Buy Music CDs at CD Universe. Audio Samples and Reviews Available on Music New Releases 




Custom Search on all



Note: If you can read French, go to the French page for additional content.


to SEARCH this page













january 2016:


 Adele – 25


The British singer is back with her third album, after having married and started a family. Yet her songs still treat complicated love affairs, as if she could not get influenced by her recent happiness. 25, which marks her passage of the mid-twenties, has 11 songs, especially heartbreaking ballads. The whole still remains based on her powerful voice, like the hit "Hello" that rocks us before waking us with a huge chorus. It is in these moments that the singer truly shines, but there is unfortunately a few that create such an effect. The exception would probably be "When We Were Young", a perfect song for the newlyweds. The main defect of 25, despite its impeccable production, is certainly that it offers only very few changes compared to 21. She will have to look a little further next time. (January 2016 Featured Review)

Music Video: « Hello »

XL Recordings



 Alessia Cara – Know-It-All

Alessia CaraKnow-It-All

Aged only 19, Alessia Caracciolo offers her first full-length album, following the success of "Here" and the mini-album Four Pink Walls. Moreover, we find this EP in the first half of the CD. The young woman from Brampton, Ontario offers pop music with a strong trend to R&B. Her compositions seem very mature for her age and her observations are correct. Although Alessia was assisted in the writing, we feel that with all the talent she has she could quickly write by herself. Here is an artist to watch closely over the coming years. The short album of 10 tracks and 35 minutes adds three tracks in its deluxe version for a total of 47 minutes. (January 2016 Featured New Artist)

Music Video: « Here »

Def Jam / Universal



 Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams

ColdplayA Head Full of Dreams

Just a year and a half after Ghost Stories, the British quartet is back with a new album. Much brighter than its predecessor, A Head Full of Dreams brings us in an atmosphere that exudes happiness, with a touch of danceable electro. It is certainly a good breath of fresh air, but the compositions are perhaps not up to the level expected. Some feel to have been heard before, plus these parallels that are too easy to do with U2, among others with guitars sounding like The Edge. Well, this is not the first time that this comparison is necessary, but when the compositions are also lacking creativity, it becomes rather annoying. The happy songs have on occasions disco beats and electronic arrangements. We can also hear renowned collaborators like Beyoncé, Tove Lo and Noel Gallagher that add a touch of renewal to the quartet which sometimes seems to recycle itself. Beyoncé for example is particularly effective for us to appreciate "Hymn For the Weekend". The other interesting songs are undoubtedly the title track which happens to us from the opening track and the first single, "Adventure of a Lifetime". For the rest, some interesting elements are able to capture our attention. (January 2016)

Music Video: « Adventure of a Lifetime »

Parlophone / Warner


 Enya – Dark Sky Island

EnyaDark Sky Island

The Irish singer releases her first album in 7 years with Dark Sky Island. Her eighth album has several career highlights of Celtic pop with classically inspired elements. In fact, maybe we find here the best assemblage of songs since her most successful albums of 25 years ago and more. For example, from the opening track, "The Humming", we know that we are dealing with a classic. Dark Sky Island marks the return of Loxian, a language created by lyricist Roma Ryan for the Amarantine album in 2005. It is used here in "The Forge of the Angels" and the excellent "The Loxian Gate". Although this new album borrows elements that have made her successful in the past, it is resolutely turned towards the future while benefiting from Enya’s experience. A very good record! (January 2016)

Music Video: « So I Could Find My Way »

Aigle / Warner



 Ellie Goulding – Delirium

Ellie GouldingDelirium

The British pop singer is back with her highly anticipated third album. After reaching the international star status with 20 million copies sold of her first two albums, Ellie Goulding is offering an album of a large scale. So she goes to a whole new level. Less atmospheric than her previous record, Delirium returns to catchy and danceable pop to reach a wide audience. Easier of access, the album quickly captures our attention. The few songs tending a bit more to R&B, as the first single, "On My Mind", have a first class production. With this new record, Ellie Goulding solidifies her place on the global pop scene. This is certainly her most complete and satisfying album to date. A deluxe version of Delirium adds six tracks to the 16 of the standard version. (January 2016)

Music Videos: « Love Me Like You Do » - « On My Mind »

Polydor / Universal



 CeeLo Green – Heart Blanche

CeeLo GreenHeart Blanche

The singer / rapper has his first solo album in five years, if we exclude his Christmas album released in 2012. Heart Blanche is a record with effective beats, filled with positivism. There is also a healthy dose of nostalgia, with many references to the past. When you start the CD, Green leaves us somewhat indifferent with an unnecessary intro and a pastiche of the 1980s with "Est. 1980s". It is not until the excellent "Mother May I" that we can really adhere to the album that has subsequently several pleasant songs ("Tonight", "Sign of the Times", "Music to My Soul", etc.). He paid tribute to Robin Williams and other deceased comedians in the song simply entitled "Robin Williams". A little filling in the last tracks causes Heart Blanche to certainly not go down in history, but CeeLo Green still offers some very good songs, worthy of his vast talent. (January 2016)

Music Video: « Music to My Soul »

Atlantic / Warner


 Grimes – Art Angels

GrimesArt Angels

After the excellent album Visions in 2012, the Vancouver artist originally from Montreal moved to Los Angeles for the preparation of Art Angels. Claire Boucher (aka Grimes) again offers creative electronic music, sometimes atmospheric and often danceable. In fact, on Art Angels, it takes a tangent more pop than ever with many upbeat songs with memorable melodies. Her sound becomes richer and it will certainly seek the maximum of your speakers. There is only her highest pitched voice that contrasts somewhat with the whole, but we manage to get used to it pretty quickly anyway as part of her universe. The creativity is perhaps not at the same level as on Visions, but Grimes managed to offer a few gems, the most interesting being unquestionably "Kill V. Maim" that is nicely out from the rest of the album. So this is again an excellent record for this unique Canadian artist, certainly one that will allow her to really explode internationally. (January 2016)



 Hedley – Hello


The Vancouver quartet led by the charismatic Jacob Hoggard is back with Hello, already their sixth studio album since their debut in 2005 (their eighth in total). More pop than ever, Hello is literally carried by its title track (nothing to do with the most recent hit by Adele). For the rest, it is rather common pop rock music which adds a nice touch of electro. Interesting melodies will make you sing while some effective beats will make you tap your feet. Without being of an overflowing creativity, the group is obviously trying to move forward by changing its style. Hello is perhaps not amazing, but it is still pleasant to hear. (January 2016)

Music Videos: « Lost in Translation » - « Hello »

Capitol / Universal


 Chris Isaak – First Comes the Night

Chris IsaakFirst Comes the Night

First Comes the Night is the 13th album in the career of Chris Isaak. Although he has an album of original songs, Isaak did what he does best, that is to say he was greatly inspired by the 1950s and 1960s for a pop rock sound from another era. Otherwise, it is in this context that he is doing best since he manages to avoid clichés and he can be taken seriously. Recorded in Nashville and produced by Paul Worley (Dixie Chicks, Lady Antebellum, Martina McBride), Dave Cobb and Mark Needham, First Comes the Night has important country influences on numerous occasions. The whole still remains rooted in a pop rock music of the past, even if it doesn't revolutionize anything, but it remains true to the style of Chris Isaak. (January 2016)

Wicked Game / Vanguard / Concord


 Inna Modja – Motel Bamako

Inna ModjaMotel Bamako

The singer and model from Mali who now lives in Paris comes to us with a new album heavily influenced by jihadist terror that struck her country. Indeed, the invasion of Timbuktu and the last hostage in Bamako by al-Qaida affiliation shall ensure that Motel Bamako stopped breathing the joy of life of her previous album, Love Revolution. It is far from the pop ditty of "French Cancan" that allowed her to get a large success. Rather, it is dark soul music that offers us Inna Modja, but music that loses nothing of its creativity, while it integrates various influences (hip hop, rock, African rhythms and electronic loops). She is surrounded by carefully chosen collaborators for three duos: Oxmo Puccino, Oumou Sangaré and Baloji. Motel Bamako is an excellent record by Inna Modja, a major album to raise awareness of the situation of terror that reigns in Mali. (January 2016)

Music Video: « Tombouctou »




 OMI – Me 4 U


Jamaican Omar Samuel Pasley (aka OMI) offered us the hit of the summer 2015 with "Cheerleader", before returning with another catchy one, "Hula Hoop". His first album has a nice mix of danceable pop and reggae, always in simplicity. Among the collaborations on the album, note particularly the one by dancehall singer Busy Signal for the song "Color of My Lips", which takes a good dose of adrenaline. The entire CD is listening quite well, even if we feel it was launched a little quickly to take advantage of the excitement created by "Cheerleader". This is ultimately a light but highly entertaining album, a perfect album for a sunshine getaway, a drink in hand. (January 2016)

Music Videos: « Cheerleader » - « Hula Hoop »

Ultra / Sony


 One Direction – Made in the A.M.

One DirectionMade in the A.M.

