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Featured Review:  Duran Duran    Featured New Artist:  Maddie & Tae


October 1-7:

The Dears - Brett Eldredge - Jewel - Leona Lewis - STéphane Tétreault - Wilco 


Reviews coming up next month:

Janet Jackson - Selena Gomez - Lana Del Rey - Bryan Adams -

Keith Richards - Chris Cornell - Charles Richard-Hamelin

and much more...


Key for the stars















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





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.










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.

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





OCTOber 1-7:


 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.

Pheromone / SIX



 Brett Eldredge – Illinois

Brett EldredgeIllinois

(review to come later)

Atlantic / 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.

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.

Music Video: « Thunder »

Def Jam / Universal



 Stéphane Tétreault – Haydn – Schubert – Brahms

Stéphane TétreaultHaydn – Schubert – Brahms

(review to come later)



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!

Anti- / Epitaph



September 22-28:


 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.

Music Video: « Put a Flower in Your Pocket »

Nonesuch / Warner



 Brett Kissel – Pick Me Up

Brett KisselPick Me Up

The rising star of Canadian country releases his second album, exactly two years after Started With a Song. He presents a rather pop country sound, certainly for a wide audience. Unfortunately, few tracks have enough interest to really catch our attention. Of the 10 songs included (for 35 minutes), we find a majority of mid-tempo tracks that offer neither the emotional power, or energy to attract an audience that would not be attracted to the genre at first. On the other hand, the country music fans are likely to talk about betrayal with a pop production a little too polished. Ultimately, there are very few interesting pieces on Pick Me Up, the #1 hit "Airwaves" being undoubtedly the highlight of this CD. That says it all! Note also the more energetic "I Can Play Guitar", a duet with Hunter Hayes.

Music Video: « Airwaves »

Bak 2 Bak / Warner


The Libertines – Anthems For Doomed Youth

The LibertinesAnthems For Doomed Youth

After 11 years of hiatus, the English band returned to the studio to record a new album. A concert in front of 65,000 people in July 2014, and subsequently the meeting in Thailand between Pete Doherty and Carl Barât have finally allowed them to bury the hatchet. The band that got attention in 2002 then comes back with its third album. More mature, The Libertines do not attempt to reproduce the music of their twenties, but they rather deal with themes of their age ("Fame and Fortune", "Iceman"). Those who find the production a little too polished will have to look at the producer. Funny choice that Jake Gosling (One Direction, Ed Sheeran)! One fortunately finds some great tracks, including "You're My Waterloo" and "Dead For Love" that were lost in their pocket since 1999. You can hear a nice evolution on the album that is gaining energy at the end. Ultimately, this is a good return for The Libertines that should not confuse their fans of the debut, despite some progress in the recent 11 years.

Music Videos: « Gunga Din » - « Heart of the Matter »

Virgin / Universal



Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal – Musique de Nuit

Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent SegalMusique de Nuit

Six years after Chamber Music, kora player Ballaké Sissoko and cellist Vincent Segal are back, simply as a duo this time, to merge their two instruments. They share the composition of the nine tracks of the album that has several facets between Mandingo, Baroque, Brazilian, jazz and gypsy music. Musique de Nuit provides soothing music, to listen in a particular context, away from our daily activities.

Six Degrees / SIX




Whisky LegsBasement Confessions

Whisky Legs was formed in the St-Roch neighborhood in Quebec City in 2013. The trio consists of singer and pianist Maude Brochu, drummer and multi-instrumentalist Pascal Denis and guitarist Guillaume Méthot. In a mixture of nostalgia and modernity, the band presents a blues rock sound with soul and groove elements. The voice of Maude Brochu immediately catches attention by its depth and power, and it contributes greatly to the sound of the trio. She is comparable in part to Amy Winehouse. The group offers an album of 13 tracks that reaches 60 minutes, thanks in part to the eight-minute tour de force of "Too Late". Basement Confessions is a very good debut album that combines the best of the 1960s and 1970s to a more contemporary soul and blues sound worthy of Gary Clark Jr.

Bros / SIX



September 15-21:


 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.

Music Video: « Molecules »



 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.

Music Video: « Times Square »




 Foals – What Went Down

FoalsWhat Went Down

The English post-punk band is back, two years after the success of Holy Fire. The group pursues in the same direction with What Went Down, but with a production even more powerful, beautiful rock atmospheres and several good rhythms. The band moves away more than ever from their experiments of their debut, while they think a little less. Otherwise, inspiration is still present with very solid compositions that surprise with their creativity. Singer Yannis Philippakis pushes his voice up throughout the CD and you realize that he has a really great one. The band slows down the pace a bit on some occasions, but these are mostly mid-tempo pieces of high efficiency, as the lovely "Birch Tree". With What Went Down not only Foals will not disappoint their fans, but they are likely to attract many others.

Music Videos: « What Went Down » - « Mountain at My Gates »




 Peter Henry Phillips – The Origin

Peter Henry PhillipsThe Origin

The composer, performer and producer Pierre Philippe Côté, better known under the name of Pilou, issues his first album as Peter Henry Phillips. This project offers a totally English indie rock music somewhat airy with good pop melodies. The whole proves to be rather cinematic with images coming to mind quickly. In this aspect, he has certainly been influenced by some artists with whom he worked as Jorane, Elisapie Isaac, Ariane Moffatt and Tomas Jensen. He also worked as a singer on the last two albums of DJ Champion, in addition to come to perform every week on Belle & Bum on the Télé-Québec broadcast. Emeritus producer for ten years, he also signed the complete soundtrack of the latest film by Denys Arcand, Le règne de la beauté (The reign of beauty) in which one can hear two songs from his Peter Henry Phillips project. The Origin is a strong and consistent album until the end that creates a great atmosphere.

Coyote / SIX



Young Empires – The Gates

Young EmpiresThe Gates

Young Empires is an indie pop / electro pop Canadian band that was formed six years ago. They finally release their highly anticipated debut album on which one can hear the sound they have developed in recent years. Like the hit title song, the band offers us refreshing and entertaining music that quickly hooks us with a smile. They use many synthesizers on an always effective rhythm that makes us toe tapping. The record’s missing may be some more instant hits, but the whole is listening perfectly for our greatest pleasure.

Music Video: « The Gates »

Pirates Blend / Sony




September 8-14:


 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.

Music Video: « A War is Coming »

Naïve / SIX



 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.

Pump Up the World / SIX



 David Gogo – Vicksburg Call

David GogoVicksburg Call

The Canadian blues rock guitarist releases his 14th career album with Vicksburg Call. Having shared the stage with some of the biggest names in blues and rock like Johnny Winter, B.B. King, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy and ZZ Top, he offers perhaps his most consistent album to date. It was recorded live in the studio in an intimate atmosphere, and you can feel the intensity and emotion that emerges from it. Gogo offers a great mix of original songs and selected versions for a very good album in the genre in the end, even if he reinvents nothing.

Cordova Bay / SIX


The Karpinka Brothers – You Can Count on Me

The Karpinka BrothersYou Can Count on Me

The Karpinka Brothers come directly from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan with a folk rock / pop rock sound that reminds the Barenaked Ladies in their most energetic times. We can also compare them to Van Morrison and Joel Plaskett. You Can Count on Me is their third album, but with only nine tracks totaling 23 minutes, one should rather speak of an EP. Some tracks come out of the batch from which the first single, "Tetherball".



 Cécile McLorin Salvant – For One to Love

Cécile McLorin SalvantFor One to Love

The young complete artist of 25 years old issues her second album, two years after the one that made her famous, WomanChild. She wrote five of the 12 songs of For One to Love, highlighting a strong personality, a keen intellect, humor, romance and great honesty. She incorporates jazz standards, as well as Barbara’s "Le mal de vivre". Her style of jazz in trio format, with the young and talented pianist Aaron Diehl, perfectly highlights the powerful voice of Cécile. Her brilliant and explosive personality is getting throughout the album which is like no other. She customizes it even more by providing the illustrations for the cover. Here is an excellent jazz album, a contemporary album while having pleasant leaps in time.

