Colin Vearncombe will forever be preserved in pop aspic as the maker of 1987’s melancholy worldwide hit Wonderful Life – No 1 in Austria! – but he hasn’t stopped working, despite his not having breached the top 40 for 27 years. Blind Faith, his seventh album under the Black flag, is a marvellous little thing – a less temperamental, less self-regarding cousin to Scott Walker’s first four solo records. Like them, it’s steeped in European balladry, and filled with delicious arrangements – the swooping strings and jazzy shuffles of Womanly Panther are a delight. Vearncombe’s slightly frayed baritone is a perfect match to the music, steering it clear of pomposity, filling it with humanity, even when the regrets well up – “I am not the man you want me to be,” he sings on Not the Man, “Here comes the talking / Slamming doors you then have to throw open.” Pop stardom is a long way in the past for Vearncombe, but Blind Faith is an album by a man very much in control of his gifts.
The Black Market is the seventh studio album by American melodic hardcore band Rise Against, released on July 15, 2014. With the same line-up as their previous two albums, guitarist Zach Blair has become Rise Against's first guitarist to appear on three studio albums. It is the last Rise Against album to be released through Interscope Records. The Black Market debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, becoming the band's third consecutive top five album.