This Month's Picks

reputation (CD)

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift leans into her darker side with the versatile new album, Reputation . Serving up lyrics that address lust, jealousy, and public squabbles, she shows off her hip-hop and R&B influences, embracing bass drops and aggressive beats. Beneath the strong pop craftsmanship, it's an intriguing landscape of jadedness and vulnerability. More
Genre: Rock

Christmas Christmas (CD)

Cheap Trick
If you're tired of the usual jazzy holiday fare this year, check out Cheap Trick's first holiday album, Christmas Christmas . A fun follow-up to last summer's vibrant We're All Alright , the new album mixes a few upbeat original songs, such as "Merry Christmas Darlings," with seasonal rock n' roll classics by the likes of Chuck Berry, The Kinks, The Ramones and Slade. More
Genre: Holiday

Southern Gothic (CD)

Dan Tyminski
Tymenski’s Southern Gothic doesn’t sound like it should work but it does and it does so in spades. The Vermont-born artist combines indie electronica with Americana melodies and (of course) Southern Gothic themes, weaving a world that feels closer than ever and as strange as it has always been. You won’t hear anything else like this…but you’ll definitely want to. One of the most intriguing, atmospheric records of the year. More
Genre: Folk, Bluegrass

Tell Me You Love Me (CD)

Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato is one of the strongest of the polished pop divas currently dominating the airwaves; case in point, Tell Me You Love Me . Each song has something to recommend it — there are party jams, “boy bye” jams, cruising down the freeway with the windows rolled down and the radio cranked jams — and Ms. Lovato takes them all on with equal aplomb. The tracks are unapologetic, bold, and adventurous. In short, it’s the perfect pop soundtrack to being a young woman today. More
Genre: Rock

Low In High School (CD)

Morrissey
A seemingly endless well of droll creativity and romantic melodies, Morrissey’s latest is another resounding success. Low in High School sees Moz experimenting with song structure and lyrical themes, but his velveteen voice and lively wit give the LP the sound of a future classic. Dreamy and sometimes melancholy, it’s albums like this that remind us why we keep coming back for more from this Salford lad. Each listen reveals another fascinating yarn, another relatable sentiment. More
Genre: Rock

Radio Silence (CD)

Talib Kweli
Radio Silence has to be one of Talib Kweli’s finest efforts in recent memory. Smart, uplifting, and seriously groovy, it’s the perfect combination of Kweli’s lyrical prowess and radio-friendly indie rap. Of course, there are some serious power players on this latest release (Rick Ross, for one, appears on the single “Heads Up Eyes Open”), which adds to the fun but never dims Kweli’s shine. He’s a national treasure and this album does an excellent job of showcasing the way he uses insightful lyrics and catchy melodies to pack a punch. More
Genre: Hip Hop

Soul Of A Woman (CD)

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Sharon Jones' final album is lush, vibrant, and very alive — a lasting monument to the singer and her amazing career. Flying high on classic soul and powerful gospel vibes, Soul of a Woman practically bursts with hope, joy, and love. Destined to be a classic, this album shows us exactly how much we’ve lost with the passing of the incredible Ms. Jones. She truly was the real deal and this album proves it. More
Genre: Soul

Blade Runner 2049 [OST] (CD)

Benjamin Wallfisch, Hans Zimmer
Ambient and crystalline, Hans Zimmer’s score for Blade Runner 2049 is a worthy mirror for this thoughtful, breathtaking film. The music is precise, evocative, and truly spectacular. This transportive soundtrack features electronic soundscapes and the occasional Sinatra and Elvis numbers — it’s a fitting and disconcerting followup to Vangelis’ legendary score for the first film. Cool as ice, devastating, and a total joy for listeners. More
Genre: Soundtracks

Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection For All The Family (CD)

Nick Lowe
Maybe Nick Lowe is not the name that comes to mind when you think of Christmas music. Understandably, you’d be forgiven. The former pub-rock/new-wave icon known for his wry lyrics and wit seems like an antithetical fit for the commercially safe and stale venture that is the Christmas album. Yet the irony is not lost on Lowe, who at 68 years old has been deep into his crooner phase for over a decade now, but whose sense of mischievousness is still intact as he imbues “Silent Night” full of rocksteady rhythm and rockabilly guitar licks. To his credit, Lowe plays the majority of the album straight, with faithful renditions of Xmas standards along with tender originals such as “I Was Born In Bethlehem.” However, it’s “Christmas at the Airport” that steals the show; another Lowe original and one that blends holiday melancholia, cheeky humor, and a Tin Pan Alley melodic sensibility all in one. Oh, and it’s really catchy too! More
Genre: Rock, Holiday

Let's Play Two (CD)

Pearl Jam
Let's play two shows, that is. At famed Wrigley Field, no less. Let’s Play Two  was recorded and filmed over the course of a double header at the Chicago ballpark back in August 2016, during the Cubs’ ascension to their first World Series title since 1908. The atmosphere is appropriately jubilant, with spirited versions of tracks that span the entire Pearl Jam catalogue, as well as choice non-album cuts including, of course, the Eddie Vedder love letter to his hometown team, "All The Way." More
Genre: Rock