Staff Music Picks

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Jan 11, 2016 by claytonc

Just days after releasing a new album on his 69th birthday, the truly transcendent artist David Bowie died Sunday. Apparently he had been fighting cancer for the last 18 months and died surrounded by his family. Read about his legacy and how people around the world are reacting to his death. Then listen to some of your favorite tracks, and check our catalog to read books about him and more. Here's a clip from Labryinth to remind you of one of his iconic film roles:

Dec 22, 2015 by eileenf

Following a 2012 bus accident that injured three members, Baroness has returned to the music scene with an album of renewal and rebirth. The Georgia sludge metal band (for the uninitiated, that’s a mix of doom metal, hardcore punk and Southern rock) has produced an album that is less heavy than some of their previous works. Psychedelic keyboards, euphoric hooks, and powerful harmonies are at the forefront here. Baroness seems to be reveling in its survival and asking its listeners to celebrate with them. So bang your head in joy, metal heads! Listen Now

Dec 11, 2015 by claytonc

Looking for the perfect soundtrack for a christmas party, trimming the tree, driving around shopping, or just chilling, perhaps with some lit candles? We've got you covered. We have the classics, including the Charlie Brown Christmas, Christmas with the Beach Boys, a just released Chrismas album from Frank Sinatra, a new compilation from Ella Fitzgerald, the Capitol Records classic Best of Christmas (30 tracks including Bing Cosby, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, and so many more!). Perhaps you'd like to check out something you haven't heard before? Click any of the links to listen to the album now.

Dec 4, 2015 by claytonc

It wouldn't be Friday without some new music. Check out the higlights from today's releases below and have a great weekend!

  • A Head Full of Dreams by Coldplay
    Adult Alternative Pop/Rock. Featuring cameos from Beyoncé and Noel Gallagher along with dalliances with disco, this is a bright, colorful rallying cry to seize the day.
  • Black Market by Rick Ross
    Gangsta Rap. Bolder and in many ways bigger than his previous efforts, Black Market is a more introspective and ambitious album from Miami superstar Ross.
  • Return of the Tender Lover by Babyface
    Adult Contemporary R&B. The Soul Train Legend Award honoree's satisfying first original-material solo album in ten years.
  • Long Lost Suitcase by Tom Jones
    American Trad Rock. The singer's third project with producer Ethan Johns is another powerful set of stripped down, blues-based roots music.
  • Blue Neighbourhood by Troye Sivan
    Pop. Debut album from the smooth young Australian singer with poignant confessionals of love, youth, and yearning.
  • The First Quartet by the John Abercrombie Quartet
    Guitar Jazz. Two of the three albums in this excellent archival box have been out of print for decades.
  • Shostakovich: Cello Concertos Nos 1 & 2 by Gautier Capuçon and Valery Gergiev
    Concerto. A worthwhile live Shostakovich release from a charismatic cellist and a veteran conductor.
  • The Music of Nashville: Original Soundtrack Season 4, Vol. 1
    Country. The latest music from this much-loved series about a country-music legend who realizes she must reinvent her career if she wants to stay in the spotlight.
  • Speedin' Bullet 2 Heaven by Kid Cudi
    Hip-Hop/Rap. After months of promotion and the cancelation of a supporting tour, here is the latest all original album from this innovative Brooklyn-based rapper from Cleveland.
Dec 4, 2015 by claytonc

Scott Weiland, the former frontman for rock bands Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, died in his sleep while on a tour stop in Bloomington, Minnesota, with his band The Wildabouts early this morning. After reading about his passing we encurage you to listen to some of his music as you remember what he gave to us all. Listen to the Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, and Scott's solo work (including a Christmas album you may have missed when it was released in 2011) now. Check Our Catalog for Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, and more of Scott's solo work.

