Here is the highly anticipated comeback of the
Montreal band Arcade Fire, after
The Suburbs three years ago. On
this fourth album, the group managed to lay some of its most catchy
songs to date, while remaining creative and musically rich. The
title track, with its inclusion of French lyrics (courtesy of
Régine Chassagne), is also the most successful of the band to
date. The group is inspired by different musical styles like
afrobeat, electro, disco and dub music to give us a very
contemporary sound. Nevertheless we find many references to classic
Stones, The Clash,
The Beatles, U2). The
arrangements are beautiful with different sound effects that
accompany the special structures. As always, the group manages to
carry us into its own world, which varies not only from one album to
another, but from one song to another. Even if the group was at its
commercial peak in 2011 with a Grammy for album of the year, we must
face the facts that it has lost none of its creativity. Despite 13
tracks totalling 75 minutes, the album will certainly provide you
with great satisfaction. In fact, Reflector is likely to end
the year as the most satisfying rock album. A superb album by Arcade
Even if she is only 21 years old, the pop singer
from Los Angeles is firmly established in the music industry, first
with her past friendship with Michael Jackson, and through
her contacts with Britney Spears’ producers. A little
provocative, Sky Ferreira does not hesitate to strip naked for the
cover of her first album, which will make jealous the one who feels
a deep need of media attention these days, Miley Cyrus. On
Night Time, My Time, Sky has an excellent blend of light pop,
electronic and rock. Some songs lean towards a new wave style ("Love
in Stereo"), while fairly aggressive guitars are added in a
beautiful way on other occasions ("You're Not the One", "I Will").
This mixture of lightness and aggression remains perfectly relevant
throughout the CD that ultimately provides a nice consistency. Here
is a very good first test for this talented singer which will surely
be heard for a long time.
Since her pop debut in 2008, the beautiful
Californian singer combines #1 hits. So, a new album brings its share of
expectations. Otherwise, it will be difficult to repeat her commercial
exploits with Prism which represents a major turning point for
the singer with a former look of pin-up. Rather, she takes on a more
serious, more adult direction, which may be difficult to be followed by
her teenage excited audience. It remains the sexy "Birthday", but the
ensemble turns especially to long-term relationships rather than the
overuse of sexuality. Musically, there are some more mature pop pieces,
starting with the first hit, "Roar", and "Unconditionally". We can also
hear a return to the past with the disco "Walking on Air", as well as a
rap passage on "Dark Horse", thanks to the collaboration of Juicy J.
Prism contains good compositions and is quite coherent compared
to her previous records, so it is a good album. But, Katy may lose
several fans with it.
her first English album in six years, the Quebec diva tries to
rejuvenate her audience with a tinge of R&B we did not know from her
before. She even did a duet with Ne-Yo for the mid-tempo song
"Incredible". Céline is still back with her team of songwriters and
renowned collaborators as Stevie Wonder (who sings with her on
the cover of "Overjoyed") and Diane Warren (who offers her
"Unfinished Songs"). She also retakes a 1975 hit by Janis Ian,
"At Seventeen". Despite some tendencies to modernity, the whole album
remains faithful to the adult pop style of the singer. With this new
well produced album, she surely manages to meet with her audience again.
The popular British singer is back with his fourth
album, Moon Landing. He still offers an adult pop sound all
designated to invade radios of that type. Otherwise, we cannot hear
larger than life hits like the one that made him famous, the ballad
"You're Beautiful". In addition, he loses a bit of the energy that could
be found on his previous album,
Some Kind of Trouble. We can still
hear very good songs like "Face the Sun", the hit "Bonfire Heart" and a
tribute to Whitney Houston with "Miss America". James Blunt has
again produced a good album that is sure to please his fans.
this title, we are expecting a happy album from the R&B singer. But, the
sad look on the cover and some downright depressing songs will not
create the expected festive atmosphere. Musically, grandiose
orchestrations by David Foster give a special scale to the album.
Mary's voice is effective and carries much emotion. Otherwise, it is the
choice of some songs that is not always good. We find anyway essential
classics for the holiday season as "Little Drummer Boy", "Have Yourself
a Merry Little Christmas", "The Christmas Song", "Rudolph the Red-Nosed
Reindeer" and even "Petit Papa Noël" in French. You can hear duets with
Barbra Streisand, Jessie J, The Clark Sisters and
Scottish-born Canadian country pop singer presents his own version of
some Christmas songs, sung in a great way with his unique voice and
accompanied by rich orchestrations. You can hear among others "Angel We
Have Heard On High", "O Holy Night", "Little Drummer Boy", "Have
Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", and even a French / English duet
with Isabelle Boulay for "Silent Night/Sainte Nuit". What
differentiates mainly the album by Johnny Reid from most of the other
releases in the genre is the addition of several original compositions
with Bob Ezrin (the producer of the album) , as well as the
addition of songs played less often as the excellent "Do You Hear What I
Hear?", performed here with Peter Frampton. With A Christmas
Gift to You, it is a true gift that offers Johnny Reid when he
managed to concoct the perfect blend of Christmas classics and rare
songs for the season. It therefore presents one of the best Christmas
albums of 2013, a record that can practically be played all year long.
Robertson family is famous for its television show at the A&E network,
Duck Dynasty. They present some traditional Christmas songs like
"I'll Be Home for Christmas", "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and
"Silent Night". Otherwise, the family offers many original songs,
usually in the country style, but sometimes more cabaret ("You're a Mean
One, Mr. Grinch"). The whole remains on a rather humorous tone and the
Robertson family can count on the help of collaborators such as Luke
Bryan, Josh Turner, George Strait and Alison Krauss.
This is certainly not the Christmas album of the year, but it will make
the fans of the TV show smile.
is a trio of young Italian tenors which began in 2011 and has released
two albums since then. They now come to us with a Christmas album on
which they remake American classics of the genre, songs not well known
in Italy. You can hear among others "Ave Maria", "O Holy Night", "Silent
Night", "White Christmas", "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Rockin
'Around the Christmas Tree". They also make a medley including "Jingle
Bell Rock", "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" and "It's the Most
Wonderful Time of the Year". Their voices are perfect for the
interpretation of great Christmas songs and they are accompanied by
beautiful orchestrations even if they are quite sober. The album is kind
of the soundtrack of a PBS TV special titled Il Volo Buon Natale.
Theparticipant in thefirst
season of theTV show
us witha first
Christmas album. We can hearessential classicsas "Have
Yourselfa MerryLittle Christmas", "Blue
Christmas", "White Christmas",
"Silent Night" and "I'll Be
Home for Christmas". Butthere are alsoseveralraresongs, allbeautifullyperformed bythediva.
of Christmas classics by this legendary singer who recorded his first
Christmas album in 1958. The album contains several duets with artists
such as Billy Joel, Natalie Cole, Jim Brickman,
Gloria Estefan, Susan Boyle, The Jordanaires, and even
a trio with Vince Gill and Amy Grant.
The swing band from
Los Angelesalready presentsitsthirdChristmas album.
Thereis only"Jingle Bells"theyplayforthe secondtime,in the manner ofSinatrathis time. They especially
offer popularclassics like"Frosty the Snowman"
and "Santa Clausis
Comingto Town" as
well as someoriginal songsandtheirversion of ChuckBerry’s "Run
from Utah mixing classical music and pop offers a Christmas album that
will be as usual accompanied by videos on YouTube.
Now! Christmas 6
This compilationfeatures a mixofChristmas classicsandnew songsperformed bycontemporarypop artists.
We can hearamong othersJustin Bieber, Michael Bublé, Lady Gaga,
Carly Rae Jepsen, Cee-Lo Green, Divine Brown,
OneRepublic, Alyssa Reid and Victoria Duffield.
