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JULY 2014

 

FEATURED REVIEW:  Jack White    FEATURED NEW ARTIST:  Ought

 

JULY 22-28:

Birdy - LP - Clean Bandit - Parquet Courts - Priests

 

JULY 15-21:

Conor Oberst - Rush Midnight - Big Smo - PAWS - Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove

 

FRANCE SPECIAL EDITION (more in the French page):

Yann Tiersen - Christine and the Queens - Shaka Ponk - Natalie Dessay, etc. - Le Café Bleu International

 

JULY 2-7:

Michael Jackson - Mariah Carey - Santana - Tori Amos - Afrojack - Natalie Merchant - Hunter Hayes - Lily Allen - Jolie Holland - Little Dragon - Young Magic - Tune-Yards - Toumani & Sidiki Diabaté - The Fault in Our Stars - GG Allin (DVD)

 

Reviews coming up next month:

Jennifer Lopez - Robin Thicke - Lana Del Rey - Trey Songz - Linkin Park - Fatboy Slim - The Flaming Lips - Phillip Phillips - Ed Sheeran - Tessanne Chin

and much more...

 

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CANADA DAY SPECIAL EDITION:

Victoria Duffield - Matthew Barber - Owen Pallett - Teenage Kicks - Secret Broadcast - Leisure Cruise - Jill Barber - Meaghan Smith - Pacifika - Manteca - Ellen Doty

PREVIOUS REVIEWS: Sarah McLachlan - Alyssa Reid - Molly Thomason - Down With Webster - Neil Young - Blackie and the Rodeo Kings - iSH - Bachman-Turner Overdrive - Roch Voisine - Loreena McKennitt

IN BRIEF: ICON: Best of Canada The 1980's

 

FATHER'S DAY SPECIAL EDITION:

Johnny Cash - Ten Years After

PREVIOUS REVIEWS: Pat Metheny - Brent Johnson - Paul Deslauriers Band 

 

JUNE 1-7:

Coldplay - Protomartyr - The Black Keys - Corey Hart - Damon Albarn - Lykke Li - Jesse Boykins III - The Used - The Planet Smashers - The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger - Royal Blood - Adam Karch - The Lost Fingers - Rachel Sermanni - Noah - D.O.A. (DVD)

 

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You can also search by artist names if you visit the artists directory.

 

 

 

FEATURED REVIEW:

 

Jack White – Lazaretto

Jack WhiteLazaretto

This second solo album by guitar genius and ex-White Stripes comes to us only two years after Blunderbuss, but he still manages to evolve through his own personal universe. Yes you can still make references to his previous projects (Raconteurs, Dead Weather, etc.), but creativity remains present. On Lazaretto, this blues maniac incorporates violins over the slide guitar and piano, question to go further away from the minimalist garage blues sound that made ​​him famous. Otherwise, the arrangements are kept simple and a little dirty, which has long been part of his trademark. Lazaretto lyrics are inspired by early writings, but adjusted to date and future-oriented. Musically, the album contains the most bizarre pieces by White in a long time. Unlikely changes of beats and styles, extravagant sounds and raw arrangements make of this album a work of art in itself. Avoid comparisons since you will surely get wrong. Jack White remains a unique character and his new album launches many challenges but you will ultimately get fulfilled.

Music Video: « Lazaretto »

Third Man / Columbia / Sony

½

  YouTube   

 

 

 

 

FEATURED NEW ARTIST:

 

Ought – More Than Any Other Day

OughtMore Than Any Other Day

Ought is a quartet from Montreal which started in 2011 and plays indie rock / post-punk. They also have new wave influences and present quite heavy moments near metal. More Than Any Other Day is their first full-length album that will finally make them discovered beyond the local scene. You can hear influences of the 1990s’ post-grunge, but also the alternative rock of the 1970s and 1980s. Punk is never far away, but we can also hear more experimental long passages. We thus find a mixture of influences that could become cacophonous after a while, but on the contrary, the group managed to bring remarkably these different genres into a coherent whole that is their personal property. Ought do not definitely offer an easily accessible album, but it has enough good qualities that we want to follow their evolution.

Constellation

½

 

JULY 22-28:

 

 Birdy – Fire Within

BirdyFire Within

Fire Within is the second album for the young 18 year-old English singer, but her first of original songs. Nevertheless, the CD starts with a cover, Bon Iver’s "Skinny Love". She participates in most of the compositions, but she can count on the support of many talented people including Ben Lovett (Mumford & Sons) and Sia. She offers some catchy and efficient pop songs, but also has several lower quality songs, not very creative. It is for her to discover the songwriting craft, and considering her young age, we can more easily forgive her efforts in formatted and too easy music.

Music Videos: « Skinny Love » - « Wings » - « Light Me Up » - « Words as Weapons »

Warner

 LP – Forever for Now

LP Forever for Now

Laura Pergolizzi (aka LP) grew up in New York before moving to Los Angeles. Her style is somewhere between Feist, Chrissie Hynde and Joan Jett with a frankly rock attitude and intelligent lyrics. Even though this is her first album for a major label, LP played for more than a decade independently. On Forever for Now, producer Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls, My Chemical Romance) manages to bring out the pop side of LP which offers excellent melodies. Here is an excellent album of pop rock, effective and creative.

Warner

½

 Clean Bandit – New Eyes

Clean BanditNew Eyes

The British band skillfully blends danceable house music and classical music with the addition of many string arrangements. Their music still remains very danceable and will appeal especially to fans of house or energetic pop. New Eyes is their first official album and contains among others "Mozart's House", a piece published in 2013 on the EP of the same title. The mixing of genres proves to be frankly interesting on several occasions, but sometimes the fusion seems forced.

Atlantic / Warner

 Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal

Parquet CourtsSunbathing Animal

The Brooklyn band comes up with a second album just a year and a half after their excellent debut album, Light Up Gold. Sunbathing Animal shows the essence of what caught attention to their debut album including their greatly catchy melodies. Otherwise, they seem to take a good dose of maturity, which is far from being boring to hear. Tracks like "Black & White", "Instant Disassembly" and the title track ensure the satisfaction of their fans. But a key piece as "Always Back in Town" will certainly become the classic from the album, and perhaps for the band.

½

 Priests – Bodies and Control and Money and Power

PriestsBodies and Control and Money and Power

Priests is an indie rock band formed in Washington, D.C. in 2011. This first album from them is in fact an EP with 7 tracks totalling 17 minutes. Their punk influences are undeniable, but their sound is more towards a grinding post-punk sound which is not without reminding us of Sonic Youth and Fugazi on different occasions. Difficult to access, the album doesn’t have pop melodies before "Right Wing", the penultimate song on the CD that would make us think about Courtney Love. Nice job of marketing to introduce this record as a full-length album, but there are definitely some tracks missing to make an album worthy of the name. Priests still remains a band to watch carefully for those who love their alternative rock rather noisy.

Don Giovanni

½

 

JULY 15-21:

 

 Conor Oberst – Upside Down Mountain

Conor OberstUpside Down Mountain

The alternative rock singer from Nebraska comes to us with a first solo album of original material since 2008. For the occasion, he worked with producer Jonathan Wilson who managed to partially mitigate the effect of the trembling voice of Oberst, while putting forward good guitars. Although the acoustic guitar still dominates, there are several passages where the electric guitar is scratching fairly. The style of the album reminds us partly of the Californian folk rock of the early 1970s and it is a style that goes pretty well with Conor Oberst. In fact, it is perhaps the record that will allow him to be discovered by a new audience. A very good album!

Nonesuch / Warner

½

 Rush Midnight – Rush Midnight

Rush MidnightRush Midnight

The man behind Rush Midnight is Russ Manning, a guy from Brooklyn. He joined Twin Shadow in the early 2010s and it is on tour that he started to write and mix songs for his upcoming project. He offers us electro-pop music with strong influences of funk. The album was produced by Jesse F. Keeler (MSTRKRFT, Death From Above 1979) and it contains several frankly catchy songs.

Last Gang

 Big Smo – Kuntry Livin’

Big SmoKuntry Livin’

John Smith (aka Big Smo) was born in San Diego, California, but grew up in Tennessee. Fan of Kid Rock and Run-DMC, he developed his own style of rap by merging it to a country sound. Active for ten years, he finally managed to catch the attention of a major label for a debut album with a wide distribution. The singer-songwriter is also a producer and has recently been presenting his own reality show. On Kuntry Livin', he has a few tracks of great interest, with quite a bit of energy and creativity. He can count on the participation of some big names including Frankie Ballard, Darius Rucker and Haden Carpenter. Otherwise, some songs are not up to the expectations and we can become impatient, especially when Kid Rock can not do anything else but stay in our mind.

Elektra / Warner

 PAWS – Youth Culture Forever

PAWSYouth Culture Forever

PAWS is an indie rock trio from Glasgow, Scotland, which has a punk energy and grunge influences while maintaining very good pop melodies. Youth Culture Forever is their second album and certainly their most accomplished to date. A little less garage and experimental, this album with accessible melodies and a dynamic rhythm may appeal a wider audience, especially those who found their debut a little too noisy. Otherwise, the group remains very incisive with a distortion guitar sound and heavy bass. With greater subtlety, Youth Culture Forever easily becomes the band's best album to date and it remains to be seen how PAWS will continue to evolve.

Fat Cat

½

 Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove – A Fistful of Desert Blues

Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove – A Fistful of Desert Blues

Singer, actress and poet Lydia Lunch joins guitarist Cypress Grove for this new album. On A Fistful of Desert Blues, the duo performs dark and gothic love songs. Spoken words of Lunch are strongly supported by Grove’s guitar (electric or acoustic) in a style that blends folk and blues. The atmosphere created is dark and demonstrates with credibility the tragic aspect of relationships. Several pieces are poignant and emotion thus propagates throughout the CD which in addition has a nice continuity to the end. A Fistful of Desert Blues is definitely a different album, but so interesting!

Rustblade / MVD

½

 

FRANCE SPECIAL EDITION:

 

 Yann Tiersen – Infinity

Yann TiersenInfinity

Three years after Skyline, the French composer is back with Infinity. This eighth album by Yann Tiersen will not surprise anyone by its cinematic atmosphere since he first became known as a composer of film music. Mostly recorded in Iceland, Infinity has been greatly influenced by that Northern country and the Faroe Islands. Tiersen offers a creative post-rock sound but a bit cold, which may require some efforts before really accepting it. Otherwise, when acceding to it we are pleased since Infinity is more cohesive than its predecessor. To conclude, Yann Tiersen gives us one of his best compositions in career, "Meteorites", in collaboration with Aidan Moffat. This masterly work contributes to do of Infinity one of his most remarkable albums to date, despite the difficulty of approach. A great record!

Mute / Bonsound

½

 Christine and the Queens – Chaleur humaine

Christine and the QueensChaleur humaine

Christine and the Queens is the pseudonym of Héloïse Letissier, a songwriter, singer and pianist born in Nantes, France. After a few opening concerts for Stromae, she offers us her first album, Chaleur humaine (human warmth). This is an electro-pop album dominated by synthesizers and piano, with some arrangements of strings. The record contains almost as many songs in English than in French from the 11 included. Although her music includes many electronic elements, it is still closer to conventional French pop without major creative elements.

Because / Warner

 Shaka Ponk – The White Pixel Ape Smoking Isolate to Keep in Shape

Shaka PonkThe White Pixel Ape Smoking Isolate to Keep in Shape

The French version of Gorillaz is back with a new explosive album, its fourth. Again, the band managed to merge in a great way electro-pop, punk and rock 'n' roll, always with an infectious energy that compels us to stomp. The virtual band represented by the monkey face comes back with 13 new songs of which very few will leave you indifferent. The recipe remains simple: keyboards that mesmerise, guitars that hit us and a rhythm section without any breaks. The album begins strongly with the rock 'n' roll "Lucky G1rl", a sound that can be heard on several occasions although keyboards appear much more often in general. "Scarify" presents an energetic funk where metal is cancelled by keyboards. Otherwise, the following one, "Black Listed", gives a fast beat on a nice mix of metal and punk. At the other extreme, you can hear the first ballad by the collective, "Heal Me Kill Me", highlighted by a string section. This is again an extremely varied and energetic album that offers us Shaka Ponk. Fans of the group will be pleased.

