performance at Wynn Las Vegas (Columbia)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, November 2009

A greatest hits-style setlist performed with accomplished pizzazz ...

James Blake: Klavierwerke (R&S Records)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, September 2010

Rising UK producer's latest EP points the way towards an anticipated debut album. ...

Blink 182: Neighborhoods (Interscope)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, September 2011

An unexpectedly great sixth LP from former fun-time punks turned introspective souls. ...

David Bowie: A Reality Tour

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, January 2010

"DAVID BOWIE'S greatest hits live!" reads the sticker on the attractive packaging of this newly released (but recorded back in 2003) two-CD set. ...

Bruno Mars: Doo Wops and Hooligans (Elektra Musician)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, January 2011

Mars' solo debut is geared for maximum appeal ...

Mariah Carey: Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, October 2009

MARIAH CAREY'S enduring success – the lead single from this twelfth studio album, the Eminem-baiting 'Obsessed', was the singer's fortieth hit on the Billboard Hot ...

Cheryl Cole: 3 Words

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, October 2009

BEFORE WE EVEN begin, consider your own expectations for this, the first solo album from a member of Girls Aloud. Its lead single 'Fight For ...

John Coltrane: Classic Album: John Coltrane's Blue Train

Review by Mike Diver, Clash, October 2012

JAZZ. The word alone is enough to set some listeners on edge. Honking, squawking, screeching horrors. Well, that's one assessment, at least, and sometimes accurate ...

The Deftones: Deftones: "A lot of people have grown up with us..."

Interview by Mike Diver, Drowned in Sound, August 2011

AHEAD OF THEIR sold-out headline show at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire, DiS meets Deftones' Frank Delgado (electronics) and Sergio Vega (bass). Each joined the band at ...

Dirty Pretty Things: Romance At Short Notice (Vertigo)

Review by Mike Diver, Drowned in Sound, June 2008

DIRTY PRETTY THINGS frontman Carl Barât has a brilliant album in him. He's not written or recorded it yet, but the songwriting powerhouse behind the ...

Dizzee Rascal: Truthfully Born To Do It

Interview by Mike Diver, Drowned in Sound, August 2008

DIZZEE RASCAL'S 'Dance Wiv Me', featuring Calvin Harris and Chrome, has sat at the top of the UK singles chart for the past four Sundays. ...

Drake: Take Care (Cash Money Records)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, November 2011

Drake is here for the long run — and he's already outrunning most. ...

Karen Elson: The Ghost Who Walks (XL Recordings)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, May 2010

Appealing solo debut from Jack White's model wife and friends. ...

Emerson Lake & Palmer, Foreigner, UFO, ZZ Top: High LOL-tage: Mike Diver's classic rock adventure

Live Review by Mike Diver, Drowned in Sound, August 2010

The other day our former overlord Mike Diver phoned up DiS HQ to belligerently demand we implement what he described as "the final phase" of ...

Eminem: Recovery (Aftermath Entertainment)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, June 2010

On his seventh album Eminem is more genuinely impassioned than he's sounded in years. ...

Paloma Faith: Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, 2009

Perhaps she's playing up, but one can't fault the performance. ...

Foals: Antidotes

Review by Mike Diver, Drowned in Sound, February 2008

YOU HAVE TO rewind the best part of a year to find the root of the expansive bubble of anticipation that's bloated about the five ...

Foo Fighters: Wasting Light

Review by Mike Diver, Clash, April 2011

WITH THE release of this seventh studio album from the Nicest Man In Rock and his sweat-flecked colleagues, there can be no doubt that Foo ...

Ellie Goulding: Lights (Polydor)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, March 2010

THAT ELLIE Goulding topped the BBC's Sound of 2010 poll and won the Critics' award at the Brits counts for precisely nothing as of now. ...

Cee Lo Green: CeeLo Green: The Lady Killer

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, November 2010

WHEN YOU'VE a voice as powerful as Atlanta-born Thomas Callaway's, it's not going to stay unheard for too long. ...

Green Day: 21st Century Breakdown

Review by Mike Diver, Clash, April 2009

SKIPPING TO THE conclusion before the qualifying: 21st Century Breakdown is an abject failure, a hollow-sounding shadow of the zeitgeist-riding, multi-platinum American Idiot. ...

Grimes: Halfaxa (Arbutus Records)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, 2010

ON A CURSORY listen it seems Claire Boucher, aka Grimes, creates the kind of ethereal gloom-scapes that have served Zola Jesus well thus far. But ...

Grizzly Bear: Brooklyn Foursome Talk Veckatimest

Profile and Interview by Mike Diver, Clash, May 2009

GRIZZLY BEAR are about to take a step into the unknown. Again. "This is probably the biggest thing we've been asked to do here in ...

The Horrors: Skying (XL Recordings)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, July 2011

THE HORRORS know all about deceptive appearances. Their mid-00s emergence saw the music press in a lather, hype peaking with inevitable derision creeping forth from ...

Idlewild: Everything Ever Written

Review by Mike Diver, Quietus, The, February 2015

IDLEWILD HAVE been a band for twenty years now, and doesn't it show. The blood-rush riots that passed as early gigs have slipped beneath tangible ...

