Two days after the release of Blackstar on
January 8, which was also the day of his 69th birthday, we learned
the death of David Bowie, as the result of a long battle against
cancer. He almost managed to conceal the last 18 months of his life,
cloistered for recording what would be his last work of a long and
successful career. For this new album, Bowie does not hesitate to
experiment. There are a few references to the past, but he still
manages to innovate. After all, he contributed directly to put
forward several styles throughout his career, so it's not a small
cancer that would prevent him to remain at the forefront! Two songs
were already presented in 2014 to promote the collection Nothing
Has Changed ("Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)" and "Tis a Pity She
Was a Whore"), and they have been revamped for Blackstar.
Moreover, this new record contains two snapshot masterpieces with
the 10-minute title song and "Lazarus" (in which he prepared his own
death). Despite its 40 minutes total, with only 7 tracks,
Blackstar feels a little like an unfinished work when it ends
with "I Can’t Give Everything Away". Yet this is still his most
in 35 years. A great way to say goodbye!
Coasts was formed in 2011 in Bristol, England. The
quintet releases its first album in an indie rock / new wave style
incorporating electronic elements. We can compare them more easily
to American bands like Imagine Dragons and X Ambassadors
than to English bands. Otherwise, there is the Irish Two Door
Cinema Club that can also come to mind with a rock sound
generally danceable. The rhythms dictated by drums dominate the
record with power. But also memorable melodies occupy a more than
important place in the music of Coasts with catchy choruses that
will be sang along with great pleasure at their concerts, surely
huge ones soon. A simple listening of "Modern Love" quickly gives an
overview of all their rallying potential. "Oceans", "You", "Your
Soul" and "Tonight" are the other cornerstones of this 16-track CD.
Some pieces come to slow down the beat on occasions but, despite its
60 minutes, the album maintains a certain consistency to the end.
Some tracks in less would only have further tightened a little more
this excellent album.
Matt DuskandFlorenceKcombinetheir voicesto offer usan albumof great
reminiscent of crooner musicfrom another era. Theverysymbioticduoperforms great
standardslike "Girl of
mots stupides/Somethin' Stupid"
and "You Are the Sunshine ofMy Life". Quiet Nightsis undoubtedlyan albumof choice forValentine's
Day, a retro album
yet but modernat the same time.
Bette Midlerturns 70 by offering usa collectionof her
fromher debutin 1972.It includes18 of herbestballads,although withsome momentsa little
like "FavoriteWaste of Time" inopening.Among hergreatest classics, one
"The Rose", "Wind Beneath
My Wings" and "From
a Distance", not to mention the title song.
Obviously,75 minutesof love songsare not
likely toreach everybody, but the
biggest fans ofBette
Midlerwill appreciatethis important
One day on a beach of the US East Coast, Quebec
composer and guitarist Michel Cusson saw a woman throw to the sea in
panic all her family photos. She seemed to want to erase her past.
Unable to let those memories disappear, Cusson recovered the photos
and forgot them in a box for years. The day he decided to take a
glance, these pictures became the inspiration for a personal musical
project. Matured for ten years, Solo includes nine
instrumental pieces influenced by this reconstructed story from
altered images of an unknown life. Cusson offers an atmospheric and
cinematic sound blending jazz and world music, with even some
touches of Arabic music. The virtuoso guitarist manages to make us
travel and he is varying the emotions transmitted from one song to
another. Again, Michel Cusson managed to upset by his huge talent as
a composer and musician.
The progressive metal band never does things by
halves and so once again with The Astonishing, an album of 34
songs in two acts exceeding 130 minutes.
It was perhaps their own way of celebrating their 30-year career.
Guitarist John Petrucci has created a rock opera of science
fiction that exceeds anything the band could offer previously in
He just invented a new country for which we can find the map in the
booklet, a country that prohibits music created or played by humans,
relying on a small group of rebels to perpetuate the tradition.
For this grandiose album produced by Petrucci, the group was
accompanied by the Prague Symphony Orchestra and three
choirs, all directed by David Campbell (Beck's
This is the singer James LaBrie that ensures the voices of
the characters, while all the music seems headed by the keyboards,
pianos and organs of Jordan Rudess.
Obviously, the guitar playing of John Petrucci is still
hallucinating, a musician who is considered by many as one of the
best guitarists in the world.
His performance in "A Better Life" is particularly remarkable, even
if he plays a little fewer solos than usual on the album.
Few songs stand out of the lot, but the album was initially designed
to be listened to in full, an exercise rather challenging but
We cannot say that The Astonishing rivals the greatest rock
operas in history as
but it offers great moments of satisfaction and will certainly
delight the many hardcore fans of the band.
For his new album, the veteran English singer and
pianist seems determined to have fun again, if we go by the title,
the front cover and most of the lyrics by Bernie Taupin, his
faithful collaborator. Elton John brings back his touring musicians
for the first time since 2006 and it is once again T-Bone Burnett
who produced it, the one who had worked on the duet album with
The Union, in 2010. His sound of the
1970s could well recover old fans, but unfortunately after the first
songs, most compositions fall flat and give us very little fun in
the end. One can find the CD nice to listen at different times, but
there is little chance that we want to return to it again, which is
the sign of an album that lacks inspiration and misses its target.