Music Videos: « Wanna Get Free » - « Lucky G1rl »

Tôt ou Tard / SIX

½

 Natalie Dessay, Agnès Jaoui, Helena Noguerra, Liat Cohen – Rio-Paris

Natalie Dessay, Agnès Jaoui, Helena Noguerra, Liat Cohen – Rio-Paris

On Rio-Paris, soprano Natalie Dessay continues to explore musical territories outside opera and classical song, accompanied by singers Agnès Jaoui and Helena Noguerra, as well as guitarist Liat Cohen. This time, Dessay visits Rio de Janeiro, host of the soccer World Cup in 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games. The album includes compositions by Villa-Lobos, Gilberto, Jobim, Gismonti, Baden Powell, etc. This guitar-voice version of these great songs creates a unique link between Rio and Paris.

Erato / Warner / Naxos

 Le Café Bleu International – Le Café Bleu International plays Édith Piaf

Le Café Bleu InternationalLe Café Bleu International plays Édith Piaf

Le Café Bleu International is a German jazz trio including saxophonist Matthieu Bordenave, guitarist and keyboardist Leonhard Kuhn and drummer Jay Lateef. It is a tribute to the heyday of European jazz. The trio plays a few important pieces of Edith Piaf’s repertoire including the inevitable "La vie en rose" (in 3 versions), "Hymne à l’amour", "Milord", and so on. The interpretations are contemporary and we sometimes have problems recognizing the melodies of these great songs. At least they have the advantage of bringing something new to the legendary compositions.

Enja / Vivo

 

JULY 2-7:

 

 Michael Jackson – Xscape

Michael JacksonXscape

Xscape is the second important posthumous album since the death of the king of pop in 2009. Its piece of resistance is certainly the hit "Love Never Felt So Good" co-written with Paul Anka and sung in duet with Justin Timberlake in its radio version. The remaining of the CD contains 7 songs recorded before his death which the arrangements completed by Timbaland and L.A. Reid. The style reminds us of the best years of Jackson while having a sound of the 2010s, a sound that probably is not so far from what he would have liked considering his interest in new trends. It's a short album that is offered with Xscape, but if you want a little more, a deluxe version includes demo versions of 8 songs of the album, in addition to the version of "Love Never Felt So Good" in duet with Justin Timberlake. Xscape remains primarily an album for hardcore fans of Michael Jackson.

Music Video: « Love Never Felt So Good » (feat. Justin Timberlake)

 Mariah Carey – Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse

Mariah CareyMe. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse

One feels some nostalgia in Mariah throughout this new album, perhaps because she has almost 25 years of career. She surrounds herself for the occasion by many collaborators for writing and production. We can also hear different voices to accompany her like Nas, Wale and Miguel. She still has a R&B sound generally fresh and focused on her voice. Otherwise, different people bring an interesting color to the album by modernizing it, despite its many comparisons to the past. The record is very diverse, both in its sound and quality, which can become downright frustrating. But, we can at least say that the whole is not too uniform and we are fortunate to find convenient moments for our preferences. The CD runs out of steam towards the end with much less successful pieces, including the cheap cover of George Michael’s "One More Try".

Def Jam / Universal

 Santana – Corazon

SantanaCorazon

Carlos Santana returns to Clive Davis as executive producer for Corazon, the one who was behind the blockbuster album Supernatural in 1999. This is kind of the first real album of Latin music by Santana, which was only incorporating Latin elements to his style of rock before. Mostly in Spanish, the album features a variety of guest artists for whom it is the mother tongue (Gloria Estefan, Pitbull, Miguel, Romeo Santos, etc.). We can also hear Ziggy Marley on a cover of his father’s "Iron Lion Zion". With Pitbull, the legendary guitarist gives a new fresh version of one of his greatest hits in career, "Oye Como Va". Although some tracks are somewhat lacking creativity, there are good Latin songs on Corazon. In addition, Santana seems perfectly at ease in a context where Latin music dominates, even if it's his guitar that becomes erased in many occasions.

½

 Tori Amos – Unrepentant Geraldines

Tori AmosUnrepentant Geraldines

Tori Amos is back with an album of original songs. Otherwise, this time, she seems to go back 20 years ago with pieces reminiscent of her best years in the 1990s. Despite catchy melodies, it is not genuine pop songs that we can find on Unrepentant Geraldines. It is rather introspective pieces promoting meditation and creating a very special atmosphere, with some Celtic touches. Smooth, the album will never provoke you, but you will get seduced throughout the entire length of it approaching 60 minutes. This is a very good album by a single artist who has no fear of losing her audience.

Mercury / Universal

½

 Afrojack – Forget the World

AfrojackForget the World

Nick Van De Wall (aka Afrojack) is a Dutch DJ who stood out in recent years through collaborations with David Guetta and Pitbull, as well as having remixed Madonna and Lady Gaga songs. With Forget the World, he presents his first album for which he can count on many people including Snoop Dogg, Wiz Khalifa and Sting. The presence of the latter can seem a bit odd on "Catch Tomorrow", because he does not seem at all comfortable in this danceable context. Afrojack is not only a master of beat, but he also has an innate sense of melody, making sure that not only he offers custom pieces for dance floors, but also for radio. Instant hit "Ten Feet Tall" sounds like a techno version of Coldplay and it is possible to make this kind of comparisons throughout the CD. One hit after another and Forget the World seems to be ultimately a simple compilation rather than an album with some consistency. The songs to make you dance abound, but creativity, a little less.

Music Video: « The Spark » (feat. Spree Wilson)

Island / Universal

 Natalie Merchant – Natalie Merchant

Natalie MerchantNatalie Merchant

Now aged 50, the former member of 10,000 Maniacs which went solo in 1995 with the excellent album Tigerlily comes to us with her sixth album. But, if we don’t consider the album of folk covers The House Carpenter’s Daughter, and her double album for children Leave Your Sleep, this is actually her first real original album in 13 years. Despite the time that has elapsed, nobody will have trouble recognizing the style of the adult pop rock singer with strong folk tendencies. The whole proceeds fairly smoothly in a perfect style for her voice. Her long-time fans will therefore certainly appreciate that comeback.

Nonesuch / Warner

½

 Hunter Hayes – Storyline

Hunter HayesStoryline

The young country singer from Louisiana has a new album of great quality. Even if he follows the footsteps of Taylor Swift in a rather pop and accessible country style, Hunter Hayes managed to stand out with this second full-length album with elements of rock. Produced by Dann Huff and Hayes, Storyline offers energetic music that will appeal to a fairly wide audience. Ballads like "Still Fallin" come to change the beat, without breaking the magic. There are maybe his acute and nasal voice that can sometimes be annoying, but he gives us effective compositions, well supported by musicians of great talent. With Storyline, Hunter Hayes took an important step in his career.

Music Video: « Invisible »

Atlantic / Warner

½

 Lily Allen – Sheezus

Lily AllenSheezus

The London pop rock singer presents her first album in five years. After two records of high quality appreciated by critics, expectations were high for Sheezus. Unfortunately, the album disappoints somewhat with compositions that do not seem to live up to the first hearing, which will be confirmed in subsequent tracks. For 5 years, the face of pop music has changed quite a bit and she seems to be now only a player among many others, without much creativity. The freshness of her debut is gone and it is not with great excitement that we listen to the 12 tracks (plus two bonus tracks).

Music Videos: « Hard Out Here » - « Somewhere Only We Know » - « Air Balloon » - « Our Time » - « Sheezus »

Parlophone / Warner

½

 Jolie Holland – Wine Dark Sea

Jolie Holland Wine Dark Sea

The alternative folk singer from Houston is back with a sixth album in a little over 10 years. After exploring several genres of American music (jazz, country, blues, gospel and folk), she presents an album of folk rock quite different with Wine Dark Sea by the presence of more experimental musicians. The result is surprising and impressive while Jolie gives us some of her most moving compositions, wrapped in rich and extremely satisfying music arrangements. There are several moments of raw blues, on the edge of garage rock, and soul that seems to come straight from Memphis in another era. Jolie Holland is definitely bursting of creativity on Wine Dark Sea, which makes the album really interesting from beginning to end. This is an excellent example of an artist who is inspired by the past but brings it up to date and makes it ​​her own style. With this new album, Jolie Holland strikes on target and has her best record to date. Well done!

Anti- / Epitaph

½

 Little Dragon – Nabuma Rubberband

Little DragonNabuma Rubberband

The indie pop / electro Swedish band has existed for nearly 20 years, even if they are known in America only since the last ten years, partly thanks to their collaboration with Gorillaz. Nabuma Rubberband is their fourth album and was much influenced by the music of Prince and Janet Jackson as well as the dark Swedish winter. Little Dragon offer many of their best compositions to date, in a consistent and extremely satisfying whole. Otherwise, the album contains several ballads and their pacing on the album can sometimes seem odd, as it is the case among others for the introduction song, "Mirror". But, the first single released a few months ago, "Klapp Klapp", comes quickly after to correct the situation, and this is also the case later with "Paris".

Music Videos: « Klapp Klapp » - « Paris » - « Pretty Girls »

Republic / Universal

½

 Young Magic – Breathing Statues

Young MagicBreathing Statues

Young Magic is an electro-pop duo based in Brooklyn which is issuing its second album. The duo consists of Australian producer Isaac Emmanuel and Indonesian singer Melati Malay. They do not hesitate to experiment and present quite different material from their first album. In addition, the album was recorded during their last tour everywhere around the world (Morocco, France, Czech Republic, Australia, Iceland and their home studio in New York City), there are a variety of influences throughout the album, inspired by the city of the moment. Still, they manage to present an album that remains well consistent from beginning to end. Their electronic sound, coupled with the soft voice of Melati contributes to envelop us in a hypnotic and intoxicating atmosphere. It is easier to adhere to the Young Magic experiments on Breathing Statues, and it is very difficult to get out of it.

Carpark / Hi-Scores / Last Gang

½

 Tune-Yards – Nikki Nack

Tune-YardsNikki Nack

Tune-Yards is an experimental project by Merrill Garbus (Sister Suvi), who has required the services of bassist Nate Brenner. Their third album, Nikki Nack, incorporates influences of world music to their indie pop style. Although several passages remain quite experimental, there are more accessible songs on this new album with some very catchy melodies. Tune-Yards gave the production to Malay and John Hill who worked among others with Big Boi and M.I.A. At the same time, an influence of R&B tints the album. Despite some catchy moments, Nikki Nack will need some efforts and repeated listens to really embrace the concept. Otherwise, the duo seems on track to achieving success with certainly its best album to date.

4AD / Beggars

½

 Toumani Diabaté & Sidiki Diabaté – Toumani & Sidiki

Toumani Diabaté & Sidiki DiabatéToumani & Sidiki

Father and son join to record this poignant kora duet. Originally from Mali, Toumani Diabaté had a career for 25 years now, becoming a living legend of African folk music. Following in the footsteps of his father, Sidiki appears now as a skilled kora player, this 21-string instrument typically African from the harp family. For the production of their first father-son album, the Diabatés have trusted Nick Gold (Buena Vista Social Club, Fatoumata Diawara, Ali Farka Touré) and Lucy Duran (Bassekou Kouyate, King Africa, Taj Mahal, Mory Kanté). The result is breathtaking when you find yourself quickly inhabited by the instrument. The ten instrumental pieces offered consist essentially in obscure pieces of kora and classics from Mali, played with a contemporary approach. Their almost mystical music haunts us throughout the 44 minutes. Whether you are fans of African music, stringed instruments, kora or simply Toumani Diabaté, here is a unique album that will surely satisfy you.

World Circuit / Warner

½

 The Fault in Our Stars (movie sountrack)

The Fault in Our Stars (movie sountrack)

The melodies included on the movie soundtrack of The Fault in Our Stars adapt perfectly to the film by their lightness and romanticism. We can hear songs by Ed Sheeran, Jake Bugg, Birdy (for 3 tracks), Charli XCX, Ray Lamontagne, Lykke Li and several other lesser-known artists. Few titles stand out from the lot, but the whole remains coherent and interesting until the end. This is a good soundtrack that fans of the film will greatly appreciate.

Atlantic / Warner

GG Allin – Uncensored: Live 1993 (DVD)

GG AllinUncensored: Live 1993 (DVD)

Here is a DVD that includes concerts and behind the scenes footage during the last tour by provocateur GG Allin in 1993, shortly before his death on June 28. There are shows in New Orleans and Houston on May 16 and 17, as well as Chicago and Detroit on June 4 and 6, for a total of 110 minutes. Notice to the faint of heart, you will see this bad guy of punk urinate and defecate on stage every time he wants to.