Nov 30, 2015 by eileenf

If you’re a fan of R&B/hip-hop concept albums, such as Janelle Monáe’s The ArchAndroid or Deltron 3030’s self-titled album, give this one a listen. Like the aforementioned recordings, Logic’s latest offering is a sci-fi concept album. He and his spaceship crew have left the destroyed Earth behind for greener pastures, a mysterious planet called Paradise. On the way they’re listening to important albums from the past including - you guessed it - Logic’s The Incredible True Story. This work is a polished gem, borrowing sounds from Kanye West, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and OutKast. It certainly makes me want to take a road trip to outer space. Listen Now

Nov 20, 2015 by claytonc

Looking forward and looking back. Never miss the latest music, streaming 24/7, for free, no comercial interuptions. Here are highlights from today's additions:

  • Dark Sky Island by Enya
    Adult Alternative. The Irish singer/composer's lushly crafted eighth album harkens back to her early masterworks.
  • Songs from the Trees: A Musical Memoir Collection by Carly Simon
    Singer/Songwriter. Double-disc collection designed to accompany Carly Simon's 2015 memoir Boys in the Trees.
  • R40 Live by Rush
    Album Rock. A lethal mix of classics, deep cuts, and recent triumphs performed with the gusto of men many years younger.
  • This Is Not a Miracle by Food
    Modern Creative / Jazz. Originally recorded live in the studio, Thomas Strønen's extensive post-production results in the band's most groove-oriented effort.
  • Voice of Peace by Friar Alessandro Brustenghi
    Vocal Music. This is a program with a relative lack of familiarity of most of the material, in America or anywhere else.
  • Top 5 Dead Or Alive by Jadakiss
    Hip-Hop/Rap. Six years in the making, Jadakiss' fourth studio album features guest appearances from some of the biggest names in the game, including Future, Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Swizz Beatz, Wiz Khalifa, Nas, Young Buck, Sheek Louch, Nipsey Hussle, Ne-Yo, Styles P, and more.
  • Nick Jonas X2
    Pop. A re-release of Nick Jonas' second studio album with three new tracks and four remixes. The classic songwriting and blue-eyed soul vocals are sweet and seductive.
  • Live In Paris by Tinariwen
    World-African. A very timely release from this band of Taureg refugees who play a political charged style of "desert blues."
  • Tracy Chapman's Greatest Hits
    Folk. Of course it includes Fast Car, Talkin' Bout a Revolution, and Give Me One Reason, but there are 15 more rich tracks, ending with a recording of Stand By Me recorded live on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Nov 18, 2015 by claytonc

Lots of eclectic music hit the streets last Friday. Check out what you can listen to now:

  • Purpose by Justin Bieber
    Pop. Bumpy, oddly compelling restart from the re-emergent pop star.
  • Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings by Kurt Cobain
    Alternative Pop/Rock. A collection of Kurt Cobain home recordings, early drafts, and near-demos to accompany Brett Morgan's 2015 documentary.
  • The Incredible True Story by Logic
    Pop-Rap. The one they call Young Sinatra returns with an excellent sophomore LP that doubles as a sci-fi concept album.
  • Free TC by Ty Dolla $ign
    Contemporary R&B. The L.A. MC and singer offers a diverse and weighty debut album with an all-star guest list.
  • Bluenote Café by Neil Young
    Album Rock. Neil gets the blues on this archival set, collecting live material from his 1987-1988 tours with his brassy combo the Bluenotes.
  • First Comes the Night by Chris Isaak
    Adult Alternative Pop/Rock. Isaak's devilish charm and romantic songcraft are on display throughout this vintage-inspired album recorded in Nashville.
  • Heart Blanche by Cee Lo Green
    Contemporary R&B. The "Crazy" and "Fuck You" singer's first proper solo album in five years is crammed with nostalgia and hooks.
  • Church in These Streets by Jeezy
    Gangsta Rap. The veteran Atlanta MC offers an ambitious concept album with Janelle Monae and Monica as his only guests.
  • Know-It-All by Alessia Cara
    Contemporary R&B. Promising debut album from immensely likeable, teen-aged Canadian singer and songwriter who mixes pop and R&B.
Nov 17, 2015 by eileenf

