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Monthly Archive for May, 2011

Nneka: Concrete Jungle

“A dense yet buoyant mixture of hip-hop beats, reggae grooves, African-pop riffs and future-soul vocals.” –Billboard Check Our Catalog

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Gioacchino Rossini: Stabat Mater

“Rossini’s Stabat Mater was performed publicly in its final form in Paris on January 7, 1842. The first six sections of this ten-movement work had been composed earlier, on commission from Don Francesco de Varela, for an 1833 Good Friday performance in Madrid (with the last four movements written by Giuseppe Tadolini). The work was [...]

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“Bundick’s kitchen-sink approach is a standout element of Causers of This, as layers of subdued keyboards, vague vocals, sparse drum machines, and ’80s soul/house-influenced bass lines put you in a sensual listening space. For some, this could be unlistenable; for others, it will simply come off like the natural product of glitch, shoegaze (to which [...]

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“Perahia is often described as a “musician’s musician,” one who does not adopt a virtuoso persona but performs with a distinctive directness, without exaggerated or demonstrative gestures. His playing is clean and meticulous, his sound cool, transparent, sparkling, and exquisitely shaded.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“A remarkably versatile poet, Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) provided the source material for the vast majority of significant 19th century Russian operas, including Glinka’s Ruslan and Lyudmila, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, as well as texts that have served as the basis for hundreds of [...]

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R. Kelly: Love Letter

“In all the tumult surrounding R. Kelly — his sex scandals, his court debacles, his way with a vegetable-as-romantic-stand-in metaphor — one thing often gets lost. The man can sing. On “Love Letter,” he does away with the freakiness and lays down a full record of slow-simmered, grown-man emoting. And it feels like a wayward [...]

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“The soundtrack to Christina Aguilera’s silver screen debut Burlesque shines the spotlight on Xtina, who is in full-bore diva mode — a return to the splashy swing of Back to Basics.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Jónsi: Go

“On his solo debut, Jónsi Birgisson — Sigur Rós’ spectral voice and six-string skyscraper — embraces a lithe, lush pop his main band is too monolithic to accommodate, and it’s revelatory.” –Spin Check Our Catalog

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Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green: Apex

“This collaborative album between two alto saxophonists of different generations but similar character is a fascinating encounter that demonstrates the power of what’s known as the “inside-outside” approach to jazz. Mahanthappa and Green play distinctively enough that each is identifiable despite the fact that they’re both on alto, and the music maintains an adventurous but [...]

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“If it’s new Daft Punk, we expect it to, uh, faire l’amour to our cochleas. Even without the benefit of visuals, this Tron reboot has heartstopping glitch traps and wide yawning sound chasms, pulling your ears through expansive twists and turns that make an orchestral movie soundtrack feel thrillingly visceral.” –The Boston Phoenix Check Our [...]

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“It has all of Charpentier’s trademark fascination with the dark side of classical mythology…As Actéon, Aaron Sheehan is utterly compelling, whether swooning over Teresa Wakim’s imperious Diana or emitting disturbing howls during his metamorphosis…the playing and choral singing are both exquisite.” –The Guardian Check Our Catalog

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Von Pea: Pea’s Gotta Have It

“Pea’s Gotta Have It’s appeal lies in the artist’s ability to tap into nostalgia…He connects with shrewd bars and witty narratives of timeless situations to which nearly anyone who has ever attended high school can relate.” –HipHop DX Check Our Catalog

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Pink Martini: Joy to the World

“While the band could very easily do a swanky lounge-pop album of the season’s songs, this globally minded collection is traditional and unpredictable at the same time…A near-perfect blend of spirituality and festivity, Joy to the World lets listeners hear the holidays with new ears, and maybe see it with fresh eyes, too.” –All Music [...]

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“Floored By Four is a one-off collaboration between a quartet of musicians, each with at least one foot in conventional rock, the other in more experimental jazz and improv. Each of four tracks is named for a band member and highlights that individual in ways that are sometimes clear and sometimes hard to parse.” –Dusted [...]

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Bryan Ferry: Olympia

“There’s always been something slightly decadent about listening to Bryan Ferry’s urbane croon, like rolling around in 600-thread-count sheets after a night of Manhattans and clubbing. The former Roxy Music frontman doesn’t disappoint on his 13th solo album, a mesmerizing swirl of pulsating guitars, whooshing keys, and lite-funk undertones.” –The Boston Globe Check Our Catalog

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Best Coast: Crazy for You

“Crazy for You…seems an effortless collection of songs built on throwback pop sensibilities and uncomplicated melodies as powerful and golden as the California rays whence they came.” –The Boston Phoenix Check Our Catalog

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“Dispensing with the brooding insularity of 2007’s sophomore affair All the Lost Souls, James Blunt opts for optimism on his third album, 2010’s Some Kind of Trouble.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Curren$y: Pilot Talk

“Both innovative and infectious. For backpackers and underground fans, it’s a must, but anyone who wants their hip-hop both a bit stranger and a lot deeper will fall hard for this one.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Szymanowski’s unique brand of expressive, lyric modernism has found many admirers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Though his earliest music is perhaps too closely allied to that of his childhood idol Chopin to fully stand on its own, his later work synthesizes the stylistic characteristics of a wide range of composers into a highly [...]

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“This Onyx album features the early Op. 12/3 Sonata, as well as the perennially respected Op. 47 “Kreutzer” Sonata. Russian-born pianist Viktoria Mullova is joined by fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout for a period instrument performance that proves to be a step above the rest. Combined with their individual energy and passion, complete technical mastery, deep understanding [...]

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