MVD

½

 

CANADA DAY SPECIAL EDITION:

 

 Victoria Duffield – Accelerate

Victoria DuffieldAccelerate

The young Canadian pop singer is back with a second album, after completing a tour with the Backstreet Boys. Obviously the singer and dancer has an album at her own image, that is to say it is quite ready to tackle the dance floors and just waiting to be remixed by the top DJs on the planet. Musically, there are few creative elements, but the album has enough energetic pieces to remain attractive to dance pop music fans.

Music Video: « More Than Friends »

Warner

 Matthew Barber – Big Romance

Matthew BarberBig Romance

Matthew Barber grew up in Toronto and is the brother of jazz pop singer Jill Barber (she also participates to the song "Hold Me"). He presents essentially folk music with elements of rock and pop. Big Romance is his eighth album and the production was given this time to Gary Louris (The Jayhawks, Golden Smog) rather than doing it himself as it was the case for the last two records. Barber subjects range from love to death, through despair. So he operates in a very broad spectrum in terms of his lyrics, as well as musically with a mixture of ballads, more energetic rock songs and unforgettable pop melodies.

Outside / SIX

 Owen Pallett – In Conflict

Owen PallettIn Conflict

Owen Pallett is an indie rock / indie pop singer, violinist, producer and arranger from Mississauga, Ontario. He takes his influences from Arcade Fire (with which he also worked and toured) and Rufus Wainwright. For his second album under his own name, Pallett has relied on the expertise and advice of Brian Eno, especially for the synthesizers and guitars. Experience in Pallett string arrangements with Arcade Fire also serves him enormously since it is one of the strengths of the album. His chamber pop music sounds wonderful while balancing the string arrangements, electronics and guitars close to perfection on many occasions. Weaknesses are rare, if any, which makes In Conflict one of the best albums of the year in all categories.

Secret City

 Teenage Kicks – Spoils of Youth

Teenage KicksSpoils of Youth

Teenage Kicks is an indie rock band from Toronto that has punk influences. This first album has not been easy to produce while the group has lost members, had unusable recordings from Hollywood and had to manage some internal conflicts. The result still remains interesting on Spoils of Youth with a good dose of energy delivered with powerful guitars and a dynamic rhythm section. Even if the band does not revolutionize the rock genre, it has some interesting elements that could provide them a number of fans for years to come. Here is a band to watch out!

Rezolute / Universal

 Secret Broadcast – Filthy Souls

Secret BroadcastFilthy Souls

Secret Broadcast is a rock 'n' roll duo from Toronto consisting of vocalist and guitarist Matt Lightstone and drummer Keith Heppler. For this new album, they worked with Seattle producer Adam Kasper (Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Queens of the Stone Age, Soundgarden). That said, Secret Broadcast certainly does not reinvent rock 'n' roll, but it adds a great dose of energy in a style that is increasingly diluted. Also, the melodies remain extremely catchy throughout the record. There are many parallels to do with the Foo Fighters, but the duo still managed to forge its own style.

eOne

 Leisure Cruise – Leisure Cruise

Leisure CruiseLeisure Cruise

Veteran Canadian musician Dave Hodge (Broken Social Scene, Bran Van 3000) and singer Leah Siegel (Firehorse, The Citizens Band) met by chance after working on a TV ad. They started writing together and liked it so much they decided to create a duet. Leisure Cruise was born in the spring of 2013. They now have a first album fusing indie rock sound, pop melodies and electronics. In fact, their music is based primarily on synthesizers with danceable beats. It recalls in part David Bowie and Blondie, with more contemporary elements comparable to Metric and Paramore. This is an album that is serious and light, melancholic and festive. Here is a very good electro-pop record.

Last Gang

½

 Jill Barber – Fool’s Gold

Jill BarberFool’s Gold

Jill Barber is a jazz pop singer with folk influences who grew up in Toronto, but has lived in Halifax for some years now. Matthew Barber’s sister works again with Les Cooper and Drew Jurecka for the production, two longtime collaborators who are also part of her touring band. The first single, "Broken for Good" (and its French version, "Brisé à jamais"), makes us relive the Motown era. This is a style that comes back in a few other occasions, but the whole remains mostly a fusion between jazz and pop, a sound that is ideal for cabaret. In addition, the golden voice of Jill fits perfectly in this context.

Outside / SIX

½

 Meaghan Smith – Have a Heart

Meaghan SmithHave a Heart

Ontario jazz singer comes to us with a new album venturing a little further into pop music. In fact, when you do not know her past and her first influences, one might think that Meaghan Smith is one more pop singer on the Canadian music scene. Otherwise, she just sprinkles what it takes of her jazz influences throughout the record to make it a little different than average. There will still be needed more creativity in order to consider her among the greatest in the genre, such as Norah Jones for example.

Warner

 Pacifika – Amor Planeta

PacifikaAmor Planeta

The trio from Vancouver presents its third album with Amor Planeta. This time, Silvana Kane, Adam Popowitz and Toby Peter did intend to change the way they do in the studio. Instead of improvising around their ideas, Popowitz and Peter arrived with their compositions to which Silvana added her Peruvian color. Amor Planeta (Love Planet) celebrates love in all its forms with some ambient passages led by guitar and more intense moments like "Panamericana" and "Las Bellezas". "Satélites" was inspired by Brazilian bossa nova and it brings a refreshing side to the album. With this new album, Pacifika hits on target and managed to give us an extremely pleasant album to listen to, especially under the hot summer sun.

Six Degrees / SIX

½

 Manteca – Monday Night at the Mensa Disco

MantecaMonday Night at the Mensa Disco

The Toronto jazz collective celebrates its 35th anniversary and for the occasion, it re-releases its 11th album originally issued in September 2013. Nine musicians play beautifully seven pieces composed by pianist Doug Wilde and percussionist Matt Zimbel. The Mensa Disco is a fictional venue from the imagination of Zimbel where intellectuals reunite together to dance. Rhythms can sometimes seem strange fusing jazz, funk and world music, but catchy melodies make the album irresistible from a first listen. The original contemporary jazz fans will be delighted with this unique album in the career of Manteca.

Pheromone / SIX

½

 Ellen Doty – Gold

Ellen DotyGold

Ellen Doty is a songwriter and performer from Calgary presenting her first album. She offers a jazz sound greatly influenced by pop and soul music. One can also discover blues influences on the first single, "No Good Man". Ellen has a remarkable voice, in addition to admirably using her pen to write memorable songs.

Music Video: « No Good Man »

 Sarah McLachlan – Shine On

Sarah McLachlanShine On

The excellent singer from Halifax has already a 25-year career. The 46 year-old woman lost her father 4 years ago in addition to divorce her husband, and it can be heard in the darkest moments of Shine On ("Broken Heart", "Song for my Father"). Otherwise, one can also hear the hope and joy for a rather well balanced album between personal ballads and energetic songs. Musically, Sarah remains in the adult pop rock style that made ​​her famous, without great creative innovations. Her fans should still enjoy.

Verve / Universal

½

 Alyssa Reid – Time Bomb

Alyssa ReidTime Bomb

The Edmonton pop singer was just 17 when she reached the top of the charts in 2010 with "Alone Again", a new version of Heart’s hit, "Alone". She issued her first album, The Game, the following year, and she now comes back with Time Bomb, nearly 3 years later. She offers energetic pop music with some slight trends of R&B. Unfortunately, few tracks manage to stand out from the whole and to grab our attention. (April 2014)

Music Videos: « Running Guns » - « Satisfaction Guaranteed »

Wax / Universal

 Molly Thomason – Columbus Field

Molly ThomasonColumbus Field

Molly Thomason is a young pop rock singer from Nova Scotia. Aged of only 19, she is already in her third album in four years. This girl full of energy plays music with strong accents of rock 'n' roll worthy of Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders) and Cherie Currie (Runaways). Otherwise, she has greatly catchy melodies that allow her to remain in the pop universe. In fact, she offers energetic music that has the potential to invade the radio waves. The album was produced by guitarist John-Angus MacDonald (The Trews), and then you can hear Nick De Toro (Sloan) on drums and keyboards, as well as Jason McCaslin (Sum 41) on bass. In addition, the whole was mixed by Gordie Johnson (Big Sugar) and matriced by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Modest Mouse). Now based in Toronto and surrounded by such a professional team, Molly Thomason is not only ready to conquer Canada, but the United States and the world. She offers an extremely solid and highly entertaining album. (March 2014)

YouTube

Turtle / SIX

½

Down With Webster – Party For Your Life

Down With WebsterParty For Your Life

The Toronto band is back with a second full-length album. The group merging rock, rap and pop pursues in the same way on Party For Your Life, which contains several danceable songs suitable for dance floors, as the title track and "One in a Million". In fact, this is definitely the rock side of their music that is somewhat overshadowed. But no matter since Down With Webster managed to impose themselves in catchy pop / hip hop music. From a creative point of view, the band does not bring anything new to the genre, but they do the most important thing: to entertain us. (March 2014)

Music Videos: « One in a Million » - « Party For Your Life »

Universal

 Neil Young – A Letter Home

Neil YoungA Letter Home

On A Letter Home, Neil Young records songs by his contemporaries mostly dating from the 1960s and 1970s. We can hear among others tracks by Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen. But what surprises the most is the recording method used. Young used a Voice-O-Graph, a recording booth dating from the 1940s and which was allowing to record a song or a message directly to vinyl. Popular in arcades and fairs in the 1950s and 1960s, the Voice-O-Graph has disappeared thereafter, but Jack White has installed one in his studio in Nashville and Young decided to record a full-length album with it. The result is rather sober, trembling and uneven, in addition to widely contrast with overproduction of today. Otherwise, it is a context that goes perfectly with the style of Neil Young and the songs covered on A Letter Home. Here is an album that is primarily for nostalgic fans of folk music of another era.

Reprise / Warner

 Blackie and the Rodeo Kings – South

Blackie and the Rodeo KingsSouth

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings is a Canadian super trio formed by Colin Linden (The Band, Bob Dylan, Bruce Cockburn, Robert Plant), Stephen Fearing (winner of multiple Juno Awards) and Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Lee Harvey Osmond). They met in 1996 to present their country rock music with an unparalleled solidity in the country. This new album contains 11 original songs and a cover, Willie P. Bennett’s "Driftin Snow" to conclude the CD, the artist who was their first influence and why they started playing together. The trio has solid compositions which make it one of the most creative bands in the genre in Canada. A very good album! (March 2014)

File Under: Music / SIX

½

 iSH – Up & Up

iSHUp & Up

iSH is a rapper from Toronto which has a first recording, an EP of 7 tracks totalling 23 minutes. He already had some hits to his credit: "Rollin'" (with Stef Lang), "You Got It" and his latest, "Light Up" (with Daniel Richter). The pop direction of his music is necessarily a candidate for many potential hits and a presence to the Juno. Otherwise, he does not have the most original compositions, with a few sounds never heard. A full-length album maybe would be too long with filling tracks. (May 2014)

Music Videos: « Rollin’ » - « You Got It » - « Light Up »

Warner

 Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Not Fragile: 40th Anniversary Edition (2 CD)

Bachman-Turner OverdriveNot Fragile: 40th Anniversary Edition (2 CD)

Forty years ago, the Winnipeg band had a third album that would transform its career. Not only Not Fragile had most of their biggest hits in career ("Roll on Down the Highway", "You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet", etc.), but it offered also the best collection of songs with 9 powerful tracks in perfect cohesion. Moreover, the set is beautifully interpreted, especially by Randy Bachman who is at the top on guitar. To mark the 40th anniversary of the release of the album, it is now reissued with a second bonus CD containing 8 songs recorded live. Here is a must to rediscover!

