Monday, September 15 2014
Mike Auldridge is joined on this, his final recording, by fellow dobro masters Jerry Douglas and Rob Ickes. A fitting capstone to a legendary career.
To a large degree, the last year in music has been about the triumph of the smooth.
There are different ways to experience and to express joy. It can be celebratory, or quiet and introspective. Joy in Spite of Everything balances those poles of sound and style on what is one of the most successful jazz releases of the year.
Saying that The Water(s) shows potential would be unfair. Mick Jenkins has already arrived.
Some of these experiments are more successful than others, but it is that basic uptempo, wah-wah inflected, bass-heavy, organ-choogling funk that makes the strongest impression here.
Friday, September 12 2014
Pere Ubu's 18th album offers their most cohesive and disturbing vision of dystopian America. A carnival of oblique reference points, it's also their best album of the 21st century.
Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile and double bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer meet up for a second time, making music that, unsurprisingly, sounds like it was made for virtuosos.
Adrian Thaws is one of Tricky's most successful attempts to achieve reconciliation between the strengths of his established sound, and his need to progress as an artist.
A concise, pure and punchy pop history lesson.
American Hi-Fi is not a group to reshape the way we hear music. They’re simply a good time.
It's a fine line between "retro" and "novelty", but no one walks it better than Brian Setzer.
Three of Shostakovich's symphonies sound as scary as they probably did during their premiere, thanks to a unique orchestra and a unique conductor.
From the top on down, the intent of Forever For Now is perfectly clear: fun. This is one big good time broken into 12 melodically succinct, percussively infectious packages.
Thursday, September 11 2014
This is a celebratory affair from start to finish, and constructed in such a way as to put a big grin on your face.
The Man Upstairs is a beguiling diversion for Hitchcock, one devoid of any mystery or humor.
Seemingly on the verge of death not long ago, Vini Reilly re-emerges with a timely, often gorgeous reminder of why he is among the greatest guitarists of his generation.
Wednesday, September 10 2014
Sloan changes things by giving each member a side of a double-vinyl record. It works.
Avi Buffalo settle for a sleeker, cleaner set of psychedelic folk on the follow-up to their more compelling 2010 debut.
Forty-plus years on, Afro-beat master Orlando Julius is still gettin' it done.
Any anticipatory pleasure to be derived from the pain detailed on Annabel Dream Reader is numbed by its own flogging tedium.