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Monthly Archive for March, 2013

“Few artists are as tough to pin down as Me’Shell Ndegéocello. Throughout her career she has continually thwarted attempts by industry forces who would attempt to define her. She’s a master bassist and a poignant, restless songwriter….Pour Une Âme Souveraine is the best kind of dedication to Simone: it invokes her inspiration rather than attempting [...]

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Paloma Faith: Fall to Grace

“There’s synth pop that pulses, electro-disco that just about bursts, ballads that occasionally preen and frequently roar, and grand Phil Spector-meets-Baz Luhrmann pop that teems with florid desperation.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Mark Knopfler: Privateering

“Knopfler is that rare gunslinger who can make even the wildest shot look like it was completely intentional, and his steady voice, mercurial lyrics, and instantly recognizable guitar tone, that latter of which falls somewhere between the rich, lucid beauty of David Gilmour and the Pan-like spell-casting of Richard Thompson, provide just the right amount [...]

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“Harmonielehre is an exhausting, exhilarating work in the way a late Romantic symphony can be, and Tilson Thomas masterfully conveys the complex score’s emotional volatility with appropriately startling ferocity…. The album includes a sparkling, propulsive reading of Short Ride in a Fast Machine from a live 2011 performance. Highly recommended.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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“It’s not surprising that David Byrne and St. Vincent’s Annie Clark were drawn to work together. While they’re hardly sound-alikes, they are both keen but somewhat detached observers of the human condition who make music that’s equally cerebral and passionate… Given all the things Byrne and Clark pack into Love This Giant, it’s a remarkably [...]

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“Despite its wide range of material and experimentation, this is the pop record McGraw has always wanted to make. He packs in a little of everything here… [A] solid and ambitious recording.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Roc Marciano: Reloaded

“Laced with dialogue from Michael Mann, Woody Allen, Blaxploitation, and slasher flicks, as well as a few other sources, the productions maintain a steady low-key mood suited for bleary 3 a.m. listening… Grim and exultant at once, this is low-profile hustling on wax at its finest.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Kris Kristofferson: Feeling Mortal

“Most of these songs aren’t new — Kristofferson says he writes very little now — but they are unheard, making their recorded debut here. It makes one wonder just how many other gems he has in a desk drawer or on some dusty cassette tape. Based on the soul-satisfying evidence of Feeling Mortal, one can [...]

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Carla Morrison: Déjenme Llorar

“Raised on a diet of Patsy Cline and Jose Alfredo Jimenez in Tecate, Baja, California, Latin Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter/indie pop singer Carla Morrison played in numerous rock bands before striking out on her own in 2009…” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Sun Araw: The Inner Treaty

“Sun Araw tracks usually consist of a few basic things: slow, bubbling drum machine patterns, strobing synthesizers, and guitars processed to sound like the trickle and buzz of a jungle at night… The connection to reggae isn’t in the tracks’ composition, but in their texture and vibe. Like a lot of prime 70s Jamaican music, [...]

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Kenny Garrett: Seeds From the Underground

“On Seeds from the Underground, the boundary of Garrett’s lyricism has been extended; his newfound rhythmic invention is singular among other post-bop technicians. But these qualities are part of something larger: that this music is welcoming and accessible, underscoring the notion that Garrett’s new compositions have that mercurial something in them that approaches the mysterious [...]

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Classical 2013

“Covering a wide array of genres and styles, Classical 2013 is a double-disc survey of artists on EMI’s distinguished roster… [T]he collection encompasses small and large forces, encompassing a wide dynamic range…” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“British trumpeter Alison Balsom has been popular from the start, and she seems to gain strength as she tackles each new project and expands her range. Here she plays a Baroque trumpet (apparently a natural trumpet with finger holes but no keys) and is accompanied by the period-instrument English Concert under its veteran conductor Trevor [...]

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Georges Bizet: Carmen

“You might call this a revisionist Carmen, but even if that sounds like the last thing you want to hear, don’t go running for the hills just yet. The husband-and-wife team of Simon Rattle and Czech mezzo soprano Magdalena Kozená have forged an internally consistent release…. For those who’ve heard it a lot already…it will [...]

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“Both the rockers and ballads are big, big, big… Simply put, nobody makes albums like this any more.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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The Lumineers: The Lumineers

“The Lumineers, a folk-rock trio out of Denver, Colorado, have a pretty interesting sound, an Americana mesh of folk, rock, and gospel that is similar in tone to the Waterboys, say, or an alt-folk version of Bob Dylan circa Desire, thanks in no small part to Neyla Pekarek’s inventive cello.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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“Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja claims that Mario Lanza’s performance in The Great Caruso taught him that there was more to music than Iron Maiden and Metallica, inspiring him to take up an operatic career in the process… Be My Love is an affectionate tribute that justifies Calleja’s rising star status.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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Giuseppe Verdi: Villazón Verdi

“Appearing on the verge of the bicentennial celebration of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth, Rolando Villazón’s 2012 collection of opera arias and vocal selections is a fitting tribute that also serves as a practical introduction to the composer’s music for tenor…. Villazón’s voice is clear and strong, with no signs of uncertainty or strain, and his expressions [...]

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