Staff Detail

Amoebite Amoebite

, hollywood


Brian Banks (BLU)
An All-American football player's dreams to play in the NFL are halted when he is falsely accused of rape and sent to prison. Read more
Staff:
Monster [25th Anniversary Expanded Edition] (CD)

R.E.M.'s acclaimed ninth album Monster has been newly remastered and reissued for its 25th anniversary! This expanded 2CD version includes a bonus disc with a special 2019 remix from Monster producer Scott Litt.

 

When Monster was originally released, the band was at a crossroads in their career. It had been six years since R.E.M. had toured and their previous two albums were full of ballads, acoustic rock songs, and intricate arrangements. They were also grappling with the celebrity that came from being one of the biggest, most recognizable bands in the world. The result was Monster, an album unlike anything they had released before. Journalist Matthew Perpetua writes in the liner notes that R.E.M. “never been this distorted and dirty, or this glam or this flirty.”

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Love Hurts (CD)

GRAMMY-nominated guitarist Julian Lage adds bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Dave King to his trio for new album, Love Hurts. Digging into the American songbook, Lage brings his enviable technique and creative interpretation to music by Ornette Coleman, Roy Orbison, Peter Ivers and more, and provides several originals. The well-known title track is elegantly rendered here, as is Orbison's “Crying,” paired with funky numbers like “The Windup” by Keith Jarrett. Wide-ranging, adventurous, and delightful.

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Devour You (CD)

If you’ve ever feared that rock ’n’ roll is getting too safe, too radio-sanitized, too ready-to-be-the-background-music-in-an-ad-for-a-mobile-phone, Starcrawler is here to save you. Has there ever been a more apt name for an LP than Devour You? Because the band straight-up seethes with rock menace, promising all the violence, sweat and primal energy of early punk. Lead singer Arrow de Wilde holds nothing back, seeming ready to roll around in broken glass Iggy Pop-style at any moment. It’s a pleasure to behold this young band’s no-holds-barred approach to thrashed-out tunes and glam-meets-punk aesthetics.

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Two Hands (CD)

Big Thief is a songwriting powerhouse; Two Hands is their second release this year and the band sounds as strong as ever. In many ways, these songs are ideal for autumnal listening, with the band drawing listeners into a world that’s cozy and big-hearted, earthy and emotional. Even when moments of darkness sneak up on the listener (and there are plenty), there’s a reassuring quality to the melodies, a warmth to the band’s grappling with the more tumultuous aspects of life and love. Two Hands is like coming home, in all its fraught beauty and tenderness.

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Jaime (CD)

Alabama Shakes singer/guitarist Brittany Howard shines brighter than ever on her debut solo album, Jaime. It's a brave, bold, beautiful work from Howard, who named the album after her late sister, who taught her to play piano and encouraged her to write poetry. This is as vulnerable and honest as we've seen the talented Ms. Howard; there are bangers here, but there are also introspective moments of anger, hope, and love. With assistance from Robert Glasper, fellow Alabama Shakes member Zac Cockrell, and drummer Nate Smith, this is essential listening for fans of smart, rootsy R&B.

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No Holiday (CD)

After receiving a diagnosis for ALS in 2017, The Muffs' singer/songwriter/guitarist Kim Shattuck made a vow with her two fellow bandmates to put together one final album. The world lost Shattuck on October 2nd, 2019, just mere weeks from seeing the fruit of her labors, No Holiday, get released. No Holiday is a fitting swan song, with its eighteen songs having been written over the entire course of The Muffs' time as a band, while presenting all of the sonic colors and moods within the band's wheelhouse. As drummer Roy McDonald stated in an online reminiscence after Shattuck's passing, "this album is her legacy and, in many ways, our proudest moment."

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Better Oblivion Community Center (CD)
Indie/folk forces of nature Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst team up for the compelling, surprisingly hard-rocking Better Oblivion Community Center. The songs often start life as gentle, introspective melodies before changing course to become fierce, gritty boot stompers. There’s anguish here, yes, with lyrics delving into themes of addiction and mental illness but the album stays buoyant thanks to the duo’s irresistible vocals and boot stomping riffs. This excellent self-titled LP will keep fans thirsting for another outing from the combined talents of Bridgers and Oberst. Read more
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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Still On My Mind (CD)

Dido’s Still on My Mind is a slow burn. After a five year hiatus, Dido returns with a moody, haunting collection of ballads that seamlessly blends her interest in synth beats and trip-hop vibes with her signature folk-inflected downtempo vocals. (The album was created in close collaboration with her longtime production / songwriting partner Rollo, also known as half of the hard-hitting English electronica duo Faithless.) The result is truly a force of nature, a quiet storm roiling beneath the serene surface.

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