Sep 2018

The Window (CD)

Two time Grammy winner Cecile McLorin Salvant teams up with acclaimed New Orleans pianist Sullivan Fortner for her latest, The Window. McLorin Savant’s velvety voice is a natural fit for these moody romantic numbers and her impressive vocal range certainly comes out to play. Listening to the album is an intimate experience, like sitting in a smoky, underground jazz club listening to the duo play their hearts out — for an audience of one. But isn’t that love? Expect sophisticated renditions of classics by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stevie Wonder, Bernstein/Sondheim, as well as an original French language composition by the gifted Ms. McLorin Salvant.

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Ruby (CD)

Nobody makes music quite like Macy Gray. Ruby is the raspy-voiced singer’s tenth album and it’s packed with her signature smart, vivacious brand of retro-tinged R&B/soul. Lead single “Sugar Daddy” is a fittingly sweet and seductive walk through the candy shop — it’s a sophisticated, innuendo-laced late night jam. Also of note is guitarist Gary Clark Jr.’s appearance on the excellent “Buddha.” There’s something for everyone here, from uplifting, feel good strummers to lush throwback soul and jazz to outspoken, politically topical ballads.

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Redemption (CD)
Bonamassa continues to redefine and push the barriers of blues-rock. In these 12 songs, you’ll see the true shades of light and dark; for every trip into the tender depths of emotion there are some glorious hip-shaking moments of joy, all accompanied by Bonamassa’s masterful guitar playing. Read more
Ordinary Corrupt Human Love (CD)

Whether it is called Blackgaze, Post-Metal, Blackened Post-Rock, or just Black Metal, genre arguments around Deafheaven have abounded since 2013’s breakout Sunbather. Let’s ignore that discussion for the moment, because it’s boring. All you need to know is that Ordinary Corrupt Human Love is the most ambitious record the group has put out yet in all of their eight-year history. Yes, that means that it also happens to especially highlight the aspects of Deafheaven’s sound that are traditionally “non-metal” and most contentious to purists, but that is part and parcel of what makes Deafheaven so uniquely talented and constantly captivating. The album begins with “You Without End,” a “Layla”-evoking piano ballad overlaid with weeping slide guitar leads and a spoken word passage before being enveloped in distortion and growls, yet never losing its melancholy, bombastic glory. “Honeycomb” takes stargazing '90s guitar rock moves (Smashing Pumpkins and Hum, especially) and melds it to throat-shredding shrieks and blistering blast beats. There’s a good reason why Deafheaven want this to be remembered as their Master of Puppets. They’re working with something special here.

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Bay Dream (CD)

Summer’s here, so for all of you who are jaded, broke, and bummed out, welcome to your official soundtrack. Culture Abuse are a guitar-heavy, slackened punk band who have undoubtedly spent a large amount of time absorbing influences from their '90s forbearers, and their sophomore album, Bay Dream, is filled with self-deprecating lyrics set to undeniably bright and sunny hooks. Like a much grittier version of Free Energy, or a proper twin sibling to fellow Bay Area melodic punks Terry Malts, Culture Abuse make effortlessly catchy music with plenty of ennui to spare. Don’t believe it? Listen to standout single “Dip” and let the bad times roll.

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