Fora littlemore pop Christmas than
The teamofthe popular showGleemisled uswiththe title of thisfourthChristmas album,
since it is actually a
6-track EPonly. There
songs as "Here Comes SantaClaus", "Rockin'
Around the Christmas Tree" and
the excellent "Mary's
LittleBoy Child". You
Compilation of Christmas classics in an acoustic version by the record
label Putumayo, known for its world music.
The Swedish electro-pop duo finally presents its
first album after the huge success of the hit single "I Love It"
(featuring Charli XCX). That hit set the stage for a record on
which danceable beats are equally linked wonderfully for only 33
minutes. All the songs have an interesting potential for both radios and
the dance floors. We can compare the female duo in part to Katy Perry
or Ke$ha, but the Russian duo T.A.T.U. also comes to mind
in the way they sing in harmony. Certainly, it is a highly entertaining
album that offer these two young Swedish ladies who obviously have an
important desire to party. Here is a good pop music record.
Krewella is an electronic music trio from Chicago
formed in 2007, before issuing its first material in 2011. Get Wet
is their first full-length album. The Yousaf sisters and Kris
Trindl (aka Rain Man) offer primarily energetic pop music,
perfect for dance floors, with elements of dubstep. This is a custom
sound to party with the usual clichés in the lyrics. Production is
larger than life and has everything to appeal to a broad audience. Note
the participation of Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy) and
Travis Barker (Blink 182) for the effective "Dancing with the
Devil". With this first album, the trio presents a pleasant album to
listen that is sure to please lovers of music with a high level of
Chvrches is an electro-pop trio from Glasgow, Scotland.
They pick heavily from the music of the 1980s, highly dominated by
synthesizers. The Bones of What You Believe is their first
full-length album after EPs. In addition to an almost abusive use of
synthesizers, what is catching our attention is the soft and
high-pitched voice of Lauren Mayberry. The 12 songs of the album
are linked up nicely in an impressive consistency. In fact, it is
primarily a CD to listen to as a whole rather than in pieces while few
tracks manage to stand out from the rest. It is a very good first album
by a band to check out closely over the next few years.
After more than 25 years of career, the progressive
metal band from New York comes to us with a self-titled album, as if it
had just discovered its true personality. This 12th album features for
the first time the involvement of new drummer Mike Mangini, hired
in 2011, in writing and creative decisions. This new comer is welcome as
the group presents one of its strongest albums in several years.
Guitarist John Petrucci ensures production. The album starts
strongly with a short suite in three acts, "False Awakening Suite".
Dream Theater then offer good compositions in the genre before
completing with a piece in five parts totaling 22 minutes, "Illumination
Theory". The use of orchestral strings on various occasions enriches in
a beautiful way the band's music, which is already thick at the basis.
Their influences of Rush appear at different times of the record,
especially in "The Looking Glass" in which the opening seems to be a
tribute to "Spirit of Radio". Overall, Dream Theater are offering a very
successful album, one of the most creative for the band in a long time
which will please their many fans.
Montrealers of Ladies of the Canyon are back with a second album, again
rooted in California country rock. Otherwise, the female quartet seems
more than ever to get inspiration from classic rock, from Led Zeppelin
to Fleetwood Mac including Jefferson Airplane. They even
do a cover version of
Led Zeppelin’s classic "Babe I'm Gonna Leave
You". However, they had expressed a desire to produce an album of pure
country and had even installed temporarily in Nashville. The project has
aborted so they are back in the style they do best, this excellent blend
of country guitars and harmonies, with a more rock energy. The
production of Mark Howard (Tragically Hip, Lucinda
Williams, Vic Chesnutt) has certainly helped to shape this
ensemble. Despite very strong influences of the past, the group manages
to present a very interesting album.
Native of Alabama Katie
Crutchfield’s alternative bandwas formed in2011.But in fact,sheworks mainly in
solo.CeruleanSaltis the secondalbum by Waxahatchee.
The punkpast of
Crutchfieldcan still be
alternative rock sound ratherlo-fi of the band.
Lessacousticthanits first album,
it nonetheless providesa
slightlyrichermusic.Catchypopmelodiesare part oftheband,
so thatseveraltrackshave the potential tostayin mind,though fewof them managetoreallystand out.The most
interestingpiecesarecertainly "Dixie Cups andJars" and "Misery Over
Dispute". CeruleanSaltis an excellentalbum,especiallycreative.
exceptional musician, jazz guitarist Thomas Carbou specializes in
8-string guitar. Here he presents the finale of his trilogy
Hekatê, on which he continues his experiments in a
trio with saxophonist Erik Hove and drummer Jim Doxas. He
transcends genres carrying his jazz to the limits of rock, folk and
ambient electronics. The French born and Montrealer by adoption for the
last 10 years perfectly complements his trilogy with a record full of
creativity, which is pleasant to listen until the end for our pure
Five For Fightingis a one-man band, John
native ofLosAngeles,Ondrasikbecame knownin the early2000swithseveralhitballadslike "Superman (It's
Not Easy)" and "100
Years". For his new album, he
againtrusts producerGreggWattenbergwho had worked onhisprevious album,
Slice, 4 years ago.The albumhas someof the bestcompositions
by Ondrasikto date,in addition to enjoying
AlthoughFive For Fightingcontinuesin the style thatmade it famous, it hastrackswith muchlustrefora greatalbum,definitelyitsbest so far.
Said the Whaleisan indierock band fromVancouverthat was formedbyBenWorcesterandTylerBancroft. With Hawaiii,
thequintetoffers its fourth album,
probably itsbest to date.
There are stillhard to
songs, but the band alsomade an effortto open up tothe massesthroughfavorite pop rock songs such
as"I Love You". As
hit as in a few other
compositions, there is
a notvery subtlenodto theBeach Boys
which seem to havebeen a
major influencefor the melodies.
Said the Whalealsohas someelectro-popinfluencesto completethis great music mix.
For this fifth album, the Montreal band is completed
by brothers Evan and Geordie Gordon from Ontario group
The Magic. While the themes remain rather gloomy and dark, very good
melodies reminiscent occasionally of the Beach Boys and the
come to give a little life to this new album. The presence of the Gordon
Brothers has surely also something to do with it. The result is an
extremely solid record that manages to be entertaining despite the
gloomy side. Still a very good album by Nick Thorburn and
Dustin Wong is a Hawaiian who decided to embark on a solo career in
2009, and it’s really the case because he produces everything completely
by himself. The experimental guitarist indeed uses a variety of pedals
and an occasional beat box. After working with Japanese Takako
Minekawa for the album
Toropical Circle, Wong is back with
his third solo album. He presents an experimental minimalist sound,
mostly instrumental, which helps to create a special atmosphere. He
explores loops and repeats that can occasionally be flirting with pop
melodies, even if the whole remains completely underground and difficult
to access. With some tracks around 6 minutes, the album sometimes takes
a hypnosis tangent, promoting meditation. Despite his approach may seem
difficult at times, Mediation of Ecstatic Energy offers a nice
consistency until the end. It contains possibly the best compositions to
date by Dustin Wong.
Phosphorescent is the one-man band of Matthew Houck, a native of
Athens, Georgia, the hometown of R.E.M. He started this project
in 2000 and he produces a minimalist indie rock sound to folk trend and
even country. On this sixth album, he experimented somewhat, in
sometimes ambient sounds. He uses more than ever electronic that he
artfully blends with instruments. This mixture also makes us realize
that this is perhaps his least minimalist album while the songs take on
a certain scale, even though it usually remains a quiet album. Despite
some excessive arrangements, Houck has possibly his best compositions
since his debut 10 years ago.
