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Tag Archive 'Adult Alternative Pop/Rock'

Billy Bragg: Tooth & Nail

“The result is an album that Bragg says is a follow-up of sorts to his late Nineties collaboration with Wilco on unfinished Woody Guthrie songs, which resulted then in a pair of Mermaid Avenue albums and, last year, a new third volume to commemorate Guthrie’s 100th birthday. Fittingly, Tooth & Nail includes a version of [...]

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Laura Mvula: Sing To The Moon

“It’s rooted in decades-old forms of gospel, jazz, R&B, and, most deeply, orchestral pop. Almost all of the material is as serious and as refined as it is majestic, with vocal showcases and hushed-belted-hushed-belted dynamics galore….Sing to the Moon marks the arrival of a unique and major talent — one with a commanding voice seemingly [...]

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“Three years in gestation — which, in Peter Gabriel time, is a mere handful of months — And I’ll Scratch Yours, the companion piece to the 2010 covers album Scratch My Back, finds most (but certainly not all) of the artists who were interpreted on Gabriel’s album returning the favor by tackling the progressive singer/songwriter’s [...]

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“Jewel isn’t looking to reinterpret the songs we know and love, but rather deliver satisfyingly sweet versions of melodies embedded in our subconscious….[E]verything feels sincere and nothing gets bogged down with sticky sentiment. Let It Snow may not transcend the conventions of a Christmas album, but it also avoids the pitfalls and, on the whole, [...]

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Yuna: Nocturnal

“Essentially a straightforward pop singer/songwriter — the kind who wouldn’t sound out of place in a coffee shop — there has always been something empowering and motivational at the core of Yuna’s music. Whether it’s that she’s a strong female artist, or simply a positive-minded songwriter, many of the songs on Nocturnal evince a kind [...]

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“With Modern Love, Nathanson colored his yearning, singer/songwriter compositions with keyboards, electric guitars, horns, backing vocals, and even some light electronic flourishes. On Last of the Great Pretenders, Nathanson sticks to this same formula….Which is to say that while Nathanson remains a thoughtful mainstream artist, the tracks on Last of the Great Pretenders have an [...]

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Joshua Radin: Wax Wings

“Wax Wings, the fifth long-player from singer/songwriter Joshua Radin, offers up 11 melodic meditations on love and heartache that fall somewhere between the breezy, radio-ready emissions of Jack Johnson and the confessional, studious folk-pop of Josh Ritter. Engaging and articulate….” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Entering a long line of artists who’ve drawn inspiration from the Everly Brothers, Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones serve up a unique tribute with Foreverly….They’re a good match. Jones’ suppleness sands down Armstrong’s ragged voice, he gives her grit while she lends him grace, and these qualities are evident throughout this lovely little gem [...]

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Tom Odell: Long Way Down

“The brooding and bloodied Romeo to Jake Bugg’s blue collar Brit-pop Lothario, sad sack English crooner Tom Odell’s intimate, soul-searching ballads draw from an awfully deep well of ruin… but there’s certainly no denying the West Sussex native’s knack for spinning expertly crafted tales of woe….It will be interesting to see how Odell grows into [...]

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Haim: Days Are Gone

“There is nothing cool about Haim’s music, and that’s why it’s so refreshing. While many of their contemporaries engaged in a contest to find the most obscure influences, and ’80s revivalists sucked synth-pop and new wave dry, the Haim sisters dug up the decade’s biggest, poppiest sounds and fashioned a captivating debut album out of [...]

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Gavin Degraw: Make A Move

“Stuck in a netherworld of near-hits, Gavin DeGraw decided it was time to make a bold move for his fifth album, broadening his soul-inflected rock on Make a Move….Make a Move doesn’t seem incoherent as it flits between his past and present; he’s a smooth operator, happy to sell these songs with a smile….” –All [...]

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“Musicians separated by age, style, and demographic, Elvis Costello and the Roots are nevertheless natural collaborators bound by wide taste, insatiable appetite, and fathomless record collections….Wise Up Ghost does require work from its audience, and the more you know — and the more you listen — the better it seems.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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“[A]nother impressive record from Johnson. The way he mixes sounds, styles, and moods on the album is, like it was on To the Sea, a nice step in the right direction; the songs are typically strong; and the whole thing goes down as easily as ice-cold soda pop on a hot summer day.” –All Music [...]

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“It’s some of her most instantly gratifying work… perfectly encapsulating all of her personas, from the erudite, whiskey-shooting provocateur to the sweet and soulful, small town crooner who sounds like she was plucked from the pages of a novel set in the antebellum north. Case has proven time and again that she has the songwriting [...]

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Vanessa Paradis: Love Songs

“[T]his is the very first Paradis record where she sounds like a full partner with her producer rather than the singer he illuminates. While she doesn’t leave pop behind here, she pushes its envelope — and her own — attaining a diversity that we couldn’t have imagined from her previously.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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John Mayer: Paradise Valley

“John Mayer’s 2013 album, the Americana-tinged Paradise Valley, is an introspective if somewhat more upbeat affair than his similarly country-inflected 2012 release, Born and Raised….[C]learly drawing from the deep well of country music’s past… the sound of Paradise Valley rings true.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Josh Krajcik: Blindly, Lonely, Lovely

“Josh Krajcik’s major-label debut, Blindly, Lonely, Lovely showcases the soulful talent that helped the vocalist nab the runner-up slot on the 2011 season of FOX’s The X-Factor vocal competition….Ultimately, Blindly, Lonely, Lovely showcases a passionate singer with a knack for mixing a vintage soul sound with a contemporary pop aesthetic.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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Gin Wigmore: Gravel & Wine

“Gravel & Wine, which was originally released in New Zealand in 2011, is a huge-sounding dance-pop album full of songs geared for both the dancefloor and the radio stations that drive people to go there, all big, stomping drums and kinetic high vocals about men who don’t measure up, jealous girls, and the trashy, dangerous [...]

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Camera Obscura: Desire Lines

“Glaswegian group Camera Obscura have dialed in their approach to indie pop perfection over the course of their lengthy run….Desire Lines has a… feel of a band bounding out of the gates with a renewed creative energy. Here it results in some of their best and most confident work to date.” –All Music Guide Check [...]

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Jake Bugg: Jake Bugg

“As far as debut albums go, this eponymous release is a surprisingly accomplished effort from the Nottingham-born teenager Jake Bugg….[I]t’s his sheer earnestness and rare gift for writing simple, hook-filled tunes that ultimately charm the listener.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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