Since their debut in 2011, the young English band aligns albums with regularity, one per year. So, One Direction are already issuing their fifth record with Made in the A.M., their first as a quartet following the departure of Zayn Malik. Otherwise, it's about the only change brought by this new album, as the band keeps the same formula with danceable pop songs, emotional mid-tempo pieces and ballads. Production remains of very high quality, with the same team of Julian Bunetta and John Ryan to production. The band borrows on occasion to artists of the past like "What a Feeling" that appears to contain a part of Fleetwood Mac’s "Dreams" and "Never Enough" that reminds of Def Leppard to the chorus. Even the opening track, "Hey Angel", is quickly immersing us in The Verve’s "Bittersweet Symphony". After a few ballads frankly boring, we can still conclude that One Direction has good pop music of the 2010s. Radios will delight of it, but especially their fans... (January 2016)

Music Videos: « Drag Me Down » - « Perfect »

Syco / Columbia / Sony


 Alyssa Reid – Phoenix

Alyssa ReidPhoenix

The young pop singer from Edmonton, Alberta is back with her third album. What surprises early on Phoenix, is the abuse of piano ballads. Even if they allow well to highlight the powerful voice of Alyssa, they make us hope for a real start soon, but it will never come. In addition, they are heavy and dark ballads for Alyssa Reid, which we can now certainly nickname the Canadian Adele. The 10-track album of 36 minutes can hardly be considered as a full-length album if we consider that the latter two songs are the radio versions of "Tomorrow" and "Dangerous" included earlier on the CD. Phoenix should rather be seen as an upgraded EP. But since the ballads quickly become boring, consider this enough for this time. Just hope Alyssa finds back her joy of living for the next album, just to give us a smile again. (January 2016)

Music Video: « Dangerous »

Wax / Universal



 Seal – 7


After the cover album Soul 2 released in 2012, the British singer returns with a record of original songs. On 7, Seal shows a wide range of soul styles, ranging from languid ballads to pop songs a little more danceable. The best moments include "Life on the Dancefloor" and "Do You Ever", but above all, the powerful "Padded Cell" which is definitely the highlight of this nearly 50-minute CD. For the rest, it doesn’t bring down any barriers and it should not be too attractive to new fans. Otherwise, his longtime female fans will not be too disoriented. An honest album, nothing more. (January 2016)

Reprise / Warner


 Straight No Chaser – The New Old Fashioned

Straight No ChaserThe New Old Fashioned

On their fifth album, the American vocal group mainly presents contemporary pop hits, while retaining some classics from the past. You can hear hits like The Weeknd’s "Can’t Feel My Face", Charlie Puth’s "Marvin Gaye", Meghan Trainor’s "All About That Bass (No Tenors)» and Hozier’s "Take Me to Church", without forgetting "Beggin'/Counting Stars", "Red" and "Shup Up and Dance". Among the classics from another era, there are "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay/Proud Mary", Bob Dylan’s "Make You Feel My Love" and the surprising Radiohead’s "Creep". The 13-track album pleasantly ends with a medley of almost 6 minutes of music from movies, including James Bond. The a cappella interpretations of Straight No Chaser again demonstrate all their vocal talent. They allow people to rediscover songs that were often heard, and even to appreciate their melodic quality. (January 2016)

Atlantic / Warner



 The Wainwright Sisters – Songs in the Dark

The Wainwright SistersSongs in the Dark

The half-sisters Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche are offering for the first time a duet album. They play folk music that is not without reminding us that of Martha’s mother and aunt, the sisters Kate and Anna McGarrigle, released recently. Otherwise, this is lullabies, often old. Some are a family story with compositions by Loudon Wainwright, their father, Kate McGarrigle, Martha’s mother, and Terre Roche, the sister of Lucy's mother, Suzzy, both members of The Roches trio with their other sister Maggy. Loudon and Terre also have a joint composition, "Screaming Issue". Among other tracks, there are some of Paul Simon, Townes Van Zandt, Richard Thompson and Irving Berlin. There are 16 in all that will surely rock you with their sweetness. (January 2016)







 Justin Bieber – Purpose

Justin BieberPurpose

The least we can say is that the road of young Canadian singer Justin Bieber is rather atypical. At just 21, you already have the feeling that he has lived all stages, the ups and downs, of a singer's career. From the Bieber Mania to countless pranks, he made talk about him as much for his private life as for his music career. The young man has an undeniable talent, but use it wisely does not always seem easy for him. Purpose happens to us while three of its songs have already flirted with the top of the charts: "Where Are Ü Now" (with Diplo and Skrillex), "What Do You Mean?" and "Sorry". This suggests that the success of the album is assured. Otherwise, Bieber gives a rather uneven album where often annoying romantic ballads seem to dominate the effective R&B songs. He can count on many guest artists such as Big Sean, Travis Scott and Halsey, but it is not enough to bring some energy to the album which is lacking greatly of steroids. If Purpose represents a new beginning for Justin Bieber, he will certainly have to work hard to stay at the top. (December 2015 Featured Review)

Music Videos: « Where Are Ü Now » - « What Do You Mean? » - « Sorry »

Def Jam / Universal



 BORNS – Dopamine


Garrett Borns is a young songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist from Michigan who comes to us with a debut album. He presents fairly creative alternative pop music. There are elements of disco, funk and rock, always with very good pop melodies. His falsetto voice definitely helps to distinguish himself. Although he seems to draw most of his influences from the 1970s, BORNS offers music well of his time with arrangements and a production worthy of the biggest productions of the 2010s. With Dopamine, BORNS offers songs that have the magical power to make us feel good from the first listen. After some additional listens, the album is therefore likely to have very good therapeutic capabilities. (December 2015 Featured New Artist)

Music Video: « 10,000 Emerald Pools »

Interscope / Universal





The four members of Blitz//Berlin are from Canada's west coast, but they formed the band in Toronto after having moved there. They were all part of punk and indie bands before, but they have started this project to compose music for scary movies. The project now extends to a full-time band and they release their first album with Distance. The record contains a wide variety of influences between indie rock, indie pop, electro, new wave and ambient music. Very cinematic, Distance actually sounds like the soundtrack of a film that does not exist yet. This is a CD that listens well from beginning to end without major surprises, but no real weaknesses. (December 2015)

Wax / Universal

 Blue Sky Miners – Blue Sky Miners EP

Blue Sky MinersBlue Sky Miners EP

Jena Gogo and Jay Mitchell grew up in British Columbia, but it is in a Toronto bar in 2013 that they met and decided to form a band. The quintet now presents a first EP of six songs including the first single, the excellent "Cold Water". They offer us a rather indie folk rock sound they call themselves "Rocky Mountain Desert Rock". The Blue Sky Miners represent the cream of the new folk movement in Toronto. We will certainly have to watch them closely in the coming years. (December 2015)

 Buzz – Preludes & Rhapsodies

BuzzPreludes & Rhapsodies

Buzz is a brass quintet from Montreal that was founded in 2002 and has not released an album in six years. They come back today with Preludes & Rhapsodies which is including performances of classics by Liszt, Debussy, Gershwin and Brahms, but with a new light, a unique style. Buzz offer themselves full freedom in the interpretation of these six works that already had some freedom by definition, unlike other classical works like the concerto or sonata. The talented quintet is supported by Valérie Milot on harp and Matt Herskowitz on piano. (December 2015)

Fidelio / SIX



 Caveboy – Caveboy EP

CaveboyCaveboy EP

Caveboy is a female trio from Montreal which offers indie pop with electro and dream pop trends. They release a 6-song EP totaling 22 minutes, an excellent business card for this very good band. The EP features music that is refreshing and extremely pleasant to listen to, and on all occasions. Here is a group to discover and we will have to monitor closely their first full-length album. (December 2015)

Music Videos: « In the Grottos » - « Something Like Summer »



 Chic Gamine – Light a Match

Chic GamineLight a Match

Manitoba women Chic Gamine are back with a third album of indie pop, with also good moments of energetic rock, like the opening track, "All Night". The influences of Motown and the 1960s virtually disappear on Light a Match that proves to be a much more contemporary album. We must say that five years have passed since their last release, not to mention the departure of Ariane Jean and the arrival of multi-instrumentalist Benoit Morier, which perhaps partly explains this shift. The group reinvents on Light a Match, but it is certainly for the best. A very nice evolution for Chic Gamine! (December 2015)



 Lou Doillon – Lay Low

Lou DoillonLay Low

Daughter of Jane Birkin and half-sister of Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lou Doillon was immersed in music and cinema since her childhood. After the excellent Places in 2012, she presents her second album with Lay Low. She offers a rather adult alternative rock sound with a strong pop tendency in several occasions, a folk sound recalling Joni Mitchell, as well as retro influences that take us back to the 1960s. The 11-track album is unfortunately totaling only 32 minutes, which is very little to appreciate the talent and creativity of Lou Doillon. (December 2015)




 Arielle Dombasle & The Hillbilly Moon Explosion – French Kiss

Arielle Dombasle & The Hillbilly Moon Explosion – French Kiss

For her new album, French singer Arielle Dombasle joins The Hillbilly Moon Explosion band to provide a rockabilly-flavored record, totally in English. The Swiss group already demonstrated for some time its passion for music of the 1950s and we must admit that the merger with Arielle Dombasle is more natural than we would have thought. The 12 songs offered, including the hit "Chick Habit" previously released, show a great picture of the 1950’s America. More importantly, these are all catchy and entertaining songs that certainly manage to quickly capture your attention. (December 2015)

DEP / Universal


 Ludovico Einaudi – Elements

Ludovico Einaudi Elements

Two and half years after the international success of In a Time Lapse, Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi is back with Elements. The album into 12 pieces has an excellent mix of neoclassical, new age and electronic music. In addition to the piano, we can hear strings, drums, guitars and electronic instruments. To his usual musicians, he adds together the Dutch strings ensemble of Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Berlin electronic musician Robert Lippok, the percussionists of the Parco della Musica from Rome, Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco and South African violinist Daniel Hope. The record is presented as a suite that comes together beautifully in a single concept. Here is a more than successful new work by Ludovico Einaudi. (December 2015)

Ponderosa / SIX



 EL VY – Return To the Moon

EL VYReturn To the Moon

EL VY is a duo formed of Matt Berninger (The National) and Brent Knopf (Ramona Falls, Menomena). On this first album the two friends were thinking about for years, they offer us a somewhat minimalist sound, but with very good melodies, like the effective title track. Despite the minimalism of the record, it contains great arrangements even if they are discreet that come to pleasantly enrich the whole. Although not easily accessible to a large audience, Return To The Moon contains some very good catchy songs. The duo has already announced its intention to quickly return with a new album, and we will have to check it out closely. (December 2015)