Malian Sidi Touré offers typical folk music of his country. Alafia
was partly recorded in Bamako and in Nantes, France, due to the conflict
raging in his region of Mali. He presents music based on the traditions
of his country, with blues influences and other world beats. He managed
to create a particularly touching atmosphere where you can feel all the
fear experienced by his people. Compositions are strong and are linked
perfectly until the end of the CD which is still lasting nearly an hour
for 11 tracks. A great album for fans of African music!
singer from New Jersey once again presents an attractive album that
manages to create a very special atmosphere. It's probably largely due
to Jim Tomlinson’s production (her saxophonist and her husband)
who is able to clearly highlight the talents of Stacey of passing
emotion through her soft and warm voice. On this album, Stacey is
letting out her love for Brazilian music. She worked among others with
Portuguese poet Antonio Ladeira and French author Bernie
Beaupère. The Changing Lights is a great jazz record
incorporating world music.
MonkeyJunk is a trio that has been active for the last five years. It
offers us a rather groovy blues rock sound that leaves no one
indifferent, despite the surprising fact they don’t use bass. There have
influences in swamp R&B and roots that make them a fairly creative band.
On this third album, they offer a few songs that will now be considered
important in their repertoire ("You Make a Mess", "Yearnin' for
Yesterday," "What I Got To Give", and so on). If you think that blues
rock shows little creativity in general, you may change your mind
listening to this new album by MonkeyJunk.
The young 23-year old Jamaican was successful
since his first album in 2007, before becoming famous in 2009 with
Tomorrow and the hit "Fire
Burning". After a break, he is back with a highly anticipated third
album, propelled by the hit title song (with T.I.) and its
sampling of Soul II Soul. Although the overall trend is still
rather pop, Sean Kingston offers many tracks of pure R&B as "Beat
It" (with Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa) and "Hold That"
(with Yo Gotti). Otherwise, as it was also the case on his
previous record, he is equally effective with more energetic pop
songs like the Latin "Bomba" and the excellent club track "Smoke
Signals". For the love song "Ordinary Girl", he borrows the melody
to Duran Duran’s "Ordinary World", and on "How We Survive" he
explores dancehall. In addition to the guest artists named above,
you can hear Busta Rhymes, 2 Chainz and Wale.
Yet, despite the fact that the young singer is very well supported,
he retains a perfect control over his music, perhaps for the first
time. In addition, with a short album of 11 tracks totaling less
than 38 minutes, Kingston is able to offer a concise and effective
album until the end, with no major weaknesses or unnecessary filler
tracks. This therefore results in his best album to date, confirming
at the same time he is no longer a teenager... (November 2013
Singer Aluna Francis and producer
George Reid join forces to present this first album. The London
duo gives us electro-pop music with a strong R&B direction. They
first got success earlier this year with their collaboration with
Disclosure for "White Noise" and they take advantage of this
momentum to issue this record of high efficiency. The rather slight
electro music by Reid merges perfectly with the sweet voice of Aluna.
The result is both soothing and seductive, which carries us
beautifully throughout the record. Many of the pieces presented were
already released before, but the new compositions are assembling in
a beautiful way for an album of great consistency. In addition to
"You Know You Like It" and "Your Drums, Your Love", there is another
track that you certainly already know, the cover in bonus for
Montell Jordan’s hit "This Is How We Do It". (November
2013 Featured New Artist)
For his third album, Jason Derulo does not leave
aside monster pop hits and we have a quick look at that with the opening
track, "The Other Side". But, he is exploring other avenues with hip hop
and mid-tempo ballads, including the piano duet with his girlfriend
Jordin Sparks for "Vertigo." Other collaborators include Pitbull,
2 Chainz and The Game. Despite some interesting tracks, we
unfortunately find too many filling frivolous pieces that go nowhere. So
much so that the American version has been reduced to a
5-song EP in digital format only. We should only get Tattoos
in parts rather than spending for the full-length album of 11 tracks.
After two albums that have propelled him on the
American rap scene, Toronto's Drake is back with a highly anticipated
third album. He resumes in his style of rap and R&B rather atmospheric
and introspective, but going a little farther, deeper. These are the
songs creating a very special intimate atmosphere that are the most
interesting ones of the record as "Own It" and "305 to My City".
But he also has other unique moments of great quality as the dark
"Wu-Tang Forever" and the pop/R&B "Hold On, We're Going Home" (one of
the few rhythmic songs of the CD). What remains exceptional in the case
of Drake, is that he always manages to stand out from the mass of the
rap/hip hop artists we can hear in 2013.
Following her Cuban trilogy which ended last year with the compilation
best of the three albums), Florence K turns the page with I'm Leaving
You. It is a predominantly Anglophone album that gives a little more
in blues at times, while maintaining her jazz / pop friendly side. But
she does not completely abandon the Latin rhythms we can find with
pleasure on "No Salgo De Aqui" among others. Florence continues to
delight us with her sweet voice and especially, she continues to prove
her talent as a songwriter and musician. Her music always makes us have
a good time, so what's not to love? She still manages to present music
with strong influences from the past, including jazz standards, pop and
1960s soul and blues. But what makes her strength is her ability to just
be inspired by the past to get us something new and current, which in
addition fits perfectly with her personality. Florence K definitely has
a real raw talent...
Although she had already shown several country influences in the past,
it is really with Feels Like Home that Sheryl Crow confirms
herself as a contemporary country singer. Nevertheless, her long-time
fans will not be too disoriented as many songs compare to other works in
her past repertoire, sometimes in an embarrassing way. Otherwise, where
the artist falls into a huge trap, this is really in an effort to merge
with country music, musically and lyrically. She uses many clichés and
more importantly, it sounds false, it is not natural, as if it was
forced. It is as if she was doing a special effort to attract a new
audience, but we do not believe in her country sincerity. This is
unfortunate, but Feels Like Home eventually falls flat and will
fail to reach many fans, old and new. This is perhaps her worst album in
20 years of career!
Following her last studio album in 2002,
Living Proof, the living legend of pop
music launched her farewell tour, which resulted in a
live album. However, it is now at 67 years of age that Cher is back
on record. What impresses from the first song, "Woman's World", is the
still powerful voice of the singer. Songwriters abound on this album,
including P!nk and Cher herself. In the first half of the CD,
there is energetic dance pop music trending to disco on several
occasions. But, the second half shows a slower tempo in the adult
contemporary style. The album falls flat on the last 4 or 5 tracks with
songs tending to sound acoustic that have nothing to do with the quality
of the first half. The production of Mark Taylor is modern and
able to carry Cher in the 2010s, her that has now recorded albums in six
decades. It is only a pity that Cher has not been able to offer us a
constant album until the end. Here is another CD to listen in parts.
The legendary singer and former Beatle seems far from
retirement, seeing the pace at which he aligns albums and tours.
Otherwise, with New, he issues his first album of original songs
in six years. After
Kisses on the Bottom last year, which
incorporated standards from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, he turns now to the
future. Sir Paul has a pop rock sound that is not devoid of creativity.
We must say he has contributed to the genre himself with the
Beatles, Wings and his solo
works for over 50 years. He is by the way having a nod to his past
achievements on several occasions, while maintaining a sound of the
2010s. For this new album, McCartney worked with four different
producers, saying he would make a choice on who would be more adapted to
the album. But finally, he enjoyed so much working with each of them he
eventually kept the work of the four of them. We thus find the
productions of Mark Ronson, Paul Epworth, Ethan Jones
and Giles Martin (the son of the fifth
Martin signs the production of half of the CD and they are the most
varied songs. He produces among others the highly effective "Appreciate"
an electro kind of experimental song. McCartney mixes genres throughout
the album, which is both exciting and daunting. Also, his 71-year old
voice seems fragile on several occasions. It is certain that it is
rather difficult for this living legend to reinvent himself at every
album, but he still manages to provide an interesting contemporary work.
did not appear to often get struck by inspiration for several years, but
it happens this time with a completely original album. The Last Ship
is a concept album inspired by a British shipyard in the 1980s. It has a
folk rock sound that takes us directly into the British Isles. The
general atmosphere is intimate and Sting’s unique voice has rarely had
as much impact in such a context. The atmosphere can be heavy in the
long run, but we must admit that The Last Ship has a nice
cohesion from beginning to end. In fact, the album seems ready to be
played on a Broadway stage in a musical extravaganza. With The Last
Ship, the singer-songwriter presents his most interesting work in a
For The Diving Board, Sir Elton John returns
to his working methods of yesteryear while writing quickly and recording
just as quickly with a reduced team of musicians. The result is a less
slick sound and minimalist arrangements, music recalling albums of the
early 1970s. It includes great songs that need only a piano and a rhythm
section to be delivered with aplomb. Otherwise, we do not really find
potential hits, nothing approaching his classics anyway. Some ballads
which want to be emotional rather fall flat and the album finds itself
with inequalities that can be frustrating so the basic idea seemed good.