Mack Avenue / Justin Time / SIX




September 1-7:


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



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.

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.

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.

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.

Music Video: « Carry On »

Dare To Care



 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.

Aftermath / Interscope / Universal



Mike Evin – Life As a Lover

Mike Evin Life As a Lover

Mike Evin is a singer, pianist and songwriter from Montreal that offers a pretty reachable pop rock sound. Life as a Lover is his fifth studio album and it shows again joyful and lively music. Produced by Howie Beck (Feist, Walk Off the Earth, Hannah Georgas), the album was recorded in Toronto. It offers a contagious energy that makes him immediately sympathetic and interesting. While he remains anchored in underground music, Mike Evin has all what it takes to get discovered by a wider audience.


 Lianne La Havas – Blood

Lianne La HavasBlood

The London female singer is back with her second album, three years after Is Your Love Big Enough? which catched attention. On Blood, Lianne revives her Greek and Jamaican background but above all, she offers a larger production. More supported beats make the album differ from its predecessor, although we still find some introspective songs. The album was again produced by Matt Hales (Aqualung) and we find highly talented collaborators as Jamie Lidell, Howard Lawrence (Disclosure), Mark Batson and Paul Epworth. If Lianne La Havas got attention with her first record, this time she is truly establishing herself as a leading artist on the pop scene with creative music incorporating a bit of soul and rock.

Music Videos: « Unstoppable » - « What You Don’t Do »




 Meek Mill – Dream Worth More Than Money

Meek MillDream Worth More Than Money

The Philadelphia rapper issues a sophomore album that brings him to another level. Orchestrations and choirs in the opening track, "Lord Knows", provide a good overview. He has several tracks that are ready for radio, as well as party songs, perhaps influenced by his new relationship with Nicki Minaj. But the basis of his music still remains hardcore rap. The album also benefits from reputable collaborators that help redirect the style of Meek Mill. Chris Brown's influence is evident in "All Eyes On You", which also allows you to hear Nicki Minaj. She later returns for "Bad For You", and other collaborators include Drake, Future, The Weeknd, Rick Ross and Diddy. Dream Worth More Than Money is a very good hip hop album and it helps to bring Meek Mill to the big leagues.

Music Videos: « Jump Out the Face » - « All Eyes On You »

Maybach / Atlantic / Warner



Sublime with Rome – Sirens

Sublime with RomeSirens

After the two remaining members of Sublime have reformed the group with Rome Ramirez to release a debut album 4 years ago, the new trio lost another original member, Bud Gaugh, which is replaced by Josh Freese (Vandals, Devo, Guns N’ Roses). Sublime with Rome (and Josh) thus issue Sirens, another album in the purest style of ska / reggae, but leaving aside punk for a more pop music. A large-scale production brings a very nice coating to the compositions of the trio, although Sublime with Rome seems becoming more and more a side project for the duo of Eric Wilson and Rome Ramirez. There are several pleasant songs among the 11 that contains the album. Otherwise, nothing really stands out nor upset the conventions. A moment worth to note however is their adaptation of Fishbone’s "Skankin'". Sirens contains sunny and soft music to accompany your getaway in California or anywhere else under the sun.

Music Video: « Wherever You Go »

Vagrant / Universal


 Rob Thomas – The Great Unknown

Rob ThomasThe Great Unknown

With The Great Unknown, Rob Thomas releases his third solo album, his first in six years since Matchbox Twenty reunited in the meantime. This time, Thomas works with a variety of producers around his long-time collaborator Matt Serletic. He has, among others, Ryan Tedder (OneRepublic) and Ricky Reed (Jason Derulo, Jessie J) to give a touch of modern pop to the album. In this sense, the objective is achieved when the songwriter and performer offers much more dynamic songs than on his previous album. We still find some mid-tempo ballads, but most of the CD remains a rhythmic and light pop rock sound, all designated to fill airwaves. In fact, The Great Unknown is certainly his most enjoyable album to listen to since the mega hit of "Smooth" for Santana recorded 16 years ago!

Music Video: « Trust You »

Atlantic / Warner



Soaked in Bleach: A Documentary Film About the Death of Kurt Cobain (DVD)

Soaked in Bleach: A Documentary Film About the Death of Kurt Cobain (DVD)

Here's a great documentary with all the facts around the death of Kurt Cobain 21 years ago. Based on official case files, audio recordings and expert testimony, the documentary also includes very good high quality cinematic re-creations. One can discover among others Cobain's death as seen through the eyes of Tom Grant, a private investigator who was hired by Courtney Love to find Kurt just days before he was found dead at his home in Seattle. Many weird circumstances surrounding the official facts and lies by Courtney mean that doubts remain greater than ever about a murder disguised as suicide. Unfortunately, a sloppy work from Seattle policemen who have closed the file eagerly concluding undoubtedly the fact of suicide ensure that certain important evidence were quickly packed and the body of Cobain was buried six days after its discovery. The investigation has therefore never really gone further, but the facts reported in this documentary show that suicide by a shotgun was almost impossible given the amount of heroin found in his blood. Otherwise, there is no obvious evidence to accuse anyone without an in-depth investigation to be reopened. The documentary gives good clarifications on the circumstances surrounding the death of Kurt Cobain, which eliminates a lot of rumors. So it only remains to you to form your own opinion.

Montani / Daredevil / MVD

  Video Universe - Buy DVDs, TV on DVD, Music CDs, Games for XBox, PlayStation 2 and Much More 




Adam Lambert – The Original High

Adam LambertThe Original High

After a tour as lead singer of Queen, former American Idol finalist is back with a new album. First album for Warner, The Original High also revives the Max Martin and Shellback producers, those behind the hit "Whataya Want From Me" in 2009. Lambert seems to have finally found the right balance between pop, electro and rock, always keeping the dance rhythms that characterize him since his debut. One can even hear the screaming guitar of Brian May (Queen) on the electro beat of "Lucy". The other guest artist is Swedish Tove Lo for the song "Rumors". Adam Lambert manages to present good pop songs on this new album, but it is the mid-tempo tracks that remain the least interesting. He should definitely concentrate on the danceable songs, either in the 1970s disco style or in a more contemporary electro style. Despite some moments that are a little less exciting, Lambert perhaps issues his best recording to date. This is maybe his presence in Queen that gave him this inspiration... (August 2015 Featured Review)

Music Video: « Ghost Town »








Algiers – Algiers


Algiers is an indie rock trio that was formed in Atlanta in 2009 and travels since that time between London and New York. It offers a mix of post-punk and blues with some industrial elements and good pop and gospel melodies. Although the mixture may seem odd at first, this is a highly creative first album that release Algiers. One finds there an unusual intensity, delivered with surgical precision. The three musicians seem to know very well where they are going and they drag us after them. Difficult to compare, the music of Algiers certainly deserves you tend the ear since the group manages to present a remarkable first album. (August 2015 Featured New Artist)

Music Video: « Blood »

Matador / Beggars



 Alee – Say Hello to Goodbye

AleeSay Hello to Goodbye

Alexandra Adamoski is a young 23-year old country singer from Edmonton. The singer-songwriter issues her first EP of 6 tracks after having performed on several stages around the country. She offers a somewhat different approach to country music with a decidedly pop touch which will quickly be comparable to Shania Twain and Taylor Swift. She has good songs on Say Hello to Goodbye, which will certainly bring the spotlight on her over the next few years as the new rising star of Canadian country music. (August 2015)

Wax / Universal

Argentina Chill Out Social Club – 80’s Experience

Argentina Chill Out Social Club – 80’s Experience

Argentina Chill Out Social Club is a project created to remake different classics of the most popular music in history. On this first of six CDs, 12 classics of the 1980s (or almost) are played in an electro jazz style with latin and bossa nova accents. The really nice voice of Analiah Robledo sings hits of Madonna (« La Isla Bonita »), AC/DC and KISS (« You Shook Me All Night Long/Rock and Roll All Night »), Michael Jackson (« Billie Jean », « Dangerous »), Bon Jovi (« Never Say Goodbye »), Metallica (« Nothing Else Matters »), Guns N’ Roses (« Sweet Child O’ Mine »), Queen (« Somebody To Love »), U2 (« Where the Streets Have No Name »), etc. In addition to this important album for the 1980s, the collection includes 5 tribute albums in the same style: Beatles, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, U2 and Sting. (August 2015)

