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Monthly Archive for April, 2014

John Luther Adams: Inuksuit

“Mr. Adams, born in 1953 and one of the more original American composers of his generation, has found ways to combine his passions for music and for nature. And ‘Inuksuit,’ flexibly scored for anywhere from 9 to 99 percussion players widely dispersed in an outdoor area, is the ultimate environmental piece.” –The New York Times [...]

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Mike Gent: The Rapid Shave

“For his fourth solo release, the Figgs mainstay calls what he’s doing ‘soft roll,’ and his descriptor seems a fitting one….As ever, Gent is covering a lot of ground here, and as ever, his music has an inexorable, seemingly effortless groove.” –The Boston Globe Check Our Catalog

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“[I]t’s elastic guitar rock constructed partially out of cannabis guitar jams and partially out of punk rock squalls, both sides distinguished by wry melodicism and dexterous wordplay….[I]t feels looser than most of the Jicks records; the compositions are tight but the attitude is ragged, which winds up being more infectious and fun than albums where [...]

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Sam Philips: Push Any Button

“[T]he album is a well-rounded sonic and emotional experience that hits hard and sticks around long after the last note has faded. In other words, Push Any Button is what Sam Phillips fans have come to rely on over her course of her career: a perfectly crafted album that overflows with melodic hooks, musical grace, [...]

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“Providing the music for a film about the making of one of Hollywood’s most beloved musicals is no easy task, but Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning composer Thomas Newman (The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty) offers up an evocative score for the John Lee Hancock-directed historical comedy-drama that manages to invoke both the despair and whimsy that surrounded [...]

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Beck: Morning Phase

“As Morning Phase is a slow, shimmering album deliberately in the vein of classic singer/songwriter LPs, it’s easy to think of it as a pained, confessional sequel to Sea Change, the 2002 record written and recorded in the wake of a painful romantic breakup….[T]he abiding impression left from this album is one of comfort, not [...]

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Kingsley Flood: Battles

“This is a band that plays with a manic energy and is far more apt to snarl than to coo…..Yet even within the torrent of energy Kingsley Flood puts out live, the band distinguishes itself with richly textured songs….It [is] easy to understand why Kingsley Flood’s profile is rising above its Boston base.” –Boston.com Check [...]

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Broken Bells: After the Disco

“As always in Broken Bells’ world, there’s a fine line between bittersweet and bummed out; while these aren’t the easiest moods to make appealing, Burton and Mercer succeed….Given Burton and Mercer’s pedigrees, it’s hard not to want more from Broken Bells, but After the Disco’s strongest moments suggest that their music is coming into focus.” [...]

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Ana Moura: Desfado

“Ana Moura is one of Portugal’s finest fado singers, celebrated for her passionate style and her exploration of both traditional and so-called musical fado, in which a wider set of songs are treated to a fado setting; one of her best live songs is the Rolling Stones’ No Expectations.” –The Guardian Check Our Catalog

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Ruben Studdard: Unconditional Love

“This is a pleasingly straightforward set, dominated by covers, that plays to Studdard’s strength as a mature, romantic balladeer….An enjoyable, comfortable release from the singer, Unconditional Love is quite possibly his best work yet.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Cradle to the Grave: Speak Easy

“Aggressive yet melodic and wearing its heart on its sleeve without ever being sappy or mopey, Cradle to the Grave has produced an album every bit as ferocious and fun as their live show….[Paul Christian's] style manages to stay rooted in punk while not confining itself to the perceived guidelines of the genre.  In fact, [...]

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Roswell Rudd: Trombone for Lovers

“Legendary jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd may be 78 years young, but he hasn’t lost a beat as a vibrant musician. On the consistent and enjoyable Trombone for Lovers, Rudd – ‘with a little help from … friends’ – covers songs that are meaningful to him encompassing various genres.” –Pop Matters Check Our Catalog

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The Jamie Baum Septet: In This Life

“From its first penetrating flute notes the sonic textures of South Asia frame Jamie Baum’s ambitious collection In This Life, which successfully spotlights her compositional acuity, instrumental prowess, and talents as a bandleader….In This Life presents tightly focused, well-executed forays requiring close attention to extract their subtle motions and graceful depths.” –All About Jazz Check [...]

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“Usually, a best-of compilation features songs performed by its subject, but as one of America’s most prolific and successful songwriters, Burt Bacharach is able to have an entire two-disc set come out featuring his songs and only appear on it once… showing the versatility and talent that have made Bacharach a pop treasure.” –All Music [...]

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“Olsen expands in all directions, fully reaching the depth of expression hinted at on her last album while still lingering in the restlessness and searching feelings that make all of her work so captivating….The song’s multi-tracked vocals and pained melody get into different territory than anything else on the record, leaving the door open for [...]

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“The album isn’t so much a change of musical direction as it is a classy revisioning of Vega’s trademark sound….Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles is a welcome return by an artist who has remained stubbornly true to herself and only records when she has something new to say.” –All Music Guide [...]

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A Tribe Called Red: Nation II Nation

“This is a collection of ‘pow-wow step,’ a contemporary interpretation of pow-wow music, the party tunes of the indigenous peoples of North America, known collectively in Canada as the First Nation. Created by three statuesque First Nation DJs/producers – DJ NDN, DJ Shub and Bear Witness – pow-wow step takes the vocals and drums of pow-wow [...]

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Habibi: Habibi

“A cursory listen to Brooklyn indie act Habibi’s self-titled debut album would initially seem to suggest a straightforward punk approach to the classic girl group template….Far from naive but also completely lacking any of the jaded calculation of many of their peers, Habibi’s debut offers up a set of songs that swim in strangeness, beauty, [...]

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Little Mix: Salute

“The sophomore full-length album from Little Mix, 2013′s Salute, showcases the British all-girl group’s bright, high-energy pop music….Ultimately, while Salute retains all of Little Mix’s infectious, teen-friendly ingredients, it reveals a new recipe for fans whose palates have matured right along with the band.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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TLC: 20

“[T]his set is a decent introduction to one of the biggest pop groups of the ’90s. Released a week ahead of the film’s premiere, it features all nine of the group’s Hot 100 Top Ten singles….The group made three of the best ’90s pop-R&B albums, and 2002′s 3D was no embarrassment.” –All Music Guide Check [...]

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