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Tag Archive 'Singer/Songwriter'

“Here, Giddens expands upon the neo-string band of the Carolina Chocolate Drops by crafting an abbreviated and fluid history of 20th century roots music — along with the older forms that informed it — concentrating on songs either written or popularized by female musicians. As a torchbearer, not a revivalist, Giddins isn’t concerned with replicating [...]

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Bob Dylan: Shadows in the Night

“Shadows in the Night finds the songwriter whose work marks the divide where artists were expected to pen their own material finding sustenance in the Great American Songbook, with every one of its songs recorded at some point by Frank Sinatra. Its songs are old and Shadows in the Night is appropriately a defiantly old-fashioned [...]

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“‘Haunting’ is an overused adjective, but it still defines Mirel Wagner’s music perfectly. It certainly applied to her self-titled debut, which brought folk and blues back to their eldritch roots with songs that fell somewhere between nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and murder ballads. It’s an even more apt description of her intensely beautiful and unsettling [...]

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Billy Joel: The Essential Billy Joel

“…for the most part, this has every one of Joel’s heavy-hitters, and his craftsmanship, both as a songsmith and record maker, has never shone brighter. The biggest fault is that there is a notable drop-off in quality after 1986′s The Bridge (which ends midway through disc two), but even so, this is as good a [...]

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Leonard Cohen: Popular Problems

“As always, Cohen’s songs — delivered in his deepest earth rasp — offer protagonists who are ambivalent spiritual seekers, lusty, commitment-phobic lovers, and jaded, untrusting / untrustworthy world citizens. He is them, they are him: strangers hiding in plain sight….Popular Problems reveals that at 80, Cohen not only has plenty left in the tank, but [...]

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“Jesse Winchester['s] songs were covered by everyone from Elvis Costello to Emmylou Harris. Winchester died of cancer in April, but not before making this superb final album… taking us through a whole gamut of emotions on this proud climax to a great career.” –Boston Globe Check Our Catalog Listen Now

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“Not so much an expansion of 1972′s classic double-live album Rock of Ages, but an exhaustive tribute to its source material… Live at the Academy of Music 1971 digs deep into the Band’s year-end four-night stint at New York City’s Academy of Music…. Although this box is not perfect — it’s hard not to wish [...]

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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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“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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“Rush makes each song seem as dependable and solid as the earth itself, somehow mixing a wistful weariness in his voice with an underlying and unerring joyfulness, the same sort of thing he’s been doing for half a century now. That he’s still doing it as well as he ever has is a testament to [...]

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“Richey’s characters on Thorn in My Heart inspire strong empathetic ties with listeners via simple, beautiful melodies and lyrical accuracy by turns poetic and accessible. It is yet another in a string of excellent releases by her, but it’s also something more. It integrates everywhere Richey’s been yet inhabits a terrain completely of her own [...]

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“Whether moved by the documentary or simply interested in a one-disc anthology of Rodriguez’s work, the Searching for Sugar Man soundtrack is a thoughtfully curated celebration of this devastatingly underrated artist.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“Jennings truly came into his own on Family Man, but on The Other Life, he pushes the boundaries further, offering some of the finest songs he’s written to date. He fully realizes here what he’s been attempting all along. Box these sounds whichever way you want to, but they are all Shooter Jennings, and as [...]

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“The resulting Beast in Its Tracks, written in the wake of his divorce, treats the situation with anger, warmth, despair, humor, honesty, and most importantly, empathy for both of its subjects, something that many records of a similar disposition fail to achieve.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Dido: Girl Who Got Away

“Sophistication is a given, but there’s a surprising undercurrent of sensuality that runs throughout the album, a sleekness that suggests a distillation of the stiff club-soul of Elle Goulding, a shimmer that blends quite seamlessly with Dido’s sculpted songs… Halfway through, Girl Who Got Away sucks you into its sway, its comforts as alluring as [...]

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Mika: The Origin of Love

“Mika has flirted with dance music and electronic sounds since Life in Cartoon Motion, but on The Origin of Love he commits to it in a much bigger way…The album’s other highlights show that he’s still a keen and witty singer/songwriter, especially when it comes to love’s more confusing aspects.” –All Music Guide Check Our [...]

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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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Kris Kristofferson: Feeling Mortal

“Most of these songs aren’t new — Kristofferson says he writes very little now — but they are unheard, making their recorded debut here. It makes one wonder just how many other gems he has in a desk drawer or on some dusty cassette tape. Based on the soul-satisfying evidence of Feeling Mortal, one can [...]

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Brandi Carlile: Bear Creek

“Named in honor of the converted turn-of-the-century Washington barn where it was recorded, Brandi Carlile’s fourth studio outing, the rough and tumble, sweet and soulful Bear Creek, is as fiery as it is bucolic… Carlile has honed her distinctly retro brand of Northwest Americana down to science, and Bear Creek feels both easy and immediate…” [...]

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“A country music maverick, [Rodney Crowell]‘s written some great songs, been a top-line country star with videos and the whole enchilada, was married to Rosanne Cash for over a dozen years, and has collaborated with Emmylou Harris and countless others as a songwriter, musician, and producer….[T]he songs on Kin are smart, literary, lyrical, full of [...]

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