Despite its interesting moments, The Diving Board will not go
down in history through the vast repertoire of Elton John.
The New York indie band is back with its third album.
They have proven in the past that they are able to properly put together
melodies and catchy riffs with more psychedelic experiments. They
continue their musical explorations on this eponymous album. For the
occasion, they again requested the services of producer David
Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev), who had
previously worked with them on their first album,
Oracular Spectacular. This new record
has spacey music and good melodies in opening. But, it becomes much more
bizarre in the second half while the band is not uncomfortable to
explore hard to reach areas. It is therefore not yet with this album
that the group will be able to repeat the success of "Kids" and
"Electric Feel", but they settled comfortably in the seat of the most
prominent experimental band after The Flaming Lips.
Get Happy, Pink Martini get perhaps their most eclectic album to
date with a stunning blend of jazz, world music and old French and
American songs . In addition, the band has tracks in English, French,
Spanish, German, and more. The album starts with a good deal of energy
with "Ich Liebe Dich" and Osvaldo Farres’ "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas".
Subsequently, several songs would have been perfect to close a small
smoky jazz bar in the years 1930-40. Some tracks stand out throughout
the CD, including the famous "Sway" and "Smile" (with Phyllis Diller),
as well as "I'm Waiting For You" (with Meow Meow), "Je ne
t’aime plus" (with Philippe Katerine) and
Anna McGarrigle’s "Kitty Come Home" (with Rufus Wainwright).
The arrival of singer Storm Large adds very little to the band's
sound, but she still offers a good performance with her rich voice that
is perfect for jazz standards.
having interpreted the repertoire of Louis Armstrong, Misses
Satchmo is back with a new album, Apple Tree. This time, the band
offers a selection of pieces from old jazz of the swing era. Some
lesser-known songs are alongside classics like "Just a Closer Walk With
Thee", "Blue Skies", "Ain’t Misbehavin’" and
"I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter". To accompany them
throughout the album, the quartet can rely on guest musicians, including
Yvan Belleau (clarinet) and Simon Marion (banjo). Apple
Tree is a charming and soft album that takes us in an atmosphere of
another era. A very pleasant record!
The Self Made series is a compilation for the
rap record label of Rick Ross, Maybach Music. For the third
consecutive year, it presents some important pieces by rappers found
under that banner. We can therefore hear many songs by Ross himself, but
also by Meek Mill, Wale, Omarion, among others.
Interesting surprises which can be discovered on this record come from
Gunplay with the inevitable "Gallardo" and from Stalley
with the excellent "Coupes & Roses". Although some names recur too
often, sometimes as guest artists, this compilation of 16 songs and 70
minutes has very good pieces of contemporary rap.
is a documentary about the punk rock scene in Los Angeles in the 2000s.
More specifically, the film features the music scene of Kiss or Kill
which wanted to be an alternative to the Sunset Strip clubs which were
forcing the bands to pay for play. This promotion was active between
2002 and 2007 with a real family atmosphere, having at the height of its
popularity up to 100 bands on its roster and over 1,000 loyal fans. You
could see perform among others talented bands like King Cheetah,
The Dollyrots and Bang Sugar Bang. Unfortunately, Kiss or
Kill ended up being a victim of its popularity and fell into the trap it
tried to fight at its beginning. The documentary of nearly 90 minutes is
very well done with concert footage for many groups and excerpts from
interviews with members of these bands, fans and specialists of the
local music scene. As a bonus, the DVD contains over 30 minutes of
additional material including deleted scenes, live performances and a
photo gallery along with director's commentaries.
After the separation of White Zombie, Rob
Zombie embarked on a solo career that has been prolific in the
beginning. But in the past ten years, his creative spirit seems to be
more focused on cinema in B-series movies than on music. It's embodies
on this new album which contains the same elements that have made him
popular, with no evolution. These are the same riffs, the same bass line
that sets the pace and of course the same themes. The rhythm section was
unique to Zombie 20 years ago but it seems completely outdated in the
2010s. Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor has songs that are
catchy, but it has also and especially compositions modeled on the past
works of Zombie. So you can easily sing several of your favorite
yesteryear songs on most of the tracks of the album. Moments still
differ from the whole, including "Rock and Roll (In a Black Hole)" with
its electronic rhythm. Another surprising moment of the record: his
cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s "We're an American Band",
certainly not the best idea! In conclusion, if you are still a fan of
Rob Zombie to this day, you should enjoy. But if like many fans you had
resigned in the mid-2000s, it is certainly not with this new album that
he will manage to win you back.
From Beer to Eternity
is the 13th album by the American industrial band led by Al
Jourgensen. For several albums Jourgensen was talking about
Ministry’s last record, but the group is still present 30 years after
its debut, and 25 years after having become successful across the globe.
This new record was written in December 2012, before the death of
guitarist Mike Scaccia, and this time, it may well be the last
chapter for one of the most influential bands of the industrial and
metal scenes. The album features a range of almost all styles explored
by the band during its career. It contains danceable and joyful electro
worthy of their early years, totally assumed lyrics of hate that follow
the "Bush Trilogy" (2004-2007), but more importantly, the metal riffs
pleasantly reminiscent of their best albums (and most popular ones)
between 1988 and 1992. We unfortunately do not find instant classics
like "N.W.O." and "Just One Fix", but the whole CD has still interesting
elements that will leave an indelible mark on their last record (if it
is of course truly their last one).
satirical metal band from Virginia is back with a new album, 25 years
after a remarkable debut. Although they have always preferred to focus
on their costumes and staging rather than the music, they were able to
make some great albums over the years, including the classic
Scumdogs of the Universe in 1990.
Battle Maximus is their 13th album in career and has 13 tracks, so
as to exploit superstitions let’s go for it 100%. This is their first
album with guitarist Brent Purgason (aka Pustulus Maximus)
who replaces the late Cory Smoot (aka Flattus Maximus). We
can also hear new bassist Jamison Land
(aka Beefcake the Mighty). Produced by Glen Robinson,
Battle Maximus is a concept album which has some good tracks of
monstrous metal. So this is a CD that should satisfy their longtime
fans, but will fail to attract a new audience.
young rapper from Los Angeles, a member of Odd Future, comes with
a debut album. The ultra bass music, dark rhymes, words to scare and
choirs pretending to come from beyond the grave make us quickly realize
that we have a horror rap album with Doris. All around this
album, including the cover, creates a gloomy atmosphere that makes it
difficult to listen to the album. Yet one cannot help thinking that this
is damn creative. Few artists in the genre manage to create such an
atmosphere. A few tracks stand out from the album and some are more
likely to push you back than to grab your attention, but overall it has
good qualities that force us to pay attention to what the rapper will
have to offer us in the future.
preparation of its fourth album, the metal supergroup from Los Angeles
realized it had too many new compositions for a single CD. So, here is
Volume 1, while Volume 2 will be issued on November 19. Listening to
this first volume, we realize that it is true that the band seems more
inspired than ever. Solid compositions are linked on this record on
which Five Finger Death Punch seems to have unleashed their musical
exploration. You can hear the excellent "Lift Me Up" (with Rob
Halford), "Watch You Bleed" and "You", before the band impresses
with its aggressiveness on "Burn MF" and "Dot Your Eyes", perhaps two
highlights of the CD. The most surprising moment of the album (and most
questionable) definitely comes with the cover of LL Cool J’s
"Mama Said Knock You Out" featuring rapper Tech N9ne. As a bonus,
three songs can be found in alternative versions including "I.M.Sin"
with the participation of Max Cavalera. With this new album of
quality, Five Finger Death Punch offers perhaps their most consistent
album to date. Check out closely Volume 2!