Universal

½

Roch Voisine – My Very Best

Roch VoisineMy Very Best

After more than 25 years of career, it's time for a collection of greatest hits in English for Roch Voisine. It includes the 12 most popular songs in the language of Shakespeare, plus four unreleased tracks. These new songs include the official anthem of the Canadian team in Sochi in English and French, "Living Out ​​My Dreams / Pour l’honneur" for which Voisine is accompanied by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Kent Nagano. We can also hear his own version of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ "Under the Bridge" with Carlos Santana on guitar. Among his inevitable hits assembled here, there are of course "Kissing Rain" and "I'll Always Be There". (March 2014)

Music Videos: « I’ll Always Be There » - « Kissing Rain »

R.V. International / Sony

½

 Loreena McKennitt – The Journey So Far: The Best of Loreena McKennitt

Loreena McKennittThe Journey So Far: The Best of Loreena McKennitt

For 30 years, the Canadian singer has remained rather independent, on the sidelines of the music industry. She is an unclassifiable singer who has always sailed between new age music, folk, Celtic and world music. This collection presents the 12 most successful songs by the artist to date, including "The Mummers' Dance", "The Mystic's Dream" and "The Bonny Swans". A deluxe version is also available, with a second CD entitled A Midsummer Night's Tour. This disc presents the top 9 performances of her concert of July 2012 in Mainz, Germany, the city where she recorded Troubadours on the Rhine, released in 2012. (March 2014)

Quinlan Road / Universal

½

ICON: Best of Canada The 1980's (2 CD)

ICON: Best of Canada The 1980's (2 CD)

Here is a 2-CD compilation including some of the greatest Canadian hits of the 1980's. We can hear Glass Tiger, Luba, Robbie Robertson, Rush, Tom Cochrane, Colin James, Kim Mitchell, Triumph, Helix and many more.

 

FATHER'S DAY SPECIAL EDITION:

 

 Johnny Cash – Out Among the Stars

Johnny CashOut Among the Stars

If the recording sessions had been completed on time, Out Among the Stars would have been released around 1984. This forgotten album was discovered in 2012 during an archive job. The album would have been left by Johnny Cash because he was thinking that Billy Sherrill’s production was too pop. We can hear many covers including Hank Snow’s "I'm Movin' On" (a duet with Waylon Jennings) and two duets with June Carter Cash. The whole includes several potential hits, in addition to a good guideline. It is therefore surprising that it took 30 years and more than 10 years after the death of Cash to finally hear this excellent posthumous album.

½

 Ten Years After – Positive Vibrations (2 CD)

Ten Years AfterPositive Vibrations (2 CD)

Ten Years After is a British blues rock band that initially existed between 1967 and 1974 before making a comeback in the late 1980s. Positive Vibrations is the last album released by the group in its first period and it is back on the market 40 years later. For the occasion, a second CD is included with never released tracks. There are live recordings in Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam and Atlanta, plus a radio version of the title track. Unfortunately, Positive Vibrations was probably the worst album of the band musically with a few moments of interest. This reissue is therefore primarily intended for the most ardent fans of the band and nostalgic of that era. Fortunately, the bonus CD adds some interesting moments to the frankly boring original album.

Chrysalis / Warner

½

 Pat Metheny Unity Group – Kin (<-->) 

Pat Metheny Unity Group – Kin (<-->) 

Since the last album with Unity, Pat Metheny has produced several different projects including collaborations with Brad Mehldau, a solo symphony (Orchestrion) and a tribute to John Zorn. Otherwise, his many fans were eagerly awaiting for the Pat Metheny Unity Group to return with a little more accessible material. A new member was added to the band (multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi) to make it a quintet quite complete. The result is richer than ever with Kin, an album in the purest jazz tradition still exploring various musical influences (Latin for example). The 9-track album totaling 70 minutes succeeds, despite its length, to keep you interested until the end, thanks to the unique atmosphere created by the famous guitarist. (April 2014)

Nonesuch / Warner

½

 Brent Johnson – Set the World on Fire

Brent JohnsonSet the World on Fire

Brent Johnson is a blues rock guitarist born in Texas who grew up in New Orleans and offering his debut album. He is accompanied by excellent musicians, in addition to count on renowned guitarists like Alvin Youngblood Hart (for 3 tracks) and Sonny Landreth, a legendary slide guitarist (for one song). Recorded and mixed at The Music Shed studio in New Orleans by Ben Lorio, the record was produced by Johnson himself. Seven of the 11 songs presented are original compositions. The other four are covers of classics: Bob Dylan’s "Meet Me in the Morning", Howlin' Wolf’s "Meet Me in the Bottom", Albert King’s "As the Years Go Passing By" and Paul Williams’ "The Hucklebuck". This guitar prodigy began playing his instrument at an early age and he always knew he was destined for music. With Set the World on Fire, he finally enters the big leagues, in full possession of his faculties. Although the new compositions are not all of great creativity, the set is played flawlessly with incomparable skill. Blues rock fans will be delighted by this album worthy of the greatest names in the genre. (April 2014)

Justin Time / SIX

 The Paul Deslauriers Band – The Paul Deslauriers Band

The Paul Deslauriers BandThe Paul Deslauriers Band

Virtuoso guitarist Paul Deslauriers is surrounded by Greg Morency on bass and Sam Harrisson on drums for his new album. The gifted trio offers an album in the purest tradition of blues rock with incomparable power. We can hear seven original songs and three covers of classics: Robert Johnson’s "Love in Vain", Willie Johnson’s "Nobody's Fault But Mine" and Buddy Holly’s "Not Fade Away". The album was recorded live in the studio, without artifice or modern technologies, for an album full of authenticity and spontaneity. Two special guests are added to the trio: harmonica player and multi-instrumentalist Steve Marriner (MonkeyJunk) and guitarist Steve Strongman. For blues fans who expect nothing less than perfection in playing, the Paul Deslauriers Band should not disappoint them. A very good album in the genre! (March 2014)

Big Toe / SIX

½

 

JUNE 1-7:

 

Coldplay – Ghost Stories

ColdplayGhost Stories

For its sixth album, the London band has melancholic music, perhaps in connection with the recent separation of Chris Martin with actress Gwyneth Paltrow. The 9 tracks of Ghost Stories are rather slow and introspective with this atmospheric style that Coldplay always liked. Musical textures take over on guitars, which does not prove to be negative in itself, but will ensure that you listen to Ghost Stories in other contexts than before. A different producer supports each song, adding his personal touch, but the whole still remains perfectly consistent. The presence of Timbaland and Avicii surprises, but their contribution to "True Love" and "A Sky Full of Stars" respectively gives a new electronic sound that is more than interesting for the band. "A Sky Full of Stars" is also the only song to venture to dance floors with all the remixes that may follow. With Ghost Stories, Coldplay manages to present an album still quite different from what they produced before. It includes something for everyone, except maybe for rock fans. (June 2014 Featured Review)

Music Video: « Magic »

Parlophone / Warner

½

Protomartyr – Under Color of Official Right

ProtomartyrUnder Color of Official Right

Protomartyr is a post-punk group that was formed in Detroit in 2010. They launched a first independent album in 2012, No Passion, which created a stir in the underground. They are back today with Under Color of Official Right that goes a little further into music exploration, in addition to containing more nuances. Arrangements are of high quality and the record has different influences that form a whole very creative. The most experimental times necessarily require a greater effort to listen. Otherwise, when the band is accelerating in punk moments like "Son of Dis", all the fans of contemporary punk will be pleased. Here is an album that is a pleasure to rediscover at each new listening and it brings enough substance to fully satisfy its audience. A very nice find! (June 2014 Featured New Artist)

Music Video: « Come & See »

Hardly Art

½

 The Black Keys – Turn Blue

The Black KeysTurn Blue

The Ohio duo is back with its ​​eighth album, three years after the mega-success of El Camino, thanks in part to the hit "Lonely Boy". Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney work again with Danger Mouse which has almost become a full time member of the band in recent years. Their combination provides a sound that is close to perfection with a garage rock that has nothing more than occasional garage inspirations. On Turn Blue, the Black Keys explore some new psychedelic sounds. The album begins in fact with a song perhaps reminding a little too much of Pink Floyd ("Weight of Love"). Throughout the CD, the group managed to navigate in never explored waters, while maintaining its own identity. Perhaps we can blame them for some melodies a little easier, but the whole remains of very high quality, at the image of their career so far.

Music Video: « Fever »

Nonesuch / Warner

½

 

Corey HartTen Thousand Horses

The Montreal singer who conquered the world in the mid 1980s officially retires. He uses this opportunity for a new album as a gift to his fans, Ten Thousand Horses, his first album in 16 years. The record contains in fact only 7 songs since there are four versions of the title song: three English versions in duet with Jane Siberry and a French version with his wife, Julie Masse. In addition, these seven tracks include two demos: "Sweet River" and "Walk in Beauty". So, this is an unfinished album that gives us Corey Hart, sort of an increased EP. In addition, we cannot say that "Ten Thousand Horses" is a great song, and it thus may be a bit painful to hear four versions that are not so different. Corey Hart will perform at the Montreal Bell Centre on June 3 for his farewell concert.

Siena / Universal

 Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots

Damon AlbarnEveryday Robots

The former member of Blur and Gorillaz presents a rather introspective and often melancholic sound on Everyday Robots. This is his first real solo album, if we put aside the opera project of Dr. Dee. Albarn offers certainly his most personal album to date, even going back to his childhood memories. The record was produced by Richard Russell and includes collaborations with Brian Eno and Natasha Khan (Bat For Lashes). Despite less accessible moments, pop songs like "Mr. Tembo" add freshness to the album to make it more accessible. Some listens of Everyday Robots are necessary, but we finally discover a very good record.

Music Videos: « Everyday Robots » - « Lonely Press Play » - « Heavy Seas of Love » - « Mr. Tembo »

Parlophone / Warner

½

 Lykke Li – I Never Learn

Lykke LiI Never Learn

The Swedish is back with her third album, I Never Learn. Since her debut, we have known her for a good blend of indie pop and electronic, a mixture that took a little more muscle on Wounded Rhymes in 2011. On this new album, she seems to have finally found her own style with the best of her soaring epic pop and beautiful ballads. The acoustic and electronic mix is also better balanced than ever. Often sad and personal, her lyrics will certainly touch you with this unique music accompaniment. She produces the album herself with her faithful collaborator Björn Yttling (Peter Bjorn and John) and the result is simply sublime, enveloping us completely into her world at once intimate and grand. Here is without a doubt one of the best albums of the year.

Music Videos: « I Never Learn » - « Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone » - « No Rest For the Wicked »

Warner

 Jesse Boykins III – Love Apparatus

Jesse Boykins IIILove Apparatus

The alternative R&B singer from Chicago comes to us with a third album of high quality with Love Apparatus. It includes his 2010 single "B4 the Night is Thru" which remains one of the highlights of this 14-track record. Several downtempo songs create a hypnotic atmosphere, but it is the more rhythmic pieces that catch the most attention. The album is mainly produced by Machine Drum, also with the participation of Hadyn and Chad Beatz for a song each. On Love Apparatus, Jesse Boykins III demonstrates his talent as an R&B interpreter, but also his ability to offer premium compositions merging different genres in a coherent and original whole. Here is undoubtedly his best album to date!

Music Video: « B4 the Night is Thru »

Nomadic

½

 The Used – Imaginary Enemy

The UsedImaginary Enemy

In recent years, the emo group from Utah seems to find its style more and more, and it is realized with Imaginary Enemy, its sixth album. Themes are common to punk in general with several clichés, but the group has perfect anthems for the interest of the crowd in concert. The Used is successfully able to be seen as one of the strongest bands of its generation. John Feldman production is of high quality and can highlight the strengths of the band. Although clichés may put off some, the fact remains that The Used releases possibly its most complete and successful album to date.

Music Video: « Cry »

Hopeless

½

 The Planet Smashers – Mixed Messages

The Planet Smashers Mixed Messages

Twenty years ago was formed a young Montreal ska punk band who would enjoy a revival of the genre in the late 1990s. The Planet Smashers are still out there today and they issue their eighth album, Mixed Messages. They have lost none of their passion, even if you feel a certain nostalgia sometimes. The production of the band and Rene D La Muerte is pretty clean, but well casing catchy melodies and danceable rhythms. It's hard to reinvent a genre like ska, but if we enjoy it, it is because Mixed Messages is a successful album.

Stomp / ULG / Warner

 The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger – Midnight Sun

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth TigerMidnight Sun

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (or The GOASTT) is the creative alliance of the couple formed by Sean Lennon (son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono) and Charlotte Kemp Muhl. Formed in 2008, The GOASTT present what could be considered their first real album after several experiments, among others in Brazilian rhythms and folk. The duo now offers psychedelic rock, often with very good pop melodies. The couple did not seem to have been given clear guidelines for Midnight Sun when they seem totally free of all constraints. The result is a product that can be compared in part to the Flaming Lips or Tame Impala. But above all, we find a completely creative record, one of the bests Sean Lennon has ever recorded to date including his previous projects.

Chimera

½

 Royal Blood – Out of the Black EP

Royal BloodOut of the Black EP

Royal Blood is a duo from Brighton, England offering garage blues rock influences as the White Stripes and Black Keys, but also a grand scale sound compared to Muse and Arctic Monkeys. Still waiting for an album from them, here is a four-song EP offering an excellent introduction to the band, thereby creating high expectations for their first upcoming full-length album.