Wonderful Crazy Night is therefore far from the album that
would have marked a return to the genius of Elton John in the 1970s.
ModernSpaceis a Torontoquintetwhich is issuing
seventracks totalingnearly 25minutes.They offer usanenergetic rocksoundwithgreatlyeffective pop melodies.
has extensivestage experiencewith bandslikeThe Vaccinesand
TheArkellsand let’s bet that
withsongs ascatchyandfun tosingtheyare very successfulin concert.A firstfull-length albumshould
certainlybe eagerly awaitedbecause we can certainlyhear about them for a
The Las Vegas band is back with their fifth
album. It offers an excellent mix of emo and pop rock with great
theatricality. Death of a Bachelor represents the vision of
singer Brendon Urie whose marriage in 2013 marked "the death
of his bachelor life". Urie co-produced the almost concept album
with Jake Sinclair (P!nk, Taylor Swift, Five
Seconds of Summer). The group explores a more expansive sound
with some hip hop elements, Queen-like
exuberance, gospel inspirations ("Hallelujah"), and even phrasing
like Sinatra (the ballad "Impossible Year" at the conclusion
of the CD). A sampling of "Rock Lobster" of The B-52's comes
to give life to the excellent "Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time".
Death of a Bachelor is a grand production that pursues in the
direction taken by the band in the last few years and still less and
less punk rock.
The singerfrom New Jerseyalready
had a huge successwith"Marvin Gaye"
(featuring Meghan Trainor),
the first single fromhisfirst album. The CDopensstrongly withthe unforgettable"One
Call Away", but
unfortunately it goes out of steamvery quickly withabuseof ballads andmid-temposongsthat becomedownrightboringoverthe CDbeforehand.Itis thereforeeasy tolimit ourselves to the
first three tracksanddropeverything afterthe excellent "Marvin
Gaye", with Motown
The work onAntibeganmore than a year
ago, in the fall of2014.Despiteseveral singles
that appearedin 2015like "Bitch BetterHave MyMoney",
none of these hitsisincluded on the album, probably
becausetheydid not fitin the
special atmosphereof the record.Antiis indeedan album that is
listeningas a whole,rather than abunchof hits. It includesa beautifulsensitivity,
enhanced bythe uniqueatmosphereof the CD.The focus ismuch moreonthe atmosphere
than onbeats andcatchypopmelodies, as it was
especiallythe casein the past forRihanna.This therefore results in
her mostconsistent and coherentalbum to date, not bad for
a pop singer who is often
overlooked.Here's whatcould prove to beone of
the bestpop/R&Balbums of the year.
The Londonband, which had taken a
long breakin the 2000s,
is back with asecondalbumin three years.
Thoughts, the leaderBrettAndersonseems to reacha new
level of maturityand the result istheband's best albuminover 20 years.
Both grandand intimate,
the album placed onwhat
the grouphas alwaysdone best, intelligentBrit popmusic thatrequires a minimum of
stand outof the lot, and
wemust focus on the
whole. NightThoughtsisperhaps nota concept
album, but the piecesare linkedbeautifullyto form a wholethat is
important not tosplit.
The albumstill reachesits climaxat the fifthtrackwiththe epic"I Don’t
Know How ToReachYou",whichexceeds 6minutes.Here is asuperbalbumforSuede, an album that is
wantto return to it.
The Tedeschi Trucks Band is an American collective assembled around
Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. They have set a
particularly rich blues rock sound incorporating piano, organ and
brass to the electric guitars. Susan's voice also adds a nice color
to the set that will satisfy demanding fans of blues rock. The
Tedeschi Trucks Band is very pleasant to listen to and it is
certainly a good fun to discover on stage.
The French trumpeter returns with a new album in quartet formula
accompanied by Benoit Corboz, Marcello Giuliani and
Arthur Hnatek (replacing Marc Erbetta on drums). Doni
Doni offers jazz music very strongly inspired by African music.
Malian singer Rokia Traoré sings on four songs, then you can
hear the rapper Oxmo Puccino, also born in Mali, in
conclusion of the album on "Le complément du verbe". The other half
of the CD still remains instrumental with jazz music that
occasionally flirts with instrumental pop. Doni Doni is nice
to listen to from beginning to end.
The Belgian rocker is back with a new studio
album, recorded between Brussels and Bristol, England with acclaimed
producer John Parish (PJ Harvey, Eels). PJ
Harvey is also a name that comes to mind listening to Human
Incognito, of course with Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen.