 Emilie & Ogden – 10 000

Emilie & Ogden10 000

Emilie Kahn is a Montrealer which offers indie folk music with some jazz trends. She forms a duo with Ogden, which is actually her harp... And it's very fair to consider Ogden as a full member of the duo as the harp seems to be a true extension of Emilie rather than a simple instrument. Emilie signs all the lyrics and music of this first album. It contains two songs that appeared on a previous EP, "Babel" and "Long Gone", but they were rearranged for 10 000. This is a very good album by a unique duo! (December 2015)

Music Video: « What Happened »

Secret City / SIX



 Final State – C’est la vie

Final StateC’est la vie

After two EPs and several singles, the pop rock quartet from Quebec City finally presents a first full-length album, produced by John Nathaniel (Marie-Mai, Marc Dupré). C’est la vie is an album of 11 tracks totally in English that presents very effective melodies on an accessible rock sound that is great for a wide audience, like the first single, "Part of the Rain". Without revolutionizing the genre, they certainly have what it takes to be very successful. (December 2015)




 Floating Points – Elaenia

Floating PointsElaenia

Sam Shepherd is a British DJ and producer who loves to merge genres. Already known as a DJ for his post-dubstep and house mixes, he has a completely different approach on his first album under the pseudonym of Floating Points. He includes an experimental electronic amalgam of new jazz, dubstep and ambient techno. Mostly instrumental, with voices that are only adding to the atmosphere, Elaenia is above all an exercise of styles in which Shepherd did various tests to arrive to an unusual mixture of sounds. Without being really danceable, the album still offers its share of rhythmed parts. But it is above all very contemporary atmospheric music. Floating Points offers an extremely creative first album, with a great musical wealth. (December 2015)

Luaka Bop



 Half Moon Run – Sun Leads Me On

Half Moon RunSun Leads Me On

The Montreal quartet is back with its highly anticipated sophomore album. The indie rock band with a folk trend still offers a solid album, which was written between Montreal and a surf trip in Southern California. These influences are quickly heard as the group can move from aerial pop music with electro touches to a rock or folk music a little more rooted. There are a few lengths a bit tiresome in the second half of the CD, but the album is ending nicely with their catchy first single, "Trust". Overall, Sun Leads Me On is a more balanced album than their first one with different styles but cemented by an excellent guideline. (December 2015)

Music Video: « Turn Your Love »

Indica / Glassnote / Universal



 Tom Jackson – Ballads Not Bullets

Tom JacksonBallads Not Bullets

Actor, singer and philanthropist Tom Jackson issues his new album, Ballads Not Bullets, for which a part of the revenue will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross. The album contains 10 songs for a total of less than 34 minutes. As announced by the title, there are many ballads, but also spoken folk songs and some tracks a little more energetic of adult pop rock. We find very few interesting songs on this record, except that its profits go to a good cause. (December 2015)

Tomali / Universal

 Anik Jean – Lost Soul

Anik JeanLost Soul

For her new album, the first completely in English, Anik Jean dangerously slows the pace with often dark music. The beautiful violin and piano arrangements also bring a great deal of sadness and melancholy. In addition, it takes the fourth piece, "Absinthe My Love" to find a guitar riff worthy of the rocker. That said, the style adopted by Anik on Lost Soul suits her rather well and brings out even more her mysterious side. The first single, "Closer", features singer Richard D'Anjou (Too Many Cooks), and it is also guitarist Dan Georgescu (Too Many Cooks, Porn Flakes), which plays most of the guitars on the album, Anik playing it too. Also note the participation of Jason Rockman (Slaves on Dope) for the song "Change Your Mind", the heaviest part of the album by far. Anik offers us a second part to the hit "My Darling". Then the album concludes with a radio version of the ballad "Closer". It's a great record that still offers Anik Jean, but an album that will require some adjustments from her fans. (December 2015)



 Demi Lovato – Confident

Demi LovatoConfident

The Texas singer already issues her fifth album since her debut in 2008 when she was barely 16 years old. More confident than ever, she now has perfect control over her career and you can hear it on Confident. It has a solid mixture of dance pop, pop rock, R&B and electro for possibly her best songs assembly to date. She can count on renowned producers like Max Martin and Steve Mac, and she can certainly be compared to several other contemporary singers like Katy Perry and Beyoncé. Otherwise, Demi seems to establish more and more her own style and to show her personality. Her collaborations with Iggy Azalea and Sirah are not the most successful, and it is when she is alone that she can fully assert herself. It may lack some commercial bombs to push the album to the top, but the overall is listening beautifully. The deluxe version adds four tracks to the 11 of the album, including two remixes of her hit "Cool For the Summer". (December 2015)

Music Videos: « Cool For the Summer » - « Confident » - « Waitin’ For You » (feat. Sirah)

Hollywood / Island / Universal



 Le Matos – Chronicles of the Wasteland / Turbo Kid Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Le MatosChronicles of the Wasteland / Turbo Kid Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Le Matos is a Montreal duo formed of Jean-Philippe Bernier and Jean-Nicolas Leupi. After a first album in 2013, Join Us, they come back with a double album. Chronicles of the Wasteland is actually a rearranged version of the original soundtrack of the post-apocalyptic movie Turbo Kid which appeared in 2015 by the trio of directors RKSS. It contains sounds of old synthesizers that take us back to pop music of yesteryear, but still danceable. Otherwise, we must above all understand that this is a concept album expected to accompany a film and in that objective, this is a great album. It is almost able to make us guess the essence of the movie and some sequences, without even having seen it. Note the only vocal performance of the album by Pawws for the excellent "No Tomorrow". Obviously, with over two hours of music, the double album risks of becoming redundant and the lack of creativity will certainly catch you. But, this is still an interesting album in the genre, with many pleasant and catchy passages. (December 2015)

Fantôme / SIX


 Joanna Newsom – Divers

Joanna NewsomDivers

The Californian indie folk singer has a very strong fourth album, despite her high voice that always seems fragile. She offers an excellent blend of traditional folk, chamber music dating back to the 18th century and pop of the 1970s. The only time close to rock comes to the third track, "Leaving the City". The rest is rather diverse and dense with many moments of medieval music in which her unique voice fits perfectly. If her career could be summed up thus far in the Ys album, Divers now becomes a major work in her repertoire. (December 2015)

Drag City



 Eddie Paul – Panda-Monium

Eddie PaulPanda-Monium

Coming from the Montreal blues rock scene, the songwriter and performer Eddie Paul releases his debut album, produced by Seb Black. Quite varied, the album of 11 tracks totaling less than 40 minutes includes several songs with good commercial potential. This is the case among others for the excellent "The Warning Song", which comes to us as a breath of fresh air at the second track, as well as the title track following next. (December 2015)

Emery Street / Outside


 Yannick Rieu – Da Li

Yannick RieuDa Li

On his new album, world renowned saxophonist and composer Yannick Rieu performs a fusion between jazz and traditional Chinese music, influenced by his many trips to this vast country. Rieu offers a hybrid of urban sounds and root songs by integrating to his music recordings sketched from life during his travels. We can hear traditional Chinese instruments that come to contrast with his contemporary music. If the marriage between both is generally well performed, we still find some cacophonous exceptions. It's a great exercise of styles anyway. (December 2015)

Song / SIX

 Saltarello – Cliff of the Dawn

SaltarelloCliff of the Dawn

Saltarello is a duo from Abitibi formed of Julie Pomerleau and Luc Lafrenière. Cliff of the Dawn is their sixth album which features world music, Nordic trance music with influences of different sounds on the planet. Above all, the band draws on medieval Scandinavian myths and mystical atmosphere of the European pagan cultures. Travels and ancestral memories seem to fascinate them and they know very well how to transmit it in music. In fact, the group managed to bridge the gap between indigenous cultures and their ancestors up to the use of old instruments. The voices are more used to create an atmosphere than to tell a story and the whole is rather mesmerizing. Here is a unique album that will bring you in its particular universe. (December 2015)

 St Germain – St Germain

St GermainSt Germain

After 15 years of absence on record, after the excellent Tourist, Ludovic Navarre (aka St Germain) returns with a new album. His new jazz style fusing jazz and house is back, but with different music influences of the world. He incorporates rhythms and songs from Mali and West Africa with traces of blues and funky guitars. In the case of the excellent "Real Blues", it’s a sampling of Lightnin' Hopkins that provides the blues aspect, on a light and addictive house music. On this self-titled album, there are some of the electro jazz elements that seduced us on Tourist, but with a little more softness and less danceable rhythms. Although St Germain perhaps proves to be a little less innovative than in 2000, he still has an excellent album that should please his longtime fans. (December 2015)

Parlophone / Warner



 Ian Fletcher Thornley – Secrets

Ian Fletcher Thornley Secrets

After having been the leader of the bands Big Wreck and Thornley, Ian Thornley Fletcher issues his first solo album on which guitars become acoustic and the music, introspective. Here he puts emphasis on his lyrics and his voice that turns out also nice in that context. He offers nothing less than 13 tracks totaling 58 minutes. While one can find a few laps, Secrets has several songs of the highest quality, making it pleasant to listen to the end. (December 2015)

Anthem / Warner


 Thus Owls – Black Matter

Thus OwlsBlack Matter

The Montreal duo takes on a new musical direction on this 6-track EP totaling almost 30 minutes. Simon and Erika first started to write a few songs before ending up with an almost complete album. Black Matter presents a more minimalist sound to the first approach, but with different additions that make it rather rich to the final. The contribution of drummers Liam O'Neill (Suuns) and Stefan Schneider (Bell Orchestre, Luyas) proves to be quite important, without forgetting the string arrangements of Daniel Bjarnason (Sigur Ros, Ben Frost). With Black Matter, Thus Owls have experimental pop music that is rather dark and slow, but whose wealth is impressive. (December 2015)

Music Video: « Black Matter »

