Tag: 2011

Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm

Benjamin Francis Leftwich – Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm       Jon O’Brien: “…Benjamin Francis Leftwich couldn’t have picked a better time to unleash, or rather quietly release, his subtle and understated brand of acoustic balladry. Produced by Ian Grimble (Manic Street Preachers), his debut album, Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm, won’t exactly be […]

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PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

      Heather Phares: PJ Harvey followed her ghostly collection of ballads, White Chalk, with PJ Harvey – Let England Shake, a set of songs strikingly different from what came before it except in its Englishness. White Chalk’s haunted piano ballads seemed to emanate from an isolated manse on a moor, but here Harvey […]

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Opeth – Heritage

      Thom Jurek: ‘Heritage, Opeth’s tenth studio offering, finds the Swedish band abandoning death metal: no growled vocals, no blistering fast power riffs, no blastbeats. Mixed by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree, King Crimson) and engineered by Janne Hansson, Opeth – Heritage is easily Opeth’s most musically adventurous — and indulgent — recording. Written […]

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Yes – Fly From Here

      Bruce Eder: ‘A decade after their last studio release, Yes has issued Fly from Here, and it’s not only a keeper, but as good as any record to come from the group since 1974. Consisting here of Chris Squire (bass, vocals), Steve Howe (guitars, vocals), Alan White (drums), Geoff Downes (keyboards), and […]

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Bill Callahan – Apocalypse

      Thom Jurek: ‘Those looking for a logical musical follow-up to Bill Callahan’s surprisingly accessible Sometimes I Wish I Were an Eagle from 2009 might scratch their heads at the sound on Apocalypse. The musical reference point in his catalog is, perhaps, A River Ain’t Too Much to Love, under the Smog moniker. […]

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Yuck – Yuck

Yuck – Yuck     Tim Sendra : ‘….The group displays a firm grasp of all the things that make noise pop and/or shoegaze so great, like dynamics, male/female vocal tradeoffs, a bitter romantic lyrical outlook, and tons of pedals and guitars. Yuck is overloaded with loud, fuzzy guitars that whine and grind through the songs, […]

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Amplifier – The Octopus

Amplifier – The Octopus     Progarchives: ‘With a sound that is easily associated with fellow Brits Porcupine Tree or Oceansize, Amplifier do manage to take their roots in prog and merge it with a more accessible alternative rock sound to appeal to a demographic beyond the underground progressive music circles. However, despite quite a […]

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The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Belong      Tim Sendra ‘After the release of their self-titled debut album, the Pains of Being Pure of Heart shot to the upper reaches of second-tier indie rock success, showing up on every website and blog imaginable, appearing on late-late-night network TV and playing bigger venues. […]

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Adele – 21

Adele – 21 Amazon : 21 is the eagerly awaited sophomore album from British singer-songwriter Adele. It’s the follow up to Adele’s critically acclaimed, Grammy award winning debut album 19 (both named after her age at the time the songs were written). Recorded in Malibu and London, 21 offered Adele the opportunity to work with […]

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Low Roar – Low Roar

 Low Roar – Low Roar Low Roar’s dreamy folk finds beauty in the somber side of life. Formerly the frontman of Oakland, California alt-rockers Audrye Sessions, Ryan Joseph Karazija began Low Roar as a response to the change and loneliness he felt in the wake of moving to Reykjavík, Iceland. He chronicled the challenges of […]

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Eddie Vedder – Ukulele Songs

Eddie Vedder – Ukulele Songs 2011 album from the Pearl Jam frontman. Ukulele Songs is a collection of original songs and covers performed by Vedder on ukulele. Featuring a number of songs that Vedder penned and first played live but never released nearly a decade ago, Ukulele Songs also includes a uke version of Pearl […]

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Lunar Dunes – Galaxsea

Lunar Dunes – Galaxsea Lunar Dunes is a collective of experienced musicians, featuring bassist Ian Blackaby, guitarist Adam Blake (Cornershop) and drummer Hamilton Lee of world/fusion band Transglobal Underground as the core. It took four years to offer something new – ‘Galaxsea’ is their second effort, my first attempt though, released on UK based 4 […]

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The Kooks – Junk of the heart

The Kooks – Junk of the heart       Jon O’Brien: ‘Having watched the likes of Kaiser Chiefs and Hard-Fi crash and burn with their early 2000s changes in direction, fellow mid-noughties indie band the Kooks, perhaps unsurprisingly, only tentatively step outside their usual comfort zone on third effort The Kooks – Junk of […]

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Michael Buble – Christmas

Michael Buble – Christmas AMG Review: Christmas is vocalist Michael Bublé’s first full-length holiday-themed album since his 2003 EP Let It Snow. As with that album, Christmas features Bublé backed by small ensembles as well as his big band and orchestra, and includes a handful of classic Christmas songs. In that sense, the album is […]

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Beirut – The Rip Tide

Beirut – The Rip Tide AMG Review: Zach Condon’s third outing under the Beirut moniker shakes the compass and tosses it into the dirt, kicking up a typically eclectic cloud of orchestral indie pop that allows all of his influences (Balkan, French chanson, alternative rock, and European and Mexican folk) a chance to throw down. […]

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City and Colour – Little Hell

 City and Colour – Little Hell       Little Hell is the third album by City and Colour released on June 7, 2011. Besides Dallas Green who recorded the majority of the instrumentals himself, contributing musicians on the record also include Daniel Romano of Attack in Black, Dylan Green and Scott Remila of Raising […]

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The Drums – Portamento

      Heather Phares: ‘Ever since the success of their first single “Let’s Go Surfing,” the Drums have spent equal amounts of time tracing that song’s sound and distancing themselves from it. They continue to do so on Portamento, beginning their second album with a pair of jaunty kiss-offs to religion and exes. …  . However, […]

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Phideaux – Snowtorch

Phideaux – Snowtorch Proarchives: Phideaux hasn’t lost his sense of mystery throughout Snowtorch, and he hasn’t lost his sense of melody. …Phideaux – Snowtorch is more piano/ vintage keys oriented, with less guitars but more flute and cello. It’s the HUGE palette of keyboards that had me: colorful variety that reminded me the great years […]

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Alex Turner – Submarine

Alex Turner – Submarine AMG Review: Alex Turner’s soundtrack to Submarine, the first film by director Richard Ayoade, finds the Arctic Monkeys frontman exploring yet another avenue that’s quite different from his regular gig. With the Last Shadow Puppets, Turner had the chance to explore Baroque ‘60s pop, and here he gets intimate, often just strumming […]

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Tycho – Dive

Tycho – Dive AMG Review: The transcendental soundscapes of San Francisco’s Scott Hansen sparkle and shine in Tycho’s first Ghostly release. The San Francisco graphic designer/electronic musician stays dedicated to the musical styles of Boards of Canada and Ulrich Schnauss, with liquid keyboards drizzled over gentle beats, but as the popularity of chillwave continues to […]

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