Arno returns to a basic sound centered on the guitar by dropping
most of the synthesizers used previously. This is an excellent blend
of experimental folk and rock 'n' roll that offers us the veteran,
who has obviously lost none of his passion and his creative
abilities. His hoarse voice delivers beautifully his inspired lyrics
in French and English. Once again, this is an excellent record for
Arno. (January 2016)
Formed in London in 2010, the Daughter trio
offers a rather intimate indie pop sound with moments of rock and
electro. Not to Disappear is their second album after
If You Leave in 2013. The lyrics
by Elena Tonra often turn dark and sad as she deals with
separation, brokenness, loneliness and disappointment. It is
therefore not a sunny record! Otherwise, the whole album creates a
very pleasant world that surrounds us quickly into its comforting
atmosphere, carried on by the beautiful voice of Elena and effective
guitars. Some lengths could be avoided, but it is still a successful
second record for Daughter.
After the discreet and soft
Monologues issued last year, the
guitarist and singer returns with her second album of an exploratory
trilogy of blues and roots music. This time, she plugs her electric
guitar to offer us an energetic sound, which has groove, and is even
sometimes hard. This is an excellent blend of blues and rock which
admirably suits her warm voice. We can also hear some jazz, folk and
soul influences. For the occasion, Cécile is accompanied by some of
the best musicians and singers in Montreal. The result is a rich,
unifying music, contemporary blues played with some skill. As a
final point to the CD, Cécile even offers an impressive cover of
"Manic Depression". Again, Cécile Doo-Kingué demonstrates the
breadth of her talent in this record that wants to be a perfect
Monologues. It remains to see how
she will complete her trilogy…
With two critically acclaimed hits, "All Clear"
and "The Arp", the third album of the singer from Victoria, British
Columbia is already on a roll. Knight proposes a dense indie pop /
indie rock sound that is reminiscent of Patrick Watson and
Jeff Buckley. His lyrics have a mixture of melancholy, comfort
and positivism. Although it lasts only 33 minutes, the 8-track album
is thick enough to give us a lot for our money. Some additional
tracks might have been too much. Here is a more than successful
record for Aidan Knight.
The British singer is back with her third album,
after having married and started a family. Yet her songs still treat
complicated love affairs, as if she could not get influenced by her
recent happiness. 25, which marks her passage of the
mid-twenties, has 11 songs, especially heartbreaking ballads. The
whole still remains based on her powerful voice, like the hit
"Hello" that rocks us before waking us with a huge chorus. It is in
these moments that the singer truly shines, but there is
unfortunately a few that create such an effect. The exception would
probably be "When We Were Young", a perfect song for the newlyweds.
The main defect of 25, despite its impeccable production, is
certainly that it offers only very few changes compared to
21. She will have to look a little
further next time. (January 2016 Featured
Agedonly 19,AlessiaCaracciolooffersher firstfull-length
album, following the success of "Here"
andthemini-albumFour Pink Walls.
Moreover, we findthis EP
in the first half of the
CD.The young womanfrom Brampton,Ontariooffers pop music with astrong trendtoR&B. Her compositionsseemvery maturefor her age andher
AlthoughAlessiawas assistedin the
writing, we feel that with all
the talentshehasshe couldquickly writeby herself.
Here is anartist to
the coming years.The shortalbumof 10 tracksand35 minutesadds threetracks in itsdeluxe versionfor a
total of47 minutes.
(January 2016 Featured New Artist)
Just a year and a half after
Ghost Stories, the British quartet
is back with a new album. Much brighter than its predecessor, A
Head Full of Dreams brings us in an atmosphere that exudes
happiness, with a touch of danceable electro. It is certainly a good
breath of fresh air, but the compositions are perhaps not up to the
level expected. Some feel to have been heard before, plus these
parallels that are too easy to do with U2,
among others with guitars sounding like The Edge. Well, this
is not the first time that this comparison is necessary, but when
the compositions are also lacking creativity, it becomes rather
annoying. The happy songs have on occasions disco beats and
electronic arrangements. We can also hear renowned collaborators
like Beyoncé, Tove Lo and Noel Gallagher that
add a touch of renewal to the quartet which sometimes seems to
recycle itself. Beyoncé for example is particularly effective for us
to appreciate "Hymn For the Weekend". The other interesting songs
are undoubtedly the title track which happens to us from the opening
track and the first single, "Adventure of a Lifetime". For the rest,
some interesting elements are able to capture our attention.
The Irish singer releases her first album in 7
years with Dark Sky Island. Her eighth album has several
career highlights of Celtic pop with classically inspired elements.
In fact, maybe we find here the best assemblage of songs since her
most successful albums of 25 years ago and more. For example, from
the opening track, "The Humming", we know that we are dealing with a
classic. Dark Sky Island marks the return of Loxian, a
language created by lyricist Roma Ryan for the
Amarantinealbum in 2005. It is used here in "The Forge of
the Angels" and the excellent "The Loxian Gate". Although this new
album borrows elements that have made her successful in the past, it
is resolutely turned towards the future while benefiting from Enya’s
experience. A very good record!
