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Lady Antebellum: 747

“Give Lady Antebellum credit: There’s a consistency to its songs that makes the group as much a manufacturing concern as it is a country act.” –Boston Globe

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“[C]ountry’s number-one beach bum continuously brings a sense of musical energy and emotional urgency his previous easygoing albums have sometimes lacked.” –Rolling Stone

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Moonshine in the Trunk is all gleaming steel, hard edges, sleek rhythms, and power ballads, state-of-the-art modern country that doesn’t dare make a big deal of any of Paisley’s eccentricities outside of his squealing guitar.” –All Music Guide

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“For his post-modern tale of vampires trying to find purpose in their immortal lives, [Jarmusch] employs his own group, SQÜRL, to provide the brooding score for dead lovers Adam and Eve (played by Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton) to explore what is a romantic paean to the bohemian artistic underground….The likes of Zola Jesus and Madeline Follin from Cults… encapsulate the film’s ‘hipsters through the ages’ aesthetic to a T.” –All Music Guide

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“Recorded live in Lucerne, Switzerland, in 2013, shortly before the death of conductor Claudio Abbado (who must have been quite ill at the time), this pair of Mozart piano concertos stands as a fitting valediction to his legacy….The live sound is impressively clear, and in general this is a marvelous statement from the last months of a great conductor’s life.” –All Music Guide

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Ziggy Marley: Fly Rasta

“The eldest Marley son is well versed in a lot more than just reggae, and here he exemplifies that more than ever with big alt-rock tunes as well as acoustic folk rock that often makes this a more pop oriented reggae album ideal for someone who is in tune with soulful guitar oriented music….Though the Melody Makers make many appearances, with the exception of the ska-influenced title track, this is another step into unexpected territory for the always exceptional Ziggy.” –New Noise Magazine

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“Whatever the precise plot machinations that led Guardians of the Galaxy to rely so heavily on the Super Hits from the ’70s doesn’t quite matter when it comes to regarding the soundtrack. Here, the record works as a sampler of the soft rock and Yacht rock hits that are familiar not only from constant exposure on the radio, but also their use in movies.” –All Music Guide

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“A play with music by Lanie Robertson, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, directed by Lonny Price, first opened on Broadway in the spring of 2014 with Audra McDonald starring as the heartworn Billie Holiday singing and telling stories about her life….McDonald’s inspired take on Holiday’s singing in what is essentially a one-woman show is on full display here in this two-disc official cast recording.” –All Music Guide

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“Retro soulman Aloe Blacc seems to have his sights set on the big time. After co-writing and lending his vocal to EDM producer Avicii’s 2013 hit Wake Me Up, Blacc’s third solo album sits firmly in poppy, ready-to-chart R&B territory….Blacc’s gravelly, expressive voice sounds terrific throughout, his trills and melodies indebted to Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers.” –The Guardian

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Platinum is notable because Lambert tries to be everything to everyone here and damn near succeeds….[A]t its heart, this is a classic double-album where the misses enhance the home runs and, eventually, are endearing on their own terms.” –All Music Guide

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“That carefree and innocent look contradicts the sound of Little Dragon’s fourth album….Recorded in the group’s native Gothenburg and evidently affected by the region’s grim winter weather — as well as Janet Jackson ballads, and maybe a suffocating relationship – Nabuma Rubberband contains little in the way of bopping bop….[T]he group’s most accomplished work.” –All Music Guide

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Skrillex: Recess

“Skrillex finally got around to releasing his debut album, but before making any assumptions about this debut’s weight or sense of purpose, know that Recess was leaked via a video game app, a Skrillex-approved Asteroids clone called Alien Ride. Flashy fun with kinetic stuff happening all about, this good-time ride of an album is certainly suited for being leaked by a video game….Reckless fun, frivolous thrills, and fast, loud friends fill this one.” –All Music Guide

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“Oberst remains an eccentric — he’s not one for obvious hooks, or even insistent melodies — but of all his albums,Upside-Down Mountain feels open-hearted, measured, and bright, the kind of record that opens up a new chapter in a career and possibly wins over new listeners.” –All Music Guide

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tUnE-yArDs: Nikki-Nack

“Her music has always been playful but extremely confident….Like Dirty Projectors and St. Vincent, Garbus is an artist who lives with weird but flirts with normal….Nikki Nack signifies maturity while still allowing room for Garbus to do zany things….In moments when Garbus does calm down, she does it with the grace and certainty of an archer drawing back her bow—less a concession than a show of power.” –Pitchfork

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“If Pe’ahi is a tribute to Sune’s father, it’s a warts-and-all portrayal of a turbulent relationship, but one delivered with a tenderness and intensity that propels the very concept of the retro garage duo into a fresh sonic stratosphere. Drop in, it’s an exhilarating descent.” –NME

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“These award-winning sound healing pioneers have created this beautiful album as an effective tool for energizing and balancing the chakras….It is ideal for meditation, healing, yoga and overall relaxation.” –Soundings of the Planet

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“[H]ere she’s found the perfect musical vehicle for her vision. Ultraviolence sounds tragic and beautiful—darkly-shaded ballads are what she was created to make, and this album is nothing but, a Concept Album from a Concept Human….She’s a pop music original full-stop, and there are not nearly enough of those around.” –Pitchfork

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“The soundtrack to Divergent, the first film adapted from Veronica Roth’s dystopian young adult novel series, reflects the story’s high-tech future — in which people are separated into factions based on their virtues — in its mix of EDM and hip-hop. Even if the EDM craze had peaked somewhat by the time of the film’s 2014 release, it’s a refreshing change from the brooding alt-rock that dominated the Twilight Saga soundtracks and, to a lesser extent, The Hunger Games‘ music.” –All Music Guide

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Blondie: 4(0)-Ever

Blondie 4(0)-Ever bundles together two albums, a collection of new material called Ghosts of Download, and Greatest Hits Deluxe Redux, a re-recorded set of Blondie favorites….As for Harry, her vocals are cool, stylish, and well-controlled” –All Music Guide

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