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Category Archive for 'Alt Rock'

“This time around, Hendrix is his chief influence, as evidenced by the roaring title track, and he does expand that with his traditional Lennon, Curtis Mayfield, and Prince obsessions. Song for song, it’s his most consistent album….” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Russian Circles: Memorial

“With their fifth album, the aptly titled Memorial, Chicago instrumentalists Russian Circles craft an album that fully, and mostly wordlessly, explores this idea of a specific, controlled space where one is supposed to let their feelings run wild….Memorial… makes for an album that’s not only satisfying, but one of the band’s strongest works to date.” [...]

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“Swapping out the sonic and mental clutter for a host of centered, unconfused rock tunes is a curveball move, for sure, but the end product is the most memorable, lasting, and relatable albums in Of Montreal’s extensive catalog, and easily one of the best.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Bastille: Bad Blood

“Bad Blood is a solid, polished debut that fans of acts like Snow Patrol (who don’t mind more electronics in the mix) might appreciate more than synth-pop aficionados.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Utilizing a fuller, slicker production than on Get Young, Golden Rules for Golden People finds the Boston group refining its angular sound with pop polish….There’s a lot to wrap your head around and enjoy with Golden Rules for Golden People. It’s a grower, and a long cry from a sign that the trio’s selling out, [...]

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John Grant: Pale Green Ghosts

“Grant’s huge, expressive, and oddly comforting voice acts as a sedative, turning even the saddest, raunchiest, and most uncomfortable turn of phrase into a caress.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Hanni El Khatib: Head In The Dirt

“Building off of the sound of his reckless and grimy debut, Hanni El Khatib returns with a somewhat more polished sound for his sophomore effort, Head in the Dirt….[F]or all of its weirdness, this album feels more like a pop record than his debut, and… it feels a lot more put together, bearing a lot [...]

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Laura Mvula: Sing To The Moon

“It’s rooted in decades-old forms of gospel, jazz, R&B, and, most deeply, orchestral pop. Almost all of the material is as serious and as refined as it is majestic, with vocal showcases and hushed-belted-hushed-belted dynamics galore….Sing to the Moon marks the arrival of a unique and major talent — one with a commanding voice seemingly [...]

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Speedy Ortiz: Major Arcana

“Sounding like they were forged in the early to mid-’90s — when Throwing Muses and Sleater-Kinney were all the rage — Speedy Ortiz’s 2013 debut album, Major Arcana, finds the four-piece influenced by the raw, slanted guitar-driven indie rock of the ’90s….Many listeners may find themselves drawn in by the authentic retro indie style and [...]

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“1968′s White Light/White Heat was a no-holds-barred frontal assault on cultural and aesthetic propriety….[A]nyone wanting to hear their guitar-mauling tribal frenzy straight with no chaser will love it, and those benighted souls who think of the Velvets as some sort of folk-rock band are advised to crank their stereo up to ten and give side [...]

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“Three years in gestation — which, in Peter Gabriel time, is a mere handful of months — And I’ll Scratch Yours, the companion piece to the 2010 covers album Scratch My Back, finds most (but certainly not all) of the artists who were interpreted on Gabriel’s album returning the favor by tackling the progressive singer/songwriter’s [...]

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“[I]t’s Gibbard’s poetic lyrics and signature introspection that remain a bench mark for Death Cab; and it’s the group’s maturity as musicians as well as songwriters that make Transatlanticism such a decadently good listen from start to finish. The band has never sounded more cohesive, the track sequencing is brilliant, and it caps off a [...]

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M.I.A: Matangi

“Throughout Matangi, Arulpragasam proves she’s as adept as ever at blending different sounds and cultures into a mix that is unmistakably hers, alluding to Shampoo’s bratty Brit-pop single ‘Trouble’ at one moment and proclaiming herself the female Slick Rick at another. Indeed, the moments inspired by rap and R&B are among the highlights….’” –All Music [...]

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“Jewel isn’t looking to reinterpret the songs we know and love, but rather deliver satisfyingly sweet versions of melodies embedded in our subconscious….[E]verything feels sincere and nothing gets bogged down with sticky sentiment. Let It Snow may not transcend the conventions of a Christmas album, but it also avoids the pitfalls and, on the whole, [...]

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“Based on author James Thurber’s fantastical 1939 short story of the same name, the 2013 big screen rendering of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty features Ben Stiller in the role of the mild-mannered protagonist with incredibly lucid daydreams, and the music that accompanies those reveries reflects the actor’s innate quirkiness.” –All Music Guide Check [...]

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Milosh: Jet Lag

“[I]t is Milosh’s smoothest and most focused solo work….Milosh’s rhythms are softer, more supple, and they suit his voice more than before….[A] sophisticated electronic pop album with a serious lingering effect.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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AFI: Burials

“AFI have definitely matured over the years. Their first jump was from a snotty, upstart California hardcore band with a heavy Misfits obsession to emo-goth superstars with their breakthrough 2003 epic Sing the Sorrow….With Burials, Havok and AFI… put to rest any notions that they aren’t kings of their dystopian rock kingdom.” –All Music Guide [...]

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“Arriving after a year’s worth of anticipation… Chvrches’ debut album, The Bones of What You Believe, surpassed the significant hype surrounding it….[A] large part of their appeal comes from Lauren Mayberry’s voice. There’s something about her bright, slightly raspy soprano that grabs ears and hearts, even though she spends most of the album telling off [...]

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“Recorded in Seattle, Washington and mixed in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the sophomore outing from rags to riches indie folk collective Head and the Heart sounds like the product of two coast lines. The band’s 2011 debut introduced an unpretentious, musically astute gang of pub-spawned troubadours… and the lush and languid Let’s Be Still doubles down on [...]

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Savages: Silence Yourself

“Plenty of bands have resuscitated post-punk throughout the 2000s and 2010s, but few have done so with the passion that reverberates through Savages’ debut album, Silence Yourself….Given that much of the initial buzz about the band revolved around its electrifying live performances, in some ways Silence Yourself doesn’t provide the full Savages experience, but it [...]

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