The British pop singer is back with her highly
anticipated third album. After reaching the international star
status with 20 million copies sold of her first two albums, Ellie
Goulding is offering an album of a large scale. So she goes to a
whole new level. Less atmospheric than her previous record,
Delirium returns to catchy and danceable pop to reach a wide
audience. Easier of access, the album quickly captures our
attention. The few songs tending a bit more to R&B, as the first
single, "On My Mind", have a first class production. With this new
record, Ellie Goulding solidifies her place on the global pop scene.
This is certainly her most complete and satisfying album to date. A
deluxe version of Delirium adds six tracks to the 16 of the
The singer/rapperhashis first solo albumin five years,if we
Christmas albumreleased in2012.Heart Blancheis a record with
effectivebeats, filled with
positivism.There is alsoa healthy dose of
nostalgia,with manyreferences to the past.
When you start theCD,Greenleaves ussomewhatindifferentwith an unnecessaryintro
1980s".It is not untilthe excellent "Mother May
I"that we can really adhere tothe album thathassubsequentlyseveral
pleasant songs ("Tonight",
"Sign of the Times", "Music to
My Soul", etc.). He paid
tribute toRobinWilliamsand other
deceased comediansin thesongsimplyentitled "Robin Williams".
A littlefillingin the lasttrackscausesHeartBlancheto certainly
notgo down in history,
butCeeLoGreenstill offerssome verygood songs,
worthy of hisvasttalent.
After the excellent album
Visions in 2012, the Vancouver
artist originally from Montreal moved to Los Angeles for the
preparation of Art Angels. Claire Boucher (aka Grimes)
again offers creative electronic music, sometimes atmospheric and
often danceable. In fact, on Art Angels, it takes a tangent
more pop than ever with many upbeat songs with memorable melodies.
Her sound becomes richer and it will certainly seek the maximum of
your speakers. There is only her highest pitched voice that
contrasts somewhat with the whole, but we manage to get used to it
pretty quickly anyway as part of her universe. The creativity is
perhaps not at the same level as on
Visions, but Grimes managed to
offer a few gems, the most interesting being unquestionably "Kill V.
Maim" that is nicely out from the rest of the album. So this is
again an excellent record for this unique Canadian artist, certainly
one that will allow her to really explode internationally.
The Vancouver quartet led by the charismatic
Jacob Hoggard is back with Hello, already their sixth studio
album since their debut in 2005 (their eighth in total). More pop
than ever, Hello is literally carried by its title track
(nothing to do with the most recent hit by Adele). For the
rest, it is rather common pop rock music which adds a nice touch of
electro. Interesting melodies will make you sing while some
effective beats will make you tap your feet. Without being of an
overflowing creativity, the group is obviously trying to move
forward by changing its style. Hello is perhaps not amazing,
but it is still pleasant to hear.
Comesthe Nightis the 13thalbumin the career ofChris
Isaak. Although he
hasan album of
original songs,Isaakdid what hedoes best,
that is to say
he wasgreatlyinspired bythe 1950s and 1960sfor apoprock
Otherwise, it is
in this context that heis doingbestsincehe manages toavoid clichésand he can betaken seriously.Recorded
Chicks, Lady Antebellum, MartinaMcBride),
MarkNeedham,First Comesthe Nighthas important
influenceson numerous occasions.
The wholestill remainsrooted in apop rockmusicof the past,
even if it doesn't revolutionize anything,
but itremainstrue to the styleofChris Isaak.
The singer and model from Mali who now lives in
Paris comes to us with a new album heavily influenced by jihadist
terror that struck her country. Indeed, the invasion of Timbuktu and
the last hostage in Bamako by al-Qaida affiliation shall ensure that
Motel Bamako stopped breathing the joy of life of her
Love Revolution. It is far from
the pop ditty of "French Cancan" that allowed her to get a large
success. Rather, it is dark soul music that offers us Inna Modja,
but music that loses nothing of its creativity, while it integrates
various influences (hip hop, rock, African rhythms and electronic
loops). She is surrounded by carefully chosen collaborators for
three duos: Oxmo Puccino, Oumou Sangaré and Baloji.
Motel Bamako is an excellent record by Inna Modja, a major
album to raise awareness of the situation of terror that reigns in
Jamaican Omar Samuel Pasley (aka OMI)
offered us the hit of the summer 2015 with "Cheerleader", before
returning with another catchy one, "Hula Hoop". His first album has
a nice mix of danceable pop and reggae, always in simplicity. Among
the collaborations on the album, note particularly the one by
dancehall singer Busy Signal for the song "Color of My Lips",
which takes a good dose of adrenaline. The entire CD is listening
quite well, even if we feel it was launched a little quickly to take
advantage of the excitement created by "Cheerleader". This is
ultimately a light but highly entertaining album, a perfect album
for a sunshine getaway, a drink in hand.
Since their debut in 2011, the young English band
aligns albums with regularity, one per year. So, One Direction are
already issuing their fifth record with Made in the A.M.,
their first as a quartet following the departure of Zayn Malik.
