Albums to watch


The Specials


First full-length studio album for 18 years for the reformed Coventry ska-punk including the return of singer Terry Hall

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  1. 9.0 |   God Is In The TV

    Much of Encore is an absolute blast
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  2. 8.0 |   Evening Standard

    The spirit of The Specials endures on a comeback that complements their mighty legacy
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  3. 8.0 |   Clash

    Remarkably, it’s everything we’d want from a Specials album in 2019… and more
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  4. 8.0 |   NME

    The veteran ska-punk band addresses Brexit, austerity, Tory rule, Black Lives Matter and mental health on this welcome return. We need right-thinking rebel records like ‘Encore’ now more than ever
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  5. 7.0 |   Rolling Stone

    The Specials return in top form
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  6. 7.0 |   Uncut

    Encore is a perfectly good record – it skanks and bubbles in all the right places, explores some interesting sonic territories, and features at least two tracks that will have live audiences singing along as if they were 40-year-old singles. But one can’t help but wonder how Dammers’ wayward genius might have added a level of glorious unpredictability to proceedings
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  7. 7.0 |   Under The Radar

    Encore won't change the world, it won't inspire the youth to fight but it cements The Specials place as vital political commentators with a legacy that can't be understated
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  8. 6.9 |   Paste Magazine

    It’s danceable, sure, but there’s a sinister edge, and the album spans more than just your classic ska and reggae beats
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  9. 6.0 |   The Arts Desk

    The politically engaged lyrics veer between the trite and the pithily urgent
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  10. 6.0 |   All Music

    Encore is a definite step up from the covers albums the Specials made surrounding Y2K: they feel like a band with a purpose, even if they're not making an especially big deal about it
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  11. 6.0 |   The Guardian

    Amid disputes over the group’s authenticity, Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter are best when sounding both anthemic and doom-laden
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  12. 6.0 |   The FT

    With feminist reworkings and nods to gun violence, the band are fewer in number but just as political
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