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Monthly Archive for September, 2013

Backstreet Boys: In A World Like This

“Backstreet Boys take sideways glances toward their past but focus on the present, happy to keep things smooth even when the rhythms get a little heated….In a World Like This is a surprisingly mature and fine record from a former boy band that seems unafraid to act its age.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Now That’s What I Call Music! 46

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Now That’s What I Call Music! 45

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“Made Up Mind is tight; it maintains the gritty, steamy, Southern heart displayed on Revelator, but the growth in songwriting, arrangement, and production is immeasurable. Everything these players have assimilated throughout their individual careers is filtered through a group consciousness. When it expresses itself musically, historical and cultural lineages are questioned and answered incessantly in [...]

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“[I]t shines, capturing Rimes at her best as a pure country singer, a neo-rockabilly filly, a savvy crossover pop artist, and an understated troubadour who knows how to camouflage her emotions underneath it all….[A]ll the music on Spitfire resonates, every song suggesting an avenue Rimes could pursue the next time out.” –All Music Guide Check [...]

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Josh Krajcik: Blindly, Lonely, Lovely

“Josh Krajcik’s major-label debut, Blindly, Lonely, Lovely showcases the soulful talent that helped the vocalist nab the runner-up slot on the 2011 season of FOX’s The X-Factor vocal competition….Ultimately, Blindly, Lonely, Lovely showcases a passionate singer with a knack for mixing a vintage soul sound with a contemporary pop aesthetic.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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“On Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action, it often feels like the band channeled the energy they used to spend on expanding their sound into making this the most concentrated burst of what attracted fans to them in the first place….Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action is a welcome return, fusing a crowd-pleasing sound with [...]

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Alela Diane: About Farewell

“Diane’s rudimentary acoustic fingerpicking and strumming add a personal, characterful touch to an album that impresses with its honesty and integrity….The album’s a cathartic self-study, executed without drama, during a time of major personal upheaval, and it will truly resonate with anyone who’s ever found themselves at the end of a relationship.” –All Music Guide [...]

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Gin Wigmore: Gravel & Wine

“Gravel & Wine, which was originally released in New Zealand in 2011, is a huge-sounding dance-pop album full of songs geared for both the dancefloor and the radio stations that drive people to go there, all big, stomping drums and kinetic high vocals about men who don’t measure up, jealous girls, and the trashy, dangerous [...]

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Camera Obscura: Desire Lines

“Glaswegian group Camera Obscura have dialed in their approach to indie pop perfection over the course of their lengthy run….Desire Lines has a… feel of a band bounding out of the gates with a renewed creative energy. Here it results in some of their best and most confident work to date.” –All Music Guide Check [...]

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Paramore: Paramore

“Easily the band’s most adventurous, experimental, and accomplished release to date, Paramore’s fourth studio album, 2013′s eponymously titled Paramore, is a landmark, a genre-breaking masterwork that, like Madonna’s Like a Prayer or U2′s Achtung Baby, finds Paramore crystallized into the seminal, cogent rock band we always knew they’d grow up to be.” –All Music Guide [...]

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Frank Ocean: Channel Orange

“One listen to Channel Orange makes it obvious that he is as free as an artist as he is as a man. The album doesn’t have as many slyly powerful hooks as Nostalgia, Ultra, but Ocean’s descriptive and subtle storytelling is taken to a higher level.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Lightning Dust: Fantasy

“By the album’s conclusion, its strengths are found in the songwriting, which only benefits from Lightning Dust’s restless experimentation and willingness to abandon their style for new modes well outside their comfort zone. The best songs on Fantasy are easily the best in Lightning Dust’s catalog because of this winning combination of pushed boundaries and [...]

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Sara Jackson-Holman: Cardiology

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Palma Violets: 180

“These songs reveal a band that’s brawnier than your average Brit-rock upstarts — there’s more muscle in their attack, and their raspy baritone vocals are a nice change from the reedy tenors and Ian Curtis clones that front so many of their contemporaries.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Robin Thicke: Blurred Lines

“When Marvin Gaye was pressured to make a commercial dance record, the singer responded with ‘Got to Give It Up,’ which went to the top of the Hot 100. Thirty-five years later, Robin Thicke — he of the perpetual Marvin fixation — offhandedly recorded ‘Blurred Lines,’ musically based on that 1977 hit, with producer Pharrell.” [...]

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Buddy Guy: Rhythm & Blues

“A great open secret of the last act of Buddy Guy’s career is that nearly every album he’s made in the new millennium is a concept album of sorts, ranging from the gnarled modern Delta blues of Sweet Tea and the acoustic Blues Singer to the pseudo-autobiography of 2010′s Living Proof. Rhythm & Blues trumps [...]

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Jake Bugg: Jake Bugg

“As far as debut albums go, this eponymous release is a surprisingly accomplished effort from the Nottingham-born teenager Jake Bugg….[I]t’s his sheer earnestness and rare gift for writing simple, hook-filled tunes that ultimately charm the listener.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Annie Up doesn’t have the rhythm of a relationship, it has the relationship of life, the mess of family, new loves, and exes that hang around. In this context, the camaraderie of the Pistol Annies cuts deep — they’re a gang, encouraging the other two not to talk about Tina, praising sobriety, realizing life goes [...]

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Rod Stewart: Time

“At this point, after years of synthesized soft rock and glad-handed standards, this is a reflection of who Rod Stewart is in 2013: he is still a crowd-pleaser, still a bit of a sap, ready to romanticize days gone by but wanting to sound modern….[I]t’s nice to hear Stewart engaged again, both as a writer [...]

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