Secret City / SIX


 Ty Dolla $ign – Free TC

Ty Dolla $ignFree TC

The Los Angeles rapper releases his first album mixing rap with effective rhymes and R&B. Often compared to Future, this one also participates to the album, as well as a variety of artists ranging from Brandy to Kanye West including Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Babyface, Trey Songz, Diddy, R. Kelly, and many others. So it is a huge alignment on which can count the newcomer of the American hip hop scene. On Free TC, Ty Dolla $ign has several excellent compositions, varied enough to keep our interest and often quite creative. His frequent intrusions into R&B music are such that several songs are forcing us to keep pace, in addition to staying in our mind. It is a very successful record that is offered here. (December 2015)

Music Videos: « Only Right » - « Blasé » - « When I See Ya » - « Saved »

Atlantic / Warner






Janet Jackson – Unbreakable

Janet JacksonUnbreakable

For her first album in seven years, Janet Jackson is determined to pick up where she had left, and even to go a little further. She is accompanied by renowned collaborators like Missy Elliott and J. Cole, with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the songwriters behind the greatest hits of her career. The result is a first quality record, firmly rooted in its time. The young Jackson sister is able to avoid the trap of getting back to her comfort zone that made her fame in the 1980s and 1990s. She gives highly effective pop music with very good melodies and a great danceable energy. There may be missing a little more soul to add emotion to the album. Also, with 17 tracks totaling 64 minutes, the CD is a bit long and it could have been cut by some less successful pieces. The whole still remains very honest for Janet Jackson, who certainly has nothing to be ashamed of about Unbreakable, perhaps her best album since Janet issued 22 years ago. (November 2015 Featured Review)

Music Videos: « No Sleeep » (feat. J. Cole) – « BURNITUP! » (feat. Missy Elliott)

Rhythm Nation / BMG / Universal




Andra Day – Cheers To the Fall

Andra DayCheers To the Fall

Andra Day is a retro soul singer from San Diego, California. After contributing to the tribute album to Nina Simone, Nina Revisited, with her version of "Mississippi Goddamn", she releases her first album. You can quickly compare her to Amy Winehouse and Alice Smith, all in a very traditional style of soul / R&B. She co-wrote all the 13 songs including several ballads. Otherwise, the pieces that stand out are a little more energetic, "Gold" and "Mistakes". The voice rather versatile and dynamic of Andra Day allows us to appreciate even the tracks that might seem less attractive at first. The result is a complete and pleasant album to listen to the end. (November 2015 Featured New Artist)

Music Video: « Forever Mine »




 Bryan Adams – Get Up

Bryan AdamsGet Up

Get Up is the thirteenth studio album by Canadian Bryan Adams, all in 35 years of career. For the occasion, he returned to his longtime collaborator Jim Vallance, with whom he co-wrote most of his greatest hits in the 1980s. Another important addition: producer Jeff Lynne. The result is an energetic album that surprises from the opening track, "You Belong To Me", for its rock 'n' roll beat. Adams seemed to have fun during the recording of the album which unfortunately contains only nine original songs to which are added four acoustic versions of the best ones. Despite the addition of these acoustic recordings, the CD barely crosses the 36 minutes, a very inadequate sum for an album worthy of this name. With Get Up, Bryan Adams offers us many good songs, but he would have had to add a few ones to successfully completely satisfy us. (November 2015)

Music Videos: « You Belong To Me » - « Brand New Day »

Polydor / Universal


Susie Arioli – Spring

Susie ArioliSpring

The Montreal jazz singer is back with a new album, but this time, she finally reveals her talent as a songwriter with four songs of her own. She offers vivid rhythms performed by first class musicians led by multi-instrumentalist and arranger Don Thompson. True to her style, she plays several jazz standards by adding a personal touch. The energy that is found throughout the CD suggests that the pleasure was huge in the studio while recording. With Spring, Susie Arioli gives her fans and any jazz fan positive and entertaining music. This is possibly one of her best records to date. (November 2015)

Spectra / SIX


 Cecilia String Quartet – Mendelssohn, Op. 44, Nos 1, 2

Cecilia String Quartet Mendelssohn, Op. 44, Nos 1, 2

The three string quartets of Opus 44 by Mendelssohn were completed in 1838, while his reputation was growing. The "String Quartet in D major, Op. 44, No. 1" was the first issued, but the last completed. As for the "String Quartet in E minor, Op. 44, No. 2", it was the first completed. These two beautiful concertos are interpreted beautifully by the Cecilia String Quartet, the ensemble in residence at the Music Faculty of the University of Toronto. (November 2015)



 Chris Cornell – Higher Truth

Chris CornellHigher Truth

After a pop turn rather missed in 2009 on Scream, former Soundgarden singer gradually regains consciousness. For Higher Truth, he requested the services of producer Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Korn, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine, The Black Crowes). Cornell offers a pretty sweet alternative rock sound, with a few moments of baroque pop, much more interesting music from a creative point of view that the failed electro-pop of Scream. The arrangements remain subtle while being rich, and many songs have an almost acoustic atmosphere, an enveloping and warm atmosphere. Despite 15 tracks totaling over 62 minutes, Higher Truth contains a nice guideline and it’s listening happily to the end. A nice surprise! (November 2015)

Music Video: « Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart »




 The Dead Weather – Dodge and Burn

The Dead WeatherDodge and Burn

The super group of Jack White with Alison Mosshart (The Kills) at the mic is back with its third album. The band pushes some barriers on this third release with more aggressive songs than ever bringing us back to the 1970s metal or 1990s grunge. Alison has nothing of her sex appeal anymore with a wilder voice than ever. And the dirty side of Dead Weather is not unpleasant, on the contrary! We have the feeling that the quartet has finally found its true playground. The group offers us their best compositions to date and it is possibly one of the most interesting side projects for Jack White. (November 2015)

Music Video: « I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) »

Third Man



Deafheaven – New Bermuda

DeafheavenNew Bermuda

The black metal band from San Francisco is back with a third album, two years after the excellent Sunbather. This time, Deafheaven have only five songs, but between 8 and 10 minutes each for a total of 46 minutes nonetheless. Creative riffs and rhythms make this band unique, especially in America, while black metal is usually founded in Scandinavia. Where we find connection with the metal of the San Francisco Bay, is when the group incorporates some riffs and solos worthy of the good years of Metallica and company, among others in "Baby Blue". New Bermuda is much less experimental than its predecessor, but the group still loves exploring genres that have nothing to do with metal, with rhythms and atmospheres to raise eyebrows of metal fans. Without impressing in the same way as with Sunbather, Deafheaven offer us again a great record, very creative! (November 2015)

Anti- / Epitaph



 Deerhunter – Fading Frontier

DeerhunterFading Frontier

The indie rock band from Atlanta comes to us with what appears to be one of its brightest albums to date. Not necessarily in terms of the themes, but certainly through its catchy melodies and rich arrangements. In fact, Deerhunter possibly issue their most accessible album in career. And accessible does not mean at all less complex. Although it is far from the experimental rock sound they had before, the dream pop sound of Fading Frontier offers more than its share of subtlety and musical explorations. The group reached the pinnacle of accessibility with the first single of the record, "Snakeskin", a funky and so catchy song. In addition, it comes towards the end of the album, so it follows us relentlessly after completing the listening of the CD. Here's a great record, both creative and catchy! (November 2015)

Music Video: « Snakeskin »




 Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon

Lana Del ReyHoneymoon

For her third album, Lana Del Rey takes a very melancholic or melodramatic tangent. The songs are proving to be especially introspective with a deep, heavy and emotionally charged atmosphere. The moments of hip hop that we could hear on Born To Die are completely missing, as are the brightest elements of Ultraviolence. Honeymoon is more focused on her voice with beautiful and soft arrangements. However, at the middle of the CD, the pleasure decreases somewhat and although it would take a change of pace to maintain interest. Unfortunately, with 14 tracks totaling 65 minutes, Honeymoon puts our patience to the test, except if you are captivated by the voice of the singer. (November 2015)

Music Video: « High by the Beach »

Interscope / Universal


 Dirty Ghosts – Let It Pretend

Dirty GhostsLet It Pretend

Singer native from Toronto Allyson Baker was part of Teen Crud Combo (a band inspired by Motörhead) before reorienting in Dirty Ghosts. They released their first album in 2012, Metal Moon, and they are back with their sophomore record. Left to herself, Allyson wrote everything by herself for this new album around the themes of isolation, uncertainty and misperceptions. Fortunately, she was able to find her alter ego in Tony Sevener, the new drummer. Their indie rock style seems a little more pop on occasions and you can compare them to The Stranglers and The Police. Without huge surprises, Dirty Ghosts have an energetic and pleasant album to listen to. (November 2015)

Last Gang


Flying Joes – Let It Out

Flying JoesLet It Out

Flying Joes is a Montreal trio born from the ashes of Jelly Fiche that presents its first album. They offer a raw rock sound slightly tinted of blues with influences from Led Zeppelin, Bad Company and Thin Lizzy. The guitar riffs are at the heart of their music that moves royally. Legendary producer Glen Robinson (Ramones, AC/DC, Keith Richards, Voivod) has surely something to do for it. Although they operate in a territory that was largely overexploited in the past, the Flying Joes musicians manage to give a good dose of energy to their music to make it more than interesting and very entertaining. (November 2015)




 Gang Signs – Geist

Gang Signs – Geist

Gang Signs is a Vancouver trio coming to us with their debut album. This is the new creative project of Peter Ricq of the Humans duo, accompanied for the occasion by singer and keyboardist Matea Sarenac and drummer Adam Fink. They offer a rather dark electronic sound, on the edge of melancholy, a kind of cinematic new wave, but also with its danceable side. They can be compared to New Order and Depeche Mode, but with the coldness of Joy Division and Kraftwerk. The Cure are never far away either. Arguably no surprise that the band draws inspiration from the 1980s’ alternative dance music. Despite a somewhat questionable originality, Geist has a good guideline that will probably please fans of the aforementioned bands. (November 2015)