Ryan Adams has produced a track-by-track remake of Taylor Swift’s 1989 to beautiful effect. Adams’ soulful vocals have stripped down these songs to their emotional core and given listeners a different perspective on heartbreak - that of a 40-year-old man going through a divorce, rather than the heartaches of a 25-year-old woman. Adams has said that Swift’s original album helped him through his breakup with Mandy Moore, and I can't imagine a more fitting tribute to Swift’s first official pop album. Adams has also said that his album’s sound is a cross between Bruce Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town and The Smiths' Meat Is Murder. Not bad albums to emulate. Check Our Catalog or Listen Now

Nov 9, 2015 by claytonc

Last week ended with some great releases. Check them out now!

  • Delirium by Ellie Goulding
    Dance-Pop. British electronic pop singer bursts her sound wide open with a hooky, R&B-infused third album.
  • Seal 7 by Seal
    Adult Contemporary. The singer's first full album of Trevor Horn-produced originals since 2003 is a pleasing continuation of the duo's familiar approach.
  • Dream by Angie Stone
    Adult Contemporary R&B. A little more retro-styled than her previous albums, the singer's seventh set bounds from boogie to soul-pop and includes a fine Dave Hollister duet.
  • In the Lonely Hour [Drowning Shadows Edition] by Sam Smith
    Adult Contemporary. The singer's smash debut resurfaces for the holiday shopping season with an extensive assortment of previously released and new material.
  • Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings by Natalie Merchant
    Adult Alternative Pop/Rock. Twenty years on, the singer/songwriter offers a new experience of her classic album by completely re-recording it.
  • Making Time by Jamie Woon
    Alternative Singer/Songwriter. After a four-year break, the singer tops his debut with nuanced, organic grooves made with Lexx, Paul White, and Robin Hannibal.
  • D-Stringz by Stanley Clarke, Biréli Lagrène, & Jean-Luc Ponty
    Contemporary Jazz. This acoustic trio offers a relaxed, swinging set of standards and originals that showcases the warm side of musical virtuosity.
  • Rachmaninoff (Symphonie No. 3; Caprice Bohémien; Danses Symphoniques; Le Rocher; and Vocalise) by Paavo Järvi and the Orchestre de Paris
    Orchestral. Paavo Järvi and the Orchestre de Paris give a French sound to Sergey Rachmaninov's orchestral music on this Erato two-fer.
  • Pictures by Conrad Tao
    Keyboard. In his 2015 Warner Classics release, Conrad Tao explores themes of grief, memory, and imagery in a collection of solo piano works.
Nov 5, 2015 by eileenf

This is White Lies’ most melodic album. The deep baritone of lead singer Harry McVeigh echoes and the driving guitars reverberate throughout each song. Bassist Charles Cave has said that the album follows a story of a couple who leave a provincial area for a big city and, according to Cave, a recurring theme is the idea of equality in a relationship. Matt Collar of AllMusic wrote that White Lies "sound even more engaged and clear-eyed than on the ambitious, stylized Ritual," and they "combine the urgent passions of their debut with the conceptual ambitions of their sophomore effort and by doing so, make the best album of their career." I heartily recommend this British post-punk/indie rock band. Listen Now

Oct 30, 2015 by claytonc

Find the perfect soundtrack for your Halloween party or re-discover an old favorite that has been remixed, remastered, or completely re-interpreted. Some great new music droped today - enjoy!

  • Paper Wheels by Trey Anastasio
    Alternative/Indie Rock. A warm, sunny, and rhythmic album that easily conjures memories of mid-'70s Dead.
  • Astral Weeks [Remastered & Expanded] by Van Morrison
    Album Rock. This remastered and expanded edition added extra takes of "Beside You" and "Madame George," and longer versions of "Ballerina" and "Slim Slow Slider."
  • So Familiar by Edie Brickell and Steve Martin
    Progressive Bluegrass. The second collaboration between Steve Martin and Edie Brickell is every bit as elegant and charming as the first.
  • We Love Disney 2015 by Various Artists including Ne-Yo, Jason Derulo, Gwen Steani, Ariana Grande, Fall Out Boy, Rascal Flatts, ane more
    Pop. A collection of fun and pleasing covers of Disney classics by some of 2015's best contemporary talent.
  • The Dongo Durango by Sun Club
    Indie Pop. Recorded mostly live in the studio, the Baltimore band's infectious debut launches bright, surfy pop with a colorful, punk-edged spin.
  • Ravel by Yuja Wang
    Keyboard. Yuja Wang is best known for playing Russian piano concertos, but her all-French album reveals her talents in a different light.
  • Love Saves the Day by G. Love & Special Sauce
    Alternative Pop/Rock. A guest-heavy party record that underscores the eclecticism of G. Love & Special Sauce.
  • Make America Psycho Again by Fall Out Boy
    Alternative/Indie Rock. Last year's American Beauty gets a complete hip hop remix with lots of guest stars, including Migos, A$AP Ferg, Azealia Banks, Wiz Khalifa, and more.
  • Now That's What I Call Music, Vol. 56
    Dance-Pop, Pop-Rap, Emo-Pop, Alternative/Indie Rock, and Country-Pop. The 56th edition of the popular series serves as a snapshot of the summer of 2015 in mainstream popular music, including huge hits from pop titans, fan favorites, and up-and-comers.
Oct 23, 2015 by claytonc

Fall is a great time to discover new music. Why not grab a mug of apple cider this weekend and check out one or more of the following albums that were just released today?

  • Sounds Good Feels Good by 5 Seconds of Summer
    Teen Pop. The Aussie outfit's sophomore album of playfully irreverent, '90s-style punk-pop and earnest emo balladry.
  • Liberman by Vanessa Carlton
    Contemporary Singer/Songwriter. A painterly, introspective album that trades in musings and austere arrangements.
  • Product 3 by Beat Connection
    Indie Electronic. A soulful set of warm, laid-back dance pop from this Seattle-based band.
  • My Stupid Heart by Shawn Mullins
    Adult Alternative Pop/Rock. A nicely weathered record that shows Mullins' range as a writer and performer.
  • Sun Leads Me On by Half Moon Run
    Indie Rock. The Montreal band's sophomore outing dials back on the folk elements of their debut in favor of a more cosmopolitan approach.
  • Pylon by Killing Joke
    Alternative/Indie Rock. More sound, fury, and bad karma from the original lineup of the U.K. post-punk subversives.
  • Astoria by Marianas Trench
    Alternative/Indie Rock. The theatrical Canadian rockers continue to go big on their Goonies-referencing, '80s-fueled fourth album.
  • Gone Like the Cotton by The Cox Family
    Bluegrass. The family band's long-shelved 1998 album finally sees a belated (and most welcome) release.
  • Serenade: The Love Album by Anne Akiko Meyers
    Concerto. An exceptionally engaging program that uses Meyers' basically lyrical talents to the maximum and luxuriantly melodic.
Oct 19, 2015 by eileenf

Upon learning this Canadian group plays good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, and being a huge fan of artists like Neil Young and Bob Dylan, I had to listen for myself. I was not disappointed. I could have sworn the trippy opening guitar licks to “Jim Sullivan” was the beginning to “Dear Prudence” by The Beatles. Other songs on this album can be confused with some by REO Speedwagon. And I would’ve insisted that some amazing organ work could’ve been performed by Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers. If you’ve worn a hole in your classic rock albums, try these guys. You’ll be rocking out in no time. Listen Now

Oct 16, 2015 by claytonc

Hot new music from many different traditions this week. Check out the latest every Friday. Here are this week's picks:

