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Tag Archive 'Contemporary Singer/Songwriter'

“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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ZZ Ward: Til The Casket Drops

“[S]he developed a style that’s a winning combination of blues, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and pop. Her influences all come together on her debut, a collection that should make her a star if there’s any justice in the world. Ward has a wonderfully flexible voice, she can croon like a pop singer, growl like a blues [...]

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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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Tristan Prettyman: Cedar + Gold

“Cedar + Gold features some of the most introspective, self-examinational, and emotionally raw songs of her career….The cuts on Cedar + Gold are both personal and universally relatable, with melodies that stick in your head and tug at your heart.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Reflective and homespun, yet nimble enough to dabble in multiple genres (indie pop, Americana, psych-folk) without ever losing sight of its traditional singer/songwriter-oriented foundation… and is as inviting and unguarded as it is wily and unpredictable.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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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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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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“The first solo outing from Frames leader and Swell Season co-conspirator Glenn Hansard doubles down on the prolific Irish singer/songwriter’s penchant for crafting soulful, slow burn ballads that ache like the sliced-open underbelly of a terminally swollen rain cloud.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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