Staff Detail

Amoebite Amoebite

, hollywood


Power (CD)

Seratones' new album, Power, is a blast of high-energy roots-rock and doo wop-inflected pop with impeccable, soulful lead vocals and genre-blurring arrangements. The fiery “Gotta Get to Know Ya” is all catchy grooves and organ solos, while “Lie To My Face” is a lovely '60s throwback where singer AJ Haynes proves she can swing effortlessly from strength to sweetness. The title track is infectious and danceable, and “Sad Boi” would almost be at home on a Janelle Monae record – intelligent pop-funk at its best. The album offers a lot of variety with solid songwriting and production.

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Beyond The Door (CD)

Redd Kross are back with their seventh studio album since their SoCal teen punk origins, following 2012's Researching The Blues – their first since 1997. The McDonald brothers (joined by Jason Shapiro and Melvins drummer Dale Crover) remain committed to fun, melodic rock n' roll with a '90s college rock feel and there's plenty of it. “The Party Underground” is a straightforward and hook-filled ode to the theme with free-spirited guitar soloing. “What's a Boy to Do?” is grunge-y but wistful number with a pretty melody and “When Do I Get To Sing 'My Way?'” is a radio-friendly anthem.

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Other Girls (CD)

Lillie Mae stands out from the current indie country/pop crowd for both her excellent fiddle skills and her distinctive, jaded-but-sweet vocals. The Nashville singer/songwriter grew up playing fiddle in her family's string band and her years of experience, virtuosic ability, and storytelling prowess are on full display on her sophomore album, Other Girls. The arrangements are lush and unique with plenty of nice details. “You've Got Other Girls For That” builds on a melancholy melody and layers of expressive guitars, and “A Golden Year” has lovely bursts of la-la's in its plaintive verses that call to mind The Shins in an otherwise haunting folk song. “Terlingua Girl” is swooping and sweet with a quirky outro that brings in distorted guitar for an unexpectedly darker ending.

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Atonement (CD)

Killswitch Engage has remained remarkably consistent throughout the metalcore group’s two-decade long career; including before and after the mainstream success of End of Heartache turned them into one of the heaviest hitters in the metal world, with just one caveat: the ever revolving door between vocalists Howard Jones, who manned the group’s most prominent period, and Jesse Leach, the band’s original singer who returned to replace Jones in 2012. On Atonement, the two vocalists both appear on the same record for the first time, albeit briefly, as “The Signal Fire” features the two switching up verse duties and (very aggro) duet on the chorus. Elsewhere, the band is in traditional form, with chugga chugga guitars over computer-precise double bass thumping, clean vocals contrasted with guttural growls, and desperate, cathartic choruses adding plenty of drama to the proceedings. All these years later and the Killswitch Engage sound remains as solid as ever.

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Ann Arbor Blues Festival 1969 (CD)

A 50th anniversary celebration of the Ann Arbor Blues Festival of 1969 – the first American all-blues festival - this new live recording is a double album of incredible performances, originally captured by student promoters of the event on a Norelco tape recorder. The album features “living history” performances by artists like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Big Mama Thornton, B.B. King, Lightnin' Hopkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell and many more artists who shared a sense of community at the festival. The Muddy Waters single “Long Distance Call,” with its plaintive harmonica and spontaneous applause and whistles, embodies the perfect blues-soaked summer atmosphere. For the true blues fan, it doesn't get much more authentic than this.

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Run Home Slow (CD)

Australia's Teskey Brothers fine-tune their soulful pop for their sophomore album, Run Home Slow. The group blends gritty lead vocals with smooth harmonies and hints of funk and gospel in their arrangements, making use of a strong horn section. It's the perfect recipe for their familiar, accessible sound, as evidenced on infectious tracks like “So Caught Up” and “Man Of The Universe.” “Hold Me” uses vocal layers and handclaps to give it an uplifting gospel feel, slipping into a few moments of shimmering guitar on the wistful bridge.

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Naive (CD)

Andy Grammer continues to focus on positive and uplifting pop music on his new album, directly addressing the theme in the stripped-down title track, “Naive,” which condemns the idea that optimists are unintelligent. “Don't Give Up On Me” from the teen drama Five Feet Apart is unabashedly dramatic and anthemic, and “I Found You” is a heartfelt love song with a strong sing-along chorus. He does branch out from the sweetness on the funkier track, “My Own Hero,” which has echoes of Jason Mraz or Maroon 5 in the production, and lyrics that question a lover's commitment.

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Tuxedo III (CD)

Mayer Hawthorne (aka Aquarius) and Jake One (aka Taurus) turn up the heat on the dance floor on this soulful, silky third outing from their Tuxedo project, aptly named Tuxedo III. The ultra suave duo channels funky influences from the likes of Chic and Parliament; the result is a polished gem of throwback R&B/soul perfection. The pair enlists top caliber talent like MF DOOM, D?M-FunK, Leven Kali, Benny Sings, Gavin Turek, and a handful of others. There’s lots to love on this bouncy, brilliant LP, the first on Tuxedo’s new Funk on Sight imprint. Turn it up loud and soak up the summer vibes.

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Voyager (CD)

For 311's eclectic thirteenth album, the group merges the pop/reggae/rock they invented in the '90s – influencing newer acts like Twenty-One Pilots – with some updated pop soundscapes, aided by John Feldmann (Blink-182, Panic! At the Disco) who produced four of the tracks. “Good Feeling” is an infectious summer party jam, in the vein of The Black-Eyed Peas' “I Gotta Feeling.” “Don't You Worry” brings back the band's distinctive grungy ska guitar sound with some spaced-out soloing, while “What The?!” revels in some psychedelic funk. “Crossfire,” in turn, is a high-energy rock song with rapping vocals that ought to appeal to fans of Linkin Park.

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Amoeba Gig (CD)

Paul McCartney's incredible in-store performance at Amoeba Hollywood on June 27, 2007 was a magical moment shared by the seven hundred lucky people who made it in, along with a handful of celebrities including Ringo Starr himself. For those who missed it – and for those who want to revisit it and reminisce – the full concert is now available for the first time! The 21 song set includes energetic renditions of hits from across McCartney's legendary career, such as “Drive My Car” and “Back In The U.S.S.R.,” as well as a solo acoustic version of “Here Today.” It's an absolute must-have for Beatles fans everywhere.

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