  • The Color Before the Sun by Coheed and Cambria
    Neo-Prog. The New York power trio's unusually accessible eighth album is their first outside of the epic Amory Wars saga.
  • Dopamine by Børns
    Alternative/Indie Rock. Dreamy debut full-length from young Michigan native with a love for glimmering disco, funk, and glam rock.
  • Son Little (self-titled)
    Contemporary Singer/Songwriter. Rich and eclectic fusion of blues, soul, R&B, and hip-hop from writer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Livingston.
  • Hamilton: An American Musical [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
    Cast Recordings. Hip-hop and ethnically diverse casting meet Revolutionary America in innovative -- and delightful -- musical theater.
  • Jamie Lawson (self-titled)
    Contemporary Singer/Songwriter. Debut album full of warm, comforting guitar pop from the first artist to sign with Ed Sheeran's new label.
  • Mahler's Symphony No. 5 by Myung-Whun Chung and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra
    Symphony. Myung-Whun Chung and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra give a flexible and nuanced reading of Mahler's Symphony No. 5 in C sharp minor.
  • Rufus Wainwright: Prima Donna by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Janis Kelly, and Jayce Ogren
    Opera. Prima Donna, Rufus Wainwright's first opera, was recorded by Jayce Ogren and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London in 2015.
  • General Admission by Machine Gun Kelly
    Hardcore Rap. A druggy downer with a Kid Rock-fueled anthem in the middle, the rapper's 2015 LP is both corrosive and alluring.
  • Confident by Demi Lovato
    Pop. A messy, colorful magpie pop album that touches upon every modern trend while seeming like the work of nobody outside Demi Lovato.
Oct 9, 2015 by claytonc

Every Friday new music drops. What is your soundtrack for the long weekend? Perhaps one of these will make  your cut? Click any album title to listen to these fresh tracks immediately. Listen Now!

  • 35 MPH Town by Toby Keith
    Contemporary Country. Despite a couple of ballads and beach songs, 35 MPH Town is another reliable record from Keith's wheelhouse.
  • The Agent Intellect by Protomartyr
    Alternative/Indie Rock. Third album from these Detroit indie rockers is a smart, furious combination of guitars and voices, each ranting with purpose.
  • Such Things by Saintseneca
    Alternative/Indie Rock. Moving on from folk, this Ohio band delivers a spiraling exercise in focused, ambitious, well-produced indie pop.
  • Snare Lustrous Doomings by Of Montreal
    Alternative/Indie Rock. The band's first live album is a 90-minute, consummately performed, career-spanning romp that captures the freewheeling spirit of their shows.
  • Things That Can't Be Undone by Corb Lund
    Neo-Traditionalist Country. The Alberta songwriter and producer Dave Cobb team to deliver aa new chapter in the country music tradition
  • Rest in Paradise by Kisses
    Alternative/Indie Rock. The L.A. duo expands its retro disco sound in a more organic direction, bringing in Midnight Magic to get a live band feel.
  • Revival by Selena Gomez
    Pop. With a new label and more control over production and songwriting, Revival is a fresh start for Gomez.
  • Everybody Wants a Piece by Joe Louis Walker
    Contemporary Blues. Prolific blues guitarist delivers on this strong, eclectic album.
  • Youngblood by Korey Dane
    Alternative Singer/Songwriter. Literate, nuanced folk-rock from the Long Beach singer/songwriter with warm production from Tony Berg.
Oct 5, 2015 by claytonc

Every Friday new music is released and we make lots and lots of it available for you to listen to immediately. Check out the top picks from this past Friday:

