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Tag Archive 'Contemporary Pop/Rock'

“Def Leppard dove into the classic-albums-in-their-entirety trend via an 11-date residency at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, performing 1987′s Hysteria from start to finish, adding other classic hits to round out the set….Def Leppard show their glam rock heart, which is one reason their music has aged so well and why it still sounds [...]

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OneRepublic: Native

“As a songwriter for other contemporary pop stars, Ryan Tedder has proven his talent for writing intensely catchy songs that stick in people’s heads whether they like it or not….[T]his might seem like more of a knock against OneRepublic as pop opportunists, if the music weren’t so dang catchy.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“These tracks feel much more like an album of alternate versions than a typical live recording. The intimacy and raw beauty of Live at the Cellar Door makes it not just a must for super fans, but a valuable companion piece to any of Young’s early studio output.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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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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Katy Perry: Prism

“[S]he’s determined to give her career a dramatic narrative arc, eager to leave behind the bawdy recklessness of her early years in favor of something that’s age appropriate. That’s why the lead single from Prism was ‘Roar,’… the inspirational adult contemporary single signaled how Perry no longer views herself as a fluffy confection but rather [...]

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Paul McCartney: New

“New lives up to its title, finding McCartney eager, even anxious, to engage with modern music while simultaneously laying claim to the candied, intricate psychedelia of latter-day Beatles….New is one of the best of McCartney’s latter-day records: it is aware of his legacy but not beholden to it even as it builds upon it.” –All [...]

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Britney Spears: Britney Jean

“Typically, whenever a self-titled album arrives fairly far into an artist’s career it signifies a rebirth, a moment when the musician reconnects to what’s real and true….Prior to its December 2013 release, Britney called Britney Jean one of her most ‘personal’ records, a term that carries a certain weight, suggesting that the brief album… would [...]

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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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“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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Janelle Monáe: The Electric Lady

“Equally as detailed and as entertaining as The ArchAndroid….The album is sure to astound Monáe’s sci-fi/theater-geek following. Its second half cannot be denied by those who simply value creative R&B that owes to the past and sounds fresh.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Sheryl Crow: Feels Like Home

“[I]t is no great leap for Sheryl Crow to plunge into contemporary country on Feels Like Home. Tuesday Night Music Club, her 1993 debut, could’ve been called country-rock if it had been released in another era, and she’s never shied away from roots music, either giving it a crisp, classy spin or taking a full [...]

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Hilary Duff: Hilary Duff

“There’s silliness here, such as the hipster putdown ‘Mr. James Dean,’ but that makes the album feel endearingly adolescent. And that’s the greatest charm of Hilary Duff — it might take itself a little seriously, it might be a little uneven, but it feels like the soundtrack to the life of a smart, ambitious, popular [...]

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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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Todd Rundgren: State

“Todd Rundgren long ago seized his status as a maverick, and his unpredictability can be as maddening as it is invigorating….State never feels forced, either in its execution or concept. Rundgren is pushing the edges of his comfort zone just enough to keep himself stimulated while offering enough melody to satisfy those fans whose concentration [...]

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Aerosmith: Gold

“[T]his remains a pretty good, but not perfect, overview of latter-day Aerosmith, containing hits, album tracks, concert favorites, rarities, non-LP B-sides, and cuts only available on compilations.” –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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“[T]he sound is much, much better than the sound on the CDs for the regular albums, which are now nearly 20 years out of date. That sound, along with the nostalgic joy of getting these American incarnations on CD, is the main reason the hardcore fans will be more than happy to… enjoy the many [...]

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“Harry Connick, Jr.’s 2013 studio album Every Man Should Know finds the New Orleans native delving into a handful of original songs that touch upon country, pop, and R&B, with only a few jazz-oriented cuts in the mix…. Ultimately, Every Man Should Know is a record with something for every Connick fan.” –All Music Guide [...]

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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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Natalie Maines: Mother

“After three years of silence, it’s Maines’ turn. Mother was co-produced with Ben Harper; he and his band back her on a series of generally polished rock & roll covers and originals. This is a singer’s record…. Maines has made no secret of her preference for rock and R&B over country, and her version of [...]

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