Estudios Moi / Musik2Musik


Between the Buried and Me – Coma Ecliptic

Between the Buried and MeComa Ecliptic

The progressive metal band from North Carolina is 15 years old and they already offer us their eighth studio album. The most they go further in their careers the most the guys of Between the Buried and Me leave out their first influence, death metal, to a more experimental and progressive sound. In this sense, the band can recall Voivod on several occasions. Coma Ecliptic is a concept album that offers a journey through the mind of a man in a coma who makes a return on different stages of his life. Although the concept may seem somewhat original and suggests an experimental and a bit odd album, it is rather the most accessible music the group have ever did. Of course, we must appreciate progressive music that leads into all sorts of directions, but several times during the 68 minutes of the CD they have what it takes to reach a broad audience. We find influences from the 1970s rock with guitar solos comparable to Brian May’s or rhythms reminiscent of Rush, but it is mostly the very effective pop melodies that surprise us, especially when we know their past dominated by guttural voice. Coma Ecliptic is a varied album, but it still has a solid director line, based on the typical sound of Between the Buried and Me. It necessarily takes several listens to discover all the subtleties, but the accessibility of the record makes it a pleasant exercise. Here is possibly the best album of the band to date. To discover! (August 2015)

Metal Blade



The Darkness – Last of Our Kind

The DarknessLast of Our Kind

A break has been more than beneficial to the English hard rock band which is back with Last of Our Kind, their fourth album. The group seems more united than ever and they offer many good songs with unforgettable riffs and melodies. Justin Hawkins’s falsetto voice seems to not steal the spotlight anymore and it is rather part of the band's extremely effective music. For sure, The Darkness are still and always based on the hard rock sound of the 1970s and 1980s, but they managed to make a style all their own and carry it pleasantly in the 2010s. From the opening tracks "Barbarian", "Open Fire" and the title track, one finds with pleasure catchy songs like those which had seduced us to the group's debut 12 years ago. Even if the surprise is no longer the same, the little awaiting we had for a new album by The Darkness means that we are still a little surprised of appreciating and continually tapping the foot . Some mid-tempo songs can break the rhythm a bit, but the whole remains of high quality, worthy of one of the best hard rock albums of the past decade. (August 2015)

Music Videos: « Barbarian » - « Open Fire » - « Last of Our Kind »

Canary Dwarf / Kobalt



 Finger Eleven – Five Crooked Lines

Finger ElevenFive Crooked Lines

Ontario post-grunge band Finger Eleven has been around for over 20 years. However, they release their first album since 2010. They do not reinvent their style on Five Crooked Lines with metal riffs and a voice that recalls the grunge sound. But, the work of producer Dave Cobb allowed them to simplify their music which was becoming increasingly unnecessarily complex for several albums. So they have very good melodies (sometimes in the Beatles style) and some tracks with catchy rhythms, especially the excellent "Wolves and Doors" and the Zeppelin-like "Gods of Speed". The band also explores stoner metal with "Save Your Breath" that reminds Black Sabbath. In fact, this is an album returning to the roots that offer the guys of Finger Eleven, a pleasant album to listen to. (August 2015)

Music Video: « Wolves and Doors »

Bicycle / Concord / Universal



Heartbeat CityThunder Amongst Us

Heartbeat City is a new indie rock band from Winnipeg with some folk influences. They can be compared in part to the Weakerthans and Band of Horses. Led by Ian La Rue, well known musician from the Winnipeg scene, the band has several very good songs, with always catchy melodies. In the second half of the CD containing 10 songs, there are several pieces that stretch a bit long, approaching even 7 minutes regarding the last two tracks. The whole still remains greatly interesting anyway. (August 2015)

 Tori Kelly – Unbreakable Smile

Tori KellyUnbreakable Smile

Victoria Loren Kelly (Tori Kelly) was born in California in 1992 and was drawn to music at an early age. After various singing contests, Tori decided to learn the guitar and to work on her own songs. On this first album, she offers a great mix of pop and contemporary R&B, both catchy and intelligent. In addition, she has a soulful voice that impresses quickly. Tori Kelly represents something of a cross between Taylor Swift and Alicia Keys. Produced by Max Martin (Kelly Clarkson, P!nk, Ellie Goulding), Unbreakable Smile contains as much emotional ballads as melodic rock songs and acoustic pop. It proposes a range that highlights the full extent of her talent. Several songs such as the title track and the hits "Nobody Love" and "Should've Been Us", as well as other good moments, deserve that we are attentive to the album of this talented artist. Note the Ed Sheeran and LL Cool J collaborations. We will surely hear about Tori Kelly in the coming years. (August 2015)

Music Videos: « Nobody Love » - « Unbreakable Smile » - « Should’ve Been Us »

Capitol / Universal



 Melanie Martinez – Cry Baby

Melanie MartinezCry Baby

Melanie Martinez is a young American singer of 20 years old who releases her first album with Cry Baby, after participating to the third season of The Voice in the US. She offers intelligent pop music that incorporates many electronic elements and a little bit of rock. Her soft voice is perhaps at the heart of her music, but she can count on prominent arrangements to envelope it very nicely. She delivers 13 quality songs that flow beautifully, with no apparent weaknesses. This results in certainly one of the best electro pop albums of the year. A great discovery! (August 2015)

Music Videos: « Dollhouse » - « Carousel » - « Pity Party » - « Soap » - « Sippy Cup »

Atlantic / Warner



Miguel – Wildheart


Miguel Jontel Pimentel is a singer, songwriter and producer from California who made a career for quite some time, but mostly behind the spotlight. Among others, he worked with Usher and Mariah Carey. Wildheart is his third album and it contains a good mix of pop and R&B, even including a good rock guitar on several occasions, thanks in part to the collaboration of Lenny Kravitz for two songs that close the album. Miguel therefore has a good record in the genre. (August 2015)



 Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material

Kacey MusgravesPageant Material

The Texas country singer is back with a new album with folk and pop accents. The whole is rather soft and emphasizes on the melodies and the beautiful voice of Kacey. Unlike many country albums that remain raw, the Pageant Material arrangements are superb and create a wonderful atmosphere around the voice. Kacey offers us several excellent compositions, especially in the first half of the album that includes leading material with songs like "High Time", "Dime Store Cowgirl", "Biscuits" and the title track. The artist demonstrates humor on several occasions, which adds a touch of nice lightness. In fact, the entire CD proves to be both intelligent and pleasant to listen to. (August 2015)

Mercury / Universal



 Never Shout Never – Black Cat

Never Shout NeverBlack Cat

The emo band from Missouri is back with its seventh album, Black Cat. Never Shout Never are maturing and possibly present the best mix to date of their various influences, between emo-folk, psychedelic rock and dancing pop-punk. Masterfully produced by Dennis Herring (Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse), the album offers some very good songs that benefit from large-scale and quality production. We still find a little more stripped and intimate tracks for a very good range of styles and moods. To conclude, Black Cat is a pleasant album to listen to, certainly their strongest to date. (August 2015)



 Lindi Ortega – Faded Gloryville

Lindi OrtegaFaded Gloryville

Canadian country singer Lindi Ortega is already releasing her fourth album since 2011. Faded Gloryville presents a very good mix of country, folk, pop and rock highlighted by a handful of talented producers. It includes some very good tracks, starting with the beautiful title song, which is likely to remain to mind for long. Otherwise, recorded in three separate studio sessions, the album may lack a bit of focus. We understand the idea of wanting to show a good sampling of all her influences, but the style variations are not always happy. (August 2015)