File Under: Music


 Rhiannon Giddens – Tomorrow is My Turn

Rhiannon GiddensTomorrow is My Turn

The singer and multi-instrumentalist from North Carolina releases her first solo album, produced by T-Bone Burnett. On this first album, she attempts to move away somewhat from her experience with The Carolina Chocolate Drops, offering an excellent blend of blues and country with some jazz elements. She covers songs written and/or popularized by women including Dolly Parton, Nina Simone and Patsy Cline. She also presents the title song which was written by Charles Aznavour. One of the great features of Rhiannon Giddens is that she can give a contemporary touch to songs from another era while maintaining the old style in a nice way so pleasant to hear. A great interpreter record! (November 2015)

Nonesuch / Warner



 Selena Gomez – Revival

Selena GomezRevival

With everything that happened in the life of Selena Gomez in the last two years (separation, new record company, management problems, etc.), no wonder she wants a fresh start with Revival. She takes a little more control over the album, participating in writing. This results in a slightly more adult album with a nice mix of danceable pop and ballads, also integrating several R&B songs. Otherwise, she tries to do too much at times, and some pieces called "adult" become too forced. In addition, among the 14 tracks, some are frankly annoying and should be skipped to continue to appreciate it. Despite these less interesting moments, Selena Gomez presents a production of great professionalism. (November 2015)

Music Videos: « Good For You » - « Same Old Love »

Interscope / Universal


 David Guetta – Listen Again

David GuettaListen Again

One year after Listen containing the hits "Dangerous" and "Lovers on the Sun", David Guetta gives an enhanced version of the album. In addition to the 14 tracks released on the original CD, you can hear nothing less than eight bonus songs, including the new hit with Sia and Fetty Wap, "Bang My Head", in two versions. A second CD entitled Listenin' includes 23 rare pieces in a continuous version of 56 minutes. A very nice addition to the Listen album for which you can read the review here. (November 2015)

Parlophone / Warner



 Chris Hadfield - Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can

Chris Hadfield - Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can

Astronaut Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian to walk in space and to control the international space station. In his spare time, he plays music and he even recorded a few songs in orbit. On Space Sessions: Songs From a Tin Can, can be heard for the first time music recorded from space, even if everything was completed on Earth, of course. Hadfield features 11 original compositions in a folk rock introspective style tinged with some country. Some songs like "Beyond the Terra" are particularly successful while others do not really stand out. As a bonus, he offers us his very personal version of David Bowie’s "Space Oddity". (November 2015)



 Heymoonshaker – Noir


The British duo Heymoonshaker is certainly one of the most unlikely bands of the blues scene. It consists of vocalist and guitarist Andrew Balcon and human beatbox Dave Crowe. Despite the minimalist side of their music, they managed to create a certain scale for a sound that remains powerful. Still rooted in blues, their sound moves away somewhat on Noir (Black in French) while the duo explores rock and soul. Also, a string section is added for a little more enveloping arrangements. But what is still impressing as much is the performance of Crowe, who did all percussions with his mouth, even if we come to forget it. This first full-length album for the duo now based in Sweden proves more than ever the immense talent of Heymoonshaker. (November 2015)

Music Video: « Take the Reins »

Ad Litteram / Dify / SIX



 Kaskade – Automatic


Born in Chicago, producer and DJ Ryan Raddon (aka Kaskade) is best known in the San Francisco Bay. After several years of intense work, he comes up with perhaps his most accomplished album to date. The sound research is exceptional and he offers modern tracks while making a nod to the past with a few moments that can remind New Order and the Pet Shop Boys. But the house music fans don’t have to worry because his music still can be brought in clubs. It's more in terms of the musical wealth that Kaskade is able to integrate various highly interesting subtleties. He sails blithely between pop music and underground for a house style that is highly effective and deep. It is a first class album that offers us the American DJ. (November 2015)

Music Videos: « Never Sleep Alone » (feat. Tess Comrie) - « Disarm You » (feat. Ilsey)




 Jana Kramer – Thirty One

Jana KramerThirty One

Jana Kramer is a country pop singer originally from Detroit. For her second album, she borrows the idea of Adele and tells her age with the title of the record. She offers rather soft music comparable to Miranda Lambert, with many ballads and sweet pop songs. Otherwise, she seems to let out the tigress in her on a few occasions, but it is not there that she is at her best. In fact, the exercise seems a little forced, as if she was trying to show the bad girl that she is not really. Even if she is newly part of the great Nashville family, Jana Kramer seems rather straight out of a Disney series. The approach is interesting, but we still don’t believe it. She will have to make a break with her past if she wants us to believe in the bad girl of country music she is trying to introduce. (November 2015)

Music Videos: « Love » - « I Got the Boy »

Elektra / Warner


 Jamie Lawson – Jamie Lawson

Jamie LawsonJamie Lawson

Englishman Jamie Lawson is an adult alternative rock singer who rose to prominence in Irish bars before being discovered by Ed Sheeran. On this first eponymous album, he offers an acoustic pop rock sound with influences from folk and always highly effective melodies. 40 years old, Lawson is more mature than most of the other British singers in the genre that emerged in recent years, and you can hear it. The whole 36 minutes pleasantly flow without annoying or uninteresting parts. (November 2015)

Music Video: « Wasn’t Expecting That »

Gingerbread Man / Atlantic / Warner





After an album of original music, the world famous pianist is back in classical music. For the occasion, he faces the works of Rachmaninov, Haydn and Ravel. First, he performs Sergei Rachmaninov’s "Piano Sonata no. 2 in B-flat minor, op. 36". Otherwise, when it was shortened of 6 minutes by Rachmaninov himself in 1931, it is rather the version of Vladimir Horowitz of 1940 that Alain Lefèvre performs here, echoing the essence of the original work. He then executes Joseph Haydn’s "Sonata in F major, no. 38, Hob. XVI: 23", composed in 1773. Then he concludes with Maurice Ravel’s "La Valse". As usual, Lefèvre retains absolute control of his instrument and manages to make us rediscover these works of another era. (November 2015)



 Majical Cloudz – Are You Alone?

Majical CloudzAre You Alone?

Majical Cloudz is a Montreal duo that was formed in 2010. This is in fact the solo project of Devon Welsh that started with very lo-fi home recordings before he asked the services of multi-instrumentalist Matthew Otto. The duo offers a rather atmospheric electronic sound with elements of indie rock. Are You Alone? is their second album, which picks up where they had left us with the excellent Impersonator in 2013. More mesmerizing than the previous one, this new album borrows from other more classic music genres, thanks in part to the effective use of the piano and saxophone at some points. The whole record certainly requires a couple of good plays to adhere completely to it, but the effort is greatly rewarded. Here is a solid and very creative album, although a certain fatigue can set in if we do not manage to hold on to its special atmosphere. (November 2015)

Arts & Crafts



 Orchestre symphonique de Montréal – Intégrale des concertos pour violon de Saint-Saëns

Montreal Symphony OrchestraComplete Violin Concertos of Saint-Saëns

On this new album by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra with Kent Nagano, these are the violin concertos by Camille Saint-Saëns that are honored. Accompanied by violinist Andrew Wan, the orchestra therefore performs the complete violin concertos of the great French composer. The three concertos were recorded during concerts at the Maison symphonique in Montreal in November 2014. Simultaneously with this album, the orchestra issues another CD featuring Saint-Saëns, Symphony and new works for organ and orchestra, which contains the "Symphony No. 3 in C minor, op. 78, Organ Symphony" by Saint-Saëns, in addition to works by Samy Moussa and Kaija Saariaho. This other record comes from inaugural concerts of the Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique in May and June 2014. (November 2015)



 Daniela Nardi – Espresso Manifesto: Canto

Daniela NardiEspresso Manifesto: Canto

After her beautiful tribute to Paolo Conte in 2012, the jazz singer is back with another album in her Espresso Manifesto series. On Canto, Daniela Nardi pays tribute to Italian traditions, combining old world charm with modern grooves. She interprets 10 timeless songs composed by great names of pop music and Italian jazz. She also adds a piece of her own to an already well stocked album. Canto has a mix of bossa nova, pop and soul, with some blues elements. The album was recorded between Toronto and Naples, and it includes many great musicians from Italy and Canada. Here is a beautiful musical adventure that is good to taste to the end. (November 2015)

Minerva Road / eOne / SIX



 Ought – Sun Coming Down

OughtSun Coming Down

After the excellent album More Than Any Other Day which was issued last year, the Montreal indie rock band is already back with its second album. Again, Ought dare to present long songs, the centerpiece is undoubtedly "Beautiful Blue Sky" which extends up nicely on almost eight minutes. The album of only eight tracks still reaches 40 minutes and above all, it is effective to the end. However, their music can seem austere at first with somewhat cacophonous experimental post-punk and without melodies. But they manage to catch our attention by some unknown things. This is probably their creativity that makes them so exciting. Although Sun Coming Down may not have the instant appeal of their first album, Ought prove once again their relevance within the Montréal alternative scene. (November 2015)




 Charles Richard-Hamelin – Chopin

Charles Richard-HamelinChopin

For his first solo album, the talented pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin, one of the most promising of his generation, makes a tribute to Frederic Chopin. He chose late works of Chopin composed between 1843 and 1846: the "Sonata No. 3, op. 58", "Polonaise-fantaisie, op. 61" and two "Nocturnes, op. 62". These complex and emotionally charged works are beautifully interpreted by Richard-Hamelin, with an extremely solid technique. With this first recording of high quality, Charles Richard-Hamelin proves he has definitely his place alongside the major and world-renowned pianists. (November 2015)



