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Tag Archive 'Adult Alternative Pop/Rock'

“As always, she’s (Carlile) grounded in Americana, often straying into a burnished folky melancholy but finding space for urgent country stomps and such full-throttle rock & roll as ‘Blood Muscle Skin & Bone,’ whose hook places it in a netherworld between arena rock and power pop. None of the stylistic shifts amount to showboating: it [...]

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Lake Street Dive: Bad Self Portraits

“…the album showcases lead singer Rachel Price’s resonant, old-school singing, which is still the main reason to listen to Lake Street Dive. Of course, with her band backing her at various times with harmony vocals, jazzy trumpet, crunchy tube guitar riffs, and woody jazz basslines, there’s always something rootsy and unexpected happening around her on [...]

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Me’Shell Ndegéocello: Comet, Come to Me

“Comet, Come to Me, like Devil’s Halo, involves a cover of a hit released during Meshell Ndegeocello’s teenage years. Having ignited Ready for the World’s 1985 slow jam ‘Love You Down,’ placed in the middle of her 2009 album, she boldly begins here with a cold-blooded update of Whodini’s ‘Friends’ that swirls and pierces. It [...]

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“He (Rice) whittles away the excess in his words and melody, then dresses the detailed sculpture in finely tailored accouterments of slightly sighing strings, strummed guitars, and a hint of forward momentum lying within buried rhythms. This means My Favourite Faded Fantasy may come on as a bit underwhelming at first but that’s the intent: [...]

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Maroon 5: V

“…the vibe shifts slightly back to the soulful pop that’s remained at Maroon 5′s core since the beginning, here given an ever so slight maturation to balance the modern moves heard on the rest of the record. Sometimes, the group achieves a delicate balance between the two extremes — ‘It Was Always You,’ ‘New Love,’ [...]

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Joe Henry: Invisible Hour

“Joe Henry has always had a knack for excellent wordplay and knows how to find great sounds and conjure great performances in the studio, but Invisible Hour is most impressive in how spare it is; there is almost nothing here that doesn’t help set the mood or move the songs forward, and in this elegant [...]

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She & Him: Classics

“While the release of another standards album doesn’t always elicit cries of celebration, some artists are perfectly suited to such a task. Taking a romp around their own bailiwick is a breeze for pop classicists like She & Him, who offer up this platter of elegantly conceived cover songs that resembles the very source material [...]

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Ed Sheeran: X

“It’s a little glib to call Ed Sheeran the U.K.’s answer to Jason Mraz, yet there’s a grain of truth in that statement. Like Mraz, Sheeran plays around with hip-hop cadences but at his core he’s a singer/songwriter, and a sensitive one at that, one who prefers love tunes to songs of protest, something that [...]

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“Curated by international pop star Lorde, the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1 transcends the level of both quality and daring normally offered up on soundtrack albums for big-budget movies, opting to lean more toward indie acts in sculpting a dark, menacing environment that matches the film’s heavy atmospheres.” –All Music Guide Check [...]

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Paolo Nutini: Caustic Love

“Caustic Love is all about vintage sounds; its fine songs and provocative mix pay service to that stunning voice. While this set uses retro styles almost excessively, it is a thoroughly contemporary pop record in approach and execution. It takes real nerve to pull something like this off, but Nutini’s swagger is easily matched by [...]

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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 [...]

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“O’Connor is pushing herself on every song here…  always with some purpose. A quarter-century into a career that has swung unpredictably from acoustic dissent to big-band jazz to reggae and dub experimentation, she continues to lay claim to every musical possibility and refuses to define herself with only one particular style.” –Pitchfork Check Our Catalog [...]

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Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams

“The aptly titled Ryan Adams is a Ryan Adams album, not too far removed from his last few LPs even if it jettisons the twangy Americana for a different, darker, but no less historically grounded sound….[T]he music itself offers a nice twist on the singer/songwriter mode….[W]ith its murky production and throwback guitar sound, Ryan Adams [...]

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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 Check Our Catalog

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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 Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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Lana Del Rey: Ultraviolence

“[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 Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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Ray Lamontagne: Supernova

“Over four previous albums, singer and songwriter Ray LaMontagne has presented as many different musical portraits of himself….Supernova is unapologetically and indulgently retro… with LaMontagne’s open, expertly crafted songwriting and breezy, sensual, emotionally unburdened signing.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Coldplay: Ghost Stories

“If your heart is shattered and you want to slide into self-pity, turn here. If you are feeling free and want to woo a new love, turn here. If you want to just enjoy every soft, supple turn a rock band could do, turn here. Coldplay are here for comfort, as Ghost Stories proves time and time again.” –All [...]

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Ingrid Michaelson: Lights Out

“Pushing the door wide open, Ingrid Michaelson has made her best album. She lost her voice for several months last year, so she has a new appreciation of her gift. Her voice is deeper and more soulful….She experiments with many colors, from synth-pop to funk stomp to piano ballads.” –The Boston Globe Check Our Catalog

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“Feeling neither pent-up nor fussy, the eponymous album is handsome, deliberate, and familiar; she’s not picking up where she left off, she’s merely resuming her career, not acting like any time or fashion has passed in her absence….[I]t offers a quiet comfort for anyone who has ever loved her music.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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