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Tag Archive 'Contemporary Singer/Songwriter'

“As a stage experiment, Watkins Family Hour has thrived for 13 years, and now with a fine record to document their efforts, they’ve hit on a format that could offer boundless possibilities for years to come.” -Allmusic.com Check our Catalog

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Grace Potter: Midnight

“…she’s (Potter) every bit as passionate here as she was on the rawer The Lion the Beast the Beat — but what gives the album resonance is how her clever songs keep Valentine’s supremely SoCal production from playing like aural candy.” -Allmusic.com Check our Catalog Listen Now

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Melody Gardot: Currency of Man

“…Gardot is stronger than ever here, her instrument is bigger and fuller yet it retains that spectral smokiness that is her trademark. Currency of Man is a further step away from the lithe, winsome pop-jazz that garnered her notice initially, and it’s a welcome one.” -Allmusic.com Check our Catalog Listen Now

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Natalie Imbruglia: Male

“…the concept of Male suggests there might be a conceptual undertow to the album — Imbruglia finding the femininity in masculine writers — but Imbruglia chooses songs where sexuality is incidental; these are love songs that are easily retooled for the opposite sex.” -allmusic.com Check our Catalog

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Mark Knopfler: Tracker

“Scaled smaller than 2012’s double-album Privateering, Tracker also feels suitably subtle, easing its way into being instead of announcing itself with a thunder. Such understatement is typical of Mark Knopfler, particularly in the third act of his career. When he left Dire Straits behind, he also left behind any semblance of playing for the cheap […]

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“As always, she’s (Carlile) grounded in Americana, often straying into a burnished folky melancholy but finding space for urgent country stomps and such full-throttle rock & roll as ‘Blood Muscle Skin & Bone,’ whose hook places it in a netherworld between arena rock and power pop. None of the stylistic shifts amount to showboating: it […]

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“The New Basement Tapes recorded Lost on the River in a real studio fully aware there was an audience awaiting their output, an attitude that’s the polar opposite of the ramshackle joshing around of the original Basement Tapes. Thankfully, nobody involved with Lost on the River contrives to replicate either the sound or feel of […]

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“Then Came the Morning reveals so much growth it’s hard to believe this is only the Lone Bellow’s second album. This trio pulls off a chosen weave of hybrid roots sounds with seeming ease, passion, and verve. No one else performing Americana or crossover country music attempts anything like it, leaving the trio in its […]

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“Terraplane is the most relaxed and least fussed-over album Earle has made in quite some time, and frankly, he sounds like he’s having a ball on these sessions; with rare exceptions, this isn’t music that ponders the dark night of the soul, but semi-acoustic roadhouse boogie that rocks with a steady roll and gives Earle […]

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Joe Henry: Invisible Hour

“Joe Henry has always had a knack for excellent wordplay and knows how to find great sounds and conjure great performances in the studio, but Invisible Hour is most impressive in how spare it is; there is almost nothing here that doesn’t help set the mood or move the songs forward, and in this elegant […]

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“The reading of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Going Home’ recalls the half-spoken/half-sung delivery (with Brian Eno on backing vocals no less) and places the singer in the place of the subject’s muse, observing him without pity or condemnation. Hoagy Carmichael’s ‘I Get Along Without You Very Well’ is reinterpreted through the Weimar Republic’s cabaret musical vocabulary, too: […]

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Colbie Caillat: Gypsy Heart

“Four albums in, Colbie Caillat decided it was time for a cool change. The singer/songwriter remains quintessentially Southern Californian — her spirit is sunny, her melodies breezy — but she no longer dresses her songs in beachwear. She’s ditched the peasant skirts for stylish black dresses; she’s no longer strumming an acoustic guitar; she’s singing […]

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Neil Young: Storytone

“…Storytone is fairly messy — which is quite an achievement for an album recorded in large part live in front of a full orchestra. Young does indeed croon over those strings, often rhapsodizing about the powers of new love or pleading to save the Earth, although he sometimes gets restless and rolls out a swinging […]

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Hozier: Hozier

“The album’s best tracks, like the warm, laid-back ‘Someone New’ and the grandiose shuffling of ‘From Eden’ are all front loaded in the first half, while side two feels a bit weighed down with a few too many slow, contemplative pieces. When you’re dealing with the kind of spells Hozier is casting, it’s always best […]

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Ed Sheeran: X

“It’s a little glib to call Ed Sheeran the U.K.’s answer to Jason Mraz, yet there’s a grain of truth in that statement. Like Mraz, Sheeran plays around with hip-hop cadences but at his core he’s a singer/songwriter, and a sensitive one at that, one who prefers love tunes to songs of protest, something that […]

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Paolo Nutini: Caustic Love

“Caustic Love is all about vintage sounds; its fine songs and provocative mix pay service to that stunning voice. While this set uses retro styles almost excessively, it is a thoroughly contemporary pop record in approach and execution. It takes real nerve to pull something like this off, but Nutini’s swagger is easily matched by […]

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Jason Mraz: Yes!

“[I]t emphasizes Jason Mraz the sensitive singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar slung across his shoulders. He flirts with rhythms floating up from the Caribbean, he covers Boyz II Men’s ‘It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,’ he cops a bit of the Lumineers’ big-beat folk stomp, and he strums a ukulele — but these are all mild, complementary […]

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Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams

“The aptly titled Ryan Adams is a Ryan Adams album, not too far removed from his last few LPs even if it jettisons the twangy Americana for a different, darker, but no less historically grounded sound….[T]he music itself offers a nice twist on the singer/songwriter mode….[W]ith its murky production and throwback guitar sound, Ryan Adams […]

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Ray Lamontagne: Supernova

“Over four previous albums, singer and songwriter Ray LaMontagne has presented as many different musical portraits of himself….Supernova is unapologetically and indulgently retro… with LaMontagne’s open, expertly crafted songwriting and breezy, sensual, emotionally unburdened signing.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“‘My mom and I making a record together is something we have talked about doing for a very long time,’ Harper tells Rolling Stone. ‘I guess you could say a lifetime….It’s produced like early Elvis. Not one thing is plugged in. It’s all acoustic. I think they’re going to call it Americana, but it’s soul, California, […]

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