Music Reviews

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posted: February 26, 2014

English Oceans

ATO LP, CD

In his excellent new book I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March Up Freedom’s Highway, veteran critic Greg Kot discusses the harmonic blend of styles that distinguished the late 1960s/early 1970s era Muscle Shoals sound from every other locale in America. Read More


posted: September 1, 2010

El Guincho Pop Negro

XL Records CD and LP
El Guincho

Indie-pop wizard and El Guincho honcho Pablo Diaz-Reixa admirably executes a 180-degree turn on his new sophomore record, Pop Negro, yet still delights in the warm, beach-going fare steeped in techno, Afro-pop, tango, folk, Latin rock, and trance that informed his intoxicating 2008 debut Alegranza. Read More


posted: February 14, 2009

Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid

Imagine Coldplay with a young Peter Gabriel as lead vocalist (and lyricist…thank God), and you might have a general idea of the Elbow sound.  Huge and melancholy, the sound of this Manchester-based band has always been balanced by epic silences, caused by equally epic sighs.  Their fourth album, The Seldom Seen Kid, introduces an element of playfulness that finally counters the regret, which makes this most satisfying and complex Elbow album yet. Read More


posted: November 24, 2009

Elvis Costello on MoFi My Aim Is True

Mobile Fidelity 180g. LP
Elvis Costello on MoFi

Mobile Fidelity has had fans clamoring for the first three Elvis Costello records since they announced it a few months ago. The audiophile message boards were awash with rumors; would they actually be released? Would they be any good? Would they get the actual original master tapes?

The answers are yes, yes and yes. Read More


posted: May 30, 2009

Elvis Costello’s Bluegrass Album, Sort of…

Elvis Costello is The Highlander of the New Wave era; he’s the last one standing.  While a few remaining new-wavers are touring sporadically, performing the songs that made them famous, most have broken up and fallen into oblivion while Costello continues to create new work.  Some has been brilliant, some  confusing and some of it downright quirky, yet Costello keeps moving in different directions. Read More


posted: May 18, 2009

Eminem’s new release Relapse

Aftermath/Interscope CD
Eminem’s new release

One of my favorite rappers, ICE-T used to say “If you’re white, you can’t be down” and on many levels, I still agree with that statement.  Eminem has probably come the closest to being down since the Beastie Boys, but his latest effort, Relapse, is a chore to listen to. Read More


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