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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, and discovery and are every bit as infectious as they are refreshing.” –All Music Guide

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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

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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

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Phantogram: Voices

“Voices is filled with catchy, emotion-packed songs that will sound great booming out of radio speakers, soundtracking late nights spent alone and wondering, and anytime some really powerful modern pop is needed.” –All Music Guide

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“Muchacho has some of Houck’s best songwriting since his early days, seemingly tapped into the grainy pain, hard-living tendencies, and wandering muse of his subconscious, with the most listenable results Phosphorescent has produced in years.” –All Music Guide

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Warpaint: Warpaint

“‘Undertow’ was one of the highlights from Warpaint’s debut album The Fool, and it still describes and defines their sneakily captivating approach and appeal. Their songs circle around themselves like smoke, creating a seductive haze….Expansive and enveloping at the same time, this set of songs puts Warpaint’s past and future in perfect balance — one of the best things a band can do on their second album.” –All Music Guide

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Dierks Bentley: Riser

“For a decade, every single Dierks Bentley release placed at least in Billboard’s Country Top 20, usually making it to the Top Ten….[I]t’s a sturdy, often absorbing record from a singer who is determined to be in it for the long haul.” –All Music Guide

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“The record’s narrative concerns an effort to build the ‘tallest tower in the world’ in Brooklyn’s center (not so far-fetched given recent NYC real estate developments), and is interspersed with atmospheric interludes that further underscore both Argue’s ambition and his talents given how beautifully the record stands as a whole. As a performance, ‘Brooklyn Babylon’ must’ve been remarkable to see — it’s equally so to hear.” –Los Angeles Times

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“German composer Paul Hindemith wrote concertos for nearly every instrument in the orchestra. Here you get a concert for one of the most common instruments, the violin, along with two distinctively textured orchestral works, the giant Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by C.M. von Weber and the somewhat obscure Konzertmusik für Streichorchester und Blechbläser (Concert Music for Strings and Brass Instruments), the earliest piece on the program (it was written in 1930).” –All Music Guide

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“The Diabelli Variations, Op. 120; the Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111; and the Six Bagatelles, Op. 126, are among the most original and intellectually stimulating works Ludwig van Beethoven composed for the piano, and the sophisticated interpretations of András Schiff are especially worthwhile for their insights into authentic performance practice and reception.” –All Music Guide

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“Annie Clark began recording St. Vincent almost immediately after she finished touring in support of Love This Giant, her inspired collaboration with David Byrne. It’s not hard to hear the influence that album had on these songs; Love This Giant’s literal and figurative brassiness gave Clark’s witty yet thoughtful approach more sass without sacrificing any of her intelligence….And, as her most satisfying, artful, and accessible album yet, St. Vincent earns its title.” –All Music Guide

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“Tyler Farr may indeed be Redneck Crazy on his 2013 debut for Columbia Nashville, but his definition of redneck doesn’t quite belong to the backwoods. Farr may not be a grinning, unrepentant bro the way that Luke Bryan and his ilk are, but he’s not far removed, not with his arsenal of songs about beer, tiny bikinis, hot messes, and trucks.” –All Music Guide

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“Just in case the title of The Outsiders doesn’t give away the game, Eric Church takes pains to strike a defiant stance throughout his fourth album, underscoring his status as a genuine Nashville Rebel….Church has made the conscious decision to try a little bit of everything in his quest to be a savior to both rock and country.” –All Music Guide

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“Panamanian-born pianist Danilo Pérez’s 2014 album, Panama 500, is an expansive effort that showcases his trio as they delve deep into the music and folkloric traditions of Pérez’s homeland. Panama 500 is an ambitious work that showcases all of Pérez’s immense technical skills, jazz knowledge, and deep, abiding love of his Latin American roots.” –All Music Guide

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Dum Dum Girls: Too True

“Dee Dee and her crew are determined to test the self-set boundaries of their sound, and even if it won’t always work the attempt will always be interesting. If they keep making records this emotionally powerful, hook-filled, and easy to listen to as this, their future is very, very dark and promising.” –All Music Guide

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“Hersch and Lage mesh superbly and have put together a coherent and listenable set of sophisticated improvisations which fuse baroque counterpoint, punctuated rhythms, and diverse jazz motifs in a disciplined yet exciting way. Simply by virtue of the close coordination of piano and guitar and tightness of performance, the album points up the continuity of music from Bach to bop to modernity, and in this respect represents something of a measuring rod for the development of jazz forms.” –All About Jazz

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“Unlike most albums of violin encores featuring the most popular showpieces in the repertoire, In 27 Pieces: The Hilary Hahn Encores introduces original works for violin and piano that have been specially commissioned by Hilary Hahn in an effort to rejuvenate this specialized musical category….Taken altogether, this is an attractive collection of chamber music, and Hahn’s project is an unqualified success.” –All Music Guide

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Jhené Aiko: Sail Out

“Having already made a big impression in 2013 with appearances on singles from Big Sean (‘Beware’) and Drake (‘From Time’), breathy R&B vocalist Jhené Aiko fleshes out her character on Sail Out, a relaxed debut EP that suggests that this girl is on permanent vacation. That’s not a negative, but a positive, as the singer seductively slinks her way through heartbreak.” –All Music Guide

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Samantha Crain: Kid Face

“That there’s a little too much misery on this third album from the 27-year-old Oklahoman doesn’t obscure a promising talent at work. The album’s bare-bones production is a break from Crain’s previous group work, and push her robust but vulnerable voice to the fore.” –The Guardian

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“For years, the easy point of comparison for Muse and their brand of driving rock was Radiohead, but as the trio has grown, it became clearer and clearer that the sound they were really striving for was something akin to the pure spectacle of Queen….[T]he enormity of their sound is best captured in the live setting. With Live at Rome Olympic Stadium, the British band does just that, bringing its massive, intricate sound to bear on a crowd of over 60,000 frenzied fans.” –All Music Guide

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