Keith Richards – Crosseyed Heart

Keith RichardsCrosseyed Heart

After 23 years of waiting, Keith Richards is back with a new solo album. Crosseyed Heart gives us the feeling that it was quickly recorded without great arrangements. And that's a compliment to the Stones guitarist as he has always been at his best in a slightly dirty and vintage style. Richards presents in addition good compositions among the 15 tracks offered, including "Heartstopper", "Trouble" and "Blues in the Morning." Let’s also mention the duet with Norah Jones for "Illusion" and the adaptation of Lead Belly’s "Goodnight Irene" with new lyrics. What is particularly pleasant with Keith Richards is that he did not have anything to prove to anyone for a long time and he can afford to just have fun. At the same time, he also pleases us with an excellent blend of rock 'n' roll, blues, country and folk. Here is a very good album by the legendary guitarist. (November 2015)

Virgin / Universal



 Rudimental – We the Generation

RudimentalWe the Generation

The London house band is back with a second album after the excellent Home issued in 2013. Once again, we find elements of drum 'n' bass and dubstep, but overall, their music is a little more accessible on We the Generation with quite pop and R&B songs. The 14 tracks totaling over 61 minutes include many guest artists like Mahalia, Dizzee Rascal, Ella Eyre, Ed Sheeran, Lianne La Havas and Bobby Womack. Less oriented to the biggest clubs dance floors, We the Generation should otherwise reach a much wider audience. (November 2015)

Music Videos: « Never Let You Go » - « Rumour Mill » - « I Will For Love » - « We the Generation » - « Lay It All On Me »

Asylum / Atlantic / Warner


 Robin Schulz – Sugar

Robin SchulzSugar

The German DJ and producer is back with a second album, after the global success of Prayer catapulted last year through the instant successes of "Prayer in C" and "Waves". Robin Schulz comes back with corporate house music, always upbeat and very catchy. The main difference is that there are no more other artists remixes, but 15 original songs by Schulz himself. Obviously, he remains almost always accompanied by guest singers including Francesco Yates for the title song, Akon, Aleesia and Moby. The immediate hits are "Headlights", "Yellow" and the title track, but we must also mention the excellent "Heatwave" with Akon and "Pride" with soFly and Nius. The song with Moby, "Moonlit Sky" comes to close beautifully this lovely album that will surely satisfy his fans. (November 2015)

Music Videos: « Headlights » (feat. Ilsey) – « Sugar » (feat. Francesco Yates)

Tonspiel / Warner



 The Sheepdogs – Future Nostalgia

The SheepdogsFuture Nostalgia

The indie rock band from Saskatoon is back with its fifth album, well anchored in Canadian rock tradition. In fact, at first glance, we seem to hear a bar cover band that decided to make its own songs. The references are numerous with bands like Bachman Turner Overdrive and The Guess Who, but also Thin Lizzy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin and many others of the genre. Otherwise, do not misunderstand: even if the group seems largely to borrow from the past, they managed to renew the genre and remain very pleasant to listen to, which in itself is a tour de force. Future Nostalgia contains no less than 18 tracks, but these are only short songs totaling just 50 minutes. So this is a very good album of classic rock, a somewhat dirty album, but with so pleasant melodies. (November 2015)

Music Video: « Downtown »




Kurt Vile – B’lieve I’m Goin Down…

Kurt VileB’lieve I’m Goin Down…

Having attracted attention with his fifth album, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, the alternative singer is back with B'lieve I'm Goin Down... A little less eccentric this time, Vile often replaces electric guitar by a discreet piano, acoustic guitar or banjo. Electric guitars are only occasionally added to the musical arrangements for a little more depth. The whole of 61 minutes thus proves to be rather introspective and melancholic in a style that reminds us of the great Bob Dylan on some occasions. The exercise is very successful with only a few songs that seem to stretch too much. This is again a very good record for this former member of The War on Drugs. (November 2015)




 Francesco Yates – Francesco Yates

Francesco YatesFrancesco Yates

Toronto's Francesco Yates is only 19 years old but he already receives all the recognition of artists like Pharrell Williams for his writing and his sense of pop music. He releases a six-track EP that quickly provides an overview of his vast talent. He offers a great mix of pop and R&B with several highly effective ballads, including the first single, "Call". One can detect influences of Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake, but bet that Yates will succeed quickly to establish his own style. Here is a Canadian artist to watch closely! (November 2015)

Atlantic / Warner






Duran Duran – Paper Gods

Duran DuranPaper Gods

Duran Duran seem more than ever in peace with their past on Paper Gods, so they make a nod to some of their albums on the cover. In addition, they asked Nile Rogers to participate in the production (with Mark Ronson), the one that had produced Notorious in 1986. Musically, the band remains recognizable among others and comparisons with their best years are inevitable. However, Paper Gods presents essentially modern music that goes very well in 2015. This constant struggle between past and present certainly remains the most interesting element of this album that allows the band to stay in. Several collaborations are included on the CD, the most relevant being Mr. Hudson, Kiesza and Janelle Monae on the excellent "Pressure Off". Without revolutionizing anything, Paper Gods contains enough quality songs to keep the interest of their fans. (October 2015 Featured Review)




Maddie & Tae – Start Here

Maddie & TaeStart Here

Maddie Marlow and Taylor Dye are a young female duo from Nashville which was recently formed and they release their first album. The duo offers a refreshing contemporary country sound, with both energy and creativity. The production by Dann Huff is rather commercial and in this sense, one can quickly compare them to Taylor Swift. Otherwise, the creativity of Maddie & Tae allows them to be different. Several pieces stand out of the lot, including the hit "Girl in a Country Song". But above all, what we can notice throughout the CD, this is the joy of life that emerges. Start Here is a positive album that is very pleasant to listen to. Perhaps this is only a start for the young duo, but let’s bet that we will hear about them again. (October 2015 Featured New Artist)

Music Videos: « Girl in a Country Song » - « Fly »




 Gary Clark Jr. – The Story of Sonny Boy Slim

Gary Clark Jr.The Story of Sonny Boy Slim

The one we considered as the future of blues since his debut proves that he wants to go well beyond that label. On The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, his second studio album, he explores new territories rather far from classic blues. There are still good guitars, but musically, Gary Clark Jr. goes elsewhere. He introduces an excellent blend of Afro-American music between R&B, soul, funk, rock, hip hop and even gospel. However, the thread remains rooted in blues, his first influence. Stevie Ray Vaughan fans may find that Clark does not show enough his talent as a guitarist. It’s because he uses his instrument primarily to communicate his message and emotion, without flamboyant solos. It goes to his credit, as he offers an album of very high quality. (October 2015)

Music Video: « Church »




 Shawn Colvin – Uncovered

Shawn ColvinUncovered

The American folk singer and songwriter releases a new cover album, 21 years after Cover Girl. This time, we find often obscure songs by artists like Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder, Robbie Robertson, John Fogerty, and many others. The completely stripped interpretation should well do justice to the quality of the compositions offered. But, Shawn Colvin falls very often in a sleeping version of these songs. One of the few highlights is undoubtedly her version of Tom Waits’ "Hold On". Otherwise, you will have very little interesting material to discover, the original versions remaining certainly more significant. Note the collaboration of David Crosby on "Baker Street" and Marc Cohn on "Gimme a Little Sign". (October 2015)

Fantasy / Concord



 The Dears – Times Infinity, Volume One

The DearsTimes Infinity, Volume One

The Montreal band celebrates 20 years of career this year and for the occasion, they entered the studio to record 10 new songs contained on Times Infinity, Volume One. Murray Lightburn and his band seemed particularly inspired on this sixth record that has a fine series of rather introspective tracks, but with great refinement. The arrangements are beautiful and well worth putting the themes of sentimentality facing uncertainty and the concept of eternal love in all its fragility. The second volume of Times Infinity is expected in early 2016. (October 2015)

Pheromone / SIX



 Disturbed – Immortalized


Immortalized is the sixth album by the metal band from Chicago and their first in five years. There is remaining a bottom of their metal sound with loud drums and good guitar riffs, but with often quite common contemporary rock choruses. Above all, the band turns too much to its past when we recognize the same old rhythms at the point of almost being able to replace some choruses by a previous one, without major adjustments. The first single, "The Vengeful One", could have been issued in 2002, "Who Taught You How To Hate" sounds like an already heard too much arena rock sound, and the title track recalls Muse. Disturbed is revisiting Simon & Garfunkel’s "The Sound of Silence", an interesting idea, but still remaining quite strange in the mouth of David Draiman. The energetic "The Light" is perhaps the most worthy of mention when the CD falls too quickly in not very creative mid-tempo metal music. Disturbed have perhaps their worst album to date with Immortalized. (October 2015)

Music Video: « The Vengeful One »

Reprise / Warner



 Brett Eldredge – Illinois

Brett EldredgeIllinois

The country singer from Illinois issues his second album to date. He does not waste any time and he is already exploring different musical genres, including disco on the excellent "You Can’t Stop Me", a duet with Thomas Rhett. He thus breaks the barrier between contemporary R&B and country, perhaps to broaden his audience. What is sure is that the exercise is more than successful since "You Can’t Stop Me" certainly appears to be the strength of this record, with the energetic hit "Lose My Mind". Eldredge is as solid in his country dance style that borrows a little to rock. It is in ballads that we lose him a little, although his voice is powerful. In fact, this is an album that lacks balance, with amazing songs and ballads or mid-tempo tracks that are more common. (October 2015)

Music Video: « Lose My Mind »

