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Category Archive for 'Alt Rock'

“Black Joe Lewis’ 2013 studio album, Electric Slave, picks up on the barebones blues and old-school R&B of his 2011 release, Scandalous. As with his previous releases… Lewis favors a shoot-from-the-hip, lo-fi brand of vintage soul….Ultimately, while neither a true blues musician, nor a neo-soul crooner, Black Joe Lewis is pure energy on Electric Slave.” [...]

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“The soundtrack to 2013′s Iron Man 3: Heroes Fall features a collection of indie pop cuts by the likes of Passion Pit, Neon Trees, and Rogue Wave. Since many of the tracks here are by bands that lean toward mixing atmospheric synthesizer pop with some post-U2 guitar uplift, it leaves the general impression of being [...]

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Yuna: Nocturnal

“Essentially a straightforward pop singer/songwriter — the kind who wouldn’t sound out of place in a coffee shop — there has always been something empowering and motivational at the core of Yuna’s music. Whether it’s that she’s a strong female artist, or simply a positive-minded songwriter, many of the songs on Nocturnal evince a kind [...]

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“With Modern Love, Nathanson colored his yearning, singer/songwriter compositions with keyboards, electric guitars, horns, backing vocals, and even some light electronic flourishes. On Last of the Great Pretenders, Nathanson sticks to this same formula….Which is to say that while Nathanson remains a thoughtful mainstream artist, the tracks on Last of the Great Pretenders have an [...]

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Joshua Radin: Wax Wings

“Wax Wings, the fifth long-player from singer/songwriter Joshua Radin, offers up 11 melodic meditations on love and heartache that fall somewhere between the breezy, radio-ready emissions of Jack Johnson and the confessional, studious folk-pop of Josh Ritter. Engaging and articulate….” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Entering a long line of artists who’ve drawn inspiration from the Everly Brothers, Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones serve up a unique tribute with Foreverly….They’re a good match. Jones’ suppleness sands down Armstrong’s ragged voice, he gives her grit while she lends him grace, and these qualities are evident throughout this lovely little gem [...]

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“The Devil Makes Three are a very special trio, mixing old country blues, gospel, banjo reels, ragtime, and back-country stomp into a potent brand of folk-punk that has made their live shows near legendary….[T]he band sounds like a feisty mix of the Lovin’ Spoonful and Country Joe & the Fish on a careening moonshine-and-coffee jag. [...]

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Tom Odell: Long Way Down

“The brooding and bloodied Romeo to Jake Bugg’s blue collar Brit-pop Lothario, sad sack English crooner Tom Odell’s intimate, soul-searching ballads draw from an awfully deep well of ruin… but there’s certainly no denying the West Sussex native’s knack for spinning expertly crafted tales of woe….It will be interesting to see how Odell grows into [...]

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Haim: Days Are Gone

“There is nothing cool about Haim’s music, and that’s why it’s so refreshing. While many of their contemporaries engaged in a contest to find the most obscure influences, and ’80s revivalists sucked synth-pop and new wave dry, the Haim sisters dug up the decade’s biggest, poppiest sounds and fashioned a captivating debut album out of [...]

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Pearl Jam: Lightning Bolt

“On Lightning Bolt, they’ve grown into that classic rock mantle, accentuating the big riffs and bigger emotions, crafting songs without a worry as to whether they’re hip or not and, most importantly, enjoying the deep-rooted, nervy arena rock that is uniquely their own.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Arcade Fire: Reflektor

“Reflektor’s sound is lush and imaginative, but never in a way that suffocates you with the fumes of its polish. It’s limber and loose, as though the songs were performed live; the arrangements breathe, seethe, and sweat….They’ve given us something in the present tense that, these days, feels depressingly unfashionable: An Event—an album that dares [...]

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Gavin Degraw: Make A Move

“Stuck in a netherworld of near-hits, Gavin DeGraw decided it was time to make a bold move for his fifth album, broadening his soul-inflected rock on Make a Move….Make a Move doesn’t seem incoherent as it flits between his past and present; he’s a smooth operator, happy to sell these songs with a smile….” –All [...]

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Bill Calahan: Dream River

“With Dream River, fans already know what to expect from the man lyrically, and it can’t be argued with qualitatively. When you place those lyrics in the context of something so subtly adventurous musically, the result is both engaging and seductive.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Cage The Elephant: Melophobia

“Cage the Elephant are distinguished by their elegantly sculpted melodicism and their eagerness to smooth their scuzz-rock -– equal parts Pixies and classic Nuggets -– to make their rock palatable to the masses….Melophobia is a thoroughly modern rock record, where all the past is alive in the present, so if you’ve ever had affection for [...]

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“[C]onsciously evokes past Americana, stretching back beyond but anchored there, often incorporating a harder-rocking edge….Magpie and the Dandelion underscores how the appeal of the Avett Brothers remains in their indebtedness to the past without being bogged down by its legacy.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Kings Of Leon: Mechanical Bull

“2013′s Mechanical Bull, comes as sweet relief. While still retaining Kings of Leon’s penchant toward bombastic, hooky choruses and driving guitars, Mechanical Bull feels breezier and less labored than Come Around Sundown….Having grabbed their career by the horns with Mechanical Bull, it’s clear that Kings of Leon aren’t letting it get away from them anytime [...]

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“Musicians separated by age, style, and demographic, Elvis Costello and the Roots are nevertheless natural collaborators bound by wide taste, insatiable appetite, and fathomless record collections….Wise Up Ghost does require work from its audience, and the more you know — and the more you listen — the better it seems.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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Arctic Monkeys: AM

“[D]ue to the Arctic Monkeys’ muscular wallop and musical restlessness, it never feels like the band is wallowing in bleakness. Instead, this is vibrant, moody music that showcases a band growing ever stronger with each risk and dare they take.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“There is shade and light within Reznor’s immaculate constructions, there is the ebb and flow of life, there is joy within the sheer sheets of sound. Hesitation Marks makes it quite clear that Trent Reznor is no longer an angry young man but rather a restless, inventive artist who is at peace with himself, and [...]

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“[A]nother impressive record from Johnson. The way he mixes sounds, styles, and moods on the album is, like it was on To the Sea, a nice step in the right direction; the songs are typically strong; and the whole thing goes down as easily as ice-cold soda pop on a hot summer day.” –All Music [...]

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