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Category Archive for 'Rock/Pop'

“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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“…with a new kind of focus in their songs and arrangements that makes it clear this album’s sound is a result of creative evolution, not an offering to their newer, larger audience, and it’s a sweet and sour wonder that rewards repeated listening.” -allmusic.com Check our Catalog Listen Now

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My Fictions: Stranger Songs

“When I think of the hardcore albums that have maintained a spot on fans’ playlists for years on end, I think of frantic, gut wrenching and unpredictable songs grouped together in an emotional outpour. Albums like ‘Jane Doe,’ ‘Travels’ and ‘We Are The Romans’ immediately come to mind. My Fictions is a hardcore band from [...]

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“Both recordings complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses, with Sunbathing Animal offering furious, often bewildered forays of guitar-heavy punk and Content Nausea focusing on home-recorded detours ranging from free-associating post-punk rants to a cover of Nancy Sinatra’s country go-go classic ‘These Boots.’” -allmusic.com   Check our Catalog Listen Now

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AC/DC: Rock or Bust

“If Rock or Bust does indeed wind up as the final AC/DC record — they did indeed weather many setbacks during its creation — it will stand as a suitable career-capper. It may be no different than what came before, but Rock or Bust is by many measures stronger than most latter-day AC/DC albums, serving [...]

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Hostage Calm: Die On Stage

“Die On Stage is definitely the album that confirms the path which Hostage Calm have set themselves on. They’ve tempered and toned down their sound record by record over the past couple years, tinkering along the way at Run For Cover. I noticed this since 2010. As skeptical as I was, I still enjoyed their [...]

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Grand Fatilla: Global Shuffle

“The debut CD by world-music quartet Grand Fatilla broadens as you get deeper into it — taking in more genres with exacting technical virtuosity, and also widening its emotional scope. The helter-skelter shifting meters of the Bulgarian folk-dance-tune opener ‘Cigansko Oro’ immediately puts you on notice of the band’s skills: Matt Glover’s fierce bouzouki-like mandolin [...]

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Kris Delmhorst: Blood Test

“American folk music veteran Kris Delmhorst is no stranger to the music business. She has, in fact, been around for almost 20 years, having released her debut album, Appetite, as far back as 1998. After spending that long in the game you’re bound to want to mix it up a little and, seeing as Blood [...]

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Lake Street Dive: Bad Self Portraits

“…the album showcases lead singer Rachel Price’s resonant, old-school singing, which is still the main reason to listen to Lake Street Dive. Of course, with her band backing her at various times with harmony vocals, jazzy trumpet, crunchy tube guitar riffs, and woody jazz basslines, there’s always something rootsy and unexpected happening around her on [...]

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Wu-Tang Clan: A Better Tomorrow

“Released along with Once Upon a Time in Shaolin — their locked-down, $5 million dollar, single-copy album-as-art release — A Better Tomorrow is further proof that, in 2014, the Wu-Tang Clan are a concept or collective led by RZA, and not necessarily a group. Their previous 2007 effort, 8 Diagrams, was the first clue that [...]

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