Music

Charlie Mars: Blackberry Light

Blackberry Light seems to come from an artist somewhat unsure of his footing but completely comfortable with that position.


Charlie Mars

Blackberry Light

Label: Rockingham
US Release Date: 2012-08-14
UK Release Date: 2012-08-14
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Charlie Mars exorcises demons, pours out veiled confessionals, and reigns things in a bit for Gather the Horses. The new-found sense of restraint suits him surprisingly well. Touching on darker themes than he has on previous releases makes Blackberry Light seem more personal and the songs more effective. While there are no sweeping grandiose ballads or lush commercial powerpop songs to be found here, there's a greater sense of completion than Mars has had with his previous releases. Which strikes one as kind of odd seeing as how Blackberry Light utilizes his most expansive creative palette to date, sifting through everything from electro to reggae. While this is still radio-ready material of an impressively high caliber, there are still a few elements missing -- which ultimately prevents this record from achieving the greatness of which Mars is undoubtedly capable.

6

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

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The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

Sarah Milov
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