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Monthly Archive for February, 2013

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“[Prince Rama]claim to cover the ‘pop hits’ of ten imaginary bands that all died during the apocalypse by ‘channeling’ them… The ‘songs’ on Top 10 Hits of the End of the World seem to aspire to a peyote-induced vision that melds Bananarama, latter-day Siouxsie & the Banshees, and Hayzie Fantayzee with a little Kajagoogoo and [...]

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Elgar & Carter: Cello Concertos

“Alisa Weilerstein presents three major works of the cello repertoire with Daniel Barenboim leading the Staatskapelle Berlin. The star vehicle, naturally, is Edward Elgar’s Concerto in E minor, which Weilerstein plays with commanding presence, rich tone, and emotional depth.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Renowned as one of the world’s leading conductors, Esa-Pekka Salonen is also a gifted composer of highly expressive, colorful, and idiomatic music that has found a growing audience… If there is one influence that shines through this darkly brilliant score, it seems to be Sibelius, for Salonen shares much of the master’s sensitivity to low [...]

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Ellie Goulding: Halcyon

“Gifted with a disarmingly throaty — yet still resonant — voice and attractive, girl-next-door charisma… An ambitious work by an artist intent on developing her total sound, Halcyon finds Goulding poised at the edge of artistic and career possibilities.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Arvo Pärt: Adam’s Lament

“This beautifully recorded album collects music by Arvo Pärt, most of it composed (or at least revised) since the turn of the century. Performed by a superb group of Baltic musicians, the album makes a fine choice for those wishing to explore new directions in Pärt’s music.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Because of her high soprano vocals, Lindi Ortega is often compared to Dolly Parton, but her style couldn’t be more different. Parton imbues everything she sings, even her most poignant songs, with an almost breathless optimism. Ortega’s stock in trade is the darker side of life, specializing in love songs full of heartache, betrayal, and [...]

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“It’s been 15 years since American-Celtic folk-pop outfit Gaelic Storm first appeared on the public radar as the rowdy steerage band in James Cameron’s Titanic. Nine albums in, and the band’s still hosting its own private dance party, successfully fusing Irish and Scottish traditional music, contemporary folk-pop, and worldbeat into a whirlwind of sound that’s [...]

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El-P: Cancer4Cure

“Cancer4Cure is about hip-hop like Glengarry Glen Ross was about sales, but these great works transcend their industries, offering solace and inspiration to anyone who would prefer a satisfied mind over a Cadillac Eldorado, or in current terms, an Escalade.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Death Grips: The Money Store

“The Money Store is an important record that’s also compelling, loaded with kinetic blows against the empire and fully stuffed with that attractive maverick spirit.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Lord Huron: Lonesome Dream

“Following two low-profile EPs, Lonesome Dreams is the debut from Michigan-born/Los Angeles-based sound sculptor Ben Schneider and his band Lord Huron… [I]t follows…closely the open-ended indie folk style of Fleet Foxes…” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Victor Hugo’s 19th century French historical novel Les Misérables found its way to the stage in 1980 as a remarkably successful musical, and finally the big screen in 1996 sans all of the singing, but it wasn’t until 2012 that the two mediums would finally meet.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Elīna Garanča: Romantique

“Latvian mezzo soprano Elina Garanca has a voice that’s miraculously creamy yet smoky. The voice, by itself, can stand the comparison in this collection of mostly French Romantic arias. These are for the most part lesser-known numbers, and Garanca makes them her own musically; she picks pieces that optimize her range, with its impressive power [...]

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Khatia Buniatishvili: Chopin

“Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili is a phenomenon, and kudos to Sony Classical for snagging her! This is Chopin of the old school, with massive interposition of the performer between music and listener. And it’s glorious…. This is the kind of Chopin playing that people used to line up to hear.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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“Dickinson isn’t showboating his considerable guitar skills here, but instead is offering a portrait of his heritage — and his compositional and arranging chops — inside a music that is every bit as haunted and mysterious as the north Mississippi hill country he calls home.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Holy Other: Held

“Throughout, Holy Other uses repetition to heighten the sense of life as one long cruel cycle of longing and despair… But it’s all the more affecting for that, and for all its cleverness it’s not just a calculated exercise. There could even be commercial potential for this music; it sounds like Michael Jackson slowed down [...]

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The Alchemist: Russian Roulette

“[A] very ’70s and very psychedelic album — Russian Roulette is the Alchemist going solo and thematic, constructing tracks by sampling old Russian records — jazzy, psychedelic, soulful, and otherwise — and grabbing some dialog from ’80s movies that were cold war-themed. His final touch is the jaw-droppingly excellent guest list that contributes to these [...]

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The Dunwells: Blind Sighted Faith

“Continuing Britain’s recent fascination with Americana, five-piece Leeds outfit the Dunwells’ debut album, Blind Sighted Faith, is an unashamedly retro affair which harks back to the early West Coast rock of Eagles and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young…. [T]he band’s obvious fondness for the ’70s folk-rock era ensures Blind Sighted Faith is largely an authentic [...]

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