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“Judas Priest have been looking for redemption since their 2008 concept album, Nostradamus, fell flat with fans. Their follow-up goes back to guitar-bludgeoning basics on songs that explore vengeance, virility and Valhalla – classic metal themes that might feel tired if it wasn’t for the fact that Priest are one of the bands that helped pioneer the pummeling genre in the first place….Redeemer is proof that Priest can still call themselves metal’s defenders of the faith.” –Rolling Stone

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Sia: 1000 Forms of Fear

1000 Forms of Fear is an appealing balance of Sia the artiste and Sia the chart-topping songwriter. To say it’s her most accessible album yet doesn’t diminish it or her previous albums; instead, it’s the sound of Furler owning her success.” –All Music Guide

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Jack White: Lazaretto

“It’s the densest, fullest, craziest, and most indulgent that White has sounded with or without Meg—almost pointedly so, as though he’s trying to shake the minimalism that defined the White Stripes….White invites us to see the craft here, to notice the seams, to consider the contrasts….In its volleys of nimble-fingered riffs and its willy-nilly combination of styles, Lazaretto is all about virtuosity, with White reverting back to the idea of blues rock as a form of emotional confession: a space where you can project feelings and re-enact age-old dramas.” –Pitchfork

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“Barbra Streisand’s 2014 duets album, Partners, features the legendary vocalist performing songs associated with her storied career alongside a handful of handpicked guests….Partners works as guided tour down Streisand’s memory lane, and with her resonant voice still in supple shape, any excuse to hear her sing is a welcome invitation.” –All Music Guide

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“Tim McGraw is an eccentric centrist who can dodge the headlock of country-radio culture….Per usual, the character studies shine brightest. Proof: ‘Sick of Me,’ a self-loathing take-me-back plea – a reminder that, like Bill Clinton, another great Southern centrist, McGraw is best when he’s feeling your pain.” –Rolling Stone

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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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