Last Gang


Pitbull – Dale

Pitbull Dale

Five years after his last album in Spanish, the excellent Armando, the Cuban-born rapper from Florida is back with Dale. For the occasion, he was surrounded by a multitude of collaborators, from Ricky Martin to Sensato through Don Miguelo, Mohombi, Wisin and Yandel. He is so well surrounded we almost don’t hear him on many occasions while his guests literally steal the spotlight. Pitbull therefore has no choice but to launch his famous "Mr. Worldwide" regularly to be sure we will not forget him. In fact, Dale is almost like a Latin music super compilation. Effective? Surely, since you cannot stop yourself from dancing. However, it is questionable whether the record would not have been as good without the presence of Pitbull. Perhaps not since after all he plays the role of conductor and creates the link between all these artists to put together 12 very good Latin songs. (August 2015)

Music Video: « Piensas » (feat. Gente de Zona)

RCA / Sony



 Grace Potter – Midnight

Grace PotterMidnight

For her new album, the singer from Vermont decided to work without The Nocturnals, the band that accompanied her since her debut more than 10 years ago. However, many of the group's musicians still work with Grace, including her husband, drummer Matt Burr. She also leaves out country on Midnight while she is instead offering a pop rock album with several potential hits. Produced by Eric Valentine (Queens of the Stone Age, Nickel Creek), the album shows a different face of the singer with sounds reminiscent of 1980’s pop. Although it may look like a cross between Heart, Stevie Nicks and Madonna, Grace Potter fully assumes her new musical direction and she managed to put the style to her hand. The result is an extremely efficient album, well produced and with very few weaknesses, which is pleasant to listen to the end. (August 2015)

Hollywood / Universal



 Nate Ruess – Grand Romantic

Nate RuessGrand Romantic

Having achieved great success as the singer of the band fun. Nate Ruess went solo with a debut album. We have to say that fun. is on a "break" for an indefinite period. Ruess can therefore exploit his romantic side in an alternative pop rock sound that focuses on his powerful voice. With fun. directors Jeff Bhasker and Emile Haynie, he managed to create a rich and wonderful atmosphere, heavily influenced by the world of Freddie Mercury and Queen. This is also when he indulges in excess that Nate Ruess shines the most, as in the excellent "Great Big Storm" and "Harsh Light". The singer can count on renowned collaborators in Beck and Jeff Tweedy that add their talent to his work. Although the album has several inequalities, it also showcases in a beautiful way the voice and personality of Ruess who doesn’t have to be ashamed of his album. The fun. fans will certainly appreciate. (August 2015)

Music Videos: « Nothing Without Love » - « Great Big Storm »

Fueled by Ramen / Warner


The Smoking Trees – TST

The Smoking TreesTST

The Los Angeles duo is back with their second album. TST offers a psychedelic indie pop music heavily influenced by the 1960s. They can be compared in part to Tame Impala, Jacco Gardner and MGMT, with a good dose of echo on the voice. The set is mostly mid-tempo with a sort of indefinable nostalgia. But what we must especially remember is the enveloping and calming side of their music, which manages to hypnotize us quickly and keeps our interest until the end. The Smoking Trees made a tour de force with TST, that of really breaking up on the indie scene. (August 2015)

Ample Play



Vince StaplesSummertime ‘06

The young Californian rapper presents his first full-length album after the Hell Can Wait EP issued last year. In fact, Summertime '06 is more than a full-length album; it’s a double album of 20 tracks, although the total remains below the hour. His feat is that he manages to retain our interest throughout the two CDs with an excellent guideline while maintaining great variations of styles. His melodies are also proving to be highly effective, as well as his flow. In fact, it's a great conceptual album that offers us the young man of 22 years old. Summertime '06 is likely to be among the best albums of the year as it takes the lead of the rap scene. (August 2015)

Def Jam / Universal


Joss Stone – Water for Your Soul

Joss StoneWater for Your Soul

With Water for Your Soul, the teen prodigy of soul music matures and incorporates influences of reggae, hip hop and world music. We obviously still find some adult pop rock songs that perfectly complement her R&B / neo-soul repertoire. But these are the times flirting with African beats ("Stuck on You"), incorporating flamenco ("Cut the Line") or with a pleasant light rhythm of reggae ("Love Me") that really catch attention to Water for Your Soul. This is her first album in four years and her work with SuperHeavy (with Mick Jagger, Damien Marley and Dave Stewart) seems to have brought a new energy to her writing. Joss Stone issues therefore a refreshing record, her best in many years. (August 2015)

Stone'd / Sony



 Tame Impala – Currents

Tame ImpalaCurrents

Australian band Tame Impala are back with their fourth album, three years after the excellent Lonerism. The group is shifting somewhat with Currents while you can hear a wall of synthesizers. Kevin Parker recorded the album by himself and it becomes a bit more unidimensional. Otherwise, he adds a touch of hip hop and R&B to the 1970’s soft rock sound. The new direction taken may seem refreshing at first, but many mid-tempo songs lose our interest along the way, even becoming boring by times especially because of the vocal delivery. It's still exciting to see that Tame Impala can go ahead without getting stuck in a specific style. Currents is far from being a bad album; there are only lacks of the psychedelic guitar that made their reputation so far… (August 2015)

Modular / Universal



 The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra – LOVE.

The Tequila Mockingbird OrchestraLOVE.

The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra is a fairly eclectic group of musicians from British Columbia. They offer a folk sound with both traditional and indie rock influences. The band uses the accordion profusely, as well as violins and double bass. These modern-day troubadours offer a mix of love songs that are far from seducing at first listen because of frankly annoying rhythms. There are a few interesting songs of the nine (including "Wolfe et Montcalm"), but most of them require that we move to the next one. They certainly have a good potential for their singularity, but they would have to make us to fully discover it. (August 2015)

Bitter North



Twin WithinHorizontal Lines

Horizontal Lines is the debut album by this duo from Hamilton, Ontario. It presents an often atmospheric indie pop sound with folk influences. The string and wind instruments arrangements of Kirk Starkey create a magical atmosphere for this album that might seduce many listeners. The melodies are always catchy, even if the whole album remains out of standards. The 30-minute CD (only 8 tracks) has strangely some lengths and a little more catchy songs are welcome as "We Talk". Twin Within offer us nevertheless a good first album. (August 2015)

Hidden Pony


Valectra – Surfing on this Wave

ValectraSurfing on this Wave

After a notable participation to the second edition of La Voix in Quebec, Valectra releases her second album, "surfing on the wave" caused by the TV show. Valérie Cormier of her real name offers an album entirely in English on which she was involved at all stages from the composition to production through the arrangements and mixing. It is issued on her own label, Spin Gloss Records. She sings pop songs with a lounge atmosphere and some rock and world music elements. It also contains the beautiful classic by Bob Marley, "Is This Love". The complete artist has accompanied for many years renowned singers as a pianist, keyboardist and accordionist, including Éric Lapointe, Lhasa de Sela, Richard Petit and The Box. All this accumulated experience can surely be heard on this album that seems to have been long matured. (August 2015)

Spin Gloss


Veruca Salt – Ghost Notes

Veruca SaltGhost Notes

Ghost Notes is the first album by Veruca Salt since 2006 and only their fifth in career. Otherwise, this time, they return to the original line-up, a first since 1998. The band that first became known in the post-grunge era seems somewhat frozen in time with a sound that goes back to that time. Creaking guitars, effective beats and very good melodies still characterize the group. This therefore results in a more than interesting album, which revives memories of another era, but is still listening well in 2015. A few mid-tempo songs have maybe a little less interest, but when arrive bombs like "Love You Less" and "Laughing in the Sugar Bowl" we become younger by 20 years and we realize that the band fills a gap in current rock. For a good mix of alternative rock, hard rock and pop, you can always count on Veruca Salt that will really please you. (August 2015)

Music Video: « Laughing in the Sugar Bowl »

El Camino



 Neil Young + Promise of the Real – The Monsanto Years (CD + DVD)

Neil Young + Promise of the RealThe Monsanto Years (CD + DVD)