  • Unbreakable by Janet Jackson
    Contemporary R&B. A clean-cut and satisfying return after a seven-year absence, created with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
  • New Bermuda by Deafheaven
    Black Metal. Deafheaven follow up their triumphant breakthrough album Sunbather with a bleak yet ultimately uplifting third full-length.
  • Stories by Avicii
    EDM. The Swedish DJ's second genre-blending effort gets everything right with guests like Zac Brown, Wyclef Jean, Matisyahu, and Martin Garrix in support.
  • Fast Forward by Joe Jackson
    Contemporary Pop/Rock. The gifted pop songwriter hops from New York and New Orleans to Amsterdam and Berlin on his first studio set since 2008.
  • Silence In The Snow (Special Edition) by Trivium
    Hard Rock/Metal. Trivium haven't made the same album twice since 2003's Vengeance Falls. In keeping with their own tradition, they tossed out plenty to reinvent themselves here. Trivium are using the building blocks of metal to pursue a wider, more nuanced, musical direction.
  • Pipes of Peace [Special Edition] by Paul McCartney
    Album Rock. The 2015 reissue of the 1983 album contains a disc of demos, rarities, B-sides, and outtakes.
  • This Is War by Emily Kinney
    Alternative Singer/Songwriter. A year after exiting The Walking Dead, the singer/songwriter/actress issues unapologetically chirpy, charming, love-is-war indie pop.
  • Kill the Flaw by Sevendust
    Alternative Metal. Largely written in the studio, Kill the Flaw finds the bandmembers reconnecting with their roots while performing with the aplomb of veterans.
  • Creeps by Indian Handcrafts
    Heavy Metal. Picking up where they left off, the Barrie Ontaro power duo deliver another serving of prime sludge with a couple of twists.
  • Show Me Your Fangs by Matt Nathanson
    Adult Alternative Pop/Rock. An exuberant album that balances Nathanson's longstanding knack for emotive acoustic balladry with sophisticated, R&B-influenced production.
Oct 2, 2015 by eileenf

New Zealand-born Tamaryn’s breathy vocals and electronic dream-pop harkens back to the glorious ‘80s/early ‘90s synth revolution. But this latest offering sounds quite fresh. If you’re in the mood to listen to airy soundscapes with a definite pop feel, give it a listen. I listened to this album while I did some writing and came away with a peaceful, upbeat feeling. This album is so delicate, you may not even realize such luscious sounds are pouring into your ear until it’s all over and somehow you’re more a bit more energized. Listen Now

Sep 25, 2015 by claytonc

What a Friday! Here are the most critically acclaimed albums released today that you can listen to right now - just follow the links from the titles. Hope you have a great weekend!

  • Dodge And Burn by The Dead Weather
    Alternative / Indie Rock. Another album from this Jack White-related supergroup with White on drums and featuring members of the Kills and Queens of the Stone Age.
  • Caracal by Disclosure
    Club/Dance. Several chart-topping vocalists make contributions, but the lower-profile guests truly elevate the Lawrence brothers' second album.
  • Cass County by Don Henley
    Adult Contemporary. The Eagles founder returns to his country-rock roots on this star-studded record named after his Texas home.
  • Automatic by Kaskade
    EDM. A welcome return to form, the producer's ninth studio effort features smooth house and innovative production touches.
  • Allas Sak by Dungen
    Alternative/Indie Rock. The band's seventh album is another psych-folk-pop gem that focuses on songcraft and features tighter arrangements and softer instrumentation than usual.
  • Gates of Gold by Los Lobos
    Adult Alternative Pop/Rock. The 17th studio album from East L.A.'s greatest band finds them still exploring new directions and playing with style and authority.
  • Street Dogs by Widespread Panic
    American Trad Rock. On its first studio date in five years, the Georgia band records new material live from the floor with excellent results.
  • Live in Seattle by Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers
    Contemporary Jazz. In concert with Randy Jacobs and Sweet Pea Atkinson, the saxophonist's musical wild side is on full, gritty, glorious display.
  • Uncovered by Shawn Colvin
    Adult Alternative Pop/Rock. Twenty-one years after her first covers album, Shawn Colvin returns with the quietly satisfying, slyly inventive Uncovered.
Sep 15, 2015 by eileenf

Released last month with very little fanfare, hip hop artist B.o.B’s fourth release alternates between irresistibly funky beats and sweet guitar melodies. Although B.o.B still breaks out the raps, his singing voice is beautifully on display on tracks such as “Violet Vibrato.” The artist described the album in a Twitter post, saying, "This body of work is more than music, it's an experience." It’s also been compared to some of his earlier mixtape works in his Bobby Ray persona. This offering lives up to his No Genre label - it’s eclectic and fresh. And be prepared to get these catchy confections stuck in your head; I’ve been jamming to “Back and Forth” since I first heard the album. Listen Now

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