rock/pop

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Some Nights by Fun.

The band's name says it all: Fun. I started listening to this CD in the car without knowing what to expect and was a believer by the end of the first track. Loaded with hooks and anthemic sing-along choruses, the whole album will just lift you up. You'll time travel to the days of Queen when listening to "Some Nights Intro" and even if you haven't been young for years, you'll love "We Are Young", the hit single that reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Sign me up for the fan club!

The Sound of Music by the dB's

The release today of the dB's first album in 25 years got me to thinking about The Sound of Music.  The catchy tunes and smart lyrics are timeless.  You won't be saying "that's wicked eighties" like my sister's boyfriend always does when she plays her favorites from that era.  These are just well crafted pop songs that are about something.    Who can't relate to lyrics like these from "Working for Somebody Else": "I been working too hard and too long for too little / Seems like every day is just about the same / And it don't get any better." It'

Yes and Also Yes by Mike Doughty

Former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty's wordplay is what makes this an interesting CD.  He can be very amusing and he comes up with great lines.  When was the last time you heard someone say claptrap?  In Rational Man he starts with "Don't give me your claptrap, Don't give me your stinking words, You make me feel like a fat sap, Hapless, in a dirty shirt."   Another great line is "She doesn't fall in love, She takes hostages" from The Huffer and the Cutter.   The duet with Rosanne Cash, Holiday (What do you want), is as much ab

Torrent Volume 1 & 2 by Will Dailey

Will Dailey—a local musician who has been playing in Boston and around the country for many years—compiled his two digitally released EPs from 2009 to create this 13-song powerhouse CD that includes a 60s-inspired rock song evoking Neil Young, an anthem for Boston’s Allston neighborhood, and guest vocals and guitar work from veterans of the Boston music scene, including Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo), Elliot Easton (The Cars), and Tim Brennan (Dropkick Murphys). If you haven’t heard Dailey’s music, he’s worth the listen!

Bert Jansch

This innovative Scottish guitarist and songwriter was influential both as a solo artist and as a key member of the popular British folk-rock group Pentangle during the 1960s and 70s.  His subject matter was often dark, as in one of his most famous songs, "Needle of Death", and his delivery restrained but very affecting. Jansch died in October 2011 at the age of 67. If you've never heard his music, give it a listen!

Don't Call Me Buckwheat by Garland Jeffreys

Jeffreys' sound is a unique blend of rock, reggae, island, jazz, and Latin music brilliantly melded together by his intelligent, provocative songwriting and distinctive vocals. His 1992 disc, "Don't Call Me Buckwheat" is an old favorite of mine but it's been difficult to get his older recordings from the 70s and 80s (hard to find on CD) and he doesn't record often.  He's just released his first new album in 13 years, "The King of In Between". If you've never heard of this artist, you have a treat in store.

I and Love and You by the Avett Brothers

All of the Avett Brothers albums are great.  Their harmonies are beautiful.  Their talent with the various instruments they play (banjo, guitar, piano and more) is phenomenal and their lyrics are clever and true.  In I and Love and You the songs are sadder and filled with pain and mental anguish.  Even a seemingly festive song like "Tin Man" has dark lyrics.  But don't let that scare you.  This is a fine album without a dud on it.

7 Worlds Collide: Neil Finn & Friends Live at the St. James

Neil Finn has been making beautifully crafted music for over 30 years with Split Enz, Crowded House, his brother Tim and as a solo artist.  On this live disc he gathers several musician friends, including Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder and Johnny Marr of the Smiths, to perform their songs and his.  Great perfomances abound on this CD, especially Vedder singing "Stuff & Nonsense" and Finn doing his own "She Will Have Her Way".

Say It by Evan Goodrow Band

This Boston-based trio opened for B.B.King at his recent concert in Beverly and impressed me with its full, rocking blues sound. Evan Goodrow leads the band on guitar and vocals, with Phil Antoniades on drums and John Cooke just smokin' on a Hammond organ. Check Our Catalog

Phoebe Snow

Snow's recent death at age 60 sent me back to the songs that introduced her to the world--and to me--back in the 70s. Well worth a listen to Phoebe's unique voice singing favorites like "Poetry Man", "Shakey Ground" and "Love Makes a Woman". Check Our Catalog

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