For his new album, Neil Young is accompanied by the band of the brothers Lucas and Micah Nelson, sons of Willie Nelson. Promise of the Real rock brings a new energy to Young allowing him to freely expose the ecological impacts of the Monsanto multinational company specializing in agricultural biotechnology including genetic modification. Even if the group brings a rock sound on electric guitar that reminds the time of Crazy Horse, or even his work with Pearl Jam, Young still has some smooth songs, on acoustic guitar ("Wolf Moon", etc.). A DVD is added to the CD and presents the work done in the studio to the final outcome of this great protest album. (August 2015)

Reprise / Warner



 Paper Towns (Music From the Motion Picture)

Paper Towns (Music From the Motion Picture)

On this soundtrack of the Paper Towns movie, you can hear 16 contemporary artists and bands in the indie rock and indie pop genre. One can find among others Santigold, Twin Shadow, Sam Bruno, Vance Joy, Vampire Weekend, HAIM, Grouplove, The Mountain Goats and several other extremely interesting artists. In addition, there is a good guideline throughout the CD while the songs admirably flow well, despite some dance remixes in the middle. The result is a surprising soundtrack and very pleasant to listen to the end, a rarity for a movie soundtrack. The CD of the music of Paper Towns is therefore one of the best soundtracks in a long time. (August 2015)

Atlantic / Warner



 Ian Kelly – Live: All These Lines Tour (DVD)

Ian KellyLive: All These Lines Tour (DVD)

The Montreal folk rock singer did a capture of a show of his All These Lines tour on December 3rd, 2014 at the Théâtre du Vieux-Terrebonne. This concert is presented on this 98-minute DVD. Kelly is accompanied by three talented musicians in Josh Toal (guitar and bass), Jonathan Cayer (keyboards and trombone) and Kevin Warren (drums), allowing him to offer his best songs in the best environment, with magnificent arrangements. Of course we can hear most of the songs from his latest album, but also the greatest hits of his previous three records including "Parliament", "Take Me Home" and "I Would Have You". Here is a very nice way to discover the talent of this artist from Montreal. (August 2015)

Sunset Hill





Mika – No Place in Heaven

MikaNo Place in Heaven

Now aged in his thirties, Mika releases his first album since he was a judge in The Voice in France. He therefore necessarily matured since the disappointing album The Origin of Love in 2012. And this is quickly perceived listening to No Place in Heaven which appears as a mature pop album. Otherwise, Mika has lost none of his unforgettable melodies, his theatricality and his touch of madness. His music is catchy pop coating often personal lyrics, in which he takes a stand and settles accounts with his past, including with his father in the title song and with his mother in "All She Wants". Mika certainly presents a mature album, but an album that remains musically rich and extremely entertaining to the end. In fact, the artist has more than ever the secret of creating quality pop music. (July 2015 Featured Review)

Music Videos: « Boum Boum Boum » - « Talk About You » - « Good Guys »

Republic / Universal







Jamie XX – In Colour

Jamie XXIn Colour

It’s been a long time since Jamie Smith of The XX worked in parallel of his band by remixing various popular songs, including Adele, and presenting compositions on the web. But now he finally issues his first album as Jamie XX. The electronics specialist certainly abuses of synthesizers on In Colour, but his boundless creativity makes us quickly forget it. The opening track, "Gosh", may leave more than one perplexed. Otherwise, once the slow rhythms take possession of us from the second track, we cannot give it up. This is high-flying hypnotism! The instrumental "Obvs" is certainly the unavoidable masterpiece of the album, while the single "Loud Places" (starring Romy found also on "SeeSaw") quickly captures our attention and that we cannot discard it. The pace steadily increases until the end with more dancing pieces on a background of drum 'n' bass. In fact, it is most of the album that lives in us when it comes to the end. Here's a great album, danceable but gently, which has no equal in the electro style. (July 2015 Featured New Artist)

Music Video: « Loud Places »

Young Turks / XL / Beggars


 The Aristocrats – Tres Caballeros (CD + DVD)

The AristocratsTres Caballeros (CD + DVD)

The Aristocrats is an out of the ordinary progressive rock band. Formed by guitarist Guthrie Govan (Steven Wilson, Asia), bassist Bryan Beller (Joe Satriani, Steve Vai) and drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani), the trio offers rather raw instrumental music where the virtuosity of the musicians is only equaled by their power. For this new album, they went to the legendary Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood that saw the Rolling Stones, Van Halen and Led Zeppelin among others. So they have nine new compositions, more complex and deep than ever, even if improvisation always seems present. More experimental than their previous two albums, Tres Caballeros has what it takes to satisfy a demanding audience of progressive rock. The DVD contains bonus performances recorded live in San Pedro, California between January 29 and February 1, 2015, as well as footage of their work in the studio. (July 2015)

Boing! / Conveyor / SIX



 The Stephen Barry Band – Treat Her Right

The Stephen Barry Band – Treat Her Right

With this new album, the Stephen Barry Band celebrates its 40th anniversary. For the occasion, the legendary bassist and his group offer covers of 10 classics of blues ("Little Red Rooster", "As Long As I Have You") and rock (Rolling Stones’ "Salt of the Earth") in addition to an incomparable version of Stevie Wonder’s "Higher Ground". One can also discover two original songs that blend beautifully to the whole: "Brains" and "Sister Francis". This ninth album, by the band that has performed on the same stage than the greatest musicians (John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Big Mama Thornton, etc.), was recorded in Montreal and we can find as a guest guitarist one of the founding members, Jorn Reissner. Despite a good record, the Stephen Barry Band remains primarily a festive band to discover on stage. To watch throughout Quebec all summer! (July 2015)

Bros / SIX


The Beatdown & Hugo Mudie – The Beatdown Meets Hugo Mudie

The Beatdown & Hugo Mudie – The Beatdown Meets Hugo Mudie

The Beatdown is a warm reggae band from Montreal born of the ashes of One Night Band in 2009. Within a few years, the quartet has performed more than 400 times everywhere in the world through festivals and with bands like Fishbone, Black Crowes, The Skatalites, The Slackers, UK Subs and The Creepshow. For this album, The Beatdown teamed up with Hugo Mudie (Miracles, St. Catherines) for an album with rocksteady and dub flavors. The voice both hoarse and sweet of Hugo perfectly merges with the catchy rhythms of The Beatdown for reggae music that recalls the origins of the style in the 1960s in Jamaica. This amalgam is also reminiscent of The Clash reorientation towards reggae in the early 1980s. Here is a very nice album to accompany the hot summer in Montreal. (July 2015)

Stomp / Warner


 Thomas Carbou – Other Colors of Hekatê

Thomas CarbouOther Colors of Hekatê

Guitarist and composer Thomas Carbou, known for his unique playing on eight strings guitar, issues his new album, accompanied by David Binney on saxophone and Jim Black on drums and percussion. Other Colors of Hekatê is the logical follower to his Hekatê trilogy, in reference to the Greek goddess Hecate. So, the album blends again jazz and world music in a rather experimental set. The album of 12 tracks totaling more than 61 minutes takes us between various music worlds of contemporary jazz with a good dose of exotic. (July 2015)

Ad Litteram / SIX


The Fall – Sub-Lingual Tablet

The FallSub-Lingual Tablet

Nearly 30 years of career forged the unique style of the British punk band that releases once again a new album, its 31st. Mark E. Smith and his band certainly don’t reinvent on Sub-Lingual Tablet, but they still seem to have fun playing together, which is not bad for a band of this age. The group navigates between different styles of alternative rock and punk rock with some pranks to metal or rap. You can hear some good tunes from Smith, but it is the rhythms that dominate for much of the CD. Without crossing any barriers, The Fall remain well present with their unique style. (July 2015)

Cherry Red / MVD


 HoneyHoney – 3


HoneyHoney is a country rock duo from Venice, CA formed by Suzanne Santo and Ben Jaffe. For this third album, they completely drop the jazz and neo-soul influences of their debut to focus on an alternative rock sound with strong country intonations, especially thanks to violin and banjo. They seem to have finally really found a sound of their own. After a first recording session in Nashville, they redid everything again, dissatisfied with the end result. Finally, 3 represents a huge step forward for HoneyHoney, musically and creatively. This is a rich and varied album that has very good times to the end. (July 2015)