The band of Christian hardcore metal from Ohio is
back with the fifth studio album of its career. They continue to
alternate between guttural voices and melodies, on a sound still heavy,
a true 44-minute assault that will test your speakers and ears of an
unsuspecting audience. Creative riffs that present many challenges to
the musicians make them more interesting than the average music. In
addition, the group delivers some strong choruses that bring this new
album to another level compared to their previous recordings. Among the
most interesting tracks are especially the title track, the industrial
"Care More" and the song that concludes the album, "In Heart". With
Devil Wears Prada take a step forward that will be greatly appreciated
by their fans.
is a Scandinavian metal band from the Faroe Islands, a constituent
country of the Kingdom of Denmark. The band was formed fifteen years ago
before issuing its first album in 2002. They offer a power metal sound
typical to countries of northern Europe, with an inspiration that comes
straight from the Vikings. They sing in both English and in their native
language, Faroese. Among the 13 tracks offered on Valkyrja, there
are several traditional songs adapted to the style of the group. We can
also recognize two famous songs at the end of the CD: Iron Maiden’s
"Where Eagles Dare" and Pantera’s "Cemetery Gates". If you are
interested in Scandinavian metal, Tyr is likely to grab your attention
with its blend of traditionalism and metal played with virtuosity.
Gemini Syndrome is a metal band formed in Los Angeles
in 2010 around former Otep singer, Aaron Nordstrom. With
Lux, they offer their first album and they can be compared to
Disturbed, Godsmack and Stone Sour, plus System of
a Down. We cannot say that the band is musically creative, since it
takes too many riffs, rhythms and other elements already heard. However,
the execution is great and the five musicians in Gemini Syndrome succeed
in grabbing our attention. The album will certainly not make history,
but let's see what the group may come with in the next years before we
decide on their future.
Scar the Martyr is a side project for Slipknot
drummer Joey Jordison. The band has among its members musicians
from Darkest Hour, Strapping Young Lad and Nine Inch
Nails around singer Derek Henry. This first album was
produced by Rhys Fulbar (Rob Zombie, Front Line
Assembly, Fear Factory) in Des Moines, Iowa. We can hear an
aggressive metal sound that reminds us of Slipknot on several occasions
in the most violent moments, but it may also soften regularly with
catchy melodies and slower tempos. The group can also recall Alice In
Chains and Faith No More.
The Creepshow is a band from Ontario that has existed
for eight years and is now dominating the Canadian psychobilly scene.
With Life After Death, the group presents its fourth album and
they continue in the direction initiated earlier. Much more than
psychobilly, the band includes old rock 'n' roll, classic rockabilly and
even country, which is differentiating them at the same time from many
other groups in the genre that have only a one-dimensional face like a
mixture of punk and rockabilly. As you can guess with the title of the
album, as well as pieces like "See You in Hell" and "The Devil's Son",
the band remains in rather dark atmospheres where they unload all their
rage at a furious beat. The 32-minute CD plays at lightning speed, and
once completed the 11 tracks, we want to start it again for a second
dose despite the fact that we are breathless.
– Through the Never (Music from the Motion Picture) (2 CD)
Through the Never is
above all a movie in IMAX 3D, but this is the album that accompanies it.
It is a double album containing many Metallica classics recorded live in
August 2012 in Edmonton and Vancouver. Although it is the music from the
movie, the album allows us to rediscover the essential by the band still
played with all the energy of the past. Hardcore Metallica fans will be
all smiles while listening again to "Creeping Death", "For Whom the Bell
Tolls", "One", "Master of Puppets" and "Battery". Those who have rather
discovered them with the very popular black album in 1991 will also be
pleased with "Wherever I May Roam", "Nothing Else Matters" and of course
"Enter Sandman". Unfortunately, we don’t have the best sound quality,
and some technical problems have even passed straight to the final mix.
The film gives us still a great excuse to get back right to the best of
the Metallica repertoire.
TheMontrealpsychobillytrioisnotcalmeron itssixthalbum.Instead,the band is
more energetic and aggressive
than ever.Theenergyflowingrhythm sectionmanages tomake youtap your feetfrom the startand does notlet you gobefore the endof the
35 minutes.And you willask for more!Obviously,
The Brainsdo not reinventthe genre, butthey give ita newbreath that is
extremely pleasant. If you
like B Series horror movies, here is
theperfectmusical accompanimentto this
Tim Bergling (aka
Avicii) is a young Swedish DJ and producer who is mainly known in recent
years after working in the Mecca of house music, Ibiza. After several
successful singles, he offers his first album on which he took a
somewhat unexpected turn. Like the first single, "Wake Me Up" (with
Aloe Blacc), he uses acoustic guitars and slows the beat on several
occasions. So, it proves to be much more pop than house, which may
disappoint hardcore fans of underground house. There are even traces of
country in some instances, a nice try but somewhat disconcerting. The
album remains generally danceable, but not in the way we have imagined.
These are the remix of the songs that are most likely to make their way
to the dance floors of the biggest clubs of Ibiza and Miami. With this
debut album, Avicii shows his true personality and that's good. However,
many fans that were following him since his debut may be bitterly
The English duo has accustomed us to important
changes in styles from one album to another since their debut at the
turn of the millennium. This change may be even more drastic between the
electro-pop sound of
Head First and Tales of Us.
This new record features mostly acoustic ballads and in this sense it is
a little closer to
Seventh Tree issued in 2008.
Otherwise, Tales of Us is darker than that sunny album so we can
compare it partly to
Felt Mountain, their first record. It
is therefore not a big change for them considering they have already
explored such genres before. The use of orchestral and electronic
elements enriches duo’s music that is at the same time a little less
bare and more cinematic. The more the album progresses and the thicker
it is. Tales of Us ranks among the most comprehensive works by
Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory.
Language is a band from Brooklyn, New York, inspired by pop, soul and
electronic dance from the 1980s to create a futuristic sound. After a
debut album full of promise in 2011,
Social Studies, the quartet
returns with Grammar. They go in the same direction, but with
better compositions and an effective production. It contains many
moments of funk and R&B that make the album more accessible and less
indie than before. Catchy grooves and a light and bright style are
immediately making us hooked to the album that has all it takes to
appeal to a wide audience. Here is a great album of underground pop!
Grouploveisan indierock band fromLosAngeles, which has a strongly
MGMTandother bandsof the 2000s inthe genre.SpreadingRumoursis their secondalbumand theyrefinetheirstylea little morewitha bettermusical direction. The vocalduoof guitaristChristianZucconiandkeyboardistHannahHooperhas verybeautiful harmoniesandsteals the show,
despite some very good
musical arrangements.Donot forgetthenotable presenceofdrummerand producerRyanRabin,sonofYes guitarist
LipsandTheSmashingPumpkinson different occasions, but
have anenergetic, fun
and creative music.Here is a verygood albumforfans of the genre.
