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Category Archive for 'Rock/Pop'

One Direction: Four

“[O]n Four the scales are tipped heavily in favor of the kind of songs they do best, with the majority of them sounding like good-time hits that will go a long way toward warming up a cold November night.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“The new songs are a nice touch, but the real purpose of this set is to offer casual fans a way to get all of Brooks’ best-known hits in one package, and in that regard The Ultimate Hits not only succeeds, it’s long overdue.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Curated by international pop star Lorde, the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1 transcends the level of both quality and daring normally offered up on soundtrack albums for big-budget movies, opting to lean more toward indie acts in sculpting a dark, menacing environment that matches the film’s heavy atmospheres.” –All Music Guide Check [...]

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“Rimes’ decision to play it cool in addition to having a bit of fun makes One Christmas a neat little seasonal treat.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Betty Who: Take Me When You Go

“On Betty Who’s debut album, Take Me When You Go, the 23-year-old Australian singer basks in pop’s sunshine….Almost all of the songs could score high-energy musical versions of classic ’80s teen-flicks like The Breakfast Club or Pretty in Pink. That’s no dig, either: Take Me is expressive and emotional, smartly written, and quick to get to the point without pandering to [...]

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“A quarterback-turned-country songwriter-turned-country star, Sam Hunt never makes apologies for his inherent bro-ness on his 2014 debut Montevallo….Hunt’s ability to fuse his classical construction with modern flair and pass it off as no big thing is what makes his debut something more than just another album from the bro next door.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog [...]

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Taylor Swift: 1989

“When Taylor Swift decides to do something, the girl really knows how to overdo it. So on her fifth album, when she indulges her crush on Eighties synth-pop, she goes full blast….Deeply weird, feverishly emotional, wildly enthusiastic, 1989 sounds exactly like Taylor Swift, even when it sounds like nothing she’s ever tried before.” –Rolling Stone Check Our Catalog

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“Retrospectively, it’s a surprise that Nicks sat on these songs for years, but that only indicates just how purple a patch she had during Fleetwood Mac’s glory days. It’s a good thing she dug through her back pages and finished these songs, as she’s wound up with one of her strongest albums.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog [...]

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“Beal continues the eclectic and wild streak he began on his debut, but takes it into more refined, if not completely more accessible zones with Nobody Knows. It’s hard to tell if the album feels angrier and grittier than its predecessor, or if peeling off the layers of lo-fidelity actually reveal an artist more raw and without rules than [...]

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T.I.: Paperwork

“It is… the most excited he’s sounded to be rapping since Paper Trail. His voice and flow patterns are so inimitable they run the risk of becoming sound effects, but he’s pushing himself out of familiar cadences and revisiting some of the demented, spitfire youthful energy that used to make him unpredictable.” –Pitchfork Check Our Catalog

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You + Me: Rose Ave

“Pop singer Pink’s country/folk album – words you probably never expected to read – came about when she found common musical ground with Dallas Green, formerly of Canadian hardcore band Alexisonfire. As You + Me, the pair explore pastoral byways, and it’s a partnership of equals….Pink, credited here under her real name, Alecia Moore, slips in a few scaled-down [...]

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“There have been many ways to qualify praise for Weezer and with each successive listen, Everything Will Be Alright in the End certainly earns the typically backhanded compliments: ‘actually not terrible,’ ‘certainly better than Hurley,’ ‘probably their best since…Maladroit, that was good right?’ Or, Everything could be accepted for what it is and be held to [...]

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Jolie Holland: Wine Dark Sea

“Holland is that rare performer whose reach extends in many directions and dimensions without sacrificing her distinct core identity. Across eras and genres, tempos and tendencies, she sounds exactly like Jolie Holland and no one else.” –NPR Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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Laroux: Trouble in Paradise

“[T]he lasting impact of La Roux’s whip-smart synth pop — which became a template for countless other ’80s-worshiping acts during Jackson’s absence — proved her music could still be relevant five years later….Jackson is still better than many of her contemporaries when it comes to making fizzy electro-pop.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog Listen [...]

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Paolo Nutini: Caustic Love

“Caustic Love is all about vintage sounds; its fine songs and provocative mix pay service to that stunning voice. While this set uses retro styles almost excessively, it is a thoroughly contemporary pop record in approach and execution. It takes real nerve to pull something like this off, but Nutini’s swagger is easily matched by [...]

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Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems

“As always, Cohen’s songs — delivered in his deepest earth rasp — offer protagonists who are ambivalent spiritual seekers, lusty, commitment-phobic lovers, and jaded, untrusting / untrustworthy world citizens. He is them, they are him: strangers hiding in plain sight….Popular Problems reveals that at 80, Cohen not only has plenty left in the tank, but [...]

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“[A]fter years spent reinterpreting the work of others, Lullaby sees Plant stepping up with his first batch of original songs in nearly a decade, answering his band’s derring-do with some of the most bravely confessional writing of his career.” –Pitchfork Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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“Earl plays with fire reaching deep into his being to coax the joyous abut sometimes world-weary emotions that can only be conveyed through blues and soul music. The interplay between his guitar and his bandmates is a thing of beauty….Good News is a solid addition to Earl’s canon.” –All About Jazz Check Our Catalog Listen [...]

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