Music Video: « Come On Over »

Imperial Galactic / Warner

½

 Adam Karch – Blueprints

Adam Karch Blueprints

Guitarist Adam Karch issues a third solo acoustic album. He has a folk sound heavily influenced by gospel and it is with this unique approach that he covers classics of all genres. We hear his stripped versions of Lou Reed’s "Walk on the Wild Side", Van Morrison’s "Into the Mystic", Jimi Hendrix’s "Little Wing", Bruce Springsteen’s "I'm on Fire" and Ben E. King’s "Stand By me". Otherwise, his most surprising version remains that of the Bee Gees’ "Stayin 'Alive". The 12 songs of the album also include an original song a little dark, "Sin". With Blueprints, the guitar virtuoso shows all his talent of performer, for an album that will satisfy fans of folk music to its simplest expression.

Bros / SIX

½

 The Lost Fingers – Wonders of the World

The Lost FingersWonders of the World

The band of gypsy jazz from Quebec became known when it played very personal covers of pop songs from the 1980s and the 1990s. On Wonders of the World, the group reworked again 12 hits. The unforgettable one hit wonders include their first single, "Black Betty" and "Venus", "(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight", "Groove is in the Heart", "The Ketchup Song", "Lovefool", "Tom's Diner", "Cotton Eye Joe" and "Turn the Beat Around". Note that following the departure of Christian Roberge, you are entitled to an important addition to the group: La Voix 2013 candidate Valérie Amyot, which adds a feminine voice that is greatly appreciated. François Rioux meanwhile becomes the fourth member on guitar. At the same time, the band turns to a slightly more pop jazz style, with sounds of world music. Here is again a refreshing album for The Lost Fingers.

Tandem

½

 Rachel Sermanni – Live in Dawson City

Rachel SermanniLive in Dawson City

Scottish contemporary folk singer Rachel Sermanni gave a concert in 2013 at the Palace Grand Theatre in the small town of Dawson City, Yukon for the Dawson City Music Festival. This concert took place about a year after the release of her first album, Under Mountains. The CD contains 10 songs plus an intro, and it allows us to rediscover the music of Rachel in a context other than the studio, in front of an audience.

Middle of Nowhere

 Noah (Music From the Motion Picture)

Noah (Music From the Motion Picture)

For the soundtrack of the Darren Aronofsky film Noah, British composer Clint Mansell has again trusted the Kronos Quartet, having worked with them in 2006 for another Aronofsky project, The Fountain. Obviously, there is a great dramatic tension in the music of Noah, with cellos in addition to electronics. There are several high quality pieces that make a coherent and extremely pleasant soundtrack to listen to, even without having seen the movie. For those who like the mix between classical music and modern electronic music, this is a great soundtrack that can be heard in different circumstances. Note at the end the presence of Patti Smith as a singer for the very effective "Mercy is".

Movie Trailer

Nonesuch / Warner

½

D.O.A. – To Hell N’ Back: The Godfathers of Hardcore Live (DVD + CD)

D.O.A.To Hell N’ Back: The Godfathers of Hardcore Live (DVD + CD)

A few months ago, we learned that the legendary hardcore punk band from Vancouver would step down after this tour, thereby creating a particular interest around this farewell tour. They are already making a career assessment that begins in a good way with this DVD including footage from four concerts captured between 2011 and 2013 in Alberta and at home in Vancouver. Joe "Shithead" Keithley and his band offer 30 of the most important songs of their repertoire in the context where they are the most comfortable, on stage. As a bonus, their most recent album, We Come in Peace, is also included and as a bonus on the DVD there is an overview of the recording of the album in the studio.

Sudden Death / MVD

½

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

 

MAY:

 

 Neon Trees – Pop Psychology

Neon TreesPop Psychology

The quartet from Utah is back with a third album and possibly its strongest to date. The indie rock group gives more than ever in light and accessible pop music, and this is where it can somewhat get annoying. Otherwise, Pop Psychology provides highly effective pop songs, with memorable melodies. In addition, the lyrics are more personal than ever following the confession of Tyler Glenn as a gay. Okay, the song structures are rather simple and without much creativity, but it is still good new wave music, which is wonderful listening to it until the end. (May 2014)

Music Videos: « Sleeping with a Friend » - « I Love You (But I Hate Your Friends) » - « Voices in the Halls » - « First Things First »

Island / Def Jam / Universal

½

 Future – Honest

FutureHonest

Nayvadius Cash (aka Future) is an Atlanta, Georgia rapper who presents his second album, carried by the hit "Move That Dope". He returns with the same formula he had set up in 2012 on Pluto with mid-tempo songs of great musicality and totally catchy melodies. He can count on several renowned collaborators including Pharrell Williams and Pusha T on "Move That Dope", Wiz Khalifa, Kanye West, Drake and André 3000. Solid hip hop tracks are linked nicely on this album that contains few weaknesses. In fact, Future takes another step with Honest and may now be recognized as one of the greats of contemporary rap. (May 2014)

Music Videos: « Honest » - « Move That Dope » (feat. Pharrell Williams & Pusha T) – « I Won » (feat. Kanye West)

Epic / Sony

½

 David Vest – Roadhouse Revelation

David VestRoadhouse Revelation

David Vest was born in Alabama in 1943, but he now considers himself Canadian. He is an authentic boogie-woogie pianist of southern United States and this is what he shows on Roadhouse Revelation. The blues master offers 10 original songs, including one co-written with Paul deLay, "Crooked Politician". We must also mention the addition of the excellent version of "Ramblin' Man", a Hank Williams classic. Blues fans will certainly be delighted to listen to the new album by this pillar of the genre and one of the best pianists of his generation. (May 2014)

Cordova Bay / Fontana North

½

 Jorge Martinez – Carnaval

Jorge MartinezCarnaval

Jorge Martinez is an Argentine guitar virtuoso who lives in Quebec since 1998. He presents his second album with Carnival for which he can count on great musicians and special collaborations by Michel Donato ("Manha de Carnaval") and singer Geneviève Jodoin (on 5 songs). He offers music filled with emotion and passion that combines contemporary flamenco with Latin and Oriental accents, all with some modern touches. Martinez is certainly a master in the fusion of styles, with guitar occupying the centre of his music. Mostly on acoustic guitar, he can also go with skill on electric guitar on some occasions. For fans of world music, Jorge Martinez is certainly a talent to discover. (May 2014)

SIX

½

 Paolo Nutini – Caustic Love

Paolo NutiniCaustic Love

For his third album, his first in five years, the Scottish singer takes on a new tangent to soul and R&B with a funky touch. Strongly influenced by the 1960-70s, Nutini managed to integrate these styles of another era to his own pop rock sound. Caustic Love was recorded with a big band in Glasgow, Valencia, London and New York. Brass, guitars and choirs provide unparalleled scale to this album to make it his strongest to date. The hoarse voice of Nutini has never been used as well, as if they had finally found the ideal context to reveal him. This performance is inspired by a near-perfect fusion between past and present. Note the presence of the always excellent Janelle Monae on "Fashion" and Nutini does a virtual duet with Bettye LaVette with a sampling of her voice in "Let Me Down Easy". Caustic Love is a foreground album that is likely to appeal to a broad audience. (May 2014)

Music Video: « Scream (Funk My Life Up) »

Atlantic / Warner

½

 Justin Nozuka – Ulysees

Justin NozukaUlysees

The young singer-songwriter from New York is back with a third album. Again, he offers a near-perfect fusion between folk and intimate alternative rock with some R&B influences. Jeff Buckley is probably the first name that comes to mind, but Nozuka is able to present original material. On Ulysees, his warm tenor voice seems better exploited than ever and it fits beautifully in his meditative musical universe. Several pieces use choral accompaniment, thereby creating an almost mystical atmosphere. We must face the facts that Nozuka certainly has its least accessible album to date. Otherwise, if you play it in the right environment, Ulysees may satisfy you greatly. (May 2014)

Coalition / Warner

½

 Needtobreathe – Rivers in the Wasteland

NeedtobreatheRivers in the Wasteland

The band from South Carolina with a Christian tendency already releases its fifth album. The trio gives us again what it does best in alternative rock, while retaining obvious comparisons with Coldplay and folk influences of the southern United States. The CD starts softly with "Wasteland", but then accelerates for a good dose of rock, despite the background of new genre folk. Where the group seems to search a new identity since the success of The Reckoning 3 years ago, is that it seems to be in a dilemma between continuing to mainstream success, or returning to its Christian roots that are not necessarily compatible with this type of success. Aside from the lyrics that may confuse their different fans, Needtobreathe has a very solid album musically. And yes, the potential for success remains. (May 2014)

Music Videos: « The Heart » - « Difference Maker »

Atlantic / Warner

½

 George Michael – Symphonica

George MichaelSymphonica

Produced by Michael and the legendary Phil Ramone (his last project before his death in March 2013), Symphonica portrays the popular symphonic tour of George Michael in 2011-2012. You can hear a selection of songs from his 30-year career, as well as covers of his favorite artists (Terence Trent D'Arby, Elton John, and others). Several of his hits are ignored and Michael does not seem to fully exploit the potential of the symphony orchestra with his voice. He will probably still manage to satisfy his beforehand conquered fans. (May 2014)

Virgin / Universal

½

 Elton John – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (3 CD)

Elton JohnGoodbye Yellow Brick Road (40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) (3 CD)

Released in 1973, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is undoubtedly the masterpiece in the career of Elton John. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the album is reissued in a remastered version with 2 additional CDs. One contains new versions of some songs by contemporary artists such as Ed Sheeran, Miguel, Hunter Hayes, The Band Perry, Fall Out Boy, Zac Brown Band, and others. The last CD has meanwhile live recordings from Hammersmith Odeon in December 1973. Despite these interesting additions, the centerpiece remains the 17-track album including the classic hits "Candle in the Wind", "Bennie and the Jets", "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting", the title track and the excellent 11-minute introduction "Funeral for a Friend (Love Lies Bleeding)". A version of 4 CDs with a DVD and a book is also available. (May 2014)

Mercury / Universal

½

 Frank Sinatra – Nothing But the Best

Frank SinatraNothing But the Best

Released in 2008 to celebrate the 10 years of the death of Frank Sinatra, Nothing But the Best is reissued for our greatest pleasure. It is unquestionably the best collection of hits ever released for the most famous crooner. It contains 21 essential hits with "The Way You Look Tonight", "Luck Be a Lady", "Fly Me to the Moon", "My Kind of Town", "Strangers in the Night", "Summer Wind", "It Was a Very Good Year", and "The Girl from Ipanema". You can also hear a previously unreleased recording of "Body and Soul" with the voice recorded in 1984, and 2007 arrangements. Though the compilation does not cover the entire career of the singer, focusing especially on the 1960s, there are still his most important hits. The only classic that is really lacking is "Love and Marriage". (May 2014)

Universal

Shakira – Shakira

ShakiraShakira

During the 5-year hiatus since her last album in English, She Wolf, the beautiful Colombian was far from remaining inactive. Indeed, she has worked on the TV show The Voice, in addition to forming a new couple with soccer player Gerard Piqué and giving birth to her first child in January 2013. Her new album represents a new departure for the singer, probably the reason behind an eponymous album. Musically, Shakira will not really surprise you with always this mixture of pop and rock with electronic elements and Latin music. Several tracks stand out of the whole, starting with the first two singles, "Can’t Remember to Forget You" (with Rihanna) and "Empire", as well as "You Don’t Care About Me" and the danceable "Dare (La La La)". Other songs grab attention as the reggae "Cut Me Deep" (with Magic!), The acoustic ballad "23", a collaboration with her colleague from The Voice Blake Shelton for "Medicine" and the powerful "The One Thing" that reminds Alanis Morissette. After listing 8 of the 12 tracks on the album, you realize that many of them have something interesting, the whole somewhat lacking in coherence and sounding more like a compilation of various influences than a real album with its own guideline. It includes great times anyway. A deluxe version with three additional tracks is also available. (May 2014 Featured Review)

Music Videos: « Can’t Remember to Forget You » - « Empire »