Founded from the ashes of punk band DDT by brothers Luther
and Cody Dickinson (sons of the late legendary producer from
Memphis Jim Dickinson), the North Mississippi Allstars already
worked together for over fifteen years in a blues rock environment with
inspirations of country and folk. On this new album, they managed the
feat of creating a perfect bridge between the past and the present. They
offer indeed powerful blues rock as we heard a lot in the past, but with
a very successful modern touch that allows bringing their music
elsewhere. The album contains a majority of covers, including some
traditional songs, but they managed to give them what it takes to make
them modern. This is the case among others for "Rollin' 'n Tumblin",
which takes on a whole new dimension, R.-L. Burnside’s "Snake
Drive", Junior Kimbrough’s "Meet Me in the City" and Willie
Dixon’s "My Babe". There are also three original tracks among the 17
included on the album. World Boogie is Coming is an entertaining
and extremely interesting record along its entire length.
his new album, Piers Faccini goes one step further in his exploration.
He indeed adds elements of jazz ("Pieces of Ourselves") and world music
to his base strongly inspired by folk of the 1960s and 1970s. With "Il
Cammino" he pays homage to his Italian heritage. His themes continue to
revolve around love, melancholy and hope. Between Dogs and Wolves
is once again a very calm and soft album, an album that requires our
attention to truly appreciate it. If you like the genre, Faccini
deserves that you tend the ear to his music.
On this newalbum, the Americanjazzsingermakesa real tribute tolove withgreat romanticclassics.It includesstandards by CaroleKing("I Feel
River"), plus a French track, FrancoiseHardy’s
"Le premier bonheur du jour".
Inaddition to the
10coversincludedon the album,Haliesignsthreesongs:"Cuando Bailamos",
"Bare Feet" and the title track to
conclude.With SimplyLove,HalieLorengives usan albumfull of warmthwhich promotes
The English band already presents its fifth album in
seven years. They offer a great mix of heavy rock and catchy melodies,
perhaps the most successful merge since their first two albums.
Extremely catchy rhythms and fuzzy guitars add to the overall sound of
the album that has everything to satisfy both large audiences and
demanding fans. Franz Ferdinand fans may also recognize very
strongly through the dancing rock sound of Arctic Monkeys. Despite this
more pop direction, Alex Turner lyrics remain rather tormented,
but nothing to make the album less interesting. Therefore, AM is
definitely their best record since 2007.
The rapper from Georgia already comes with a new
album that is sure to strike the imagination of fans of the genre. He
presents an inspired record and ensures to offer the best of himself to
every song. There are good moments of R&B, as well as stunning
arrangements that contribute greatly to enhance the compositions. 2
Chainz is surrounded by several collaborators to lend their voices to
songs of the CD. We can therefore hear Pharrell Williams,
Drake, Lil Wayne, Fergie, T-Pain, Wiz
Khalifa and Mase. Otherwise, 2 Chainz lyrics do not go much
further than what you can usually hear in gangsta rap, with some
attachment to the fact that he now has money. Despite this annoying
element, the rapper has a particularly strong album, possibly his best
trombone player from New Orleans Troy Andrews (aka Trombone
Shorty) does not hesitate to mix genres since the beginning of his
career. He has a fine blend of R&B, jazz, funk and rock that makes him
an unclassifiable artist. We find again funky elements and rock on his
new album, but all the focus a little more on R&B for a very strong
record from beginning to end. In addition, the production gives the
feeling that everything was recorded live in studio, in one take. Note
that The Meters appear for the first time on an album since 1978
by taking their ballad "Be My Lady" with more contemporary arrangements.
Say That To Say This proves not only to be probably the most
solid Trombone Shorty album to date, but it may as well be the album
that will allow him to be discovered by a wider audience.
Chelsea Wolfe is an indie rock singer from Los Angeles tending to
electric folk. She has a dark side that could be considered doom and
giving her her own color. She began in 2006 and has since recorded three
studio albums, a live CD and a collection of acoustic songs. Pain is
Beauty is her fourth album and she seems to have reached a certain
musical maturity. She always has a gothic side well assumed, but she
managed to move in a new direction with many electronic additions,
especially on "The Warden" with its electro dancing rhythm. She still
has an indie pop sound to which she adds baroque elements and a little
something of rock. So it goes in different directions for a more varied
album. This variety ensures that the album may seem somewhat disjointed.
Otherwise, every avenue explored is particularly successful, for
probably her most complete album to date.
After 4 yearsof waiting, theScottish
bandis finally backon CD.And itisabreath of fresh airthat
offer us Franz
Ferdinand, as if they hadfinally stopped
questioning themselves. Theopening song, "Right
Action" setsthe tone forthe album
songin the same moldas"Take Me Out"
and "Do You Want To". Thegroup operatesbetweenenergetic rockandcatchy pop throughoutthis recordwith no
shortageof potentialhits. In addition,
with only 10 tracks
totaling35 minutes, there will be
definitely amoment ofdisappointmentwhen the
Butthe best way
disappointment isto go backimmediatelytobeginning for anew spin thatwill beeven more satisfying.
Okay, we would havetaken someadditionaltracks, but the whole is
creativeat the same timewe canonly applaud.
Here isthealbumawaited byfans of thefirst hour!
It will bring together
music loversfrom different backgroundsand they willstomp their feet all
together... (October 2013 Featured Review)
TheWildFeatherswere formedin Austin,Texasin 2010before moving tothe Mecca ofcountry, Nashville, Tennessee.Thisdebut albumhas arock sound thattakes elementsfrom the
pastand incorporatesblues,countryand traditionalAmerican
music.It is this
fusionthat makes themusic of the band
particularly interestingas theymanage tosqueezeouttheir ownsound, up to date.
There are still manymoments recalling
Petty,MellencamporSpringsteen,but the wholeremainsrathercontemporarywithout being toofocused
on the past. It is rather difficultto reinventa genre that
from all anglesfor decades,but TheWildFeathers are able togive their own
personality toan album thatmight have seemed
outdated bymany other artists.
Let’s sparethose artists
WildFeathersasa much more interesting
modernalternative. (October 2013 Featured
The Hawaiian singer and former surf champion is back
with the sixth album of his career, three years after
To the Sea. He continues the tendency
of that album with a few pop songs a little more dynamics bringing him
away from the acoustic ballads that made his reputation. This is the
case among others on "Shot Reverse Shot" and "Washing Dishes", as well
as the funky "Radiate". Otherwise, his trademark is still present with
several acoustic pop songs that are perfect for the beach where he grew
up. The first single, "I Got You", fits greatly in his romantic
repertoire, as well as the beautiful ballad "Change" (with Ben Harper).
One has to face the fact that Johnson has not lost his sense of melody.
With From Here to Now to You, he proves once again that
unpretentious pop songs can be of quality. This is an album that listens
well to the end and by its sweetness will avoid any headache.
In 2010,a realbreath of fresh aircame to uswith the arrivalin thepoplandscape of the versatile
The ArchAndroidwasratherdifficult ofapproach, it demonstratedthat it was possibleto offer
creative soul /R&B
Janellecontinues her workand presentssuitesIVandVfor anotherfull-length albumof nearly68 minutesin two parts,
including interludes. Janellealwaysmerges in a
rock, soul, R&B andfunk, as well as often
need alittle patience
to get toenjoythe
entire CD whichcan be
disorientingon several occasions.Otherwise, the effortwillbe greatlyrewarded.Among the
contributorsto the album,a few namesstand out asPrince,ErykahBaduandEsperanzaSpalding.
his new album, John Mayer explores some blues and he is back to the
country folk sound of southern United States that he had experienced on
his previous album,
Born and Raised. It is
therefore a logical follower to that album, even if the contrast with
the rest of his career is still important. The electric blues side
reached its climax with the cover of JJ Cale’s "Call Me the
Breeze", while the album remains mostly acoustic. There are two duets:
"Who You Love" with his girlfriend Katy Perry and "Wildfire" with
Frank Ocean. On Paradise Valley, Mayer tried more than
ever to hunt his demons, but the task seems difficult. However, his
haunting loving past gives very good songs, well cemented together, to
form an excellent album, his best since the classic
Continuum in 2006.
