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Monthly Archive for April, 2014

“Evans elegantly matches the oversized arrangements, matching each crescendo and hushed moment, while the songs are cannily constructed pieces of pop, sounding stronger with each play….Slow Me Down is something that is rare in 2014: an unapologetic, big-scale adult pop album, constructed with grace and care.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“[A]s a band, Elbow reflect this comfortable reckoning with their own nature, letting sadness creep at the edges but favoring a warm, enveloping melancholy that turns the album into a soundtrack for healing, not wallowing.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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Kylie Minogue: Kiss Me Once

“The ageless and brilliant Kylie Minogue is an unstoppable force on the pop music scene. Long after her contemporaries have fallen by the wayside, become irrelevant, released the same boring records over and over, or embarrassed themselves in various ways, she continues to crank out inspired albums that show absolutely no dip in quality whatsoever….Kiss [...]

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Shakira: Shakira

“Shakira is the rare pop star who can pull an album together through sheer force of personality. Whatever the setting, she not only sounds comfortable, she sounds powerful, and that goes a long way toward making Shakira a nice state-of-the-art pop album for America and the rest of the world.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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Noah Gunderson: Ledges

“Born into a musical but very religious family, Noah Gundersen didn’t hear many secular songs as a child, perhaps explaining the subtle and hushed gospel intensity and sincerity he brings to his songs….This is a low-key, autumnal-sounding album that impresses with its unhurried pace and thoughtful, muted sincerity. The songs sound sad but each carries [...]

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Foster the People: Supermodel

“Supermodel is full of infectious, dance-oriented music that touches upon ’80s-influenced dance-rock… soulful psychedelia… and melodic acoustic rock… in equal measure….[I]f Torches scratched the surface of twenty-something angst, then Supermodel takes that exploration a few steps deeper, revealing a more introspective, enigmatic, world-weary tone.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“[H]e just lets the music speak for itself, the Minnesota’s trombones cutting off phrases like anvils of death, the cyclical appearance of the tritone interval in the work emerging naturally in the precise work of the Minnesotans (who for all the talk of Finnish musical miracles are at least the equals of their Lahti counterparts) [...]

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Habib Koité: Soô

“Among the constellation of extraordinary musicians from Mali on the scene today, Habib Koité stands out for his unerring melodic instinct and the sense of intimacy that his songs carry. ‘Soô’ upholds this standard, with interesting innovations….The songs speak of social issues, friendship, love, and nationhood: Mali is recovering from two years of political and [...]

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“With their earnest, melodic piano-pop and youthful spirit, comparisons to early Ben Folds Five are inevitable, but where Folds tempered his wistfulness with a wry and often mischievous sense of humor, Axel and Vaccarino generally reach for the stars, fueled largely by hope and positivity….A Great Big World will deliver you to a pretty happy [...]

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Sam Roberts Band: Lo-Fantasy

“Sam Roberts Band’s fifth studio album, 2014′s Lo-Fantasy, is a melodic, psych-inflected album that showcases Roberts’ knack for mixing gigantic, propulsive rock melodies and dance-oriented hooks….[A] warm, brightly hopeful album.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Nail’s gifts suggest he’s a blue-collar patriot, a working man happy to churn out anthems for the unsung, but he’s a bit more subtle than that, identifying exceptional songwriters and never succumbing to the good-time bro-country that is a golden ticket to the top of the charts….[I]t’s a grower, sounding better with repeated exposure, repeated [...]

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“Like Goodfellas and Boogie Nights before it, American Hustle‘s music celebrates the epic feel of ’70s pop, rock, and disco and uses it to give its story extra heft. David O. Russell’s tale of con men, Feds, and the mob has a lighter touch than either of those two movies, however, and this is reflected [...]

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Pharrell Williams: G I R L

“Compared to his albums with N.E.R.D. and In My Mind, this is easily Pharrell’s second most enjoyable album, just behind the original version of In Search Of… from 2001. It’s fun, frivolous, and low on excess.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Lo-Fang: Blue Film

“Blue Film, Matthew Hemerlein’s intense, intimate debut album as Lo-Fang, was inspired by a mixtape, and the free-flowing blend of sounds on these songs retains some of that feel. Encompassing R&B, synth pop, orchestral, and folk music — sometimes within the same song — Hemerlein loves and excels at striking juxtapositions…. [A]n often unforgettable introduction.” [...]

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Qwel & Maker: Beautiful Raw

“Qwel has become a surprisingly mature, thoughtful storyteller with a deep understanding of song structure….For now, he’ll have to just enjoy his status as Your Favorite Underground Rapper’s Favorite Rapper. If nothing else, someday, I think, there will be a movie about this guy – call it The Greatest Emcee No One Listened To.” –Ze [...]

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Nicole Atkins: Slow Phaser

“Atkins has come a long way since her debut and without the distractions of a major label or a major break-up, she seems to be in the driver’s seat and completely in control of her destiny, delivering her most artistic and confident album to date.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Molly Drake: Molly Drake

“This is surely the most unexpected, strangely compelling release in years – a home recording of self-composed songs made in the 1950s and 60s by Molly Drake, the wife of a successful Warwickshire businessman and mother of Nick Drake, the struggling singer-songwriter who acquired legendary status after dying of an overdose of antidepressants in 1974, aged [...]

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“[W]hen you’re talking about one of the very best bluegrass groups working in the 21st Century, just playing a set of good songs can add up to something pretty special….The Streets of Baltimore certainly confirms that this group is as good as contemporary bluegrass gets, and this music delivers a healthy dose of soul, passion, [...]

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Los Lonely Boys: Revelation

“The Texan trio has never been constrained by genre, but here they let their imagination wild, dabbling in every sound or style that’s ever tickled their fancy….[I]ts freshness proves that ten years after their 2004 breakthrough, the band is as lively as ever and, in some sly subtle ways, better than ever too.” –All Music [...]

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Neneh Cherry: Blank Project

“Compared to Neneh Cherry’s three proper solo albums, the last of which was released in 1996, Blank Project is from another dimension….From front to back, Blank Project is riveting uneasy listening.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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