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Tag Archive 'Adult Contemporary'

Ruben Studdard: Unconditional Love

“This is a pleasingly straightforward set, dominated by covers, that plays to Studdard’s strength as a mature, romantic balladeer….An enjoyable, comfortable release from the singer, Unconditional Love is quite possibly his best work yet.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Jennifer Nettles: That Girl

“That Girl is Jennifer Nettles’ first solo record since she co-founded pop-country’s superstar act Sugarland. Produced by Rick Rubin, it’s mostly a collection of originals, co-written with some of the music industry’s most successful songwriters….That Girl was obviously designed to showcase her diversity as a vocalist and songwriter, and to cross over to a pop [...]

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Mary J. Blige: A Mary Christmas

“[I]t contains a mix of standard holiday songs — a couple playful, many solemn, all dramatic. It’s a big production; an orchestra backs Blige on most of the songs. She pours herself into all of the material….[I]t’s a full-effort holiday release that many of her fans should be able to enjoy for several years.” –All [...]

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Kelly Clarkson: Wrapped In Red

“Generally, the 14 songs here emphasize Clarkson’s skills as a full-throated diva — the arrangements are bold and brassy, as is her delivery — but when the tempo slows and the arrangements scale back, she’s perhaps even more alluring….Perhaps the concept and execution are conventional, but even in this utterly expected setting, Clarkson retains her [...]

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Celine Dion: Loved Me Back To Life

“[T]he album is livelier, less self-conscious, less beholden to the expected, and quick-footed enough to not seem mired in show biz glitz. That doesn’t mean Loved Me Back to Life will reverse her Billboard chart trajectory — there’s nothing here that screams big hit –- but it’s something better: the work of a diva who [...]

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Sting: The Last Ship

“The Last Ship tells the tale of a British shipyard in the ’80s, one laid low by changing times, so there’s naturally an elegiac undertow to Sting’s originals, a sensibility underscored by his decision to ground nearly all these songs in the folk of the British Isles….[T]his is Sting’s tightest collection of songs in ages, [...]

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Elton John: The Diving Board

“Elton has been on a decade-long quest to tap into that old magic, beginning his voyage into the past with 2001′s Songs from the West Coast and getting progressively elliptical with each subsequent release. The Diving Board does indeed evoke ghosts of Elton past….There is much that is admirable about The Diving Board — the [...]

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Cher: Closer To The Truth

“After half a century in the music industry, it’s amazing that Cher is still making records in 2013. That Closer to the Truth is any good at all is even more shocking… [T]he album has a fully modern sound, a large portion of the songs… are hooky and fun, and her voice, aided by technology [...]

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Backstreet Boys: In A World Like This

“Backstreet Boys take sideways glances toward their past but focus on the present, happy to keep things smooth even when the rhythms get a little heated….In a World Like This is a surprisingly mature and fine record from a former boy band that seems unafraid to act its age.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Rod Stewart: Time

“At this point, after years of synthesized soft rock and glad-handed standards, this is a reflection of who Rod Stewart is in 2013: he is still a crowd-pleaser, still a bit of a sap, ready to romanticize days gone by but wanting to sound modern….[I]t’s nice to hear Stewart engaged again, both as a writer [...]

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“It’s moody and textured, rolling out at a deliberate pace and colored in blues and greys, skillfully skirting the edges of alienation….Bareilles is such a naturally melodic songwriter that she doesn’t run much of a risk of seeming insular on The Blessed Unrest and, fortunately, the feel of the album follows the contours of her [...]

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Amy Grant: How Mercy Looks From Here

“How Mercy Looks from Here is Amy Grant’s first full studio album in ten years. Grant wrote all but one of the songs for the set, which features guest spots from James Taylor, Carole King, Sheryl Crow, Eric Paslay, Will Hoge, and Grant’s husband Vince Gill, and the songs glow with the gentle redemptive wisdom [...]

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Tom Jones: Spirit in the Room

“Spirit in the Room is another solid, very welcome set of stripped-back interpretations from Tom Jones, produced once again by Ethan Johns, making those comparisons to Johnny Cash’s late-period recordings with Rick Rubin all the more fitting.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Michael Bublé: To Be Loved

“To Be Loved, is a slick and classy Bob Rock-produced affair that follows up his hit 2011 holiday album, Christmas, and once again showcases the Canadian crooner’s take on swinging pop music…. To Be Loved isn’t just a perfect showcase for Bublé’s voice, it’s also one of his most diverse and enjoyable albums.” –All Music [...]

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Mark Knopfler: Privateering

“Knopfler is that rare gunslinger who can make even the wildest shot look like it was completely intentional, and his steady voice, mercurial lyrics, and instantly recognizable guitar tone, that latter of which falls somewhere between the rich, lucid beauty of David Gilmour and the Pan-like spell-casting of Richard Thompson, provide just the right amount [...]

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“[N]othing here is subpar; everything serves as testimony to Kelly’s considerable vocal chops and potent charisma. She can sing like no other yet feels like the girl next door, a quality that grounds her poppiest songs and helped her transcend her made-for-TV diva persona.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Christina Aguilera: Lotus

“Christina may not pushing at her limits here — a safeness underscored by the presence of not one but two Voice co-stars…but it’s hard to blame her for playing it safe, particularly because she wound up with such a strong pop album, one that reconfirms her gifts as a singer and savviness as a pop [...]

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“Ranging from 1967 to 2011, Release Me…provide[s] as pretty a picture of Streisand’s talents and interests as the best compilation ever could. All of the varied pop scenes she touched over the years are represented here… although of course, her long and varied career makes her able to do no more than dip a toe [...]

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“[T]wo new recordings, ‘Dance Again’ and ‘Goin’ In,’ tracks that feature Pitbull and Flo Rida, respectively, [are] cuts designed for the dancefloors of 2012. …These hard, cold constructions feel especially steely when paired with the fizzy, glitzy turn-of-the-millennium hits that turned Lopez into a pop star. Not all of her charting singles are here but… [...]

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Eric Benét: The One

“Throughout the 2010 album Lost in Time, Eric Benét referenced a number of ’70s sources, from the Philly soul of the O’Jays to the disco of Cheryl Lynn… The lush arrangements and openhearted sincerity in some of the ballads, such as ‘Real Love’ and ‘Runnin,’ recall the same decade.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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