If the Britpop band Travis was somewhat lost since
its first three excellent albums, it found its composure on Where You
Stand. Their 5-year break since their last record has been
beneficial. Several songs on Where You Stand take a pop tangent
with highly effective melodies. Otherwise, there are a lot of mid-tempo
tracks, relaxing at first, but that can become tiresome after a while.
We still find great moments while they increase the tempo or gross
energy (for example with "On my Wall"). The whole is marrying well for
an album of great quality from start to finish. The compositions are
strong and are definitely worthy of their first recordings. Here is an
excellent new album for the band from Glasgow, Scotland.
on different projects, Trent Reznor shelved again his industrial
band for 5 years. But Nine Inch Nails is now back and it's a great
comeback. With Hesitation Marks, the group returns to the
danceable beats that made their fame in 1994 (let’s think about
"Closer"). We can also hear pop songs reminiscent of The Cure
(like "Everything" for example). So this is certainly their most
accessible album in 20 years. The main problem of the CD is that it is
somewhat lacking in consistency with less successful and more boring
songs that come to break the rhythm. Several tracks manage to grab your
attention, but it definitely lacks a good guideline for the album which
could then be compared to the greatest records of the band.
It is accompanied by a new drummer, Arin Ilejay,
that the metal band entered the studio to record their sixth album.
Avenged Sevenfold had a clear desire to return to the sources of metal,
dropping electronic components. However, they face a serious problem,
namely to find themselves copying the past. The riffs on several
occasions seem straight out of an album by Megadeth or Metallica in the early 1990s.
"Doing Time" contains all the elements of Guns N' Roses in 1987, and you
can sing Metallica’s "Sad But True"
on "This Means War". This is embarrassing and knowing the boiling nature
of Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield, one can expect problems
for the band! Fortunately, during the second half of the CD, the group
managed to offer some interesting tracks like "Heretic" and "Coming
Home", although the inspiration of Megadeth and Iron Maiden is
never far away. Also, on "Planets", the band incorporates motifs of "The
Planets" by composer Gustav Holst, a successful experiment. We
understand the idea of wanting
to honor the bands of the past. Otherwise, with that objective in mind,
it would have been better to do an album of covers rather than just
copying what was done before.
Typhoon is an indie rock band from Portland, Oregon offering a sound
sometimes experimental and sometimes pop. White Lighter is their
second full-length album and their more assumed to date. Although with
14 musicians, it is not necessarily easy to channel the energy to the
same guideline. But the band succeeds this time to have some restraint
resulting in a great result. There are of course still great musical
performances recalling Arcade Fire, but the whole content may
generally grab the attention of a wider audience. Otherwise, think again
if you believe you will love the first approach. Changes of rhythms and
musical explorations require some effort that will not likely to be
rewarded before 2 or 3 good listens. Some unforgettable anthems will
certainly manage to assist you in this adventure.
Parquet Courts is an indie rock band founded in Brooklyn, New York in
2011. They had issued at the beginning of this year this first rather
strange album where were mixed concepts and experiments recalling
Franz Zappa and a punk rock sound much more immediate and to the
point. The alternative rock sound of the 1990s seems to have been a
major influence for the band, particularly Pavement and Sonic
Youth. Several short songs are linked for 33 minutes and they remain
for the most highly effective. With Light Up Gold, Parquet Courts
are able to take inspiration in the alternative rock sounds of the past
to offer a rather creative album.
Mountains is an experimental ambient duo from Chicago, but now based in
Brooklyn. They offer an instrumental mix of electronic and acoustic
music, always smooth. For their third album, they used bold multiplying
musical layers and they refined their work over several months. The
result is a complex 7-track album totalling 66 minutes. You can hear a
great evolution throughout the album beginning in extreme softness to
become later a little more psychedelic, especially with "Liana".
Centralia is an album that we listen without much effort, an
excellent atmospheric record.
10 years, the Guetta couple has presented its Ibiza mix, Fuck Me I'm
Famous! For this 2013 edition, we find David Guetta himself on two
songs: "Play Hard" (a Albert Neve remix) and "Ain’t a
Party". We also find two of his remixes for Armin
Van Buuren’s "This Is What It Feels Like" and Empire of the Sun’s
"Alive". Other featured artists include Calvin Harris, Avicii,
Alesso and OneRepublic (for "If I Lose Myself"), Nicky
Romero, as well as Laidback Luke and Hardwell. It is
an endless party of 70 minutes that will certainly make you move.
a debut album last year, the duo from Toronto returns with a new
compilation of great dance hits mixed on 69 minutes. It includes among
others the hits "This is What It Feels Like" by Armin Van Buuren,
"I Love It" by Icona Pop (remixed by Hot Mouth), "Closer"
by Tegan and Sara (remixed by Sultan + Ned Shepard) and
especially "We Are Young" by Fun. (remixed by Alvin Risk).
We can also hear Cody Simpson, Krewella, Jason Derulo,
Avicii and Flo Rida, plus a song by The Angry Kids
themselves, "We Could Be Lions". The transitions between the songs on
the album are particularly successful as they beautifully blend into
each other. So much so that we realize after 3 or 4 tracks that we
missed a couple. This is an excellent compilation to bring you to the
Following the release of her very good album
MDNA in spring 2012, Madonna has once
again embarked on a major tour. She is now immortalizing that
extravaganza on two CDs, a DVD and Blu-ray. The 2 CDs have 24 songs
totaling 115 minutes, mostly recorded at two concerts in Miami on
November 19 and 20, 2012, but which also contain footage from other
shows. It contains many songs from the recent years, and most of her
greatest career hits in often quite different versions from the
original. The sequences between tracks are always very successful, which
leaves very little downtime. Also, the crowd can be heard on the
recordings, which helps us to get quickly in the special atmosphere of
Ry Cooder and Corridos
Famosos – Live at the Great American Music Hall, San Francisco
live album was recorded on August 31 and September 1, 2011 in San
Francisco. This is the first live album by Ry Cooder in 25 years. For
the occasion, he is accompanied by a full orchestra including singers
and a horn section of 10 musicians, the Mexican group La Banda
Juvenil. Only two of the 12 tracks offered are Cooder originals and
he is mainly playing classics he likes. Note among others two Woody
Guthrie songs, "Do Re Mi" and "Vigilante Man", which take a new
orientation (polka for the first one and blues for the second one). The
presence of the crowd helps to recreate the atmosphere of the show, as
well as the interventions between songs.
documentary by Andreas Steinkogler presents the 12 commandments
of the music industry. That is to say, the 12 infallible lessons
allowing an artist to break into the industry. These things range from
clothing style, to the name of the band, including the music itself of
course. Many artists say a few words at one time or another in the
documentary, which is the most interesting element. One of the most
striking moments is certainly when you see Canadian Chilly Gonzales
play with a symphony orchestra, even if the footage is sometimes
inserted completely out of context. The 100-minute documentary presents
a good picture of the music industry and suggests that following the 12
commandments, success is assured. However, the reality may be quite
– The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I
Aftera little morepopturnon
Middle Cyclone, Neko
sound tofolkinspirationsonher sixthalbum.She still hassolid
compositionsbeautifullyembedded inarrangementsof guitars,pianoand brass. The onlyexception,"Nearly
Midnight, Honolulu" is a
magnificent a cappella song whichshowcasesthebeautiful voiceof the
that tracka little moreimmediateandstrippedpiecesas "I'm From Nowhere"
and "Afraid" (a cover
ofNico), you need
repeated spinsto reallydiscover allthe subtleties
of thealbumofgreat wealth.On this newalbum,Nekodares toexplore a littlemorethan on her previous
record, which gives one of hermost inspired albums in
career. It thusadds amajor new workto her
repertoire that is alreadywell garnished.