Otherwise, it's about the only change brought by this new album, as
the band keeps the same formula with danceable pop songs, emotional
mid-tempo pieces and ballads. Production remains of very high
quality, with the same team of Julian Bunetta and John
Ryan to production. The band borrows on occasion to artists of
the past like "What a Feeling" that appears to contain a part of
Fleetwood Mac’s "Dreams" and "Never Enough" that reminds of
Def Leppard to the chorus. Even the opening track, "Hey Angel",
is quickly immersing us in The Verve’s "Bittersweet
Symphony". After a few ballads frankly boring, we can still conclude
that One Direction has good pop music of the 2010s. Radios will
delight of it, but especially their fans...
The young pop singer from Edmonton, Alberta is
back with her third album. What surprises early on Phoenix,
is the abuse of piano ballads. Even if they allow well to highlight
the powerful voice of Alyssa, they make us hope for a real start
soon, but it will never come. In addition, they are heavy and dark
ballads for Alyssa Reid, which we can now certainly nickname the
Canadian Adele. The 10-track album of 36 minutes can hardly
be considered as a full-length album if we consider that the latter
two songs are the radio versions of "Tomorrow" and "Dangerous"
included earlier on the CD. Phoenix should rather be seen as
an upgraded EP. But since the ballads quickly become boring,
consider this enough for this time. Just hope Alyssa finds back her
joy of living for the next album, just to give us a smile again.
After thecover album
Soul 2releasedin 2012,the British
singerreturns witha recordof original
songs. On 7, Seal
showsa wide range ofsoulstyles,ranging fromlanguidballadstopop songs a little moredanceable. The best
on the Dancefloor" and "Do
You Ever", but above all,the powerful"Padded
Cell" which is definitely
the highlight ofthisnearly 50-minute CD.
For the rest, it doesn’t
bring down any barriersand it should notbetooattractive to new fans.
longtime female fanswill not betoodisoriented. An honestalbum, nothing more.
On their fifth album, the American vocal group
mainly presents contemporary pop hits, while retaining some classics
from the past. You can hear hits like The Weeknd’s "Can’t
Feel My Face", Charlie Puth’s "Marvin Gaye", Meghan
Trainor’s "All About That Bass (No Tenors)» and Hozier’s
"Take Me to Church", without forgetting "Beggin'/Counting Stars",
"Red" and "Shup Up and Dance". Among the classics from another era,
there are "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay/Proud Mary", Bob
Dylan’s "Make You Feel My Love" and the surprising Radiohead’s
"Creep". The 13-track album pleasantly ends with a medley of almost
6 minutes of music from movies, including James Bond. The a
cappella interpretations of Straight No Chaser again demonstrate all
their vocal talent. They allow people to rediscover songs that were
often heard, and even to appreciate their melodic quality.
The half-sisters Martha Wainwright and
Lucy Wainwright Roche are offering for the first time a duet
album. They play folk music that is not without reminding us that of
Martha’s mother and aunt, the sisters Kate and Anna
McGarrigle, released recently. Otherwise, this is lullabies,
often old. Some are a family story with compositions by Loudon
Wainwright, their father, Kate McGarrigle, Martha’s
mother, and Terre Roche, the sister of Lucy's mother,
Suzzy, both members of The Roches trio with their other sister
Maggy. Loudon and Terre also have a joint composition,
"Screaming Issue". Among other tracks, there are some of Paul
Simon, Townes Van Zandt, Richard Thompson and
Irving Berlin. There are 16 in all that will surely rock you
with their sweetness.
The Toronto band celebrates 30 years of career
this year and they offer us a very solid live album recorded at
Massey Hall, a mythical theater in Toronto. The band offers us no
less than 14 of their best compositions to date, filling at the same
time the entire CD. Greg Keelor, Jim Cuddy and company
offer us among others the inevitable "Lost Together", "5 Days in
May", "After the Rain" and many more. Blue Rodeo fans will get
thrilled about it. (November 2015)
To celebrate her 10-year career, the Brazilian
singer performed before an enthusiastic crowd in her home district
of Vila Madalena in Sao Paulo. The more than 66-minute album
combines the best of her three albums in an intimate atmosphere
where the crowd seemed to be part of the show. We can hear some
quite different versions of the original, more acoustic or with
other influences of the world. Céu goes briskly between different
rhythms: bossa nova, reggae, rock, etc. Note her beautiful
performance of Bob Marley’s "Concrete Jungle".
Since her stunning debut in 1988, the protest
folk singer Tracy Chapman had never released a real collection of
her greatest hits. She does it with this collection of 18 tracks
spanning her entire career. Obviously included are the inevitable
"Fast Car", "Talkin' Bout a Revolution", "Telling Stories" and "Give
Me One Reason", but one can also hear her version of "Stand by Me"
recorded in 2015 on The Late Show With David Letterman. Two
major lacks however spoil our enjoyment: the songs are not presented
in chronological order and the booklet contains no biographical
details about this unique singer. These are two important elements
that could have made this an essential collection.