 Sophie Hunger – Supermoon

Sophie HungerSupermoon

The singer-songwriter from Switzerland presents her fourth album with Supermoon. It was recorded between Brussels and San Francisco and it offers a variety of atmospheres between soft pop ("Love is Not the Answer"), ambient music (the title song) and supported rhythms ("Superman Woman"). She also performed a song in German, "Die Ganze Welt", and one in French, "La chanson d’Hélène". Going from rock to pop and with a little folk, Supermoon is certainly an eclectic album that gives something for everyone. What is particularly nice is that despite a constant change of styles, Sophie Hunger succeeds in forming a cohesive album with a good guideline, an album we want to listen to the end so it contains strong compositions. This is another very good album from this talented artist. (July 2015)

Music Video: « Supermoon »

Two Gentlemen / SIX



 Halie Loren – Butterfly Blue

Halie LorenButterfly Blue

The American jazz singer is back on record with a beautiful album, both nostalgic and contemporary. She sings such brilliantly Charles Trenet’s "Que reste-t-il de nos amours?" becoming "I Wish You Love" in a bilingual version. It also contains among others classics of George Gershwin ("Our Love is Here to Stay") and Cole Porter ("I've Got You Under My Skin"). In addition to the surprising reinterpretations she offers, Halie has many original compositions with the help of guitarist Daniel Gallo among others that brings a touch of blues and soul to the more standard jazz sound of Halie. The warm and sensual voice of the singer is literally at the heart of this recording that has everything to seduce her audience. (July 2015)

Justin Time / SIX


 Muse – Drones


A Muse album is always highly anticipated, even if their last one, issued three years ago, The 2nd Law, was not up to par. For its seventh record, the trio led by Matt Bellamy takes a political stand, among others against modern wars. They go elsewhere without much subtlety, right from the front cover. Musically, the contribution of producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange gives a touch of hard rock to the album that is not unpleasant to the ear. Muse obviously still has a wall of sound that becomes doubly impressive on stage considering that this is a trio that we have in front of our eyes. The anti-war theme was inspired by moments of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, among others with the interlude "Drill Sergeant". Other influences remain the usual Radiohead, Coldplay and U2, but one can also discover a guitar in the Van Halen style in "Reapers". But the problem often remains the same with Muse when they are not able to present truly creative compositions, they quickly fall into clichés, all wrapped in a cacophony of sound to stun us completely. This is exactly what happens with Drones which nevertheless has better ideas than their previous record, but becomes exhausting in the long run and especially lacks of subtlety. (July 2015)

Music Videos: « Dead Inside » - « Mercy »



 No Joy – More Faithful

No JoyMore Faithful

No Joy is an indie rock / shoegaze band from Montreal that exists since 2009. More Faithful is their third album and it includes a true wall of guitars with distortion while including very good pop melodies. Moments a little surreal take us into doom and gothic. The set is rather varied, but it stands beautifully with a solid direction and an incomparable creative energy. The roaring bass and powerful guitar prove to be a delight for the ears. This is certainly the most effective of their albums to date, propelling at the same time the band among the best in the Montreal and Canadian indie scene. (July 2015)

Arts & Crafts



Of Monsters and Men – Beneath the Skin

Of Monsters and Men Beneath the Skin

After their first album three years ago that pleased both the public and the critics, the Icelandic indie band is back with a second album which should meet expectations. They still have a folk side with the abundant use of acoustic instruments. Otherwise, they managed to make it a real wall of sound mostly cinematic or orchestral. In this sense, their chamber pop music is undoubtedly close to Arcade Fire, a band they are often compared to. We definitely easily imagine them in an outdoor stadium more than in a small smoky bar as their songs have unparalleled scale. The catchy choruses add to the mix conducive to a mega concert where all the assistance can take pleasure in singing loudly. Beneath the Skin has perhaps only the weakness of lacking guidance, with great moments of romance, but also several other disparate topics. But musically, no complaints! Fans of the first album will find with pleasure what they had enjoyed right away, but without a hit like "Little Talks", one of the greatest radio hits in 2012. (July 2015)

Music Video: « Crystals »

Island / Republic / Universal



 Rachel Sermanni – Tied to the Moon

Rachel SermanniTied to the Moon

The Scottish folk singer is back with a second intimate studio album, full of melancholy. Otherwise, it has a darker side and it is a little more indie than Under Mountains issued in 2012. Her sublime voice still captures our attention right away, and it adapts perfectly to her rather dark folk sound. If she somewhat explores in terms of the sound of the album, the compositions against remain in familiar territory, often predictable. Still, fans should again appreciate what Rachel Sermanni has to offer. (July 2015)

Middle of Nowhere


Anoushka Shankar – Home

Anoushka ShankarHome

One of the most respected sitar players of her generation, Anoushka Shankar is already releasing her eighth album. As always, her unique playing allows her to deftly cross the barriers between classical music and world music. Home contains only four tracks, but that vary between 10 and 18 minutes each. Entirely recorded at her home in London, the album has a very meditative intimate atmosphere inspired by her father, the legendary Ravi Shankar. She once again pays tribute to the traditions of her home country, India, and she is certainly one of the greatest ambassadors to make a bridge between East and West. Home is an album to be listened in a specific context, a context of meditation and reflection. (July 2015)

Deutsche Grammophon / Universal



The Silver Lake Chorus – TSLC

The Silver Lake ChorusTSLC

The US band offers indie rock, but on arrangements for a choir, based on vocal harmonies. The choir of over 20 singers presents only two a capella songs including the opening track, "From the Snow-Tipped Hills". For the rest, there are arrangements of guitars, synthesizers, strings and drums that instantly carry us to indie rock, far from the choir to which one has accustomed us. This first album contains rare pieces or original works by authors such as Sia, Aimee Mann, Tegan & Sara, Ben Lee, A.C. Newman (The New Pornographers), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie), The Flaming Lips, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), etc. The most accessible song is certainly Ben Gibbard’s "Nervous Soul" which presents itself as a simple pop song, very pleasant to hear. This entire self-titled album, produced by Ben Lee, is sailing in different repertoires between choral singing and indie rock and it can sometimes become somewhat disorienting. Otherwise, it is a rather interesting exercise in style. (July 2015)

Six Degrees / SIX


 Simply Red – Big Love

Simply RedBig Love

There are already more than 30 years that the British band Simply Red made a career. Otherwise, Big Love is their first album in eight years, which represents their longest break to date. It’s because singer and frontman Mick Hucknall embarked on a solo career during that period, an experience that was not really successful. Hucknall and Simply Red being inseparable, here they are together again for a quite romantic pop rock album. The whole is rather soft in a style reminiscent of the soul of the 1970s with few rare songs accelerating the pace in a style that often approaches disco. Big Love perhaps proves to be a little too clean, but it's a style that fits well with Simply Red. (July 2015)

East West / Warner


 Skrillex and Diplo – Jack Ü

Skrillex and DiploJack Ü

When the DJ master of dubstep (Skrillex) meets the DJ who made his name in hip hop and bass music from the south (Diplo), it certainly results in an album on which bass dominates and rhythms constantly face us. We could stop here and most have been said about Jack Ü. The short album of 10 tracks totaling 35 minutes indeed presents a mix between the often conflicting styles of the two producers. Rhythmic but not often danceable, the album has some interesting melodies thanks to the guest singers and especially female singers. Kiesza makes indeed "Take Ü There" interesting, when AlunaGeorge ("To Ü") and Justin Bieber ("Where Are Ü Now") create hits. Note also the very successful remix of "Take Ü There" by Missy Elliott. For the rest, it is typically underground, difficult to access and difficult to follow. The main "advantage" of Jack Ü is that it has all the power necessary to disturb your neighbors. (July 2015)

Music Video: « Where Are Ü Now »