GoodieMobhas existed forover 20 yearsandthey usethis factto convince usthat it is notnecessary to benewin therapworldto beup to date. CeeLo Greenhad notrecordedwith the bandfor 14 years andhe isbackhere,now that hehas become asuperstar. WithAgeAgainst the
offering theirmost bizarrealbum to date. Themoments of purerapare rareand the record
sounds thatsometimes becomecinematographic. Manyinterludesmanagethe rhythm in aweird way,making itultimatelyavery difficultalbumto follow.
Westill findseveralcreative elements
thatmake us appreciatetheeffort.Then, whenCeeLois more active towardstheend of the CD, the
songs become a littlemore
For herthirdalbum,JuliaHoltercontinuesherelectronic experiments, but manages to
makeher musica little more accessible.
another eramixed with the
contemporary lifein LosAngelestrace theframeworkof this veryconceptualrecord.
Shealways addsbeautifullystrings andbrasstoher electronic soundand the
result ismore efficient than ever.
We must say thatfor the
first timeshe recordedin a realstudio,
which adds alittlescaleand professionalismto the already impressive
music of herprevious albums.Of the9 tracks ofLoudCitySong,Juliaprovesthat it is possibleto
produce bothcerebral andemotional music, that it is
possible avant-garde canreacha slightlywider audience, although some
efforts are neededto reallycapture the essenceof her
For its thirdfull-length album, theLos Angeles duopresents minimalistmusic
with an ambienttrendthatstillmanages toincorporatenoise andscreechingguitars.Despitea little moreintrospective
experiment, the band stillhas agoodassumedpunk side.
Theyalsostillhavea shortalbum thatdoes not crossthe30-minute bar for11tracks. Theideas are nottoo developed
andthisis what makestheirexperiments interesting
An Object, No Age
seems to findthe perfect balance betweensimplicity and complexity,
This therefore results in
album to date, and certainlythe most effective oftheiryoung career.
Havingbeen quite successfulinThree 6Mafia,
therapper from Memphis,Tennesseeis back witha new soloalbum.Known for hismisogynistic lyrics and
Juicy Jnever gotmuch credit forhis lyrics.
Andthis aspect of hisartistic workshowslittleimprovementonStayTrippy. Otherwise,
wherehemade astep forward,
it is in the levelof musicand the musicality ofhis
vocal delivery. He presentsseveral franklycatchy tracks,
which willsurprise those wholisten to thealbum
with a littlerestraint,
and a smile.The rapper
is offering aproduction
of quality in additionto be
working with manyfamouscollaboratorslikeTrey Songz, Wiz Khalifa, Big Sean, Young
Jeezy, Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne
and A$ap Rocky. Finally,
after62 minutesoflistening, we cometo think thatthis is a greatrap albumbyJuicyJ,
certainlyhisbest so far.
Originally from Ottawa,
the quintet presents a first
full-length albumafteran EP that madea splash onthe Canadian scenein 2011.Feversoffera powerfulblend ofindie rockand electro-pop,
LaurenceCurrie.Their soundis dynamicand intelligentat the same
compositions.The groupcan doa contemporarydisco sound ready fordance
floorsand a little
more cerebral alternativerock.
Andthis constantmix of genresisextremely successful,in
addition toa good marriagebetween organicinstrumentsand electronic.
Los Angeles duoformedin 2012,
Flaamingos present an indie
rock soundincorporating manyelementsofelectronic like drum machinesand synthesizers. Their soundcan be somewhatoutdatedhoweverwith influences
of krautrockand1980s post-punk.Moreover,listening tothis firstalbumisrather likelistening to aBritish band of that era.JerryNarrows(vocals andprogramming)
and Daniel Koontz(guitar,
bass and synthesizer) have
workedtogether in the pastin shoegaze bands and we must
saythat this influenceis stillan integral part oftheir music,even with
a little more obvious dance direction.Comparisonsabound,betweenInterpol,
The Smiths, The CureandDepeche Mode,but the duomanaged topresent effective
compositions making us forget after a whileall the influential
(also known as
RobinHannibal) in Denmark
to create theduoRhye. Thefemininevoice of
of the duoto create musicthat integrateselements of
wealth musicincorporatesbrass, strings, keyboards and
a funkybassfora sound thatisreminiscentofSade in the
1980s.Unlike manyelectronicsounds thatare rathercold, the
music of Rhyeimmediatelycreatesa warm atmosphere,perhapslargelydue to thesyrupyvoice ofMilosh,
but also throughorganicinstrumentsmixing all
together.A production ofquality comesfull circle
for this beautiful soft
album.A very nice
TGTis anR&Bsupergroupformed of
Tyrese, GinuwineandTank.On this firstalbum,
the three singersshare thewriting of the 17 tracks,
though Tankis the most
productiveof the trio,and they also count onmanycollaborators.One canalso hearguest artists likeBlack-TyandProblem.The album
includesa majority of
mid-tempo songs and ballads, resuming
the R&B traditionofthe IsleyBrothersandR.Kelly.Three Kingscompares
toanyalbum by the
membersof the trio,
butfew tracks manage tostand out.In fact, thepower of the groupisthe only advantage ofthis
solo albums of the three singers.
Louisiana and now based in Brooklyn, Julianna Barwick gives credit to a
church choir for her unique sound. In fact, she mostly uses her angelic
voice into loops with different layers, sometimes with a simple piano or
subtle guitar. She reached the peak of her art on her third album,
Nepenthe, while doing better than ever to play with her voice.
Her ethereal experimental music quickly creates a unique relaxing
atmosphere. It’s so atmospheric, it is found almost on the border of new
age music. But it is damn well done! Julianna worked in Iceland with
Alex Somers, best known for his collaborations with Sigur Ros.
If you are looking for a soft album to create a relaxing atmosphere,
Julianna Barwick probably offers the best option of the year.
After severalsuccessful yearsas a member
of CanadianrapbandSwollen Members,
Dope Sick. Thesuccess of the albumandthetour that followedforced him toreturn quickly,so here is LawnMowerMan, a
second albumwhich has verygood qualities. He offers a
rap,but with musicoften inspiredtocreate amore than
mix. He can be comparedon several occasionsto the
BeastieBoys.His nasal voicemay be
but you get used to it quickly andafter all,it is histrademark.
LosAngelesin 1991, indie rock band
Medicinepresents its firstalbumin 10 years,itsfifth in
career. Inthe traditionof the group,To theHappy Fewpresentssqueakyguitars and arather loudunderground pop sound. The
veryintenseandwill leaveyouvery littleto rest.Otherwise, a high quality
production perfectly highlightsthe excellentcompositionsof the band which is giving usone of the bestassemblagesof songsof its career.In fact,there isso much to discoveron this
new albumthatwe want
tolisten toit again
right away,although itmay seemhard to getat first.Medicineofferperhaps theirbest album sincetheir first
one, the excellent
Shot Forth Self Living, issued in
Originally from Calgary, the members of The Neighborhood Council
decided to change their name when they moved to Montreal. They are an
indie rock and shoegaze act including electronic. This second album was
created on a background of conflict that ended with the departure of
guitarist Katie Lee. Their new trio formation results in a more
refined album and with a clear objective. Electronic is dominating and
one could say that Braids has finally discovered the sound that truly
characterizes the band. Singer and keyboardist Raphaelle Standell-Preston
is in total control of the new album with a restraint voice inspired
both by Björk and her other project Blue Hawaii. Even if
the group seems to "flourish" without Katie Lee, the fact remains that
some songs on which she appears towards the end of the CD are just as
solid and confirm the overall quality of this extremely satisfying