Reviews

Review: Mighty Oaks – All Things Go

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What do an American, a Brit, and an Italian have in common? Ian Hooper, Craig Saunders, and Claudio Donzelli are all based in Berlin. Each one plays several instruments and together they deliver their unmistakable three-part harmonies that swell, sizzle, and soothe over a multifarious selection of tunes. In early … Continue Reading →

Review: Kesha – High Road

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Following a drip feed of singles beginning with the anthemic “Raising Hell” in October, Kesha released her fourth studio album, “High Road”, on January 31st. On the first listen of the album’s 16 tracks, I couldn’t help but wonder why Kesha had selected such a wide pick-a-mix of songs that … Continue Reading →

Review: Selena Gomez – Rare

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It’s here! Selena Gomez has released her third solo album, titled “Rare”. The album comes highly anticipated as many are hoping to hear what the young singer compiled in light of her rollercoaster relationship with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber, who she started dating in 2010. Jelena, as they are known to … Continue Reading →

Review: James Blunt – Once Upon A Mind

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It’s no easy feat writing affecting music. Discerning ears easily separate the wheat from the chaff. James Blunt has hit the mark with his sixth studio album, “Once Upon A Mind”, featuring eleven songs that – in their disparate blend of musical styling – still form a coherent and completely … Continue Reading →

Review: Asa – Lucid

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It was in 2007 that Asa, the Nigerian-French soul singer, first broke into our headphones, our playlists, and ultimately our hearts with her self-titled debut album. The album was a huge success with singles like “Jailer” and “Fire On The Mountain”. When I first heard “Jailer”, I was awestruck. Asa’s … Continue Reading →

Review: The Brand New Heavies – TBNH

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The Brand New Heavies don’t have much left to prove. The acid jazz innovators – officially comprised of multi-instrumentalists Andrew Levy and Simon Bartholomew, joined by vocalist Angela Ricci for the band’s current world tour – have been exploring and revising their unique brand of funk for the past 35 … Continue Reading →

Review: Taylor Swift – Lover

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Taylor Swift’s stardom is so big that it doesn’t really require comment. It’s obvious – banal even. What’s more interesting is how unassuming and univocally likeable she’s remained after ten-plus years of certified superstar spotlight and scrutiny. Of course, Swift isn’t just a likeable personality, she’s a talented songwriter and … Continue Reading →

Review: Raphael Saadiq – Jimmy Lee

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A veteran in R&B and beyond, Raphael Saadiq has spent decades being a musical storyteller. The artist from Oakland, California, started his career touring with Prince in the mid-80s and as a founding member of the group Tony! Toni! Tone! and has recently produced hits for musicians like Solange and … Continue Reading →

Review: Elle Varner – Ellevation

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As a genre, R&B is loaded with tropes: the songs describe lost love, sensual longing, melodramatic tension, and affirmations of genuine love and connection. While there’s no problem with any of these tropes, their prevalence has, to a certain degree, led to staleness in the genre. On Elle Varner’s sophomore … Continue Reading →

Review: Willie Nelson – Ride Me Back Home

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On his latest studio album, “Ride Me Back Home”, Willie Nelson’s subject matter is what you might expect from a man of eighty-six: he celebrates his music, laments and accepts that he’s aging, and reminisces about his life. Although Nelson’s gentle vibrato is unmistakable, and his twangy production is familiar, … Continue Reading →

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