After the classic
Rumours in 1977, Fleetwood Mac
returned two years later with the ambitious project of a 20-track
The group was then completely defeated and the result was an album
that may appear inconsistent at first, but rather proves to be great
when we pay attention to it.
You obviously have to put it in context, in the wake of the megahit
Not only Tusk has not been as successful, but it was
literally a flop, with only two songs that reached the top 10 of the
charts including the excellent "Sara" from Stevie Nicks.
On Tusk, Lindsey Buckingham takes control of writing,
leaving little to Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie.
The result is often an intimate album with long introspective
The few times a little more rock 'n' roll come only to change the
Ultimately, the stage was set for a huge commercial failure, but the
quality of the compositions offered here impresses after a few
The atmosphere of the CD is exciting and takes possession of our
whole body at some point.
Obviously, this is not very surprising that fans of
were not convinced by Tusk as it is a completely different
album that was done for a whole new audience. Tusk is certainly an ambitious plan, but it is extremely
rewarding and it is one of the best releases of 1979.
One year afterListencontaining
on the Sun", David Guettagivesan enhanced versionof the album.In addition
releasedon the original CD, you can
hear nothing less than
including the new hit withSiaandFettyWap,
"Bang My Head",
in two versions.AsecondCD entitledListenin'includes 23
rare piecesin a
continuousversion of56minutes.A very niceaddition to
theListen albumfor which you can read the review
pursues his work of remastering of the Led Zeppelin albums with
Presence originally issued in 1976. Carried by the hit "Nobody's
Fault But Mine", the album contains high quality songs. Otherwise,
the record could not match in any way their first six records. Page
also remastered the last two albums from the band:
In Through the Out Door (1979) and
the album of rarities
Afteranalbumof original music,
theworld famouspianistis backin classical music. For
the occasion,he facesthe works ofRachmaninov,Haydn and Ravel. First,
he performs Sergei Rachmaninov’s"Piano
Sonata no. 2in B-flat
minor, op. 36".
Otherwise, when it was shortenedof6 minutesbyRachmaninovhimselfin 1931,
it is rather the version ofVladimir
Horowitzof 1940 that
AlainLefèvre performshere, echoingthe essence ofthe
then executesJosephHaydn’s "Sonata
in F major, no. 38, Hob.
XVI:23", composed in
1773.Then heconcludeswith Maurice
As usual, Lefèvreretainsabsolute controlofhis instrument andmanages to makeus
rediscoverthese worksof another era.
Twenty years after her first solo album,
Tigerlily, the former 10,000
Maniacs offers a reinterpretation of this classic. The same
thing always appears at this point: why would you rework an album
that has already made history anyway? It’s that Natalie felt that
her songs had evolved over the years and she could give them a
second life, a different feeling. The stunning string arrangements
indeed give new life to the 11 songs and her performance goes beyond
the original version, with a much deeper and richer voice. The order
of songs is completely different, "Wonder" being finally at the end
of the CD. Purists will certainly think that no work was needed on
these songs already unavoidable and that the performer might well
have simply tweaking them in concert. This is probably true, but
still, Natalie Merchant realizes a strong work reinterpretation, for
an album of very high quality. A great way to rediscover
these beautiful songs!
During the tour for the
No Place in Heaven album, Mika
gave a concert accompanied by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (L’Orchestre
symphonique de Montréal). It is this symphony recording that is
offered here. We quickly find that the melodic pop music of Mika
adapts beautifully to symphonic arrangements and the result is a
beautiful blend perfectly showcasing the songs of the artist. The
orchestra is very present throughout the record, but it never
overshadows the singer's unique voice. Here is a great way to
rediscover the greatest hits of Mika.
On this new album by the Montreal
Symphony Orchestra with Kent Nagano,
these are the violin concertosby Camille Saint-Saënsthat arehonored.Accompanied byviolinistAndrewWan,
the orchestra therefore
performsthe completeviolin concertosof the
composer.The threeconcertoswere recordedduringconcerts atthe Maison symphonique in
Montrealin November2014.Simultaneously withthis album, the orchestraissuesanother CDfeaturingSaint-Saëns,
Symphony andnew worksfor organ and orchestra, which
contains the "Symphony No.
3in C minor, op.
by Saint-Saëns, in addition to works bySamyMoussa
and Kaija Saariaho. This otherrecord comes from
inaugural concertsoftheGrand OrguePierre-Béique in May andJune 2014.
In addition to being the best album of 1995,
having sold millions of copies worldwide, Jagged Little Pill
was a milestone album for Alanis since she denied her previous
records (tasteless dance pop albums) and tried unsuccessfully to
return later with albums of such great quality (and as popular).
Twenty years later, here is a reissue of this classic of Canadian
pop rock. One can hear again with pleasure the essential hits "Hand
in My Pocket", "You Oughta Know", "You Learn", "Head Over Feet",
As a gift to his fans, the British singer offers
a box set of five EPs released between 2009 and 2011, before he
became the superstar we know today. It includes the following CDs:
You Need Me EP, Live at the Bedford EP, Loose
Change EP, Songs I Wrote With Amy EP, and No. 5
Collaborations Project EP. The CD Songs I Wrote With Amy EP
contains songs written in collaboration with Amy Wadge, while
No. 5 Collaborations Project EP contains 8 songs with various
collaborators. These five EPs certainly do not enjoy the large-scale
production of his next two albums. But, they will surely still be
interesting for his fans.
