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“Legendary characters don’t get much bigger than ‘Cowboy’ Jack Clement. A maverick old-schooler, he worked at Sun Records in the ’50s, recording Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison. He later produced everyone from Waylon Jennings to U2 and wrote hits for Charley Pride and Bobby Bare. This new album was the last thing he did before passing away last year….His voice is unpredictable at times but his words and emotions ring true.” –Boston Globe

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“As always, Cohen’s songs — delivered in his deepest earth rasp — offer protagonists who are ambivalent spiritual seekers, lusty, commitment-phobic lovers, and jaded, untrusting / untrustworthy world citizens. He is them, they are him: strangers hiding in plain sight….Popular Problems reveals that at 80, Cohen not only has plenty left in the tank, but is at his most confident and committed. This is his finest recording since 1995′s The Future.” –All Music Guide

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“Country funk isn’t a real genre, except retrospectively, being one of those kinds of sounds you can’t really explain but you sure know it when you hear it….Yeah, it’s country, but it’s extra greasy, with pronounced backbeats, and it’s, well, funky somehow. You know it when you hear it….Music is all about cross-pollination. Country and funk were always going to meet. They did. They have. You’ll know it when you hear it” –All Music Guide

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“[A]fter years spent reinterpreting the work of others, Lullaby sees Plant stepping up with his first batch of original songs in nearly a decade, answering his band’s derring-do with some of the most bravely confessional writing of his career.” –Pitchfork

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“Earl plays with fire reaching deep into his being to coax the joyous abut sometimes world-weary emotions that can only be conveyed through blues and soul music. The interplay between his guitar and his bandmates is a thing of beauty….Good News is a solid addition to Earl’s canon.” –All About Jazz

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“Childs is joined by such like-minded luminaries as vocalist Renee Fleming, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, singer/songwriter Rickie Lee Jones, bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and others. Ultimately, with Map to the Treasure, Childs doesn’t simply reimagine Nyro’s songs as elevate them in a spiritual and heartfelt celebration of her life and music.” –All Music Guide

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Beverly: Careers

“The strength of the songs and the powerful energy with which the duo deliver them help them escape any charges of ripping off the past. Careers isn’t a nostalgia trip, it’s an excellent example of noise pop at its best….Judging from her efforts here, whatever she does next should be worth checking out.” –All Music Guide

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“The three ‘voices’ on this transfixingly beautiful recording — violist Kim Kashkashian, harpist Sivan Magen, and flutist Marina Piccinini — met at Marlboro Music in summer 2010, and their effortless interplay is typical of the musical rapport that festival often produces….The performances are all superb — precisely calibrated despite the dreamlike cast of the program as a whole.” –Boston Globe

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“‘What the hell?!?’ is an appropriate first response to Neil Young’s A Letter Home. Not for its content: Echoing Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait, Young covers 11 songs that mean a lot to him with tender, unfeigned affection. Less straightforward is how they’re presented. Young cut the mostly solo acoustic performances at Jack White’s lo-fi Voice-O-Graph recording booth in Nashville, producing a finished product akin to a beat-up 78 rpm record, pockmarked by constant pops, hissing and distortion….[O]ne of his strongest sets in a long time.” –Spin

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“After a decade of releasing singles, remixes, and edits to large amounts of acclaim among in-the-know dance music fans, Norwegian whiz kid Todd Terje finally made an album of his own in 2014. It’s Album Time is a pretty self-explanatory title, though it could have been called ‘I Love Many Different Styles of Dance Music and Will Proceed to Put My Warped Spin on All of Them.’….[A] solid debut.” –All Music Guide

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Bishop Allen: Lights Out

“A less intense mindset seems to have been applied to the band’s long-awaited (by their standards) fourth album, Lights Out, which, on the surface, comes across as an easygoing collection of summertime indie pop that plays more cohesively than much of their previous output. Pairing somewhat downbeat lyrics with amiable uptempo rhythms and melodies, they deliver what Rice has referred to as a ‘sad party record.’” –All Music Guide

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“Listeners can take their pick by now among a number of soloists and approaches, but this one by Japanese-German violinist Midori Seiler, leading the small Concerto Köln herself, makes a substantial contribution to the dialogue….[T]his is well-executed, state-of-the-art Haydn that will be of interest to many listeners.” –All Music Guide

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“[L]et’s face it: In terms of pure expression, no singer in popular music can touch Williams when she’s calling from the lonely outskirts of Despairville. She sounds like it’s her permanent residence, that place down deep where the spirit meets the bone.” –NPR

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“Disclosure’s loping dance-pop single ‘Latch,’ a number 11 U.K. hit in 2012, introduced Sam Smith, a London-born vocalist with a deeply emotive voice….This is an understated and promising first step from an unpredictable and distinctive talent.” –All Music Guide

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“If one could draw a Venn diagram with Southern California punk-pop giants Green Day on the left and British boy band sensations One Direction on the right, the circles would most likely intersect to create Australia’s 5 Seconds of Summer….5 Seconds of Summer have crafted an album of songs that stick in your head like neon bubblegum on a hot summer sidewalk.” –All Music Guide

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Interpol: El Pintor

“As the titular anagram of Interpol’s name suggests, El Pintor refocuses and realigns the fundamentals of the band’s music….El Pintor is Interpol’s most consistent album since Antics; fans who love the band for its pure sound will probably enjoy it more than those looking for stop-you-in-your-tracks moments.” –All Music Guide

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Jason Mraz: Yes!

“[I]t emphasizes Jason Mraz the sensitive singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar slung across his shoulders. He flirts with rhythms floating up from the Caribbean, he covers Boyz II Men’s ‘It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,’ he cops a bit of the Lumineers’ big-beat folk stomp, and he strums a ukulele — but these are all mild, complementary accents to a sun-kissed collection of romantic songs.” –All Music Guide

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They Want My Soul is the quintet’s most booming LP, eons ahead of their Pixies-worshipping beginnings and a far cry from the relatively small-scale charm of their early-2000s touchstones Girls Can Tell and Kill the Moonlight, as well as their self-consciously lo-fi 2010 record, Transference. The album sounds like a proper follow-up to Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, the clear-eyed 2007 LP where everything clicked into place and a restless band finally hammered themselves into stone.” –Pitchfork

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“J. Mascis is developing a distinct persona for his solo work, and so far it dovetails nicely with his other projects, sharing certain virtues while having a mind of its own, and Tied to a Star is another step in an unexpected and quite welcome career evolution.” –All Music Guide

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