RCA / Sony

½

Perfect Pussy – Say Yes To Love

Perfect PussySay Yes To Love

Perfect Pussy is a band from Syracuse, New York which are offering their debut album. They have a punk / indie rock extremely noisy sound. However, the whole has a beautiful consistency and high quality compositions. Despite the loud sound of guitars and drums, female singer Meredith Graves remains at the heart of the band's sound. As if they were in a constant struggle to find the one who will successfully leave with the win in this huge collective release. With only 8 tracks totalling 23 minutes (including a psychedelic stretching end), the album may seem incomplete, but it is certainly more than enough to give you an electric shock. Say Yes To Love is an amazing album that will make you realize that punk rock is still alive and that it is still possible to remain creative in the genre. Here are the direct descendants of Sonic Youth and they hold the torch high, fist raised. (May 2014 Featured New Artist)

Captured Tracks

½

 Kylie Minogue – Kiss Me Once

Kylie MinogueKiss Me Once

The Australian does not seem to intend to get older or to be eclipsed by the new generation of pop singers. She releases her 12th album in 25 years of career and remains as solid with high quality compositions and production. She continues to provide effective dance songs with electronic elements borrowed from European pop. Sexy sunny songs are legion and stick perfectly to her, as it is the case for "Sexy Love" among others that has everything it takes to become the hit of the summer. Pharrell Williams offers her an excellent composition ("I Was Gonna Cancel") and the other interesting tracks include "Into the Blue" and the sexy "Les Sex". In fact, we only find one easily forgettable moment, her duet with Enrique Iglesias for the frankly very boring ballad "Beautiful". All those who had enjoyed her Aphrodite album four years ago will certainly not be disappointed since Kylie once again has one of her best albums in career. Like a good wine, she gets better with time! (May 2014)

Music Videos: « Into the Blue » - « Sexercize »

Parlophone / Warner

½

 Enrique Iglesias – Sex and Love

Enrique IglesiasSex and Love

Enrique seems to want to conquer pop dance music from the opening of the Sex and Love album, and it is not inefficient with the participations of Pitbull ("I'm a Freak") and FloRida ("There Goes My Baby"). Otherwise, it is when he is singing Latin music that he is the most comfortable, and we realize it quickly with "Bailando" and "El Perdedor". In fact, it is in this context that he manages to somewhat stand out, even if it is rather difficult to remain creative in this genre. Between ultra-energetic pop tracks, rhythmic Latin songs and rather insignificant ballads, the album suffers from a lack of cohesion after only a few songs. Understandably, he wants to appeal to all audiences, but we must face the fact that he cannot do everything at once. Very few people may find their satisfaction throughout the CD and they will opt instead for listening to it song by song to meet their needs. Sex and Love is an album with too different genres, including good times, but you have to search through the CD according to your personal preferences. A deluxe version includes 7 additional tracks for a total of 18, just to mix you up a little more! (May 2014)

Music Videos: « Heart Attack » - « I’m a Freak » - « Bailando »

Republic / Universal

½

 Pharrell Williams – GIRL

Pharrell WilliamsGIRL

Best known for his work as a composer and producer with several of the most prominent pop and R&B artists (in solo and with The Neptunes), Pharrell Williams first achieved success in N.E.R.D.. In recent years, he seems to be behind all the greatest hits, which somehow forced him to return to the forefront with a solo album. We still found some collaborators for duets, starting with Justin Timberlake on "Brand New", but also Miley Cyrus on "Come Get It Bae" and Alicia Keys on "Who You Are". The album remains mostly R&B, but we recognize easily his pop touch that has propelled the recent hits of Robin Thicke, Daft Punk, etc. In fact, if you enjoyed all the songs that Pharrell touched in 2013, GIRL will satisfy you as well, with several potential hits. Too bad the album includes only 10 tracks! (May 2014)

Music Videos: « Happy » - « Marilyn Monroe »

Columbia / Sony

½

 Pascale Picard – All Things Pass

Pascale PicardAll Things Pass

The female singer-songwriter from Quebec is back with a third album, always rooted in pop rock, with personal and powerful lyrics. Co-produced by Stéphane Rancourt, All Things Pass was mixed in California by Sheldon Gomberg (Ben Harper, Ryan Adams, She & Him) and mastered by Gavin Lurssen (Robert Plant, Queens of the Stone Age, Eric Clapton). With this new record, Pascale travels with vulnerability throughout her various sources of inspiration through refreshing and intimate lyrics. She will certainly not disappoint her fans with songs once again of high quality. Otherwise, it would take some additional tracks to the 10 songs offered totalling only 38 minutes. (May 2014)

Simone

½

 Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams

Timber TimbreHot Dreams

Timber Timbre is a Canadian indie folk trio led by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Taylor Kirk. With Hot Dreams, they present their 3rd album after the great Creep On Creepin’ On 3 years ago. After a little rockabilly passage, they rather explore here psychedelic rock, country and especially old soul. "Grand Canyon" and "Run From Me" even remind us of western spaghettis. The strength of the band is in the often intriguing lyrics, but they also manage to create a very special cinematic atmosphere, very retro. Although not as easy to approach than their previous album, Hot Dreams has beautiful qualities that will captivate many. (May 2014)

Arts & Crafts

½

 Manchester Orchestra – Cope

Manchester OrchestraCope

Manchester Orchestra is an indie rock band from Atlanta, Georgia that began when its members were still only teenagers. This fourth album was recorded at the band studio that is actually at Andy Hull parents’ house, where he made his first recordings as a teenager. With Cope, Manchester Orchestra possibly offer us their best album to date with a slightly more aggressive post-hardcore sound. There are also guitar riffs and melodies that can remind Weezer on different occasions. This is still a substantial change compared to the ambitious concept album Simple Math they issued 3 years ago. Otherwise, it's this rough guitar sound that seems to fit them like a glove, as if they finally had discovered the style in which they are the most comfortable. (May 2014)

Universal

½

 APigeon – Apigeon is Born

APigeonAPigeon is Born

Annie "Pigeon" Sama is a nice addition to the Montreal electronic scene. She offers nevertheless a more organic than computerized music, which is warmer. Comparisons with Björk, Feist and Sinéad O'Connor are unavoidable, but APigeon still manages to provide a pleasant freshness to a genre that was much exploited for several years. Her poetry and inspired melodies, combined with pop and folk influences, indeed possess something unique that make her immediately attractive. APigeon is Born is a smooth and moody album that should carry you into her world until the very end. (May 2014)

½

 NEeMA – Live: Leave the Light On

NEeMALive: Leave the Light On

The Montreal folk singer offers a live album recorded between Montreal, Paris, London, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and Norway. We can hear a few covers as Bruce Springsteen’s "The Ghost of Tom Joad", Félix Leclerc’s "Le petit bonheur", Leonard Cohen’s "Avalanche" and Charles Aznavour’s "Emmenez-moi". Recorded during the tour that followed the release of her excellent album Watching You Think in 2010, Leave the Light On somehow makes a summary of the highlights of that tour. NEeMA is currently working on recording a new album to come by the end of the year. (May 2014)

SIX

½

 My Chemical Romance – May Death Never Stop You: The Greatest Hits 2001-2013

My Chemical RomanceMay Death Never Stop You: The Greatest Hits 2001-2013

After 12 years of existence, the pop punk / emo band from New Jersey My Chemical Romance decided to split a little over a year ago. With May Death Never Stop You, they present somehow their musical testament. It includes their 15 greatest hits, from their four studio albums. The set is presented in chronological order to get a good idea of ​​the evolution of the group that was rather in rock opera for some time. Moreover, songs from their latest albums are surprisingly consistent in a compilation of this type. Only their first album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, may seem somewhat poorly represented with two tracks, but it is resumed at the end of the CD with 3 demos from the recording sessions of that first record. Before giving us the highlights of the band, we are presented with their last recorded song, "Fake Your Death". Are they not only feigning death by accident? They would not be the firsts to do so before returning triumphantly (talk to KISS, the masters of marketing!). Even fans of the band which already have all their albums will enjoy great satisfaction listening to this excellent collection that can be listened like a real album. (May 2014)

Music Videos: « Helena » - « The Ghost of You » - « Welcome to the Black Parade » - « Teenagers » - « Famous Last Words » - « Na Na Na » - « Sing » - « Planetary (GO!) » - « The Kids From Yesterday »

Reprise / Warner

 Shania Twain – The Discovery of Eilleen Twain (DVD + CD)

Shania TwainThe Discovery of Eilleen Twain (DVD + CD)

25 years ago, a young Eilleen Twain made ​​her debut in the musical revue Viva Vegas at Deerhurst Inn Resort in Ontario. These beginnings are presented in this short 37-minute documentary. The documentary features many interviews with people close to the large-scale production, talking about all the talent of the one that would soon conquer the world as Shania Twain. A bonus CD is included containing 10 remastered songs from her beginnings in 1989-1990, when she had a pop rock sound rather than the country pop sound that would make her famous. (May 2014)

Elektro / Video Services / MVD

½

 

Punk in Africa (DVD)

Punk in Africa (DVD)

Thanks to this 82-minute documentary, we discover the influence that had punk rock music in the socio-political and racial climate of tension in Africa during the 1970s and 1980s, in the Apartheid era. At a time when the simple act of denouncing the system could cost you your freedom or even your life, the punk movement represented a good way to express opinions. We discover bands that then had success in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, including many multiracial groups. Their influences could both come from the British punk than ska and reggae. Well produced and with many interesting interviews, Punk in Africa presents a perfect meeting between sociopolitical and underground music. (May 2014)

MVD

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APRIL:

 

 Mac DeMarco – Salad Days

Mac DeMarcoSalad Days

Originally from Western Canada, Mac DeMarco is a versatile multi-instrumentalist who navigates between music and multimedia. On this second solo album, he really took off with minimalist and fairly accessible music, thanks in part to great guitar riffs. DeMarco was able to tighten the whole while maintaining his characteristic simplicity. A production of high quality also adds a sunny side to Salad Days, which will allow him to become one of your favourite albums of the summer. A very good record, to discover! (April 2014)

Captured Tracks

½

 Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else

Cloud NothingsHere and Nowhere Else

Cloud Nothings is an indie rock band from Cleveland that has existed since 2009 and is already offering its fourth album. Produced by Dylan Baldi, the band has a certain teenage rage which is refreshing in the musical landscape. Minimalist with their arrangements, Cloud Nothings offer a direct and unpretentious guitar-bass-drums sound. Their energy is reminding bands like the Replacements, Green Day and the Foo Fighters. Drummer Jason Gerycz leads the pace masterfully and it comes times that we only listen to him because he is so awesome. Not only the guys of Cloud Nothings make us a beautiful gift with this album filled with solid compositions, but they give us more the desire to see them perform in concert. (April 2014)

Music Video: « I’m Not Part of Me »

Carpark / Mom + Pop

½

 Thou – Heathen

ThouHeathen

Thou is a doom metal outfit formed in 2005 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After three albums and several EPs, the band comes up with an epic and heavy record that catches us without warning and shakes us tirelessly for 75 long minutes. There are no less than 5 tracks around or above the 10-minute bar, including the opening song to give you goose bumps, "Free Will". Fortunately, it is followed by a short interlude a little softer before going back to the dark side with "Feral Faun" including an introduction in the Metallica style. When the wall of guitars is unleashed, we take a step back by pure reflex, and this will be the case throughout the CD that contains many moments to test the capacity of your speakers. The group never hesitates to experiment and it has very solid compositions in a style that has yet seen others as far back as in the best years of Black Sabbath in the early 1970s. Heathen is obviously not for sensitive ears, but if you live quite well with a bass line that makes your clothes move by its power, you'll have plenty to satisfy you. The album may well be heavy, it is still filled with subtleties and creativity that make it extremely intriguing. The effort will seem greatly rewarded, as it is certainly the best album to date by Thou. (April 2014)

Gilead

½

 Future Islands – Singles

Future IslandsSingles

Future Islands present their electro-pop sound since 2006. Led by singer Samuel T. Herring, the band is now at its fourth album perfectly combining indie rock with new wave music reminding sometimes of the 1980s. The melodies are catchier than ever, but more importantly, they manage to deliver some of their best compositions to date, including several immediate titles. The effectiveness of the music can beautifully highlight the powerful and unique voice of Herring, giving us at the same time the opportunity to really discover his talent. Like the title of the album, it's as if each song was a single, as if we were hearing a collection of hits. Yet, you won’t recognize any at the first listen. Here is a very satisfying album with 42 minutes that will seem very short and force you to listen to it in loops. (April 2014)

Music Videos: « Seasons (Waiting on You) » - « A Dream of You & Me »