Son Volt – Trace
(20th Anniversary Edition) (2 CD)
Following the disintegration of Uncle Tupelo,
most of the band members have followed Jeff Tweedy in
Wilco. The other founding member, Jay Farrar, has
meanwhile created Son Volt, a fairly creative country rock group.
Their first album, Trace, was released in fall 1995 and has
become a classic in the genre. It was an almost perfect fusion
between powerful guitars and soft acoustic guitar, a true picture of
the two personalities of Farrar. Twenty years later, here is a
reissue of the album with eight demos and a full bonus CD recorded
live in February 1996. The booklet shows meanwhile a good portrait
of the album.
– Private Dancer (30th
Anniversary Edition) (2 CD)
In 1984, Tina Turner did one of the greatest
comebacks in the history of pop music after experiencing success a
few decades earlier in duet with her husband Ike. Private
Dancer is one of the most popular albums of the year and her
greatest hits are found on it: "What's Love Got To Do With It",
"Better Be Good To Me" and the title track, in addition to her
version of The
Beatles’ "Help". This 30th
anniversary edition includes a second CD containing 15 tracks. This
is largely remix songs and rare or unreleased recordings. We can
also hear "Ball of Confusion" with B.E.F. released in 1982,
as well as the successful "We Don’t Need Another Hero" from the
movie Thunderdome and "It's Only Love", a duet with Bryan
Adams. For pop rock at its best and a ton of memories, this new
edition of Private Dancer is a must.
Inspired by the biography by Ron Chernow,
this Broadway musical show introduces the history of one of the
fathers of the United States, Alexander Hamilton. What is
special is that it is essentially hip hop music that accompanies
this story of the 18th century, plus a multiethnic group of
actors-singers led by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The two CDs have a
mixed music integrating rap, R&B, pop, and a more classic Broadway
musical show music. Although there are interesting times, this very
long album is mainly addressed to those who have had the chance to
attend this blockbuster of more than two hours.
by Nick Hall presents the exodus of Joe Strummer in Spain in
1985-86 after having abandoned his band, The Clash Mark II.
Seeing that this new version of The Clash after having fired
Mick Jones was about to implode, Strummer ran away without leaving
an address. At Granada, he was warmly welcomed by bands like 091
and Radio Fortuna that he had the opportunity to advise about
their music and studio work. Desperately looking for a Barreiros car, a
European edition of the Dodge Dart, he was finally able to acquire one.
Otherwise, when he went to London for the birth of his daughter Lola, he
completely forgot where he had left it and it was finally never found.
The documentary tries in part to discover where this car was found in
1986. It is a documentary in two parts: the search for a car in parallel
with the Joe Strummer personal search to find a meaning to his life.
Mostly in Spanish with interviews with members of 091 and Radio Fortuna,
the documentary presents a rather obscure part of the career and life of
Joe Strummer. In addition to the DVD, the package includes an audio
cassette of an interview to the Spanish radio.
Argentina Chill Out Social Club is a project
created to remake different classics of the most popular music in
history. On this first of six CDs, 12 classics of the 1980s (or
almost) are played in an electro jazz style with latin and bossa
nova accents. The really nice voice of Analiah Robledo sings
hits of Madonna
(« La Isla Bonita »), AC/DC
(« You Shook Me All Night Long/Rock and Roll All Night »), Michael Jackson
(« Billie Jean », « Dangerous »), Bon Jovi (« Never Say
Goodbye »), Metallica
(« Nothing Else Matters »), Guns N’ Roses
(« Sweet Child O’ Mine »), Queen
(« Somebody To Love »), U2(« Where the Streets Have No Name »), etc. In addition to this important album for the
1980s, the collection includes 5 tribute albums in the same style:
Recorded in August2014,Live+is notreallya summaryof the career
ofJeffBeckbecause itignoresmuch ofhis bestsongsinstead focusingon having funwith the
guitarin different styles.
For example, he reworks The Beatles’
"ADay in the Life" in
someharderbluesmoments. We can hear
personal versions ofStevieWonder’s
Wing" and"Danny Boy".
In addition to the14tracks recordedin
concert,we can discovertwo new studio songs:"Tribal"
and a cover of "MyWhiteTiledFloor".
Even if the record seems
Beck whohas lost none ofhis skillon the guitar.
