Album of the Week

Date

The People's Key

The People’s Key, Bright Eyes 7th studio album, is a science fiction inspired opus that contemplates creation, the expanding universe, time travel, and alien enslavement of the human race. Conor...

Mondo Amore

What would you expect from a musician who cites as her greatest influences New Jersey’s Shark River during a rain storm and the dark, surreal films of David Lynch? And what would you expect from this...

Kiss Each Other Clean

Some artists are content to make a template of their first successful album, repurposing their original burst of creativity to lessening degrees of satisfaction. Not so with Sam Beam, the iconoclast...

Bright Examples

Sarah Lee Guthrie...

The Lady Killer

Audacious, sly, witty, the music of Cee Lo Green is immensely entertaining, beautifully produced and delivered with such aplomb that I marvel that Green hasn’t attained superstar status long before...

Living Proof

If you’re looking for a template for growing older, not just gracefully, but with power and dignity, take a good listen to Buddy Guy’s Living Proof. The man isn’t afraid of the numbers that stack up...

Contra

After all the hype of their first release it was inevitable that Vampire Weekend would experience blow-back from some critics. The brainy four-man band who met as students at Columbia University...

The Suburbs

The much maligned “suburbs” get a new appraisal thanks to Arcade Fire. Instead of rejecting the trappings of tract neighborhoods, the band offers a complex examination of how the boundaries, values,...

Sound of Sunshine

Life becomes dearer when one is confronted with serious illness. Big picture ideals fade to background while something as simple as sunshine on water, a sleeping child, or a lover’s smell comes into...

So Runs the World Away

As Josh Ritter christened his career and set sail in search of his musical horizon many well-wishers nodded in approval at the one they deemed a new savior of the art of folk music. As Ritter’s...

Sinners and Saints

Raul Malo is speaking, or more appropriately, singing his mind. As the front man for The Mavericks, a member of Los Super Seven, a collaborator with dozens of artists and commander of a successful...

Write About Love

The Scottish band Belle and Sebastian have been producing great pop music for 15 years but only in the last several years have they begun to build an American audience beyond a small cult fan base....

Fields

Subtlety isn’t an adjective often used to describe pop music yet it is at the heart of Junip’s debut album Fields. Guitarist/singer Jose Gonzales, drummer Elias Araya, and keyboardist Tobias...

The Grand Theater Volume 1

The Old 97s built their career as one of alt-country’s most consistently smart, down-to-earth, energetic bands. Fans flocked to their shows and bought their recordings expecting to reveal in a mix of...

You Are Not Alone

When fellow Chicagoan Jeff Tweedy signed on to produce Mavis Staples’s gospel record, he offered Wilco’s loft studio and asked for one of her father’s guitars. You Are Not Alone opens with the sweet...

The Orchard

Ra Ra Riot balances brainy ideas with energetic pop melodies and lush string arrangements, but that isn’t the only balancing act they’ve pulled off. Wes Miles formed the band in 2006 at Syracuse...

Junky Star

Life is hard. Some days feel like a tough ride on a bucking horse that has had it with people getting on its back. Other days string together indistinguishable from one another, creating desolate...

Tin Can Trust

Los Lobos is recognized as one of America’s premier bands in part due to their consistency. Their musicianship is precise, their songwriting finely crafted, with a balanced offering of blues based...

Clapton

Man, is Eric Clapton mellow these days. Mr. “Guitar God” has put aside the big guitar drama for a very laid-back record. What you will get is superb musicianship, songs that go way back in the...

Be My Thrill

If I was limited to only one adjective to describe the music of The Weepies it would be “sweet.” I know that word raises negative connotations with saccharine at the top of the list but I’ll still...

Band of Joy

After the success of 2007’s Raising Sand – the album that finally won Robert Plant a Grammy award (Led Zeppelin received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005) it would have been easy to replicate...

Come and Get It

It’s not surprising that another young singer has discovered the irrepressible, excitement generated by the kind of soul music that permeated the music charts in the 1960’s. What is impressive is the...

God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise

After working with producer Ethan Johns on his first 3 albums Ray Lamontagne strikes out on his own, to a degree. Lamontagne takes the production reins; saddled up next to him is his very able...

Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook

To be a truly great interpreter one must have experience. One needs the ability to bring one’s own trials and triumphs to the table in order to embody the material encountered. Bettye Lavette has...

100 Miles From Memphis

Sheryl Crow's seventh album is a homing-pigeon album. Musically-speaking, she's heading back to her days in Kennett, Missouri -- her hometown located about 100 miles from Memphis. The sounds she...

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