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Category Archive for 'Rock/Pop'

Dengue Fever: The Deepest Lake

“While Dengue Fever could almost have qualified as a novelty act when they first started out (Los Angeles hipsters playing decades-old Cambodian pop tunes? Talk about high concept!), they’ve matured into a richly satisfying band, blending several different cultures and styles into an indie rock melting pot, and 2015′s The Deepest Lake, their sixth studio [...]

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“Irony abounds in the title of Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance, the ninth album by the Scottish collective Belle & Sebastian. It goes unstated that the record was released in an atmosphere not quite synonymous with peace, but the group unquestionably want to dance, spending nearly half of this lengthy record grooving to a [...]

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Modest Mouse: Strangers to Ourselves

“The trick is, he [Isaac Brock] now has the skill of a consummate craftsman, so the raggedness here comes across as deliberate, probably because the moments that are less consciously quirky — i.e., the bulk of the album — are so skillfully constructed. So, Strangers to Ourselves is an album where the trees matter more [...]

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Butch Walker: Afraid of Ghosts

“As it somewhat deemphasizes Walker’s way with big hooks — the very thing that made him an in-demand session man — Afraid of Ghosts isn’t as immediate as some of his other records, but it will suit the needs of anybody craving a record that sounds like Ryan Adams used to make them back in [...]

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Lady Lamb the Beekeeper: After

“There are plenty of startling moments full of guts and gristle in Lady Lamb’s dense lyrics, and then there are the moments when she wanders. The fingerpicked ‘Sunday Shoes’ stretches out between the shoegaze-inflected ‘Heretic’ and ‘Spat Out Spit’, injecting a weird bubble of space into the album’s flow. The rousing coda on ‘Penny Licks’ [...]

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Various: 2015 Grammy Nominees

“Issued by RCA three weeks prior to the 57th Annual Grammy Awards telecast, 2015 Grammy Nominees, like yearly releases before it, emphasizes the ‘big four’ categories. Since four of the nominees for Record of the Year (namely ‘Chandelier,’ ‘Stay with Me,’ ‘Shake It Off,’ and ‘All About That Bass’ — were also up for Song [...]

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“The New Basement Tapes recorded Lost on the River in a real studio fully aware there was an audience awaiting their output, an attitude that’s the polar opposite of the ramshackle joshing around of the original Basement Tapes. Thankfully, nobody involved with Lost on the River contrives to replicate either the sound or feel of [...]

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Tuxedo: Tuxedo

“Unsurprisingly to anyone who’s heard Hawthorne’s note-perfect take on ’60s soul, the duo proves to be masterful at re-creating the feel of the moment in the early ’80s when disco began to die out and was replaced by the funkier sounds of boogie and electric funk. The duo conjures up visceral memories of the finest [...]

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Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell

“Carrie & Lowell is the most harrowingly personal work Stevens has offered us to date; it also ranks with his most skillfully crafted albums despite its spartan approach, and it’s a sometimes difficult but profoundly moving work. Stevens has offered us some fine albums in the past, but he’s never made anything quite like Carrie [...]

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“Then Came the Morning reveals so much growth it’s hard to believe this is only the Lone Bellow’s second album. This trio pulls off a chosen weave of hybrid roots sounds with seeming ease, passion, and verve. No one else performing Americana or crossover country music attempts anything like it, leaving the trio in its [...]

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“Terraplane is the most relaxed and least fussed-over album Earle has made in quite some time, and frankly, he sounds like he’s having a ball on these sessions; with rare exceptions, this isn’t music that ponders the dark night of the soul, but semi-acoustic roadhouse boogie that rocks with a steady roll and gives Earle [...]

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Ne-Yo: Non-fiction

“Patched together and sprawling even in standard form — it’s the television edit compared to the director’s cut deluxe edition — Non-Fiction nonetheless contains more standouts than any Ne-Yo album since Because of You. There’s some frivolous content, such as the fireside acoustic number ‘Story Time’ and rote EDM squib ‘Who’s Taking You Home.’ Beyond [...]

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James McMurtry: Complicated Game

“The difference between the guy who made 1989′s Too Long in the Wasteland and the man who cut Complicated Game is the more mature McMurtry has figured out how to deliver the fine songs he writes and get their qualities on tape, and Complicated Game confirms he’s not only remembered this valuable lesson, he’s finding [...]

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“Like Earle’s best work, Absent Fathers is low on flash and high on emotional honesty and perceptive songwriting, and paired with Single Mothers this is some of his most intelligent and moving music to date.” -allmusic.com Check our Catalog Listen Now

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Meghan Trainor: Title

“By the time the record winds its way around to the Motown bounce of ‘Lips Are Movin’ — a single equally inspired by vintage 45s and Amy Winehouse’s snazzy new-millennial revival that’s the best song here — Trainor’s giddiness has become ingratiating, so it’s easier to warm to her considerable skill at pastiche and performance. [...]

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Bob Dylan: Shadows in the Night

“Shadows in the Night finds the songwriter whose work marks the divide where artists were expected to pen their own material finding sustenance in the Great American Songbook, with every one of its songs recorded at some point by Frank Sinatra. Its songs are old and Shadows in the Night is appropriately a defiantly old-fashioned [...]

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“Monuments stitches together all of Corgan’s obsessions — thick sheets of guitars, 4AD space rock, delicate acoustica, Commodore 64 synthesizers, a fondness for both noise and beauty — but there is an ease to the album that not only feels self-reflective but also rather mature. Usually, when Corgan covers this much ground it was with [...]

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Joey Bada$$: B4. DA. $$

“With a style that’s an all-encompassing throwback, going from Notorious B.I.G. to Mos Def, Brooklyn rapper Joey Bada$$ draws the golden age hip-hop fetishist in without a problem, but his delivery is so full of life, it still holds sway for those who don’t know their Bad Boy from their Death Row. This fine debut [...]

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“There are moments where Single Mothers feels like art therapy as much as music, but this album communicates its pain with intelligence and a gentle touch, and as a singer and lyricist Earle grows with each album; there are more than a few moments of brilliance on this set if you don’t mind sharing a [...]

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Big Star: Live in Memphis

“Here, it’s possible to hear the band gel — Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens found a balance with Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, something that’s obvious by the group’s subsequent history, but on this spirited show you can hear the gears fall into place and that’s worth the price of admission, perhaps more than once.” [...]

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