Jay Z: Jay-Z: The Hits Collection — Volume One (Def Jam)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, November 2010

ONE OF JAY-Z'S biggest UK hits, 'Empire State of Mind', possesses a title that can be taken different ways. It alludes to the rapper's hometown, ...

Jessie J: Who You Are

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, February 2011

IT'S ALL WELL and good having a multi-octave voice, but without control it's an accident waiting to happen. Jessie J – born Jessica Cornish in ...

Justin Bieber: My World (Mercury)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, January 2010

Uncomfortable lyrics aside, there's not much to make the adult listener squirm. ...

Kaiser Chiefs: The Future Is Medieval

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, June 2011

LEEDS' KAISER Chiefs aren't a band immediately associated with innovation – their perky indie-pop has livened up many a festival with a series of "nah-nah-nah-nah-nah"-style ...

Katy B: In Conversation: Katy B

Interview by Mike Diver, Clash, February 2014

BRITAIN MIGHT BE smitten, as much of the world is, by a Queen B from H-Town, but we've our own pop princess coming through the ...

Lady Gaga: ARTPOP

Review by Mike Diver, Clash, November 2013

THE FIRST FOUR minutes of Stefani Germanotta's third album proper are completely fascinating. 'Aura', this set's opener, manages to be a multitude of songs at ...

Leona Lewis: Echo (Sony)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, November 2009

ONE BEGINS listening to this second album from the 2006 X Factor winner hoping its title isn't prophetic – nobody needs an echo of Lewis's ...

Lil Wayne: Tha Carter IV (Cash Money Records)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, August 2011

Studio LP number nine from the multi-million seller could be his UK breakthrough proper ...

Damian Marley, Nas: Nas and Damian Marley: Distant Relatives (Def Jam)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, May 2010

WHEN NAS CONFIRMED this collaboration with Damian Marley, he mentioned how hip hop and reggae are intertwined. ...

N-Dubz: Against All Odds (All Around The World)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, November 2009

An honest, authentic audio document of contemporary teenage Britain. ...

N*E*R*D: Nothing

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, November 2010

Album four from Pharrell and company features its share of dancefloor fillers. ...

Outkast: An Album of the Year 2000: OutKast: Stankonia

Retrospective by Mike Diver, Drowned in Sound, October 2011

WHAT INITIALLY seems like a throwaway title of nonsensical playfulness is actually a very astute summary of the first truly great rap record of the ...

Pet Shop Boys: Pandemonium

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, February 2010

ANYONE WHO caught the Pet Shop Boys touring their superb Yes album – BBC Music's number one Pop & Chart album of 2009 – last ...

Radiohead: The King Of Limbs

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, February 2011

A fans-pleasing eighth album from Britain's most consistently brilliant band. ...

Rihanna: Talk That Talk (Mercury)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, November 2011

Drearily sexual lyricism over showy but shallow production dominates RiRi's sixth LP. ...

Rick Ross: God Forgives, I Don't (Def Jam)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, July 2012

KNOWN TO MANY UK listeners as a gravel-voiced guest on innumerable rap hits, Rick Ross has enjoyed considerable stateside success for several years. His 2006 ...

Shakira: She Wolf (Epic)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, October 2009

THERE'S MUCH to like about diminutive Columbian singer Shakira (Isabel Mebarak Ripoll), best known to this day for 2001's breakthrough Whenever, Wherever and her global ...

Snoop (Doggy) Dogg: Snoop Dogg: Malice N Wonderland (Priority Records)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, December 2009

A fine X to mark this spot in Snoop's always interesting career. ...

Sparklehorse: Dreaming of Fiery, Misty Mountains: Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse

Interview by Mike Diver, Drowned in Sound, October 2006

WALK AROUND the stage of London's Bush Hall, through the dressing room, and there you'll find a small outside area, just big enough for a ...

Britney Spears: The Singles Collection (Jive)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, November 2009

IT MIGHT SEEM rather odd that this new collection features fewer tracks than 2004's greatest hits collection, My Prerogative. But though trimmer, this set represents ...

The Strokes: Angles (RCA)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, March 2011

Prepare to be smitten all over again, as the NYC outfit release a brilliant fourth album. ...

The Weeknd: House of Balloons

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, March 2011

A startling debut from a young Canadian RnB artist with huge potential. ...

The Weeknd: Thursday

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, August 2011

EARLIER THIS YEAR, Canadian singer The Weeknd (aka Abel Tesfay) became a net sensation when his House of Balloons mixtape attracted the support of rapper ...

The Weeknd: Trilogy

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, November 2012

"YOU DON'T KNOW, what's in store." The opening line on this major-label compilation from Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd, isn't entirely accurate. Trilogy does feature ...

Wild Beasts: Smother (Domino)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, May 2011

WILD BEASTS' RISE from cult concerns loved by a critical clique, through Mercury Prize-nominated sorts with a sharp and saucy twist on typical indie tropes, ...

Robbie Williams: Reality Killed The Video Star

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, November 2009

THE EGO HAS LANDED, again, but he's a lot more endearing this time around. ...

The xx: Coexist (Young Turks)

Review by Mike Diver, bbc.co.uk, September 2012

Refined progression, this is the sound of a band both expanding and consolidating. ...

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