Sep 2019

Crowing Ignites (CD)

Bruce Cockburn returns with an intriguing collection of all new tracks on his 34th studio album, Crowing Ignites. This time, they’re all instrumental, weaving a rich tapestry of sound as Cockburn delves into folk, jazz, blues, and Celtic influences. As producer/frequent collaborator Colin Linden says, “It’s amazing how much Bruce can say without saying anything.” On Crowing Ignites, Cockburn connects to the heart of his listeners in new, surprising, and gratifying ways. This is the sort of album that makes it quite clear why Bruce Cockburn is a legend.

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Karaoke Angel (CD)

Some albums just seem like the story behind their creation must surely be as tantalizing as the stories their songs tell. Molly Sarlé’s Karaoke Angel is one such album. The Mountain Man vocalist began working on these exquisitely observed Americana-infused slices of life in a trailer perched on a cliff in Big Sur, CA before taking the show on the road to Los Angeles, Durham, NC, and Woodstock, NY. Album opener “Human” starts the show firing on all cylinders: a gorgeous love song that manages to be wistful and joyous at the same time. The intensity doesn’t abate over the course of the record; it’ll put a smile on your face when you're not blinking away a sneaky tear.

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The Brighter The Light (CD)

The Juan Maclean has another banger on their hands with the release of The Brighter the Light. It’s a compilation of the group’s 12” singles as you’ve never heard them before: re-edited, remastered, and ready to get the party rockin’. The tunes run the gamut from deep house to disco to freestyle, the mix blending seamlessly without skipping a beat. It’s a good reminder of the scale of the band’s talent and their staying power in the ever-evolving NYC dance scene. The perfect soundtrack to the type of night you never want to end.

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Trane's Delight (CD)

On his first album in seven years, Latin Jazz legend Poncho Sanchez pays tribute to the legendary John Coltrane. Trane’s Delight features new tracks inspired by Coltrane as well as Latin-infused takes on classic works by the revered saxophonist. It’s a vibrant showcase of all the ways Coltrane influenced Sanchez, from boyhood to his now storied status as a GRAMMY-winning force to be reckoned with. Trane’s Delight effortlessly draws connections between classic tracks, new Sanchez originals, and the works of Coltrane and his collaborators. The album features Pancho Sanchez’s longtime band, Francisco Torres ( trombone/musical director), Ron Blake (trumpet/flugelhorn), Robert Hardt (saxophone), Andy Langham (piano), Rene Camacho and Ross Schodek (bass), and Joey DeLeon and Giancarlo Anderson (percussion).

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While I'm Livin' (CD)

While I'm Livin', Tanya Tucker's first new studio album since 2009's My Turn, was produced and cowritten by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings – a team well-suited to the material. The album is more poignant than what the outlaw country artist is usually known for, featuring several ballads. “Bring My Flowers Now,” for example, is a sweet piano ballad about celebrating life now (“while I'm living”) instead of after someone passes. But the sprightly “I Don't Owe You Anything” reveals that Tucker can still bring the sass, kicking off with her mutter, “Oh, I got somethin' to say.” Other tracks like “Hard Luck” highlight the strength still present in her voice, contrasted nicely with the gospel-style backing vocals.

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Everythings For Sale (CD)

Boogie’s 2019 release Everythings For Sale is the Compton, California artist’s official debut album (via Eminem’s Shady Records) following a series of strong mixtape releases by the unique rapper/singer. As the album’s cover art of a coffin at a funeral might indicate, Everything’s overall mood is somber. But that’s not a bad thing! The antithesis of braggadocious party rap, Boogie’s soul-bearing, bold and brutally honest self-examination of his life experiences to date (from death to bad relationships and self-doubts) is refreshingly real.

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Yesterday [OST] (CD)

The soundtrack for Yesterday serves up Himesh Patel's versions of Beatles classics like “Let It Be,” “Hey Jude,” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” performed by his character Jack Malik, who is the only person on Earth (in the film) who knows The Beatles. Fans of the movie will enjoy these reverent covers, as well as anyone who fantasizes about being the lone representative of their favorite band. Patel's enthusiasm shines through and makes the album a solid companion to this high-concept film.

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Toy Story 4 [OST] (CD)

The fourth Randy Newman soundtrack for the Toy Story films features two new songs, the jazzy, catchy “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” and “The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy” sung by Chris Stapleton. The latter is a pleasant vintage country number better suited to Stapleton's voice than Newman's. The composer's score includes the familiar themes from the previous movies, but incorporates new ones - for example for new character Forky, whose theme is lilting and playful in a Looney Tunes manner (“Trashcan Chronicles”).

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Rocketman [OST] (CD)

The multi-talented Taron Egerton who portrayed Elton John in Rocketman duets with the artist himself on the foot-stomping new tune “(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again” on the film's soundtrack. But the classic songs Egerton makes his own, guided by producer Giles Martin and given full freedom by John. With multiple cast members singing parts on certain tracks, edgier songs like “I Want Love” take on a different feel and lean more towards Broadway numbers. Egerton's voice is naturally smoother than the legendary artist's, but he works at bringing on the grit and captures the emotion.

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The Lion King (2019) [OST] (CD)

The 2019 Lion King remake comes with a reworked soundtrack, including the beloved classic songs performed by the new film's stars Beyonce, Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) and more. This version of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” is lush and sweet, truly benefiting from Beyonce's flexible range. JD McCrary's slick and light vocals work well as the young Simba's joyful “I Just Can't Wait To Be King” and Billy Eichner – a treat as Timon in the movie - is infectious on “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” with Seth Rogen.

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