This Month's Picks

Wonder Where We Land (CD)


SBTRKT is modern music's demagogue. Is he electro weirdness? R&B bedroom jams? Dancey club hits ready to get turned up at midnight? He's everything and it's why he has such an audience! Three years since his debut album, he returns to unleash a new series of jams that are ready to chew you up with cathartic lyrics and music sculpted by syrupy-thick bass lines, electronic ambiance and vocalists like A$AP Ferg who can keep up with the intense beats.


Don't Disconnect (CD)

Sarah Jaffe

As soon as the title track begins, the spare production of droning synthesizers, rattling bass and heart-gouging vocals, your bones are chilled and shaken. But your ears are yearning for more. Rejecting her previous low-fi, acoustic ballads, Sarah Jaffe steps into the studio at full creative powers and delves into the world of electronic pop. But this isn't candy coated electro pop: it's true expression by an artist using newly found studio tools to sculpt new pop sounds with heady, dense lyrics filled with the agony of modern twenty-somethings. This is 21st century pop.

Genre: Rock

Christmas In New York (CD)

Renée Fleming

Renee Fleming has long been an iconic figure among the American opera scene with her distinct voice and virtuosity. But since her iconic take on the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII earlier this year, those who've never listened to the music of Puccini, Strauss or Copland are suddenly clamoring for more. Now, the famous soprano wants you get cozy with a hot cup of cocoa, a warm sweater, and a fireplace with some of the most resplendent takes on classic Christmas songs. With classic torch-like performances and smooth as ice arrangements, Christmas in New York assures its place in contemporary Christmas collections among names like Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and Burl Ives.

Genre: Classical, Holiday

In Return (CD)


The smooth vibrations of ODESZA are fuzzy and softer than ever with their sophomore triumph, In Return. With never a dull moment, ODESZA creates a sonic ether of syncopated, African style percussion, chiptune arpeggios and and minimal synth flare, turning something a lesser artist would filter into derivative dance hits. The unique blend of wild sounds turn each track into a Technicolor pastiche of electronic bliss.


In The Mood (CD)

Herb Alpert

After his 2013 GRAMMY winning Steppin Out, Herb Alpert, at 79 years old is still at it and making surprising innovative music in 2014. In The Mood is a spirited re-imagining of classic jazz tunes, as well as a few originals. Opening with the familiar Glenn Miller tune "Chattanooga Choo Choo," Herb's more modern arrangement is built on loops provided by his nephew Randy Badazz Alpert. "It's a little bit electronic, with some jazz floating over the top of it at times," Herb says. The album features inspired versions of "Begin The Beguine," the Everly Brothers tribute "Let It Be Me," as well as several tunes featuring the vocals of Lani Hall, the former singer of Sergio Mendes' Brasil '66 and Alpert's wife of 40 years. In The Mood proves it is always exciting to see a true artist forging a new way to approach his sound.


I Forget Where We Were (CD)

Ben Howard

Ben Howard, alongside his fellow bandmates Chris Bond and India Bourne, release I Forget Where We Were, a follow up to 2011’s Every Kingdom. In his sophomore effort Howard pushes himself and those around him further musically while maintaining melodies as striking as his first outing. This makes for a less accessible but more moody atmospheric listen. I Forget Where We Were, while fueled with agile finger picking, hammering and other guitar antics, is both lyrically and musically haunting. The album's true hold on the listener is far more mesmerizing than virtuosity alone.

Genre: Rock

Whiplash [OST] (CD)

J. Hurwitz, Tim Simonec

Whiplash is the story of a young drummer (Miles Teller) who fancies himself the next Buddy Rich. The only thing standing in his way is years of practice and one hard-ass professor (J. K. Simmons.) Though the soundtrack to Whiplash is not as drum workout heavy as the movie would lead you to believe. Instead there is more of a comprehensive big band jazz sound throughout. The 24 tracks that make up the soundtrack are sequenced in three distinct parts: Original jazz songs written for the film, original underscore written for the film, and classic jazz standards by Getz, Ellington, and more. With Original Score by Justin Hurwitz and most jazz songs created by Grammy nominated composer, Tim Simonec. There are also snippets of dialog included on the soundtrack that help to put the Jazz in context.

Genre: Soundtracks

Anomaly (CD)


Anomaly is Lecrae’s 7th studio album. If you haven’t heard of him before now it is likely due to the fact that he is himself an anomaly. Lecrae is a pioneer in the genre of Christian Hip Hop and Anomaly is the record that pushes his message to a more secular audience. Coming off the heels of 2013’s critically acclaimed mixtape Church Clothes 2, the charismatic MC has struck a balance with his words that stays away from religious generalities and replaces them with a more compelling personal narrative. By invoking issues of social justice, individuality, and not buying into the hype of what much of current hip hop has become, Lecrae has proven the dialogue that he wants to have extends way beyond his Christian beliefs.

Genre: Hip Hop

Sadnecessary (CD)

Milky Chance

The full-length debut album from Milky Chance hits all of the German duo's varied sounds with an ease that sounds like it never left the bedroom (in a good way). Singer/songwriter Clemens Rehbein and DJ Philipp Dausch started recording songs for their friends and uploading them on the internet several years ago. They describe their genre as “folktronica” infused with jazz, soul and reggae. What that means is Milky Chance combines the folky guitar and vocals of Clemens with the acoustic-sounding (but no less electronic) beats from Phillip. This is then combined with an almost Dadaist (refer to name) lyrical style and lack of convention and… Sadnecessary. No wonder they have captured the hearts and minds of kids and adults alike on the internet and off.

Genre: Rock

Dreams Of Horror: The Best Of King Diamond (CD)

King Diamond

From the depths of hell... or maybe just Denmark comes a comprehensive compilation spanning the nearly 30 year career of King Diamond. Dreams Of Horror features a total of 23 songs which have been mastered by Andy LaRocque and King Diamond himself. The recordings are the closest to the original sound possible. The 2-CD collection includes material from King Diamond’s years on Roadrunner (Disc 1) and Metal Blade (Disc 2). An absolute must have for anyone who even thinks they know metal.

Genre: Rock