4AD

½

 Kim Churchill – Silence / Win

Kim ChurchillSilence / Win

The Australian singer and musician presents his third album with Silence / Win. The young multi-instrumentalist prodigy recorded his album on Vancouver Island in the summer of 2013 with Warne Livesey (Midnight Oil, Matthew Good) as producer. Churchill not only plays all the instruments, but he has a unique voice that allows him to beautifully deliver his lyrics. Musically, he constantly oscillates between alternative rock and pop with several passages on acoustic guitar. Silence / Win includes 11 quality songs with many unforgettable melodies. (April 2014)

Fontana North / SIX

 Yoav – Blood Vine

YoavBlood Vine

Yoav is a singer and songwriter of Israeli origins born in Cape Town, South Africa. He releases his third album, Blood Vine, where he pushes his own limits, first by extracting the best from his acoustic guitar, then by playing almost all the instruments throughout the 11 songs. His pop rock sound rather accessible takes trip hop or electro accents on different occasions. His ability to fuse genres is greatly pleasing and it makes the album particularly interesting, despite some less catchy tracks. (April 2014)

Universal

 Feathership – Howl

FeathershipHowl

The Quebec duo was first noted in 2009 with a self-titled debut EP. Feathership are finally back with their first full-length album, once again entirely in English. Jean-Philippe Sauvé or Jay Pea (vocals, guitar and writing) and Vincent Blain (multi-instrumentalist and producer) have a folk sound generally soft, but with still some impulses a little more energetic in a jazz style ("Tumbling"), rock ("Silent Frames") and rockabilly ("Morning Love"). They offer great creative music that is likely to stir. (April 2014)

Maisonnette

½

 Pink Martini & The Von Trapps – Dream a Little Dream

Pink Martini & The Von Trapps – Dream a Little Dream

Following the death of Maria Von Trapp, the last survivor of the legendary family in February 2014 at the age of 99 years old, the family tradition takes on a whole new dimension for the rear-grandchildren of the family immortalized in The Sound of Music. For Dream a Little Dream, Sofie, Melanie, Amanda and August Von Trapp associate with Pink Martini to sing legendary songs from Brahms ("In Stiller Nacht") ABBA ("Fernando"), to the national anthem of Rwanda ("Rwanda Nziza"). The marriage seems perfect between Pink Martini music and the Von Trapp vocal harmonies, as if they were made ​​for each other. They obviously had no choice but to present parts from The Sound of Music, but "The Lonely Goatherd" and "Edelweiss" fit well through the whole. Three new folk songs by August Von Trapp complete this very good album with a unique atmosphere. (April 2014)

Heinz / Audiogram

½

 Skrillex – Recess

SkrillexRecess

When he decided to set up the Skrillex side project to the band From First To Last, Sonny Moore was far from believing that this project would that quickly take up all the space. Remixes of Lady Gaga and Snoop Dogg and EPs would soon make of Skrillex a dubstep leader in the United States. He now releases his first full-length album and he is inviting for the occasion many rather disparate contributors: Ragga Twins, Michael Angelakos, Kill the Noise, Fatman Scoop, Sam Dew, Alvin Risk, Diplo and many others. Despite some very good moments, the album definitely lacks focus and contains some rather simple compositions, as if they only served to fill the 46 minutes. Fortunately, tracks like "All is Fair in Love and Brostep" (with Ragga Twins), the energetic "Dirty Vibe" (with Diplo, G-Dragon and CL) and "Ease my Mind" (with Niki and the Dove) come to save the day and manage to keep the interest of fans of dubstep. Otherwise, Recess should have been reduced by 4 or 5 songs to make another excellent EP. (April 2014)

Music Video: « Ragga Bomb » (feat. Ragga Twins)

Big Beat / Atlantic / Warner

 Marta Pacek – Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms

Marta PacekVoodoo Dolls and False Alarms

Originally from Australia, Marta Pacek got an opportunity in 2008 to tour in Canada and she took it. Since that time, she performed on several stages around the world with her alternative folk style with a country trend. Voodoo Dolls and False Alarms is her third album and she trusted American producer Brad Albetta (Martha Wainwright, Teddy Thompson). He led her to incorporate some electronic beats behind her compositions of contemporary folk. It is a nice change for her style which also incorporates several rock guitars. (April 2014)

Music Video: « Nothing Going On »

 Jordan Officer – I’m Free

Jordan OfficerI’m Free

As he says himself in the introduction to the first song of his new album, Jordan Officer is from Montreal but newly established in New York City. He played much of country and jazz, but he returns to the genre he always loved, blues. I'm Free is his second solo album and it presents eight original compositions and two covers, "Ain’t Nobody’s Business" and "Hang 'Em High" (the theme from the western movie). The singer and guitarist once again demonstrates his talent and versatility as a musician after his work with jazz singer Susie Arioli. In addition, Officer proves he can have good compositions, although definitely not revolutionizing the genre. (April 2014)

Sean Paul – Full Frequency

Sean PaulFull Frequency

After the uneven Tomahawk Technique 2 years ago, the Jamaican is back with a new dose of hip hop that may be greatly appreciated. The appearance of Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley (son of Bob Marley) on the first track, "Riot", also brings back Sean Paul to his reggae roots. Several collaborators add grandiose to the album: Juicy J, 2 Chainz and Nicki Minaj in "Entertainment 2.0", Nyla in "Pornstar", Konshens in the hit "Want Dem All", Prince Royce in "Dangerous Ground", and Iggy Azalea coming to rap in a fake Jamaican patois in "Wickedest Style". Can be found a little less instant hits on Full Frequency than on his previous album, but weaknesses are much rarer here and the whole turns out to be much more consistent. Here is an album of dancehall that is nice to listen repeatedly, without being too annoyed by light pop pieces without consistency. (April 2014 Featured Review)

Music Videos: « Other Side of Love » - « Turn it Up » - « Want Dem All »

Atlantic / Warner

½

Temples – Sun Structures

TemplesSun Structures

The English band formed in 2012 was preceded by a major reputation, supported by artists such as Noel Gallagher, Johnny Marr and Suede. The group was soon noticed on the Internet with rock songs both psychedelic and catchy. A mix between MGMT and Tame Impala, they managed to capture our attention with their melodies, their wall of guitars, and beats reminiscent of the 1960s, the best time of the British invasion. In fact, if Sun Structures would have been released in 1967, it would probably be now one of the classics in the genre. In 2014, Temples has a beautiful freshness in the rock landscape, but déjà vu cannot do otherwise than to invade us, which can be annoying, especially in the less inspired songs of the album. Some tracks still remain very effective and addictive as " Shelter Song", "Keep in the Dark" and " Mesmerise". (April 2014 Featured New Artist)

Music Videos: « Shelter Song » - « Colours to Life » - « Keep in the Dark » - « Mesmerise »

Fat Possum

½

 Beck – Morning Phase

Beck Morning Phase

Already six years have elapsed since the last album by Beck, which seems to be an eternity for the prolific composer he was not so long ago. For Morning Phase, he finds back the musicians who helped make Sea Change his most intimate and melancholic album in 2002. No surprise then that he plunges into that atmosphere again with this new record. As always with Beck, the arrangements are gorgeous and we have our ears full of sounds even with the soft acoustic songs. Folk and country influences are never far away, but the way he arranges the whole remains unique to Beck. There are a few very good songs, but also inequalities in terms of compositions which he seems to be trying to hide under a syrupy arrangements layer. Nevertheless, ordinary songs for Beck correspond to excellence for a majority of artists. Morning Phase is not the type of CD that will succeed in seducing you instantly, but his fans should appreciate after a few careful listens, especially Sea Change fans. (April 2014)

Universal

½

 Christina Perri – Head or Heart

Christina PerriHead or Heart

The singer and songwriter from Philadelphia is back with a second album, three years after the success of Lovestrong. On Head or Heart, Christina Perri goes further in her style of pop rock with compositions and arrangements a little fancier. We can again hear a good portion of acoustic instruments, but the whole is more pop with unforgettable melodies and vocal harmonies, among others in "Be My Forever" featuring Ed Sheeran. "Trust" and "Burning Gold" are other examples of essential songs at the beginning of the CD. But above all, Christina certainly succeeds in touching us with the first single with a powerful chorus, "Human". With Head or Heart, Christina Perri resumes her momentum and brings her art to the next level, proving that it is possible to offer high quality pop music. (April 2014)

Music Video: « Human »

Atlantic / Warner

½

 Metronomy – Love Letters

MetronomyLove Letters

The British band is back with its fourth album, three years after the essential The English Riviera. Joseph Mount returns with a more intimate record in Love Letters, a stripped down album with minimalist arrangements that fuses in a great way acoustic instruments and electronic. Different styles and influences are integrating to the album to touch every genre. Where Mount and his band are different from what they did before, it is in the production of dance pop songs, much rarer on Love Letters. In fact, Metronomy redefines somehow pop music by bringing a new level of creativity and subtleties. Without saying that Love Letters is better than their previous album, we can say that Metronomy continue to evolve with this excellent new record. (April 2014)

Music Videos: « I’m Aquarius » - « Love Letters »

Because / Warner

½

 Rufus Wainwright – Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright

Rufus WainwrightVibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright

After 15 years of career, it is now the time for a review for the songwriter and performer from Montreal based in New York. On Vibrate, one can find his 18 greatest hits to date. One can especially hear excerpts from his first five albums released between 1998 and 2007, plus two songs from his latest album, Out of the Game, issued in 2012. One can also find his excellent version of Leonard Cohen’s "Hallelujah" which appeared on the soundtrack of Shrek, and discover a new song, "Me and Liza". Otherwise, it lacks "Across the Universe", his very good version of the Beatles’ classic. Even if the songs are not presented chronologically, the quality found makes ​​sure Vibrate is an excellent collection of the best songs of Rufus Wainwright. It will be appreciated as much by his fans than by a new audience who would like to find out his music. (April 2014)

Music Videos: « April Fools » - « Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk » - « The One You Love » - « Going to a Town »

Universal

 Rio 2

Rio 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

The sequel to the animated musical presents again dynamic background music on Brazilian bossa nova. This album includes the music of the film which is dominated by the first single by Janelle Monae (in 2 versions), "What is Love", as well as "Welcome Back" by Bruno Mars, "Rio Rio" by Ester Dean (with B.o.B) "It's a Jungle Out Here" by Philip Lawrence (in 2 versions) and "Favo de Mel" by Milton Nascimento. Other interpretations are mostly by actors and actresses who have lent their voices to the characters (Anne Hathaway, Jamie Foxx, Andy Garcia, and others). They were able to create a unique atmosphere with this album of 40 minutes, remaining consistent until the end except on rare occasions. Interpreters do not steal the show in any case for a quality soundtrack. (April 2014)

Music Video: « What is Love » (Janelle Monae)

Atlantic / Warner

Devo – The Complete Truth About De-Evolution (DVD)

Devo – The Complete Truth About De-Evolution (DVD)

U.S. band Devo is certainly one of the innovators that have emerged from the 1970s. The new wave band was indeed overflowing of creativity and it is particularly reflected in its music videos. This DVD provides an overview of the group twenty videos and rare live footage. In addition, we can find lots of extras (other live performances, photos, interviews). The 70-minute DVD thus provides a good overview of all the exhilarating side of the band. (April 2014)

MVD

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MARCH:

 

 Elbow – The Take Off and Landing of Everything

Elbow The Take Off and Landing of Everything

The Manchester, England band is back with a new album, their sixth in career. Again, one can easily establish a connection between singer Guy Garvey and the legendary Peter Gabriel. Just like the latter, Elbow is successful in balancing pop melodies and more experimental musical parts. They add tremendous wealth to their music by the introduction of strings elevating their sound which is already rich. Coldplay remain a point of comparison for the band, but we must admit that Elbow has unsuspected creative elements. The Take Off and Landing of Everything is therefore once again a first quality album for this group which is certainly underestimated. (March 2014)

Music Video: « New York Morning »

Fiction / Polydor / Universal

½

 Yuna – Nocturnal

YunaNocturnal

Singer Yuna (born Yunalis Zarai) is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She offers an accessible pop rock sound that can include several alternative or experimental aspects. In this sense, we can compare her to both Ellie Goulding and Björk. Nocturnal is her third album, the first for the Verve label. She offers again extremely catchy pop melodies, perfectly delivered by her beautiful voice. Yuna integrates various musical trends in her music with touches of R&B and African music. She managed to create a coherent, catchy and very attractive album that is able to grab the interest of her audience and keep it until the end. With Nocturnal, Yuna shows the world that she is among the greatest artists. This is definitely her best record to date. (March 2014)