The John Coltrane Quintet – So
Many Things: The European Tour 1961 (4 CD)
These four CDs present a series of live recordings by
John Coltrane and his quintet during the European tour of 1961. We hear
performances at the Olympia in Paris, Copenhagen, Helsinki and
Stockholm. The saxophonist is accompanied among others by talented
multi-instrumentalist Eric Dolphy. This tour would mark a shift
not only in Coltrane's career, but in the history of jazz, with a step
Robin Gibb – Saved by the Bell: The Collected Works of Robin Gibb 1968-1970
One of the Gibb brothers who were successful in the
1960s in the Bee Gees, Robin embarked on a brief solo career
in 1968 and produced the album
Robin’s Reign. In 1970, he returned
to the band, but he still had time to record many songs. This triple
album presents first
Robin’s Reign, but enhanced by 9
additional songs, some left out for the album, others that are songs
of the record in mono versions, etc. The second CD offers the
Sing Slowly Sisters recording sessions, an album that was never
released after the reunion with the Bee Gees. Finally, the third CD
features 23 rarities: demo versions, recordings at the BBC, two
Italian versions, etc. Producer Andrew Sandoval had already
started to work on assembling Gibb’s solo works before his death in
2012 and he resumed after. It is pop orchestral music, usually mild
and often captivating. These three CD therefore present a
comprehensive overview of what Robin Gibb recorded during his short
break off the Bee Gees.
Jethro Tull – Minstrel in the Gallery:
40th Anniversary Edition
After having released two progressive rock classics
in 1971 and 1972 with
Thick as a Brick, the British band
Jethro Tull has experienced a slight decline of creativity, the time
of two albums.
But, it was to better come back in 1975 with Minstrel in the
Gallery, recorded in Monaco.
Forty years later, here is a re-issue of the original album newly
remixed by Steven Wilson.
It was certainly one of their most creative and elaborate albums,
most of all thanks to the song in 5 parts totaling 17 minutes "Baker
Despite many British folk elements, the album remains progressive
rock with a good deal of hard rock.
This new edition offers as bonus a very detailed 23-page booklet
that tells in detail the story of the album.
Even if we do not find any additional songs compared to the
original, this 40th anniversary edition of Minstrel in the
Gallery may be quite exciting for the biggest fans of the band.
Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti:
40th Anniversary Edition (3 CD)
Forty years after its original release, the sixth
album by Led Zeppelin, a double album, is reissued and is offered to
us again. It has been digitally remastered by Jimmy Page
himself. We can rediscover with great pleasure the classics "The
Rover", "Trampled Under Foot", "Kashmir", "Down by the Seaside",
"Boogie With Stu", and so on. Physical Graffiti is considered
by many as one of the most important double albums in rock history,
despite some disparities unworthy of their previous material. In
addition to the remastered original album on two CDs, one can hear a
third CD with 7 songs including unfinished versions, demos and
alternative versions of the original record tracks.
After more than 25 years of success with the
Beach Boys, Brian Wilson finally released his first solo album.
It created a lot of waves, but not necessarily because of its music.
Yet we can find the elements that contributed to his legend as
incomparable melodies and dense symphonic orchestrations. Otherwise,
it seems to miss the spark that marked his band in the 1960s. In
addition, very synthetic arrangements and overflowing echoing
percussion certainly not restore the prestige of this music genius.
The reason why the album has passed to history thus remains only
that it was the first solo album by one of the greatest songwriters
of the 20th century. On this reissue, we can hear 11 additional
tracks (demos and alternative versions), as well as interview
excerpts about the songs "Love and Mercy", the 8-minute suite "Rio
Grande" and "The Source". There is also a detailed 23-page booklet.
The Guitar Heroesalbumwas recorded
on July 12, 2013atVancouverIsland
masters of theTelecasterguitar: James Burton,AlbertLee,AmosGarrettand David
on record,without any editing orreworking.The fourliving legendsplaygreatclassics ofblues androckabillyas "That's All Right (Mama)",
"Susie Q", "Sleep
Walk" and "Flip, Flopand Fly". A mustfor everyguitarfan!
On this 17-track compilation totaling over 60
minutes, contemporary artists pay tribute to pop and rock music of
the 1980s by playing great hits in their own way. We can hear right
at the opening a completely stripped version by Sam Smith of
the yet danceable "How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston. We
can also rediscover Madonna’s
"Lucky Star" by Birdy, The Cars’ "Drive" by The
Script, Kim Carnes’ "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kylie
Minogue, Cher’s "If I Could Turn Back Time" by
Christina Perri, Bryan Adams’ "Run To You" by Kian
Egan, The Clash’s "Should I Stay or Should I Go " by
Kaiser Chiefs, and much more. Several versions are particularly
successful and make us truly appreciate this music of another era.
R.E.M.and MTVstartedtogetherin 1981.Since then,the music
TV stationhas documentedjust about everything
about the band, whether their musicandtheir stories,until theirdecision to
This filmshows thereal-timeparallelrunsof the two
institutionsby archivedocuments.We thus findthe documentaryR.E.M.From BeginningTo End(for the first time
available onBlu-Ray), to which
were addedfivedeleted scenesand
movie trailers. One can
performancespulled from theREMTVbox set.Here is agreat way to
makean overview ofthe band's career. (June 2015)