Reviews

Big Sean | Dark Sky Paradise (G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam Recordings)

Written by Ashley White Tuesday, 28 April 2015 15:29

Big-Sean 75From top to bottom, this album is a solid body of work lyrically and emotionally.




 

Sufjan Stevens | Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty)

Written by Willie Edward Smith Monday, 27 April 2015 19:30

cd sufjan-carrieThe otherworldly ambiance that envelops these spare and direct melodies, beautiful ballads of soft spoken truths, is hypnotic and striking.

   

Sabrina Carpenter | Eyes Wide Open (Hollywood)

Written by Samantha LaBat Monday, 27 April 2015 00:24

SC EyesWideOpen_75This album does not force Carpenter to be something she isn’t—she sings about the kind of love she and fans in her age group are likely to experience.

 

Modern Nature | The Charlatans (UK) (BMG)

Written by Michael Koehler Monday, 27 April 2015 00:01

The-Charlatans 75This really doesn’t have the feel of a 12th album, rather is more like a debut in its assuredness.




   

The Magnificent Moodies Box Set | The Moody Blues (Esoteric Recordings)

Written by Marc Farr Sunday, 26 April 2015 19:20

The-Magnificent-Moodies 75With all the unreleased material, as well as the original album, a collector couldn't ask for more.




 

Sun Soul Orchestra | What Matters Most (s/r)

Written by Marc Farr Friday, 24 April 2015 23:23

Sun-Soul-Orchestra 75

Sun Soul Orchestra just might find its way onto a jazz station turntable and, if so, big things could happen.


   

Death Grips | The Powers That B (Harvest)

Written by Marcus Mercer Friday, 24 April 2015 15:10

cd death-gripsEach track delves into different topics like race, sex, and drugs, but twists them in such a cynical and demented way.

 

Smallpools | Lovetap! (RCA)

Written by Laura Hamlett Sunday, 19 April 2015 15:48

cd smallpoolsIf someone catches you dancing alone, just tell them you’ve got Smallpools playing on your headphones; they’ll understand.

   

Beth Hart | Better than Home (ProVogue)

Written by Marc Farr Saturday, 18 April 2015 14:11

cd beth-hartAs if her vocal talents were not enough to blow you away, Hart penned every song on the album, showcasing herself as a master songcrafter.

 

Pretty Boy Floyd | KISS of Death: A Tribute to KISS (Cleopatra)

Written by Marc Farr Saturday, 18 April 2015 14:08

cd pretty-boy-floydCalling all KISS fans: Get ready to rock and roll all night and party every day.

   

Courtney Barnett | Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (Mom + Pop Music)

Written by Jim Dunn Saturday, 18 April 2015 14:04

cd Courtney-BarnettBarnett is a great storyteller; sometimes her stories are just stories, while at other times she wears her heart on her sleeve.

 

Sam Prekop | The Republic (Thrill Jockey)

Written by Samantha LaBat Sunday, 12 April 2015 15:20

The collection of songs is entirely composed and performed on the modular synthesizer.

   

Sofia Talvik | Big Sky Country (Caroline/Universal)

Written by Samantha LaBat Sunday, 12 April 2015 15:18

While Talvik’s voice doesn’t really stand out from the crowd, it is not unpleasant to listen to

 

MALKY | Diamonds EP (Eighty Days)

Written by Samantha LaBat Sunday, 12 April 2015 15:12

The music is so tranquil—it is perfect for background music when you need to relax or to help you fall asleep.

   

Birds of Night | s/t (s/r)

Written by Marc J. Farr Thursday, 09 April 2015 21:12

birds night_75

Reminiscent of early Black Sabbath, the heavy rock influence is certainly not lost here, yet the material is more esoteric than most rock.

 

 

Tenement | Bruised Music Vol. One (Burger)

Written by Vella Mour Monday, 30 March 2015 20:10

This album truly captures the essence of what it meant to be a punk band in the millennium.

   

RA | Scandinavia (Double Sun)

Written by Vella Mour Monday, 30 March 2015 11:08

RA 75Scandinavia is something to be taken in, with the gloomy and paranoid tones surrounding the listener, giving away to spellbinding vocals and guitar.

 

The Dreaming | Rise Again (Metropolis)

Written by Marc Farr Wednesday, 25 March 2015 20:29

rise again_75Purposeful and timely, this album is proof that great hard rock still lives and thrives in the ears of its fans and in the creative core of The Dreaming.



