Feed on
Posts
Comments

Monthly Archive for August, 2013

Preservation Hall Jazz Band: That’s It!

“Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s 2013 album, That’s It!, is the first album of all-original material in their 50-year career. Certainly, the storied ensemble has performed original songs by its various members over the years, but the group has never released an album made up solely of new compositions….That’s It! [is] a vibrant, engaging work and [...]

Read Full Post »

Pet Shop Boys: Electric

“[T]his taut, electro-disco wonder kicks off with the Kraftwerk-meets-Giorgio Moroder highlight ‘Axis’ and stays in the zone with both icy cool productions from Stuart Price (Madonna, Seal, Kylie Minogue) and a bpm count that remains high with nothing coming close to a slow dance ballad….An excellent, unexpected, and infectious triumph.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

Read Full Post »

“Savvy guy that he is, Fogerty doesn’t place all of his chips on one bet: he mixes up rock and country, old and new, dabbling just a bit in R&B and alternative folk, but preferring to stick to a tastefully weathered roots rock that suits him well.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

Read Full Post »

Sturgill Simpson: High Top Mountain

“From its first notes, chock-full of piercing steel guitar and a pronounced Waylon Jennings boom-chick beat, there’s no doubt Sturgill Simpson’s debut follows his intention to make ‘the purest, most uncompromising, hard country album anyone has made in 30 years.’….If you’re partial to old-school country, Sturgill Simpson is a newcomer worth keeping an eye on.” [...]

Read Full Post »

India.Arie: Songversation

“Largely a low-key, gently uplifting affair with a soft, warm glow, 11 of its 16 tracks are enhanced with assistance from several Turkish musicians — including percussionists, horn players, an oudist, and the Istanbul Strings….Everything… transmits positivity….It’s evident that Arie’s in a good place, both creatively and personally, yet SongVersation is not about self-satisfaction. She [...]

Read Full Post »

“Chesney never sounds like he’s trying too hard but, the thing of it is, he wrote all but three of the songs here, so this represents a considerable uptick in effort from its predecessor. That effort pays off: this feels fuller, richer than any Chesney album in recent memory, but it’s also unhurried and light, [...]

Read Full Post »

Hunter Hayes: Encore

“What’s most striking overall is the instrumentation along with the overall feel of the album. Drums are prominent, giving the songs a fuller sound, and Hunter’s virtuosity on both acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin and other instruments is tastefully dispersed throughout.” –Country Weekly Check Our Catalog

Read Full Post »

“[I]t reflects his newfound popularity via its reliance on rocking rhythms, woolly mammoth hooks, red state swagger, and pristine power ballads… [F]ew other country albums of 2012-2013 are as unabashedly of the moment as this… [T]he very sense that more is more is essential to the appeal of Based on a True Story…: every song [...]

Read Full Post »

“While their first two albums of self-styled ‘fake rap’ split the difference between rap album and comedy record, The Lonely Island’s third outing, The Wack Album, finds the trio gearing up to really explore their own uncoolness with hilarious results.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

Read Full Post »

Bruno Mars: Unorthodox Jukebox

“Mars’ light vocal delivery and way with a hook is quite appealing. The record sounds good, too, with able production help from heavy hitters like Mark Ronson, Diplo, Emile Haynie, and his own crew, the Smeezingtons.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

Read Full Post »

Quadron: Avalanche

“[T]he album has all of the charm, nuance, and lingering effect of the debut. Lush, cushiony grooves are supplied….Those who were attracted to the first album’s quiet, lithe moments get some of the same through ‘Befriend,’ ‘Sea Salt,’ and ‘Avalanche’ — airy romantic ballads with perfectly slight touches of woodwinds, strings, and even pedal steel [...]

Read Full Post »

J. Cole: Born Sinner

“If his debut found J. Cole bringing the sound of Drake down to the streets, the Roc Nation rapper’s sophomore effort finds him going for the full Illuminati and attempting an ambitious, multi-faceted album in the style of his label boss, Jay-Z….Born Sinner [is] a daring step forward for Cole and an exciting attempt at [...]

Read Full Post »

“[B]y-and-large, this is a record of provocation. It’s also probably one of the most clear-eyed accounts of the ‘real’ Andy Kaufman in existence, a serious feat considering his notoriously slippery relationship with what most of us call reality. The candidness here can be startling, even by 2013 standards.” –Pitchfork Check Our Catalog

Read Full Post »

Mavis Staples: One True Vine

“Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy proved to be such a good match on You Are Not Alone — the album won a Grammy in the category of Best Americana Album — that the two opted to do it again.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

Read Full Post »

ZZ Ward: Til The Casket Drops

“[S]he developed a style that’s a winning combination of blues, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and pop. Her influences all come together on her debut, a collection that should make her a star if there’s any justice in the world. Ward has a wonderfully flexible voice, she can croon like a pop singer, growl like a blues [...]

Read Full Post »

“It’s moody and textured, rolling out at a deliberate pace and colored in blues and greys, skillfully skirting the edges of alienation….Bareilles is such a naturally melodic songwriter that she doesn’t run much of a risk of seeming insular on The Blessed Unrest and, fortunately, the feel of the album follows the contours of her [...]

Read Full Post »

“Buying into Luhrmann’s vision is always the issue, but here, the music is crafted enough, inspired enough, and deep enough that it’s worth diving into without reservations. Luckily, you can wring all that disappointment and despair out of your fine, stylish suit after surfacing.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

Read Full Post »

Della Mae: This World Oft Can Be

“This is traditional American music, not just a bluegrass session. It’s a combination of tradition and eclecticism, which has become the signature sound for the all-female band who refuse to be pigeonholed.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

Read Full Post »

“The soundtrack to the 2013 Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots features the original cast performing the songs with music and lyrics by ’80s pop icon Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein….Featured in the musical are performers Billy Porter, Stark Sands, and others. In 2013, Kinky Boots won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.” [...]

Read Full Post »

Amy Grant: How Mercy Looks From Here

“How Mercy Looks from Here is Amy Grant’s first full studio album in ten years. Grant wrote all but one of the songs for the set, which features guest spots from James Taylor, Carole King, Sheryl Crow, Eric Paslay, Will Hoge, and Grant’s husband Vince Gill, and the songs glow with the gentle redemptive wisdom [...]

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »