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Ólafur Arnalds: For Now I Am Winter

Ólafur Arnalds walks his own path, one dreamy song after another.

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Nadia Sirota: Baroque

The most beautiful album you will hear this year.

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Mercury Classics

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Hiromi: Move

Hiromi Uehara plays things that no human should be able to play – and with her most sympathetic band yet.

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Bedroom Community/New Amsterdam

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Boz Scaggs: Memphis

Legendary singer's new record is lean, tight, and pure -- and avoids boredom, too.

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Gary Allan: Set You Free

Gary Allan returns to kick 2013 off in spectacular fashion.

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Tania Maria: Canto

All I have to say is, "Good luck, everyone else."

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Expe: Emeralda

Throw out everything you think you know about ambient jazz fusion; there's a new sheriff in town.

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Naxos/Naïve

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Empresarios: El Sonido Mágico

A multiplicity of ideas made this of 2012's tropical gems

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Fort Knox Records

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Bruno Mars: Unorthodox Jukebox

Bruno Mars presents songs with an edge and some soul to go with all the heart and cuteness.

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Duke Ellington: Still Swingin' in the 1950s

Duke Ellington might have been forgotten for a while in the early '50s, but this box set shows that some of his finest and boldest work happened during this period.

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Elikeh: Between 2 Worlds

This Afropop band from DC keeps it lively and conscious on its third album release, but needs more of an edge.

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Bio Ritmo: Introducing Bio Ritmo

This digital-only collection shows off a pretty damn good salsa band.

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Azalea City Recordings

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Why 2012 Is the Year of Ethiopian Hybrid Music

Four musical acts combine Ethiopian music with other styles and genres to form canny new chimeras.

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Lo'Jo: Cinema al Mundo

New album proves that Denis Péan's widescreen vision is still strong

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Fanga/Maalem Abdallah Guinea: Fangnawa Experience

Seamless musical project connects the dots of African music.

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Harper Diabate

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Guano Padano: 2

There is really not much of a ceiling for Guano Padano, and they should be allowed to fly freely.

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Curumin: Arrocha

Forget what Brazilian music is "supposed" to sound like and just enjoy the wild ride.

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Dwele: Greater Than One

At least fun and interesting, and occasionally quite amazing.

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