Music Videos: « I Wanna Go » - « Rescue » - « Falling »

Verve / Universal

½

Steve Hill – Solo Recordings Volume 2

Steve HillSolo Recordings Volume 2

Less than two years after a first solo recordings CD, the guitar virtuoso comes back with volume 2. Again, Steve Hill plays all the instruments, but he has perfected his art during the tour that followed the release of the previous record and he adds new instruments here. Blues specialist, he integrates rock, country and folk to this new 11-track album. It includes eight original songs plus two blues classics of the 1950s, as well as a track from his first album released in 1997, "Simple Things". Obviously, we quickly rediscover his talent as a musician and one-man band. Otherwise, Solo Recordings Volume 2 also shows a very interesting development of the quality of his writing and his talent as a singer. Here is a very good record of modern blues by one of the best musicians in Quebec. (March 2014)

½

 Tinariwen – Emmaar

TinariwenEmmaar

Following their 2011 album, Tassili, the band of Tuareg rebels had to flee its native country in conflict, Mali, to seek refuge in the United States. Otherwise, they were forced to record the album without Abdallah Ag Lamida who was kidnapped by Islamist militias and released only later. Unlike their previous album, Emmaar returns to the electric guitar, the instrument that allows them to stand out. Their unique blues sound greatly reminds us of the Black Keys and the Sheepdogs, but with their lyrics in their original language and African folk influences, Tinariwen remain unique. Obviously, they tell much about their exile and their anger. However, their music makes the whole a little lighter and it is listened with great pleasure to the end. On Emmaar, the Tinariwen guys seem at the top of their inspiration. (March 2014)

Anti- / Epitaph

½

 Sharon Corr – The Same Sun

Sharon CorrThe Same Sun

A founder of the Irish band The Corrs, violinist and singer Sharon was the second of the siblings to embark on a solo career after Andrea. Four years after her debut, she comes back with a second album. She offers adult pop music with strong influences from the 1970s. Obviously, the strings prevail and they create a beautiful atmosphere. The production of Mitchell Froom (Sheryl Crow, Ron Sexsmith, Paul McCartney) is of high quality and it helps to highlight the sweet voice of the singer in a context mostly stripped. The retro side of the album, despite its adult contemporary aspect, will certainly manage to seduce many. But it is mainly the quality of her melodies and the touching lyrics that might catch your attention at first. The Same Sun is a smooth record which is nice to listen to the end. (March 2014)

BobbyJean / Justin Time / SIX

½

 St. Vincent – St. Vincent

St. VincentSt. Vincent

St. Vincent is the pseudonym of Annie Clark, an American from Dallas who participated to the collective The Polyphonic Spree before working with Sufjan Stevens. She began her solo career in 2007 and was immediately noticed with Marry Me. For her last album, Love This Giant, she collaborated with David Byrne in an exercise of style that divided the critics. She is now back by herself to present her fifth solo album, a self-titled record. You can hear an extremely creative indie rock sound where experiments are everywhere, especially for the different sounds and musical textures. St. Vincent does not hesitate to merge several music genres, incorporating electro, classical, funk and pop music to her eclectic rock. She was certainly inspired by David Bowie and David Byrne's desire to carry pop music to another level, and the result is particularly successful. If this is certainly her most accessible album to date, its creativity is simply overwhelming. Here is definitely the best album of the career of St. Vincent, a record that will probably be among the best ones of the year. (March 2014)

Universal

 Mayra Andrade – Lovely Difficult

Mayra AndradeLovely Difficult

Mayra Andrade was born in Cuba and raised in Cape Verde, before moving to Paris 11 years ago. This world artist issues her fourth album, consisting mainly of neo-traditional music influenced by all the countries she has crossed. She sings in the 4 languages she speaks and it is produced by Mike Pelanconi (Lily Allen, Graham Coxon). Mayra calls to friends from various backgrounds to provide songs, including Yael Naim, Piers Faccini, Benjamin Biolay, Hugh Coltman and Pascal Danae. Lovely Difficult offers great world beats, although most of the record remains acoustic and intimate. (March 2014)

Columbia / Sony

½

 Alejandra Ribera – La Boca

Alejandra RiberaLa Boca

The Montrealer, born in Argentina, Alejandra Ribera needed 2 years to refine her second album, a matter of presenting a finished product up to her expectations. Initially, she wanted to work with producer Jean Massicotte (Pierre Lapointe, Patrick Watson), but he was not available. Then, after a year of work in the studio, she took another year to refine the artistic direction. The result is an international multilingual album that reflects both the roots of the artist and the path to achieve her objectives. La Boca includes a very nice mix of folk and world music. The rather intimate whole takes on a new dimension with the only duo of the album, "A swan at night" (a song adapted in French by Jim Corcoran), with Arthur H. Note her very soft cover of "500 Miles" of The Proclaimers. The beautiful poetry of the artist comes with emotion by the singer with a unique voice, slightly nasal. A very nice album! (March 2014)

Pheromone / Universal / SIX

½

 Angèle Dubeau – Blanc

Angèle DubeauBlanc

Accompanied by La Pietà, the violinist presents a particularly significant album considering her last months’ struggling against cancer. She offers some of the pieces that helped her through the illness. You can hear many pieces of contemporary composers such as Dave Brubeck, Ennio Morricone, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Cat Stevens ("Morning Has Broken"), François Dompierre ("Mario") and Shawn Phillips (the classic "Woman" with a never ending title). This bright album will certainly create a remarkable atmosphere in your living room. For each copy sold, $2 will be donated to the Breast Cancer Quebec Foundation. (March 2014)

Analekta

½

Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes

Bruce SpringsteenHigh Hopes

High Hopes is a special album for Bruce Springsteen because he gives a second life to some songs ("American Skin (41 Shots)", "The Ghost of Tom Joad"), in addition to presenting tracks left aside during the last decade. Covers of Suicide, The Saints and Tim Scott McConnell complete the portrait. It is an opportunity for the boss to find back his E-Street Band and also to join with guitarist Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine). The songs have a good balance between engagement and intimacy, all based on a very nice atmosphere. Otherwise, cohesion is not always present between the different pieces which somewhat spoils the whole. It is still a very good record proving that Bruce Springsteen can still be relevant 40 years later. (March 2014 Featured Review)

Music Video: « High Hopes »

½

Boids – We Stalk Each Other Like Animals

BoidsWe Stalk Each Other Like Animals

Boids is a punk quartet from Montreal presenting their first album. They have a style that ranges from classic punk (Ramones, Descendents) to a little more hardcore sound in the Dead Kennedys genre. They managed to create a style of their own, in a genre where it is difficult to be distinct in 2014. It is a short record of only 28 minutes despite 13 tracks. The time to realize it and you will already be at the end. A good reason to play it again from the start... Their first tour opening for the Real McKenzies will certainly allow them to be discovered by many new enthusiastic fans. Here is a band to discover for any fans of punk rock. (March 2014 Featured New Artist)

Stomp / ULG / Warner

½

Sam Roberts Band – Lo-Fantasy

Sam Roberts BandLo-Fantasy

On Lo-Fantasy, the Montrealer made ​​the gamble to leave completely aside the rock style that characterized him so far, and which reached its peak on the previous album, Collider. On this one, pop new wave reigns as king with funky passages and the use of electronics. This is an interesting change of direction, but at the same time it distorts from the personality of Roberts that is difficult to recognize in this new style. The album contains some interesting moments as "We're All in This Together" and "Metal Skin" but the whole album may leave you indifferent. Not that it is bad, only that it should have a little more creative energy to successfully grab our attention and keep it throughout the CD. A version with a second CD of remixes is also available. (March 2014)

Music Video: « We’re All in This Together »

Universal

Switchfoot – Fading West

SwitchfootFading West

Throughout the 2000s, the San Diego band has carried the torch as the most popular Christian group. Over the years, their style has refined to become a little more pop, leaving aside the punk and grunge influences of their debut. Fading West is already their 9th album and they continue to evolve, this time putting forward their passion for surfing. Effective beats and sunny melodies accompany wonderfully this passion. Several anthems are included on this grandiose album that falls somewhere between the worlds of Coldplay, U2, and OneRepublic. Unless you prefer when they play a little more rock, Fading West may well appear to you as the most satisfying album of the band to date. Well done! (March 2014)

Music Videos: « Love Alone is Worth the Fight » - « Who We Are »

Atlantic / Warner

½

Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Against Me!Transgender Dysphoria Blues

While the future looked uncertain for the Florida punk band after their 2010 album White Crosses, Laura Jane Grace and James Bowman are leading Against Me! for this solid rock album that is quite away from their punk roots. As we might expect from its title, the album thoroughly addresses the topic of sex change of Grace (formerly known as Tom Gabel). Otherwise, the concept album doesn’t tell her story, but rather that of a transgender prostitute. While the rhythm section of the band has been completely replaced, Transgender Dysphoria Blues is definitely the most consistent album for the group in a long time. Energetic rock compositions are creative as well as being enjoyable to listen to. In fact, the main problem is that the CD is too short with only 10 songs for a total not even up to 30 minutes. Despite this slight detail, the group may present us his most creative album in career. (March 2014)

Total Treble

½

Young the Giant – Mind Over Matter

Young the GiantMind Over Matter

After a first album that allowed them to get noticed in 2011, the Californian indie rock band is back with a blockbuster that has everything to launch them on a larger scale. The flawless production of Justin Meldal-Johnsen adds breadth to the compositions of the band which are unfortunately not always at the same level. Good melodies and effective rhythm guitars and synthesizers are not sufficient to allow the group to stand out. Unfortunately, we find ourselves constantly comparing them to many of their peers: Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Vampire Weekend, and so on. There is an essential element missing for Young the Giant to make them truly settle: they have to discover their own musical personality. Meanwhile, Mind Over Matter listens well, but we forget it too quickly. (March 2014)

Music Video: « It’s About Time »

Fueled By Ramen / Warner

½

Dan Desnoyers – Pacha Ibiza

Dan DesnoyersPacha Ibiza

For his new Pacha Ibiza compilation, the famous Quebec DJ uses again the formula that made him successful for many years, presenting the best of the current house scene. He starts strong with the new version of Technotronic’s "Pump Up the Jam" by the Bodybangers. Thereafter, there is a little less known names outside of the underground house scene, except for Steve Aoki and The Partysquad. As usual, D-Noy has a personal composition, "Take Me Back", featuring Sandy Duperval. 15 tracks totaling 65 minutes make a constant party to animate any dance floor. (March 2014)

Sony

½

USS – Advanced Basics

USSAdvanced Basics

USS (Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker) is an unclassifiable Ontario duo that offers a mix of rock, pop, dubstep, hip hop and electro. Advanced Basics is a 7-track EP presenting USS at its best with catchy songs. Ashley Boo-Schultz (vocals and guitar) and Human Kebab (turntables) show us what they are truly capable of with this EP and it only remains to wait for the next full-length album which will be hopefully entirely strong. (March 2014)

Coalition / Warner

2014 Grammy Nominees

2014 Grammy Nominees

Like every year for the last 20 years, the Grammy team presents the nominated artists in the major categories of the gala of January 26, particularly in pop, country and hip hop. Amongst others, we may hear the monster hits by Bruno Mars ("Locked Out of Heaven"), Robin Thicke ("Blurred Lines"), Daft Punk ("Get Lucky"), Katy Perry ("Roar"), Kendrick Lamar ("Swimming Pools (Drank)") and P!nk ("Just Give Me a Reason"). We can find 18 tracks for a total of more than 70 minutes of the most popular music of the last 12 months in the United States. (March 2014)

Music Videos: « Locked Out of Heaven » (Bruno Mars) – « Blurred Lines » (Robin Thicke) – « Roar » (Katy Perry)

Atlantic / Warner

½

Black Lips – Kids Like You & Me (DVD)

Black LipsKids Like You & Me (DVD) (2013)

Here is a documentary about a tour in the Middle East for Atlanta punk band Black Lips. Accompanied by their friends, Lebanese indie rock band Lazzy Lung, they found themselves in the midst of the Arab Spring crisis, including the 18 days of conflict in Egypt. We can especially see their complete adaptation to that foreign culture, the music being sidelined with some live footage or rehearsals. Otherwise, it is still mainly through music that they could really connect with the local culture. The band's fans will probably enjoy, but it is above all a journey of discovery other mentalities than the American one. This is an interesting document for exploring that region of the world, as seen through the eyes of an American rock band. (March 2014)