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Category Archive for 'Rock/Pop'

Dayna Kurtz: Rise and Fall

“Dayna Kurtz is a welcome addition to the New Orleans music scene. She’s a singer/songwriter with the forthrightness of a farm girl and the wiles of a New York cabaret veteran, a superb vocalist and a deft painter of emotions with simple, effective strokes. When she moved to New Orleans in 2012 she’d already built […]

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Rixton: Let the Road

“Caught in an awkward place between the dance-rock cool of Ireland’s Two-Door Cinema Club and the earnest over-production of forgotten ’90s English boy band BBMak, Rixton are at their best when they’re being delightful or ridiculous, as the moments in between can be a bit boring. Produced by Benny Blanco, Robopop, Rob Golan, and Steve […]

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Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly

“Survivor’s guilt, realizing one’s destiny, and a Snoop Dogg performance of Doggystyle caliber are woven among it all; plus, highlights offer that Parliament-Funkadelic-styled subversion, as ‘The Blacker the Berry’ (‘The sweeter the juice’) offers revolutionary slogans and dips for the hip. Free your mind, and your ass will follow, and at the end of this […]

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Ludacris: Ludaversal

“Hip-hop has a towering pile of ‘the game needs me’ albums where an artist returns to stake their claim, but Ludaversal still feels fresh, alive, and needed, and maybe just because it comes from the unique voice that is Ludacris.” -allmusic.com Check our Catalog Listen Now

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Brian Wilson: No Pier Pressure

“Caught halfway between a back-to-basics move along the lines of TWGMTR and a star-studded extravaganza, No Pier Pressure certainly doesn’t have much to do with the high art that’s marked Wilson’s new millennium; there’s nary an echo of the SMiLE revival or the Van Dyke Parks collaboration That Lucky Old Sun. This is all sand, […]

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Natalie Prass: Natalie Prass

“Whenever the album floats upon its orchestrations or sighs along with its rich swaths of brass, there’s a lightness to Natalie Prass, a lightness that also reflects in songs that are sweetly melancholic, not sad. So enveloping is the sound that it can sometimes be easy to overlook Prass’ songs, which are as exquisitely crafted […]

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Mumford & Sons: Wilder Mind

“Often, the persistent, moody murmur recalls a diluted Kings of Leon, a comparison that can’t help but underscore how Mumford & Sons have made the journey from retro throwback to glistening modern construction. Where once they carved their music out of reclaimed wood, they’re now all steel and glass — a bit sleeker but also […]

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“…a record built on the detritus of the last four decades of consumer culture. Songs are anchored on samples of Suzanne Vega (‘Centuries’) or, better still, a bizarre appropriation of The Munsters theme (the wild, careening ‘Uma Thurman,’ where the Halloween surfer-swing attempts to replicate the sexy menace of Pulp Fiction), but these are essentially […]

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“There are no frills here but there is a distinct, compelling voice evident in Barnett’s songs and music alike. That’s what makes Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit. so invigorating: it may have roots — perhaps even some inadvertent ones — but it’s music that lives thoroughly in the moment.” -allmusic.com […]

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Madonna: Rebel Heart

“Rebel Heart was introduced to the world with an indiscipline uncharacteristic of Madonna. Blame it on hackers who rushed out a clutch of unfinished tracks at the end of 2014, a few months before the record’s scheduled spring release. Madonna countered by putting six full tracks up on a digital service, a move that likely […]

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Dwight Yoakam: Second Hand Heart

“Dwight Yoakam recalibrated his career with 2012’s 3 Pears, returning to his former home of Warner and reconnecting to the nerviness of his first albums. With Second Hand Heart, Yoakam continues this unfussy revival, sharpening his attack so the record breezes by at a crisp, crackling clip. Once again, he’s reviving himself through reconnecting the […]

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Barnstar!: Sit Down! Get Up! Get Out!

“A local example of that oxymoron, the ‘sideman supergroup,’ Barnstar! — Zachariah Hickman, Charlie Rose, Mark Erelli, and Taylor and Jake Amerding — has released a sophomore record that reveals a continuing fondness for the exclamation point, and for bluegrass-based, genre-bending music filled with jawdropping harmonizing, emotive ensemble playing, and a raucous immediacy.” -Stuart Munro/TheBostonGlobe.com […]

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Passion Pit: Kindred

“Married after his group’s previous album, Gossamer, having split from prior bandmates, and appearing in a PSA about the importance of his having sought professional help for his bipolar disorder, frontman Michael Angelakos presents a gratitude-imbued, relatively ballad-heavy, but still sparkling third Passion Pit LP in Kindred. In no great shift from the distinctive sound […]

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“On 2012’s Fear Fun, Josh Tillman introduced audiences to Father John Misty, a jaded and erudite, faux-bohemian retro-pop confectioner with a strong surrealist bent and an aptitude for capturing the American zeitgeist via wry couplets concerning the culturally and morally ambiguous wasteland of southern California. That penchant for gutter-highbrow confessionalism still looms large on his […]

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Mark Knopfler: Tracker

“Scaled smaller than 2012’s double-album Privateering, Tracker also feels suitably subtle, easing its way into being instead of announcing itself with a thunder. Such understatement is typical of Mark Knopfler, particularly in the third act of his career. When he left Dire Straits behind, he also left behind any semblance of playing for the cheap […]

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Alabama Shakes: Sound and Color

“On their 2012 debut Boys & Girls, Alabama Shakes never hid that they were creatures of the New South — a band with old-fashioned blues, soul, gospel, and country in their blood but raised on modern rock. On their 2015 follow-up, Sound & Color, they free themselves from the vestiges of the past, let loose, […]

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Kelly Clarkson: Piece by Piece

“These cuts, along with the title track, manage to strike the right balance of Kelly’s indomitable character and fresh electronic beats but overall Piece by Piece sounds a shade too desperate, which means it winds up having the opposite effect than intended: instead of sounding like a new start, Clarkson sounds a little bit behind […]

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“Here, Giddens expands upon the neo-string band of the Carolina Chocolate Drops by crafting an abbreviated and fluid history of 20th century roots music — along with the older forms that informed it — concentrating on songs either written or popularized by female musicians. As a torchbearer, not a revivalist, Giddins isn’t concerned with replicating […]

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“As always, she’s (Carlile) grounded in Americana, often straying into a burnished folky melancholy but finding space for urgent country stomps and such full-throttle rock & roll as ‘Blood Muscle Skin & Bone,’ whose hook places it in a netherworld between arena rock and power pop. None of the stylistic shifts amount to showboating: it […]

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Bettye LaVette: Worthy

“Worthy is another impressive release from an outstanding singer, and if it follows the pattern of some of her recent albums, nothing here sounds rote; this is the sound of an artist doing what she does best, and she is far more than worthy of this great music.” -allmusic.com Check our Catalog

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