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Category Archive for 'Rock/Pop'

“From the get-go, Winter seemed to want his listeners to know Step Back would be full of surprises….Much of the variety of the program is due to the musical approaches of the guests. It’s very evident all hands on deck are out to have an upbeat good time….Whatever the future might hold, the two releases from 2014, [...]

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“Jesse Winchester['s] songs were covered by everyone from Elvis Costello to Emmylou Harris. Winchester died of cancer in April, but not before making this superb final album… taking us through a whole gamut of emotions on this proud climax to a great career.” –Boston Globe Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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“O’Connor is pushing herself on every song here…  always with some purpose. A quarter-century into a career that has swung unpredictably from acoustic dissent to big-band jazz to reggae and dub experimentation, she continues to lay claim to every musical possibility and refuses to define herself with only one particular style.” –Pitchfork Check Our Catalog [...]

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Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams

“The aptly titled Ryan Adams is a Ryan Adams album, not too far removed from his last few LPs even if it jettisons the twangy Americana for a different, darker, but no less historically grounded sound….[T]he music itself offers a nice twist on the singer/songwriter mode….[W]ith its murky production and throwback guitar sound, Ryan Adams [...]

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Jennifer Lopez: A.K.A.

“[T]his record attempts to push J-Lo further into modern dance, by having her duet with T.I., Pitbull, and Rick Ross, not to mention Iggy Azalea….A bit more of A.K.A. is devoted to this cacophonic attack than usual… and while that’s a heavy indication of how Lopez wants to rebrand herself for 2014, the sound also [...]

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John Mellencamp: Plain Spoken

“If ever there were a prototypical John Mellencamp title, it’s Plain Spoken. Mellencamp has long striven for direct, forthright communication, so the title suits his overall aesthetic as well as this album in specific….If his bitterness is unavoidable in the lyrics or in his voice, his music softens his bite, turning these tunes into melancholy [...]

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Judas Priest: Redeemer of Souls

“Judas Priest have been looking for redemption since their 2008 concept album, Nostradamus, fell flat with fans. Their follow-up goes back to guitar-bludgeoning basics on songs that explore vengeance, virility and Valhalla – classic metal themes that might feel tired if it wasn’t for the fact that Priest are one of the bands that helped [...]

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Sia: 1000 Forms of Fear

“1000 Forms of Fear is an appealing balance of Sia the artiste and Sia the chart-topping songwriter. To say it’s her most accessible album yet doesn’t diminish it or her previous albums; instead, it’s the sound of Furler owning her success.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Jack White: Lazaretto

“It’s the densest, fullest, craziest, and most indulgent that White has sounded with or without Meg—almost pointedly so, as though he’s trying to shake the minimalism that defined the White Stripes….White invites us to see the craft here, to notice the seams, to consider the contrasts….In its volleys of nimble-fingered riffs and its willy-nilly combination [...]

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“Barbra Streisand’s 2014 duets album, Partners, features the legendary vocalist performing songs associated with her storied career alongside a handful of handpicked guests….Partners works as guided tour down Streisand’s memory lane, and with her resonant voice still in supple shape, any excuse to hear her sing is a welcome invitation.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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“Tim McGraw is an eccentric centrist who can dodge the headlock of country-radio culture….Per usual, the character studies shine brightest. Proof: ‘Sick of Me,’ a self-loathing take-me-back plea – a reminder that, like Bill Clinton, another great Southern centrist, McGraw is best when he’s feeling your pain.” –Rolling Stone Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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Ziggy Marley: Fly Rasta

“The eldest Marley son is well versed in a lot more than just reggae, and here he exemplifies that more than ever with big alt-rock tunes as well as acoustic folk rock that often makes this a more pop oriented reggae album ideal for someone who is in tune with soulful guitar oriented music….Though the [...]

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“Whatever the precise plot machinations that led Guardians of the Galaxy to rely so heavily on the Super Hits from the ’70s doesn’t quite matter when it comes to regarding the soundtrack. Here, the record works as a sampler of the soft rock and Yacht rock hits that are familiar not only from constant exposure on the radio, [...]

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“That carefree and innocent look contradicts the sound of Little Dragon’s fourth album….Recorded in the group’s native Gothenburg and evidently affected by the region’s grim winter weather — as well as Janet Jackson ballads, and maybe a suffocating relationship – Nabuma Rubberband contains little in the way of bopping bop….[T]he group’s most accomplished work.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog [...]

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“Oberst remains an eccentric — he’s not one for obvious hooks, or even insistent melodies — but of all his albums,Upside-Down Mountain feels open-hearted, measured, and bright, the kind of record that opens up a new chapter in a career and possibly wins over new listeners.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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tUnE-yArDs: Nikki-Nack

“Her music has always been playful but extremely confident….Like Dirty Projectors and St. Vincent, Garbus is an artist who lives with weird but flirts with normal….Nikki Nack signifies maturity while still allowing room for Garbus to do zany things….In moments when Garbus does calm down, she does it with the grace and certainty of an archer drawing back her [...]

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The Raveonettes: Pe’ahi

“If Pe’ahi is a tribute to Sune’s father, it’s a warts-and-all portrayal of a turbulent relationship, but one delivered with a tenderness and intensity that propels the very concept of the retro garage duo into a fresh sonic stratosphere. Drop in, it’s an exhilarating descent.” –NME Check Our Catalog

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Lana Del Rey: Ultraviolence

“[H]ere she’s found the perfect musical vehicle for her vision. Ultraviolence sounds tragic and beautiful—darkly-shaded ballads are what she was created to make, and this album is nothing but, a Concept Album from a Concept Human….She’s a pop music original full-stop, and there are not nearly enough of those around.” –Pitchfork Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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“The soundtrack to Divergent, the first film adapted from Veronica Roth’s dystopian young adult novel series, reflects the story’s high-tech future — in which people are separated into factions based on their virtues — in its mix of EDM and hip-hop. Even if the EDM craze had peaked somewhat by the time of the film’s 2014 release, [...]

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Blondie: 4(0)-Ever

“Blondie 4(0)-Ever bundles together two albums, a collection of new material called Ghosts of Download, and Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux, a re-recorded set of Blondie favorites….As for Harry, her vocals are cool, stylish, and well-controlled” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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