Mad Decent / Atlantic / Warner


 Soak – Before We Forgot How To Dream

SoakBefore We Forgot How To Dream

Bridie Monds-Watson is a young 18-year old Irish female singer. She chose Soak as stage name to combine soul and folk, but she admits herself that her music is neither the one nor the other style. In fact, she rather gives us an introspective indie rock sound, although folk influences can be detected in some moments. Her compositions are proving to be pretty teenager with often melodramatic tendencies. They are mostly based on her guitar and her voice. Soak has a strong Irish accent when she sings and her phrasing at times can remind Quebecer Cœur de Pirate. Her voice still remains special enough for us to have the desire of hearing more in the future. We'll see how she will evolve through her twenties, but Soak definitely has a raw talent that remains to be polished. (July 2015)

Rough Trade / Beggars



 X Ambassadors – VHS

X AmbassadorsVHS

After three EPs, the quartet from Brooklyn, New York releases its first full-length album, carried by the hit "Renegades". X Ambassadors offer an indie rock sound with very good pop melodies. Their music incorporates acoustic and electric instruments, as well as some electronics used sparingly. Produced skillfully by Alex Da Kid (Eminem, Nicki Minaj, Imagine Dragons), the album includes collaborations with Jamie N Commons on the hit "Jungle" and Imagine Dragons for "Fear". The talent of singer Sam Harris is unquestionable, as is the keyboardist Casey Harris and guitarist Noah Feldsuh. VHS contains 20 tracks, but with several interludes for a total not exceeding 48 minutes. It includes several very good compositions, despite some inequalities throughout the record. (July 2015)

Music Videos: « Renegades » - « Jungle »

Interscope / Universal





Jason Derulo – Everything Is 4

Jason DeruloEverything Is 4

On his new album, Jason Derulo has several light pop songs, moving away from his R&B influences, as is the case among others of the first single, "Want To Want Me". We can also hear two other hits: "Cheyenne" and "Get Ugly". It contains several important collaborators, for example K. Michelle, Meghan Trainor, Stevie Wonder and Keith Urban ("Broke"), Julia Michaels, as well as Jennifer Lopez and Matoma (the excellent "Try Me"). More underground R&B songs are still present on the record, but they alternate quickly with danceable pop songs. In addition, with 11 tracks totaling less than 39 minutes, Derulo does not fall into the trap of offering a too long album that could make us lose interest along the way. This therefore results in an album that is still pleasant to listen to the end. Actually, Everything Is 4 is possibly the most interesting and fun to listen of his records to date. (June 2015 Featured Review)

Music Video: « Want To Want Me »







Holychild – The Shape of Brat Pop to Come

HolychildThe Shape of Brat Pop to Come

Holychild is a Los Angeles duo formed of singer Liz Nistico and multi-instrumentalist Louie Diller. They release their first album with the title inspired of The Shape of Jazz to Come by Ornette Coleman. Otherwise, musically, Holychild has nothing to do with jazz, but rather presents an electro pop sound with rock guitars. The duo takes inspiration from the punk energy, hip hop and dancehall in a mix that compares to the new wave of the 1980s and 1990s pop rock. The 12 songs offered on The Shape of Brat to Pop Come have not only a great energy, but also a very refreshing creativity. Without pieces that truly stand out, the album contains very few weaknesses. It is a very good first record that offer us Holychild. (June 2015 Featured New Artist)

Music Videos: « Running Behind » - « Money All Around »

Glassnote / Universal



 Andee – Black and white Heart

AndeeBlack and white Heart

After a long wait, here is the first album by Andee (Andrée-Anne Leclerc), a former Star Académie contestant in Quebec. After a landmark meeting with Sebastien Lefebvre (Simple Plan) and a signing with Universal, she releases an album in English mixing pop and rock to her soulful voice in a fairly energetic set. Produced by Lefebvre, Black and White Heart includes the hits "Never Gone" and "Sorries" plus a collaboration with Hedley for the bilingual version of "Kiss You Inside Out". You can hear three French versions for "Never Gone", "Tu enflammes mon corps" and the title track. Finally, there is a third version of the latter, a remix by Lesko Cerf. The powerful voice of the singer is highlighted throughout this record that sticks perfectly to her skin. Otherwise, musically, few tracks are distinguished by their creativity. (June 2015)

Music Videos: « Never Gone » - « Sorries »



 Anti-Flag – American Spring

Anti-FlagAmerican Spring

After more than 25 years of existence, the punk band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania seems to have lost none of its energy and passion to denunciate. Anti-Flag offer indeed a generally dynamic tenth album, despite slower songs. Unfortunately, the style was saturated for a long time and few bands can still expect some credibility in their opposition to capitalism and modern society. This is especially the case for Anti-Flag when they come to us with a clean production like this one, so much so that at times it's Simple Plan that comes to mind rather than Black Flag, such as in powerful choruses like "Sky is Falling" and "Without End". It is important to mention two major collaborations to American Spring: Tim Armstrong (Rancid, Transplants) on "Brandenburg Gate" and Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave) on "Without End". Despite some good moments, we must face the facts that Anti-Flag cannot attract true punk rock enthusiasts anymore, but fans of too corporate pop punk. (June 2015)

Spinefarm / Caroline



 Bachman – Heavy Blues

BachmanHeavy Blues

Randy Bachman quickly announces his colors with the title of his new album. He gives us indeed his heaviest solo album to date, abusing unrestrained distortion. For the occasion, he surrounded himself with a new all-female rhythm section: Anna Ruddick (bass) and Dale Anne Brendon (drums). The trio is joined by several guest guitarists, including the late Jeff Healey, Neil Young, Peter Frampton and Joe Bonamassa. And for guitar, there is a lot on Heavy Blues with a real wall of sound that is assaulting us. The production of Kevin Shirley (Iron Maiden, Rush, Led Zeppelin) brings a good dose of power to the album that has very good rock energy, although the compositions certainly don’t revolutionize the genre. In fact, with this new record, Bachman has the ideal product to go on a long tour which will certainly be very successful. (June 2015)

Linus / SIX


 Barenaked Ladies – Silverball

Barenaked LadiesSilverball

After more than 25 years of career, the Ontario band is still very present in the Canadian rock landscape. Silverball is their third album without Steven Page, and it keeps going in the same direction as the previous two. There are indeed very effective pop rock tunes, many of which are unforgettable. Although we still find alternative folk influences, the whole is keeping its pop trend remaining extremely accessible. "Say What You Want" has a little something of R.E.M., while other times are reminiscent of the 1970s with traces of ELO and the Beach Boys. Note that Silverball also marks the return of Kevin Hearn, who won his fight against cancer a few years ago. A song is also dedicated to him, "Tired of Fighting with You". The group seems to be in a better shape than ever on this 12th album, which rather proves to be pleasant to listen to the end. (June 2015)

Raisin' / Warner



Bet.e & Stef – Seeds

Bet.e & StefSeeds

After an enviable success at the turn of the 2000s, the Montreal duo took a long pause before coming back in 2013. Here they are back on record with Seeds, an album containing only eight songs for a total of just over 30 minutes. Bet.e & Stef offer again this mix of jazz and world music that has made them famous, plus a significant touch of pop music. The melodies are indeed still highly effective and memorable. They also add some folk and electro elements, perhaps to follow the strong current trend. Their styles amalgam remains as efficient and pleasant to listen to the end. It's just a shame that the album is so short because we would certainly have taken more. Here is the perfect record to accompany your sunny summer days! You can see them on an outdoor stage on July 1 as part of the International Jazz Festival of Montreal. (June 2015)




Faith No More – Sol Invictus

Faith No More Sol Invictus

a translation of a review by Jean Jean (Rocklegends)

