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Tag Archive 'Contemporary Singer/Songwriter'

Sam Philips: Push Any Button

“[T]he album is a well-rounded sonic and emotional experience that hits hard and sticks around long after the last note has faded. In other words, Push Any Button is what Sam Phillips fans have come to rely on over her course of her career: a perfectly crafted album that overflows with melodic hooks, musical grace, [...]

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“The album isn’t so much a change of musical direction as it is a classy revisioning of Vega’s trademark sound….Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles is a welcome return by an artist who has remained stubbornly true to herself and only records when she has something new to say.” –All Music Guide [...]

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“Nearly eight years after Rosanne Cash last released a set of original songs, 2014′s The River & the Thread finds her in a reflective mood….[S]he’s learned to make every word and every note count, and this album confirms once again that she’s matured into a singular artist with the talent and the vision to make [...]

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Dave Hause: Devour

“Former Loved Ones frontman/guitarist Dave Hause drops his second solo set with the help of friends from Frightened Rabbit, My Morning Jacket, and Social Distortion….Devour is fully electric, beautifully played, and driven by often anthemic melodies and dynamics that recall Bruce Springsteen circa The River, but infused with the spirit of 21st century punk.” –All [...]

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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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“On Beautiful Africa, Malian songwriter and guitar slinger Rokia Traoré unleashes the fiery rocker she’s been nurturing since her teens….While Beautiful Africa is her most ‘commercial’ recording — as in, friendly to Western audiences — it nonetheless follows directly the explorations her music has articulated from the beginning. It feels like a natural step, consequently [...]

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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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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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“Given how infrequently she records, a new album from Linda Thompson is always an event. Won’t Be Long Now is her first album in six years. The set’s contents reveal an artist fully in the moment, who understands the importance of the present and doesn’t hold anything back….Won’t Be Long Now is, as has proven [...]

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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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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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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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“[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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“Lyrics hint at disquiet beneath the surface, but so much of The Civil Wars can be appreciated merely upon that surface, hearing Williams and White ease into their harmonies as they tastefully conjure spirits of the past to inhabit the present. Ultimately, the Civil Wars are impeccable craftsmen, taking weathered elements and repurposing them for [...]

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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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“Pushin’ Against a Stone, Valerie June’s Concord debut, is the fruit of over a decade of dues paying by the native Tennessean after three self-released ‘bootleg’ recordings. While her music is steeped in various musical traditions of the South — blues, black and country gospel, soul, and Appalachian folk — she combines them so idiosyncratically… [...]

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“This set, the Lone Bellow’s debut album, is a gem. Full of haunting, passionate songs that breathe with country soul and a kind of autumnal grace….This is a solid debut, made by a band that arrives fully formed and has a great future.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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India.Arie: Songversation

“Largely a low-key, gently uplifting affair with a soft, warm glow, 11 of its 16 tracks are enhanced with assistance from several Turkish musicians — including percussionists, horn players, an oudist, and the Istanbul Strings….Everything… transmits positivity….It’s evident that Arie’s in a good place, both creatively and personally, yet SongVersation is not about self-satisfaction. She [...]

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