Atlantic / Warner


 Ghost – Meliora


Also known as Ghost B.C., the Swedish metal band is back with its third album. The band has previously presented a mix of black metal and goth metal and they come up with their most accessible album to date with pop melodies and a clearer voice than ever. Producer Klas Ahlund (Usher, Katy Perry, Madonna) has certainly something to do with it. Ghost offer anyway very good guitar riffs in a hard rock style, with still a few times a little creepy or disturbing. Despite these moments, the masked men have almost no more than their costumes and their satanic lyrics to scare anyone. Let's say that the impact is not the same when delivered with a voice that is too nice... In fact, Alice Cooper and Blue Öyster Cult come much quicker in mind than any Scandinavian black metal reference. Progressive rock is also very present on several occasions, and "Mummy Dust" is the best possible link with Mercyful Fate. However, even if Ghost will infuriate fans of black metal, they still offer us a very well written and enjoyable album to listen to. Papa Emeritus (III for the occasion) and his band present a varied and highly efficient album. (October 2015)

Music Videos: « Cirice » - « From the Pinnacle to the Pit »

Seven Four / Concord



 Jess Glynne – I Cry When I Laugh

Jess GlynneI Cry When I Laugh

The London female singer who will turn 26 on October 20 releases her first album with I Cry When I Laugh. She presents a mix of pop heavily influenced by the 1980s and R&B, with a soulful voice in many occasions. Unfortunately, despite good melodies and danceable beats, she hardly manages to capture our attention. The songwriter would have needed a writing hand. The album's greatest moment is actually a hit by Clean Bandit, "Rather Be", on which Jess only lends her voice... Note also the collaboration of Emeli Sandé on "Saddest Vanilla". Jess Glynne certainly doesn’t lack talent as interpreter, but she will have to surround herself better for the composition of stronger songs. (October 2015)

Music Videos: « Rather Be » - « Hold My Hand » - « Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself » - « Why Me »

Atlantic / Warner



 Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls

Iron MaidenThe Book of Souls

After five years of absence on record, the legendary British metal band is back with nothing less than a double album of 92 minutes. There are three songs over 10 minutes, including the great conclusion of 18 minutes, "Empire of the Clouds", composed by Bruce Dickinson. Even though it may seem daring to Iron Maiden to offer a vast record at this stage of their careers, we must admit that The Book of Souls takes epic paces on several occasions. The band certainly does not reinvent itself, as it contains all the elements that have characterized them so far. But it has several compositions with very great qualities which could find themselves alongside their best shots in career. Both CDs are pretty well balanced with each having their great moments and their more predictable passages. Otherwise, the second CD seems to offer a better evolution to its conclusion, the only real weak point being undoubtedly "Shadows of the Valley". The first CD opens beautifully with "If Eternity Should Fail" and "Speed ​​of Light". We find later "The Red and the Black", signed by Steve Harris reminding us of "Rime of the Ancient Mariner". Before moving to the second act, we could not forget the excellent title track. The Book of Souls is a surprising album, not necessarily musically, but because we didn’t think anymore to be able to hear a finished work like that from Iron Maiden. To be filed not too far from their classic albums... (October 2015)

Music Video: « Speed of Light »

Parlophone / Warner



 Jewel – Picking Up the Pieces

JewelPicking Up the Pieces

Picking Up the Pieces is Jewel’s first real album in five years, if we exclude her children's records. She returns this time with introspective folk music closer to the sound that made her famous 20 years ago. The songwriter and performer who had taken a pop tangent at the turn of the millennium boils down to the style that looks best to her, either as a storyteller. She has written hundreds of touching songs like this over the years and that style sticks to her skin. Jewel has some gems with her unmistakable voice including "Love Used To Be" and "Everything Breaks". She also collaborates with two giants on first quality tracks: Rodney Crowell on "It Doesn’t Hurt Right Now" and with Dolly Parton on "My Father's Daughter". Some of the songs offered are dating back to the time of Pieces of You 20 years ago, but they had never been recorded. Even if we cannot find the naivety of her debut, the poetess from Alaska offers us a very good folk album, a more than interesting addition to her long discography. (October 2015)

Sugar Hill



 Leona Lewis – I Am

Leona LewisI Am

With I Am, the English singer releases her first album outside of the machine of Simon Cowell who brought her to stardom. She took the opportunity to change her sound to a slightly more soulful style, even if electro components are often included in the danceable arrangements. Otherwise, she has no hesitation to break that rhythm with piano ballads to put her voice in front ("You Know Me When", etc.). She wrote most of the songs with Toby Gad and the whole has her best compositions to date. Like what a new team can bring a good breath of fresh air in a career that seemed reluctant to change. Obviously, you need to have an interest in pop / R&B music, but Leona Lewis gives us probably her best album to date. (October 2015)

Music Video: « Thunder »

Def Jam / Universal



 Lindemann – Skills in Pills

LindemannSkills in Pills

Lindemann is the new duo of Rammstein singer Till Lindemann, and Swedish multi-instrumentalist Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, PAIN). They offer us an industrial metal sound that is not so far from Rammstein, but to which they add grandiose orchestrations. Also, Germany's Till Lindemann is singing entirely in English for the first time. The themes often revolve around sex, always approached in a rather crooked angle. In fact, black humor and sarcastic humor are at the heart of this album which has industrial music of the highest quality. We even seem to hear a rejuvenated Rammstein from 15 years which would benefit from the musical talent of Tägtgren. Here is an album for which we did not have high expectations, and which proves to be very interesting. As a bonus, they give us a beautiful booklet, magnificently illustrated with the two protagonists in the most outlandish situations, including a Last Supper representing sailors in an orgy of drugs and alcohol. (October 2015)

Music Videos: « Praise Abort » - « Fish On »




 Mac Miller – GO:OD AM

Mac Miller – GO:OD AM

The young rapper from Pittsburgh is already issuing his third album with GO:OD AM. Quickly listening to this record of 70 minutes, we guess he probably comes out of rehabilitation, even without knowing his personal life. All his lyrics are colored as if it was at the center of his universe for quite some time. Aside from his lyrics that do not necessarily join everyone, his music remains creative while being fairly accessible. In fact, he seems to take some creative elements of his second album to get them elsewhere. The musical richness is remarkable throughout the CD. Just to add a bit more variety to the album, Miller surrounded himself with several collaborators like Lil B, Miguel, Chief Keef, Little Dragon, etc. With GO:OD AM, Mac Miller is able to build on his past to look at the future, a future very promising since he offers his most solid album to date. (October 2015)




 Shinedown – Threat To Survival

ShinedownThreat To Survival

The post-grunge band from Jacksonville, Florida is back with their fifth album. Still as inspired by Creed and Nickelback, Shinedown offer us a lot of mid-tempo songs that often lack of punch. Otherwise, it is certainly their most commercial album to date with songs that are ready to invade radios. The album begins strongly with the catchy "Asking For It" and "Cut the Cord". The group departs somewhat from post-grunge on "State of My Head" with a mix of old alternative rock and electro-pop. One thing is sure, with this contemporary rock style, the band has no more links with its metal roots. Aside from "Black Cadillac" towards the end which is more dynamic and efficient, we can say that Threat To Survival has nothing really threatening and proves to be rather clean. Still found are a few interesting pieces that can reconcile us with this band often compared to a pale copy of Nickelback. (October 2015)

Music Video: « Cut the Cord »

Atlantic / Warner



 Stéphane Tétreault – Haydn – Schubert – Brahms

Stéphane TétreaultHaydn – Schubert – Brahms

The young virtuoso cellist Stéphane Tétreault was accompanied by the pianist Marie-Ève Scarfone to play works for cello and piano from Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert and Johannes Brahms. First, we can hear Haydn’s "Divertimento in D Major after Hob", Schubert’s "Sonata in A minor, Arpeggione", and finally Brahms’ "Sonata No. 1 in E minor". On this second solo recording, the 22-year-old prodigy makes one with his instrument he has mastered to perfection. And that, despite the complexity of the three works offered. (October 2015)



Vieux Farka Touré & Julia Easterlin – Touristes

Vieux Farka Touré & Julia EasterlinTouristes

The famous Malian singer and guitarist Vieux Farka Touré joins American singer Julia Easterlin for this surprising album. The unlikely duo met in New York City in 2014 and in less than two hours, they had already composed four songs. On Tourists, they present six original songs, two adaptations of traditional songs, as well as covers of Bob Dylan’s "Masters of War" and Fever Ray’s "I'm Not Done". Their worlds meet in a mixture of the southern United States and Africa, a fusion between blues, folk and world music. The themes are as important when they are talking about family, their origins and the war in Mali. Here are two artists who don’t speak the same language but who are uniting together beautifully in music. (October 2015)

Six Degrees / SIX



 Trivium – Silence in the Snow

TriviumSilence in the Snow

The Orlando, Florida metal band takes a more accessible tangent with Silence in the Snow. Indeed, it takes hard rock band paces while the voice is melodious and cleaner than ever and the riffs are not likely to mess up your hair. There are a few somewhat faster moments that can remember their speed metal trends of yesteryear, but the guitars are more often than not overshadowed by the voice of Matt Heafy who seems to want to steal the show at all costs. You could probably find an improvement in his singing quality, but the fact remains that he will certainly never be part of the great voices of metal. Their desire to offer catchy choruses sometimes plays tricks while in some cases they become almost interchangeable. This is the case for example for "Dead and Gone" and "Beneath the Sun". In conclusion, Trivium have a decent pop metal album, but that is not likely to rally many of their previous fans. (October 2015)

Music Videos: « Silence in the Snow » - « Blind Leading the Blind » - « Until the World Goes Cold »

Roadrunner / Warner


Wilco – Star Wars

WilcoStar Wars

This is already the 11th studio album by Wilco in their 20-year career, yet the band still seems to be able to surprise us. This time, it's with guitar sounds somewhat experimental in opening that can remind us of Sonic Youth. Jeff Tweedy and his band give the feeling that they frankly had fun in the studio, as if they had let the inspiration go out without restraint. The result is a much less thought album than the previous ones, but so pleasant to listen to. In addition, the melodies are strong and we find some compelling guitar riffs, with superb distortion. Wilco definitely does a facelift with Star Wars like if we would be going back 20 years ago with a group of young musicians who are experimenting without guessing they will become one of the most acclaimed American bands for two decades. A great album! (October 2015)

