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Monthly Archive for September, 2011

Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology

“This lavish 111-track, six-CD box set attempts the impossible — to tell the whole story of jazz. This expanded anthology is wonderfully diverse in the story it tells, with tracks from jazz artists across the stylistic board, from Stan Kenton to Sun Ra, Bill Evans to Chick Corea, Louis Armstrong to Cecil Taylor, with stops [...]

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Buddy Guy: Icon

“This concise and tight 11-song set from those years collects early versions of his signature tunes “I Got My Eyes on You,” “Stone Crazy,” “Watch Yourself,” “When My Left Eye Jumps,” and the edgy “My Time After Awhile,” as well as his first single for Chess, “First Time I Met the Blues,” all of which [...]

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The Righteous Brothers: Icon

“The Righteous Brothers will always be remembered for the masterful “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” from 1964. The desperation that builds in Bill Medley’s lead vocal (and is echoed by Bobby Hatfield’s impassioned call-and-response interjections) comes from a man who truly understands what has been lost and is facing the darkest night of his very [...]

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Cat Stevens: Icon

“This volume in Universal’s Icon series concentrates on material from two essential Cat Stevens albums, 1970’s Tea for the Tillerman and 1971’s Teaser and the Firecat.” –All Music Guide Check Our Guide

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Mavis Staples: You Are Not Alone

“It’s gospel. It’s blues. It’s about love and redemption, and how each needs the other.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Steve Winwood: Icon

“Universal’s 2011 Icon compilation relies heavily on Steve Winwood’s 1986 comeback, Back in the High Life, containing six of the album’s eight tracks including “Higher Love”…there’s not a bad song here.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“The big, beautiful voice of k.d. lang swoops, purrs and soars through the 10 songs on “Sing It Loud” like an overgrown Labrador that has slipped its leash to run loose through the park on a gorgeous spring weekend.” –Los Angeles Times Check Our Catalog

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“Union Station’s arrangements, immaculate and drumless, hint at old-timey roots without a glimmer of purism, and they never sugarcoat the sorrow.” –The New York Times Check Our Catalog

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“In terms of straight-up free-spirited musical fun, the Beasties might as well be a f***ing pharmacy of rap-funk escapism. In Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (evolved from a proposed Part One after delays, resequencing, and MCA’s cancer scare), they’ve combined the live-band focus of 2007′s all-instrumental The Mix-Up with the old-school hip-hop of 2004′s The [...]

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Songs for Japan

“A music industry-wide charity initiative, Songs For Japan is an unprecedented compilation of 37 major hits and classic tracks on 2 CDs including 21 Billboard Hot 100 hits and five #1′s from more than 30 of the biggest names in contemporary music. It is a star-studded album collection benefitting Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami relief.” [...]

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Jill Scott: The Light of the Sun

“With its earnest introspection and earthy 
 textures — not to mention guest spots by Eve and Anthony Hamilton — The Light of the Sun has a distinctly early-aughties vibe, recalling an era when tempos were slower and voices less Auto-Tuney.” –Entertainment Weekly Check Our Catalog

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“Robertson’s first solo album in more than 10 years is down-the-middle slickness ‘n’ cynicism: Steely Dan meets Warren Zevon in limbo.” –Entertainment Weekly Check Our Catalog

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Arctic Monkeys: Suck It and See

“Ponderous sobriety will never be the way of the Arctic Monkeys, and their prodigious cheekiness has hardly been tempered much on Suck It and See. But Alex Turner and his bandmates are clearly expanding their abilities and getting better at focusing their fire with every release.  Perhaps the album title is not so much a [...]

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““Q: Soul Bossa Nostra” collects newly recorded versions of songs associated with Jones in one way or another…None of it’s unpleasant to hear, particularly when someone as dependably charismatic as Snoop Dogg shows up, as the rapper does in a typically laidback take on “Get the Funk Out of My Face.” And Jones hasn’t lost [...]

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The Cars: Move Like This

“As proudly new wave as Move Like This is, it doesn’t feel desperate or cautious: it’s as bright, infectious, and tuneful as the Cars at their prime.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“The thirst for deep-rut Southern grooves is particularly insatiable this time out. Go-Go Boots is a “vibe” record for sure — you could call it Muscle Shoals derived, or the final realization of the country-soul sound the band have been flirting with for years, but to me it simply sounds lived in. From the snaking [...]

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Jessica Lea Mayfield: Tell Me

“Tell Me manages to maintain the beautifully busted feel of Mayfield’s breakout record, but also succeeds in a new and ambitious sonic landscape. There are different ways, it turns out, to create this kind of crushing space, and this one has more variations and more surprises waiting to creep out of it…Mayfield is a convincing [...]

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“Early in the Morning is Irish singer/songwrtiter James Vincent McMorrow’s debut. He cut it himself over five months in a cottage by the sea. McMorrow claims his influences as Joni Mitchell, Band of Horses, and Sufjan Stevens, but one need listen no further than “If I Had a Boat” — the set’s opener and first [...]

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““City of Refuge’’ couches Washburn’s virtuosity — both as a singer and picker — in a contemporary context that’s equal parts indie folk, atmospheric twang, and rootsy pop… Washburn ended up making a modern classic, a folk album for people who claim they don’t like a such thing.” –The Boston Globe Check Our Catalog

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“Femme Fatale finds Brit-Brit ready to dance again à la the underrated Blackout and Britney albums of yore…her polymorphous perversity extends to track after track of more-out-there-than-the-last tunes packed with literal bells and whistles designed to get whole stadiums of weekend sex warriors into a simultaneous tizzy.” –The Boston Phoenix Check Our Catalog

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