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Friday, November 21 2014

Angaleena Presley: American Middle Class

Angaleena Presley steps away from the Pistol Annies for a solo album that cements her status as country music's great moralist.


The Who: Who Hits 50!

It's not a perfect intro nor a set for the hardcore, but this anniversary set shows the Who are still vital after 50 years.


Dana Stephens: Peace

A rare saxophonist who is comfortable playing baritone, tenor and soprano records an album that is, simply, beautiful.


I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness: Dust

I Love You's... attempts at wedding theatrical, celestial rock with low-down, pulsing post-rock is a miss in many ways.


Thursday, November 20 2014

Bryan Ferry: Avonmore

Bringing along a few old friends, Bryan Ferry returns to form, crafting a sophisti-pop masterpiece.


Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways

Sonic Highways is based around a high-concept idea, but the result is an affirmation of the Foo Fighters' core appeal.


Swingin’ Utters: Fistful of Hollow

Fistful of Hollow doesn't retread the ground laid out on past records, but instead offers a new path through genres Swingin' Utters continue to explore and, yet again, renders the band's sound fresh and dynamic.


The Chills: BBC Sessions

These songs from New Zealand skim and dip, within waves of oceanic imagery, full of Pacific calm or pending storm.


Christopher Owens: A New Testament

In light of Christopher Owens' never-a-dull-moment backstory and back catalog, the last thing you'd expect is that A New Testament would be as monotonous as it is.


Jessie J: Sweet Talker

Jessie J fails to reach the glory of high-flying single "Bang Bang" on third album Sweet Talker.


Wednesday, November 19 2014

TV on the Radio: Seeds

The painful loss of their friend and collaborator haunts TV on the Radio's newest album. However, the tortured and torturous love of Seeds are all products of a grieving band refusing to recede into themselves, brazenly choosing to affirm life.


The New Basement Tapes: Lost on the River

Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens, Taylor Goldsmith, Jim James and Marcus Mumford add music to Bob Dylan’s lyrics for The New Basement Tapes: Lost on the River.


Hookworms: The Hum

Though the individual tracks stand strong, The Hum's corner-cutting arrangement obscures and frustrates its most important asset: momentum.


Sam Hunt: Montevallo

Sam Hunt records his first full-length LP, makes an argument about genre, and is still problematic about women.


Jens Lekman: WWJD Mixtape

In lieu of issuing an album proper, Jens Lekman lovingly wraps three new compositions in a mixtape that plays like a gift to the listener, showing off his personal sources of inspiration.


NSYNC: The Essential

NSYNC's songs never really defined their era so much as were merely a product of them.


Tuesday, November 18 2014

Ariel Pink: pom pom

pom pom is up there with Ariel Pink's very best work, even if there’s nothing as insanely hooky as “Round and Round".


Robin Gibb: 50 St. Catherine’s Drive

Like George Harrison, whose career and influence only grew after his death, Gibb’s final efforts reveal that he too deserves a re-evaluation of his solo offerings.


Dream Police: Hypnotized

When Hyponotized succeeds, it feels like a fresh start and a new direction that could worm its way into Mark Perro and Nick Chiericozzi's other band, the Men, or wander down its own weird path for quite a while.


Tears for Fears: Songs From the Big Chair

A 1985 bestseller re-issue which fails miserably to stand the test of time to put it mildly.


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