   

Roundeye | s/t (Independent)

Written by Marc Farr Tuesday, 24 March 2015 10:45

Roundeye 75The album spans 17 tracks, which result in a cacophony of buzzed-sounding noise accompanied by incomprehensible lyrics.

 

Lunden Reign | American Stranger (Cleopatra)

Written by Marc Farr Friday, 13 March 2015 16:50

american stranger_75Not overly done, the material is cohesive and approachable, which is not always so with concept albums.

   

Andy Jackson | Signal to Noise (Esoteric Antenna)

Written by Marc Farr Friday, 13 March 2015 16:47

signal noise_75Bombastic and powerful, Andy Jackson shines here not only as producer, but as a performer, as well.

 

V/A | Stoned: A Psych Tribute to the Rolling Stones (Cleopatra)

Written by Marc Farr Friday, 13 March 2015 16:43

stoned 75Whether or not you are into electronic power punk and gothic music, this album takes you away on a wave of psychedelic joy.

   

Kuzin | Cavity (Kill Canyon)

Written by Marc Farr Friday, 13 March 2015 16:41

cavity 75

The songs are well-crafted, but the album seems to lack the punch it seems it could have delivered.

 

Mat Kearney | Just Kids (Republic)

Written by Laura Hamlett Monday, 09 March 2015 13:26

cd kearneyHe’s real, he’s open, he’s unafraid—and he’s talented as hell.

   

Chris Brown & Tyga | Fan of A Fan the Album (RCA/Young Money/Cash Money)

Written by Samantha LaBat Monday, 02 March 2015 12:45

Chris Brown and Tyga deliver exactly what their fans will expect: the lyrics are vulgar and the music is amazing.

 

Dogheart | What Burns the Best (RGMLR)

Written by Vella Mour Monday, 02 March 2015 12:37

dogheart 75

What Burns the Best is the perfect background album for any activity. However, it might just be background music.

   

Mikaela Kahn | Milk and Honey (Hawk Cove)

Written by Marc Farr Thursday, 26 February 2015 21:51

milk honey_75Bringing together such genres as pop, smoky jazz, and classic soul, Kahn creates a musical aura in many different shades.

 

Kate Pierson | Guitars and Microphones (Lazy Meadow/Kobalt)

Written by Marc Farr Thursday, 26 February 2015 21:33

guitars mics_75Showcasing Pierson's many musical talents (guitar, piano, percussion, and a “human theremin”), Guitars and Microphones is well-produced and well-performed.

   

Fifty Shades of Grey | Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Universal Studios/Republic)

Written by Samantha LaBat Thursday, 26 February 2015 14:41

50ShadesofGrey OST_75After assuming this album would be background music for a steamy night in with your partner, I was pleasantly surprised.

 

Ne-Yo | Non-Fiction (Motown)

Written by Samantha LaBat Thursday, 26 February 2015 14:24

Compared to Ne-Yo’s pervious work, Non-Fiction is sub-par.

   

Radio Birds | Contemporary American Slang (Brash Music)

Written by Marc Farr Friday, 20 February 2015 11:10

american slang_75You’ll instantly be able to sing-along, as the melodies and rhythms grab you and hold on for all 11 tracks.

 

Sister Sin | Black Lotus (Victory Records)

Written by Marc Farr Friday, 20 February 2015 10:56

black lotus_75Every track on this album stands on its own merits.

   

Carl Barat and the Jackals | Let It Reign (Arcady /PIAS)

Written by Vella Mour Friday, 20 February 2015 10:36

let it_reign_75This album is drenched and appropriately named. Let It Reign is a blast from the past.

 

Erase Errata | Lost Weekend (Under the Sun)

Written by Vella Mour Friday, 20 February 2015 10:30

lost weekend_75Immediately reminiscent of Joy Division and other post-punk legends, this all-girl group brings an urgent edge back to today’s post-punk scene.

   

The Black Ryder | The Door Behind The Door (The Anti-Machine Machine)

Written by Michael Koehler Wednesday, 18 February 2015 16:37

As the listener, what you get is enjoyable and pleasing—it’s just all been heard before—and done better.

 

Belle & Sebastian | Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance (Matador)

Written by Jim Ousley Tuesday, 17 February 2015 17:53

Belle & Sebastian find a way to move forward by keeping a watchful eye on the past, with their feet set squarely on the dance floor.

   

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