Eighteen. Eighteen long, long years have passed since the release of Album of the Year, finding an excellent end of discography... ultimately not final. After a reunion in 2009 for a series of concerts including large festivals, Faith No More did not let presage the release of a new studio album... Sol Invictus is nevertheless very real, massive and far from dissonant in the discography of the Californians. Reformed with the same line-up as on Album of the Year - understand without Jim Martin on guitar - Faith No More has again called on Matt Wallace for a fifth collaboration, this time to the mixing (the album being produced by Billy Gould himself...). Indescribable band unless you use a long combination of styles, adjectives and superlatives, Faith No More is a musical curiosity. And Mike Patton, monstrous chameleon singer, is certainly no coincidence. Sol Invictus as always offers him an ideal ground for a multitude of vocal antics going very easily from punk to heavy metal, from crooner to hip hop, from ballad to hardcore clamor. Mike Patton, the general, illuminates once again the record of his lived, invested and tortured chant... Behind, it is also the great musical gap, with "Sol Invictus" is perched introduction, "Superhero", a mid-tempo obscure, "Sunny Side up", a dramatically poignant ballad, "Black Friday", a pop "p(f)unk" offset. As always, Faith No More provide a rough and hearty feast that assimilation requires patience, listening and skinning in order. And there is the splayfooted. So if they had to reassure skeptics and anxious, Faith No More have not backed off. Energy is superabundant, lush abundant creativity and desire. Nothing suggests a discography hiatus of fifteen years. Nothing suggests that the flame was extinguished. But everything suggests that Faith No More were clearly missed during that time. (June 2015)

Reclamation / Ipecac



Florence + the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

Florence + the MachineHow Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

Florence Welch and her band are back with their third album presenting some kind of a turn. Three and a half years after the excellent Ceremonials, this new record produced by Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Coldplay) offers music and lyrics a bit more down-to-earth. This is perhaps the maturity that has come to Florence as her pop songs that were often left-field before are becoming mainstream now, sometimes without great personality. This is particularly the case in the second half of the CD so you can hear frankly boring tracks. There are some interesting songs in the beginning, with quality arrangements and beautiful orchestrations, but it is not enough to meet the high demands that we are entitled to have with this unique artist who knew how to impress with her two first recordings. It remains to be seen whether How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful is only a transition to something better. To be continued! (June 2015)

Music Videos: « What Kind of Man » - « St. Jude »

Island / Universal


 Good Lovelies – Burn the Plan

Good LoveliesBurn the Plan

The Good Lovelies are a Toronto female trio of folk music and beautiful vocal melodies on high quality songs. This new album starts strongly with the surprising "In the Morning", marked of an electronic touch, and the excellent "Waiting For You". The musicians who accompany the trio include Les Cooper on guitar and mandolin (which also produced and mixed the album) and Luke Doucet (Whitehorse) on electric guitar for two tracks. Burn the Plan is definitely an excellent album by the Good Lovelies, a record that will please all melodic folk enthusiasts. (June 2015)

Six Shooter / SIX



 Josh Groban – Stages

Josh GrobanStages

Always on the line between lyrical singing and pop song, Josh Groban presents on Stages music that sticks perfectly to his skin. Indeed, he plays some of the best works taken from Broadway musicals and some movies (like "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz), with pop arrangements but also great orchestrations. The extracts from musicals include Les Misérables, Notre-Dame de Paris and The Phantom of the Opera ("All I Ask From You" with Kelly Clarkson). Groban doesn’t go far in opera and he instead remains in a mainstream pop record. Anyway, he delivers in a great way some unforgettable works. (June 2015)

Reprise / Warner


 Holly Herndon – Platform

Holly HerndonPlatform

A native of Tennessee, Holly Herndon moved to Berlin to blend to the techno scene. Back in the US, she discovered the fun of creating from a computer. On this second album, she offers a rather experimental electronic sound, often downtempo, but also with some occasional pop melodies. To this often difficult to access music, she adds different themes close to her heart as political, ideological concepts and technology. This therefore results in a complete album, a wholly creative work that confirms the talent of the composer. (June 2015)

4AD / Beggars



 Ben Kunder – Golden

Ben KunderGolden

After a ten year career, the Canadian songwriter and singer finally releases his first solo album, Golden. He was accompanied for the occasion by some collaborators, including Brian Murphy (Alvvays), three members of Ladies of the Canyon and Rich Knox (Danko Jones). Produced by John Dinsmore (Sarah Harmer, Kathleen Edwards, Elliott Brood), the album presents a folk rock sound with very good melodies and some country accents. (June 2015)

 Natalie MacMaster + Donnell Leahy – One

Natalie MacMaster + Donnell Leahy – One

Acclaimed worldwide Cape Breton violinist, Natalie MacMaster has sold over 200,000 albums in her career. As for Donnell Leahy, he is also a violinist and music director of the Celtic band Leahy. They met as teenagers, then each had their careers before reuniting and marrying. Oddly, One is their first joint album, from a lucky meeting with legendary producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, KISS, Deep Purple) who recruited Justin Cortelyou (Taylor Swift, Ke$ha, Alan Jackson) as co-producer. The duo offers instrumental Celtic rock music highlighting their virtuosity on the violin. They also play a number of traditional tunes for a happy mix between music of the past and contemporary music. One is a unique violin album. (June 2015)

Linus / eOne / SIX


Mumford & Sons – Wilder Mind

Mumford & SonsWilder Mind

The London alternative folk rock band is back with their fourth album, moving away somewhat from their previous recordings as they drop their famous banjo. They certainly had the desire to dissociate from the numerous bands that emerged in recent years that seemed to want to do the Mumford & Sons style. Yet even while trying to redirect, the band looks like about all that can be heard today in alternative rock based on acoustic instruments. At least in sound, since in terms of the quality of the compositions, it’s not impressive. Mumford & Sons have always favored sound over creativity, and we will have much less difficulty in realizing it with Wilder Mind. The album is not totally uninteresting, but several songs quickly become stale when we start listening carefully. It is best to keep a remote or distracted ear if we want to enjoy this new album by Mumford & Sons. Even their biggest fans might be somewhat disappointed. (June 2015)

Glassnote / Universal


 Ariel Pocock – Touchstone

Ariel PocockTouchstone

The first album by 21 year-old jazz singer and pianist Ariel Pocock is finally available in Canada. Produced by Matt Pierson (Jane Monheit, Joshua Redman), Touchstone introduces especially her nervous featured piano style, even if her sublime voice also greatly impresses. She is accompanied by seasoned musicians including Larry Grenadier on bass and Eric Harland on drums. She includes pieces of the traditional jazz repertoire as "Devil May Care", "All the Things You Are" and "When I Fall in Love", but she also puts forward a more contemporary repertoire. With Touchstone, Ariel Pocock demonstrates a huge talent as a musician and jazz singer. (June 2015)

Justin Time / SIX



 Philip Sayce – Influence

Philip SayceInfluence

Philip Sayce is perhaps born in Wales, but it is Canada that saw him growing up from the age of two. While he released a few albums, none of them was available in Canada. With Influence, his first album on a major label, he can finally make his music known at home. Sayce gives us a blues rock sound strongly influenced of Stevie Ray Vaughan, but especially Jimi Hendrix, his idol. Among the 13 tracks offered on Influence, seven are covers of classics like "Evil Woman" and "On the Road Again". This is an energetic and very entertaining album that is offering us Philip Sayce with Influence, an album that finds its roots directly into the 1970s. (June 2015)




 Scarlett Jane – Scarlett Jane

Scarlett JaneScarlett Jane

The Toronto duo is formed of Andrea Ramolo and Cindy Doire. Established in 2012, Scarlett Jane offer us their second album in the pop folk style, with some country influences. This self-titled album was written in Cuba during a stay devoted to musical creation in 2013. It contains short stories full of evocative details that demonstrate good maturity compared to their first record. Their vocal harmonies remain at the limits of perfection, so the two artists seem made to perform together. Note also their interpretation of a beautiful song in French, "Cours". Here is an excellent album that is proposed to us by this fusion duo... (June 2015)




 SC Mira – Waiting Room Baby

SC MiraWaiting Room Baby

SC Mira is an indie rock band from Winnipeg led by singer, guitarist and songwriter Sadye Cage. Waiting Room Baby is the first EP for them and it includes six energetic tracks with catchy melodies and some folk influences. Buck 65 collaborates to one of them, "Motel Honey". Although the CD is much too short to explore the full potential of Sadye Cage and her band, the fact remains that they are much solid compositions that are offered to us here. This will be more than enough to create great expectations for the future. (June 2015)

Pipe & Hat / Maple