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Monday, July 28 2014

Ed Sheeran: x

Ed Sheeran certainly doesn't exceed expectations, but he delivers something that resembles a solid mish mash of genres and often cliche lyrics about romance and breakups.


50 Cent: Animal Ambition

50 Cent's latest album is more of the same old 50.


John Escreet: Sounds, Space and Structures

On his sixth recording, this young UK pianist based in New York brings his trio into a fully improvised encounter with British avant-garde saxophone legend Evan Parker.


Otto A Totland: Pinô

Fans of Nils Frahm must be introduced to Otto A Totland, whose delicate piano melodies will forever feel like home.


Friday, July 25 2014

Chalice California (featuring STS9 + Les Claypool’s Duo de Twang

Chalice provided the grooviest kicks seen along old Route 66 in some time.


Bob Marley and the Wailers: Legend (30th Anniversary Edition)

Legend presents Bob Marley at his most unthreatening, and most anodyne. And that was intentional.


Dave Douglas and Uri Caine: Present Joys

Frequent collaborators (trumpet and piano) make their first duet album, interpreting the “shape-note singing” tradition. Simple, different, delightful.


Kitten: Kitten

Kitten may be a young band, but it has an old style. That it partially misses the mark is just an example of music being way too regressive for its own good.


Nerina Pallot: Grand Union / When I Grow Up

Nerina Pallot’s fifth and sixth EPs of 2014 are both challenging and ambitious with big ideas, from pop to disco to funk to electro.


Pigeon John: Encino Man

As a title, Encino Man works both as a shout-out to John's beloved L.A. and a wink toward vintage coolness -- the album is a virtual love letter to '70s and '80s pop radio.


Stanton Moore: Conversations

With Conversations, drummer Stanton Moore moves away from the groove-infused work of his previous albums and work with Galactic and into straight ahead jazz territory.


Thursday, July 24 2014

Sun-Drenched ‘90s Nostalgia at Forecastle Day Three

Forecastle rounded out its 2014 installment with aplomb, proving that it is only going to get bigger and better from here on out.


“Weird Al” Yankovic: Mandatory Fun

Yankovic's release-week overexposure lead him to having his first #1 album, but the parodies prove to be way better than the originals this go-round. #Accordions


Got a Girl: I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now

These are faithfully recreated jet-setting sounds from the golden age of air travel, and the highs hit quite high.


Unkle Bob: Embers

Reformed British band Unkle Bob reform and return with characteristic charm on third album Embers.


Devon Williams: Gilding the Lily

LA-based tunesmith Devon Williams decides to join his peers and craft a musical exploration of that trendiest of decades, the 1980s.


Aisles: 4.45 AM

The real variance between a band of sophisticated copycats and this bunch is indeed intelligence.


Shawn Lee: Golden Age Against the Machine

The man who never met a genre he couldn't master tackle old-school hip-hop, delivering a solid effort that is more hits than misses.


Wednesday, July 23 2014

New Orleans Artists Headline the DC Jazz Festival

Festival organizers won the day by pulling in some top talent from the nation’s jazz capital (New Orleans, of course) to mark the occasion.


PS I Love You: For Those Who Stay

Some might be enamoured by the nods to classic rock, and some might not, but what you get in the end is an album of little significance.


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