Stop, Look and Listen: Childish Gambino, Alan Partridge and Heroes by INPHO 8 years ago

Stop, Look and Listen: Childish Gambino, Alan Partridge and Heroes by INPHO

JOE looks through the latest albums, books and DVDs to make sure you fill your spare time with the best there is on offer

Childish Gambino - Because the Internet

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Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino aka Troy from Community is back with another album after his first album Camp, in 2012, was a surprising success. Part of the surprise came from the fact that the music itself was smart, catchy and creative, and appealed to a pretty wide audience, meaning that hipsters found it acceptable to listen to. That comes with its own problems for being considered as a credible artist, and love from a community of people in over-sized novelty glasses doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to get any respect.

That may have been weighing heavily on Glover's mind as he came up with this album, which is extremely different to his last effort. His lyrical cleverness is still there in abundance, but at times it feels like a very disjointed piece that spends a little too much time worried about what everyone else thinks, or in trying to make a point that he's really different. It's not without its charming moments ('3005' is a catchy tune, there's no doubting that) but the fact that Glover is famous and not for rapping is something that will always be mentioned when looking at this album, and seems to be on his mind too.

Warning: NSFW tune alert

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This is more than an album though, as there's a real project at hand here. The tracks are numbered in a way that suggests that there's a narrative to the album as a whole, and it turns out that is the case. 'Clapping for the Wrong Reasons' was a short film made with the album in mind, and if you want, you can check out the screenplay that Glover wrote for the whole album that sprung from that.

Overall, the album is worth a listen for you to make your own mind up. At times a bit try hard, at times very catchy, there's no way that this album won't get people talking. Whether or not their reviews are positive is a different matter, however.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

We wanted to love this when it was released. We wanted to love it so much. And praise be to Santa and the baby Jeebus, we weren’t disappointed when Alan Partridge made his big screen debut  and we certainly won't be disappointed with it on DVD.

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JURASSIC PARK!

The quality of the film shouldn't really be too much of a surprise to be fair, especially considering that the script was written by a dreamteam of Partridge penmen including Steve Coogan, Peter Baynham, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons and, most importantly, the genius that is Armando Ianucci.

As well as new  boy Colm Meaney starring, familiar faces make a welcome return; Felicity Montagu as Alan’s long-suffering PA Lynne turns up with “hair like an explosion” and Simon Greenall hilariously pops up as the much loved Michael, like a “Geordie Anne Frank.”

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The star of the show though is undoubtedly Alan himself. Take a bow Hollywood because the casting of Steve Coogan in the role of the titular DJ is absolutely inspired.

Onscreen for pretty much every minute of the running time (a welcome 90 minutes), Partridge the man delivers, and more. Whether it’s his subtle facial ticks such as licking his lips or a raised eyebrow, or speaking before he thinks, the film will have you belly-laughing from start to finish. Back of the net!

The film’s real highlight though is the absolutely perfectly executed script ensuring that Alpha Papa, like the excellent television series before it, is destined to be endlessly quoted and undoubtedly requires multiple viewings. JOE for one cannot wait to go and see it again – mainly to see those jokes we missed first time round due to laughing at the previous ones so much.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is liquid film folks, go and buy it now.

Heroes by INPHO

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We're big, big fans of INPHO's work here at JOE and now, after 25 years in the business, the photo agency have put together a book of some of their greatest hits over that quarter century.

INPHO's main man Billy Stickland has spent months hand picking some of the very best Irish sports photos ever taken and it is an absolutely perfect gift for the sports fan in your life this Christmas.

Billy and his team were present at virtually every major sporting event since 1988 so everything you can think of from Euro 88 to last year's All-Ireland finals are covered.

Not only does the book have some great action shots, but there is also a large focus on INPHO's feature work, capturing some of Ireland's biggest names in unusual or unfamiliar settings. These pictures are often better than the action stuff, as you really see the subject's personality shine through.

We picked out a few of our favourites here but the book is cover-to-cover quality. If we had a coffee table, this would be on it.