Anti- / Epitaph





Carly Rae Jepsen – E-MO-TION

Carly Rae JepsenE-MO-TION

The pop female singer from British Columbia is back with her third album, three years after the success of Kiss, powered by the bomb "Call Me Maybe". Even if we do not find any hits of that size on E-MO-TION, most of the 12 songs remain above the average of what is done in this genre that is often disposable after use. Carly offers light and entertaining pop music, yet creative. The influences of the 1980s are evident throughout the record, but the young woman of 29 years old skillfully managed to carry on these influences in 2015 for a modern and fashionable set. In this sense, one can partly compare her to another one of her biggest influences, Robyn. Ultimately, E-MO-TION is more consistent than Kiss with a better guideline. It only lacks another "Call Me Maybe". (September 2015 Featured Review)

Music Videos: « I Really Like You » - « Run Away With Me »

604 / Universal




Years & Years – Communion

Years & Years Communion

Years & Years is a young London electro pop band formed in 2010. The trio offers music based on synthesizers and the voice of singer Olly Alexander. Their sound is thus somewhere between 1980s pop and Justin Timberlake. There are also some moments a little more deep house or post-punk in the New Order style. The group has several pretty atmospheric introductions, but also some well supported rhythms thanks to the bass of Mikey Goldsworthy. In fact, the band seems to have very varied influences, even if it remains primarily a pop trio. Certainly, it is a very good first album that offer us the three young men. (September 2015 Featured New Artist)

Music Videos: « Real » - « Take Shelter » - « Desire » - « King » - « Shine » - « Foundation »

Interscope / Universal



 Jeanne Added – Be Sensational

Jeanne AddedBe Sensational

The French Jeanne Added releases a first electro rock album, rather dark and heavy. Produced by Dan Levy (The Do), the record actually contains 40 minutes of this minimalist but powerful music, somewhere between electro pop and post-punk, with some cinematic ballads. Jeanne's voice bewitches when she delivers personal lyrics or denunciates a little more, all in English to create a little distance with herself. This is a very good album that offers us the songwriter and performer from Reims. (September 2015)

Music Video: « A War is Coming »

Naïve / SIX



 The Arcs – Yours, Dreamily

The ArcsYours, Dreamily

The Arcs is a side project by Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) who teams up for the occasion with multi-instrumentalist Leon Michaels. On this first album, the band presents a great mix of indie rock, blues rock and country folk, with some elements of soul / R&B. The production is of quality and differs somewhat with the minimalist side of the Black Keys. Otherwise, there are several anchor points with the main band of Auerbach, especially in blues songs. This is a very good album that offer us The Arcs, a diverse but cohesive album, which is pleasant to listen to the end. (September 2015)

Music Video: « Put a Flower in Your Pocket »

Nonesuch / Warner



 Atlas Genius – Inanimate Objects

Atlas GeniusInanimate Objects

The electro pop / indie rock Australian band is back with its second album, two years after When It Was Now. You can still compare them to The Killers and Imagine Dragons, but the main problem is that they are trying once again to go in all directions with walls of guitars interrupted by old synthesizers. It's like every time they take a pop direction they rather say that they should be more rock, and vice versa. For a varied album, it is successful, but it quickly loses focus, never really knowing who you are dealing with. Fortunately that once you get over this annoyance, you enjoy most of it thanks to several anthems worthy to fill arenas. The rhythms and melodies are dynamic, effective. And it is not devoid of creativity, despite several similarities. In addition, the production of Frederik Thaae is impeccable and is well worth the Atlas Genius music. Inanimate Objects is therefore a rather enigmatic album that can both please and seduce us, or leave us unsatisfied and bored. In fact, the most important thing when you are listening to the album is to have a positive attitude. (September 2015)

Music Video: « Molecules »



Bon Jovi – Burning Bridges

Bon JoviBurning Bridges

With a new album coming in 2016, Bon Jovi have decided to make a gift to their fans to make them wait by releasing songs never released, incomplete so far and two new ones. Although it is labeled as an album for the fans, Burning Bridges seems more like a contractual obligation before moving elsewhere. Several lyrics are also lacking subtlety about it, including the title track. This is the first record without Richie Sambora and it is perhaps also a way to prepare the public for what it is awaiting in the future. What is worrying is that the only track co-signed by Sambora, "Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning", turns out to be one of the best moments of this record of 10 songs. "I'm Your Man" is also interesting, but for the rest, Burning Bridges is dangerously lacking melodies and is frankly exaggerating on ballads and mid-tempo songs without energy. Let’s wait for the real new album before judging of the future of the New Jersey band, but we certainly could have done without this music patchwork of little interest, except perhaps for their biggest fans. (September 2015)

Island / Universal


 Sabrina Carpenter – Eyes Wide Open

Sabrina CarpenterEyes Wide Open

Aged of only 16 years old, Sabrina Carpenter was one of the Disney stars for some years. After the successful "Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying" and an EP last year, she now releases her first full-length album. In addition to her previous hit, we find "We'll Be the Stars" and the title track. Her pop music style is generally acoustic and based on the melodies. Sabrina herself has participated in writing some songs, in addition to relying on collaborators as Meghan Trainor for two songs including "Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying". Sabrina Carpenter has a strong voice to carry her soft and catchy pop sound that is sure to please her young female audience. (September 2015)

Music Videos: « Can’t Blame a Girl for Trying » - « The Middle of Starting Over » - « We’ll Be the Stars » - « Eyes Wide Open »

Hollywood / Universal


The Chemical Brothers – Born in the Echoes

The Chemical BrothersBorn in the Echoes

The electro duo from Manchester, England issues a new album that brings a breath of fresh air, like the hit "Go". Born in the Echoes brings back the best elements of the band (deep house, drum 'n' bass, big beat, funky beats, etc.) to offer us a major album, maybe their best of the 21st century. In fact, the only aspect that is somewhat neglected by the duo is trip hop and other introspective tracks. The danceable rhythms are effective, but never exceed the creativity of the music, because yes electronic music can be creative! The Chemical Brothers have stood out in the genre for 25 years and they intend to come back to the forefront with this new record, to compete again with the French Daft Punk. Born in the Echoes is an excellent album, tailor made for the duo to fill again stadiums around the world. (September 2015)

Music Videos: « Go » - « Sometimes I Feel So Deserted »

Virgin / Universal



 Coeur de Pirate – Roses

Coeur de PirateRoses

Béatrice Martin (aka Coeur de Pirate), already well known in Quebec and France, is about to conquer America as she has just signed a contract with Cherrytree Records (Interscope) in the United States. Meanwhile, she issues her third album, a bilingual record on which she demonstrates her talent in the language of Shakespeare. In fact, her pronunciation is less mannered when she sings in English, strangely. And this is particularly evident when comparing the excellent hit "Carry On" to the French version, "Oublie-moi". For this new album, Coeur de Pirate partnered with a trio of internationally renowned producers: Bjorn Yttling (Lykke Li, Franz Ferdinand), Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey) and Ash Workman (Metronomy). Arrangements make to shine Beatrice's heartbreaking melodies with several songs about the difficult passage to adulthood. The constant changes between French and English, as well as the work of three producers, cause some bumps on the album. However, the quality of several compositions saves the day for a solid record in the end, an album that will serve as an introduction for Coeur de Pirate in Anglophone territories. (September 2015)

Music Video: « Carry On »

Dare To Care



 Destroyer – Poison Season

DestroyerPoison Season

Daniel Bejar (aka Destroyer) pushes a little further his exploration of chamber pop music on Poison Season. This is the 10th album of his solo project and it reached new creative heights. He combines almost perfectly guitars and brass instruments in a pop rock and jazz sound inspired directly by New York City. We can moreover hear three versions of a song called "Times Square". There are several spoken words rather than sung songs and his voice fits very well to the music that accompanies it. For sophisticated and theatrical pop music that focuses on the brass and piano, Poison Season certainly represents what was best in the genre for a long time. Here is an inspired album that is likely to win any fan of different indie pop music. (September 2015)

Music Video: « Times Square »




 Élage Diouf – Melokaane

Élage DioufMelokaane

Originally from Senegal, Élage Diouf was residing in Québec for nearly 20 years. He became known for his countless collaborations, in particular with the Colocs and Cirque du Soleil. After winning numerous awards with her debut album, Aksil, in 2010, he is back with Melokaane. Co-produced by Diouf and Alain Bergé, the album essentially in Wolof addresses the themes of celebration, resilience, fragility of life, the immigrant integration difficulties, spiritual relationships, etc. He pays tributes to Nelson Mandela and Thomas Sankara, two emblematic figures in the struggle against apartheid and respect for human rights. Diouf also offers a beautiful adaptation in Wolof of the Peter Gabriel's classic "Secret World". Finally, there are two effective collaborations: "Tay" with guitarist Jordan Officer and "Just One Day" with singer Johnny Reid. Melokaane is a festive world music album with warm and danceable sounds, very pleasant to listen to the end. (September 2015)

Pump Up the World / SIX



 Dr. Dre – Compton

Dr. DreCompton

The Los Angeles rapper had not made albums for 16 years, but he is now back with Compton. It is the film of his former band, N.W.A. (Straight Outta Compton), which inspired Dr. Dre for what wants to be the soundtrack of the movie. In fact, it is rather the entire career of N.W.A. that inspired him, since we find many references to the past and productions from previous albums throughout Compton. Collaborators are all over the place, starting with his former colleague in N.W.A., Ice Cube. We can also hear Kendrick Lamar, Xzibit, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and others. Despite a guideline of California style of rap, Compton includes many variations and inspirations of R&B, pop and rock. Dr. Dre therefore has a solid album that has everything to please his many fans that were beginning to grow impatient. (September 2015)

Aftermath / Interscope / Universal