Jan 2023

Linger Awhile (CD)
Samara Joy's debut album has caused quite a stir thanks to her impressive vocals and timbre. At just age 22, she evokes classic singers like Sarah Vaughan - she won the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition - and delivers a rich performance on favorites like "Someone To Watch Over Me" and "Can't Get Out Of This Mood." "Guess Who I Saw Today" is especially spellbinding, thanks to the wry emotion in her deep voice. "Round Midnight" is another stellar track, intense and riveting. Read more
Between Us... (CD)

Between Us… is Anoushka Shankar's first live album since 2001, recorded while she was on tour in the Netherlands with Holland's Metropole Orkest and conductor Jules Buckley. Joined by her regular collaborator Manu Delago, she performed music from four solo albums plus one previously unreleased track, "Jannah." "Land of God" is sweepingly romantic and stirring, while "Traveller" is lively, and "Maya" is enigmatic and pensive. The enthusiastic applause on these tracks is proof of how rapt and appreciative the audiences were at these special concerts.

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Let's Start Here (LP)

Lil Yachty's new "Psychedelic Alternative" album, Let's Start Here, is ambitious and eclectic. It features live instrumentation, which was born out of months in the studio with a full band and his love of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, along the rapper's distinctive trap and electronic dance music ("DXN'T LXSE" with Scarlxrd and MoonDeity). Guests include Drake, Future, Trippie Redd, and 21 Savage.

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Public Displays Of Affection: The Album (CD)

Songwriter Priscilla Renea makes her album debut as Muni Long with Public Displays of Affection. The album is a nostalgic dive into '90s style R&B with all the right slinky melodies and vocal runs that don't miss a beat. Long's vocals are refreshingly strong and direct on emotional tracks like "Pain" and "Ain't Easy." Romantic relationships and sex are the main themes here, with the explicit nature and sensuality of fellow R&B artists like Jhené Aiko.

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Anaïs Mitchell (CD)

If Anais Mitchell’s new self-titled release has the celebratory vibe of a homecoming, well, that’s because it is. It’s the acclaimed indie folk singer’s first studio album in years, and there’s a sense of welcome return to these songs, Mitchell’s voice hanging honeyed in the air over her warm, cozy compositions. Deceptively simple, each track packs a real emotional punch, made all the stronger by the easygoing, upbeat nature of the melodies. The ideal soundtrack for your next evening in the countryside surrounded by beloved family and old friends.

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Crawler (CD)

IDLES are back with a visceral new album, Crawler. This relentless album takes all the down-and-dirty elements of IDLES that brought the British post-punk act acclaim and refines their raucous approach into knife-sharp lyrics and gritty noise. The melodies on their fourth album are as intense and abrasive as ever, yet they’re tempered by introspection and the urge to evolve. Urgent and inventive, Crawler shows the band reassessing and reworking what makes them tick.

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If You Will [Clear Vinyl] (LP)

Brazilian jazz legend Flora Purim has released her first new album in 15 years and it’s a vibrant set of jazz-fusion that will lift your spirits. If You Will includes new songs and reworked favorites, and Purim is joined on vocals by her daughter Diana Purim on the breezy title track, among others. “This Is me” offers busy percussion, a toe-tapping groove, and an effervescent chorus. “A Flor Da Vida” is a smooth, exhilarating track that feels like opening the window to greet the sun. This is a fresh-sounding, lovely new album from the 80-year-old star.

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Drones [Red Vinyl] (LP)

Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist Terrace Martin draws on R&B, funk, jazz and hip-hop for his new album, Drones. It has no shortage of A-list collaborators on board including Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Leon Bridges, Kamasi Washington, and Robert Glasper. The sultry title track addresses casual hookups while “Leimert Park” is a jazzy, spoken-word number that evokes the resiliency of the hood. The smooth, bouncy “Leave Us Be” is an easy album highlight, along with “Sick of Cryin’” with its horns and lightly tropical beat.

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Calling You From My Mountain (CD)

On his new album, Grammy-winner Peter Rowan delivers a flawless set of original and traditional bluegrass tracks. The album kicks off with a sprightly version of Woody Guthrie’s “New York Town” with a clear sound quality that belies the old timey charm of this music. Elsewhere highlights include the spiritual original “Light at the End of the World” and the swooning “From My Mountain (Calling You),” which features Molly Tuttle on guest vocals and banjo.

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So Happy It Hurts [Deluxe Edition] (CD)

Bryan Adams’ new album finds him celebrating freedom (the title track) and long-time romance (the gentle “Always Have, Always Will” and the old-school rocker “I Ain’t Worth Shit Without You”). Elsewhere inspiration came from other projects: The jangly, upbeat “I’ve Been Looking For You” was written for “Pretty Woman: The Musical and one of the album’s most stirring tracks, “These Are The Moments That Make Up My Life,” was originally for the film Marley & Me. The deluxe 2CD includes a second disc of the beloved singer/songwriter’s hits.

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