The Great Gatsby OST Various
Interscope

Author:

well, the film wasn't a winner, but "the great gatsby soundtrack is. jay-z is the executive producer and the artists, well, i could go on forever. there are superb singers that i care about--expressivity, surprise, soul, grain, interpretive with all kinds of beautiful angles of vision--their sounds to me are the sounds of gods. there's something about the voices that's personal in the album, not unlike the odor or shape of a given human.  you must check it out.

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All That Echoes Josh Groban
143 / Reprise

Author:

"all that echoes" is a work of art. josh groban does what brando did with acting. he busts through the artifice to get to the art. both of them throw down the jive rules laid down by the school moms of their craft. josh groban's art is about  believing that the voice is telling the truth.

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Demi Demi Lovato
Hollywood

Author:

"demi" is demi lovato's fourth and best album. a bridge is being built across a void, and it's a bridge so mysterious and artful we're never sure the singer's going to cross.

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Captains & Cowboys Mike Aiken
Northwind Records

Author:

"captains & cowboys" is a remarkable album by mike aiken where he sings the most melancholy tunes without succumbing to sentimentalism. his closet won't close for all the shoes of the characters that walk through his stories.

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Driving Toward the Sun Susan James
Susan James Music

Author:

"driving toward the sun" brings some words i've found myself using to describe the remarkable voice of susan james: howling, seducing, raging, indignant, jeering, imploring, begging, confessing, wailing, soothing, conversational, crooning. it is like a voice from cigarette to insense, where it's full of wonder and worship.

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The North Borders Bonobo
Ninja Tune

Author:

bonobo (a.k.a. simon green) has released an album that i've been playing non-stop since it came out. as a huge fan of electronic music "north borders" is a record that bonobo and his gang has created that is purely different. they're not just boom-boom-boom and ...

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Overgrown James Blake
Polydor / Republic

Author:

no other artist can create lengthy songs so exquisite or lengthy arias for the emotions so touching that james blake has created on "overgrown". and where did he find such beauty in the english language?

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Shaking the Habitual The Knife
Rabid

Author:

the knife have released a remarkable album that includes stirring songs about justice, of bittersweet transition, veiled remorse and mystical celebration. a "must buy" album.

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Bankrupt! Phoenix
Glassnote / Atlantic / Loyauté

Author:

"bankrupt!" is a spectacular album from the french alternative rock band called phoenix. they channel a sensational sound from somewhere, and i viewed the foursome live and they were stunning. they put on one of the most exciting shows i've ever seen. and i've seen them all. i just can't figure what came first--the great music or the great show.

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Kaya: 35th Anniversary Bob Marley
Island

Author:

"kaya: 35th anniversary" is a spectacular double album of work by bob marley. he sings his greatest hits, live and in the studio, for your incredible pleasure. marley is the man who introduced reggae music to millions of americans. he was a fabulously talented songwriter who mixed protest music and pop. and before his death at age 36, he was becoming a true culture hero--the first major rock artist to come out of a third world country. and his music still sounds as fresh as ever. pick up "kaya" and see what i mean.

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The Terror Flaming Lips
Warner Bros.

Author:

rock has produced few stranger or more daring bands than oklahoma city's flaming lips, who embrace everything from merry prankster psychedelia to orchestral pop. and as long as wayne coyne is the front man they will always have that wobbly conviction, as they have in "the terror." they have been around since 1985, and the next time they float through your town, you better check them out. i'm warning you.

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Mosquito Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Dress Up / Interscope

Author:

the yeah yeah yeahs are a very cool band. their latest album, "mosquito", sung by karen o., finds her easily able to dive into romance and take on the darkest issues. that's what make them winners. the thing is, she has this sweetness in her voice, but also has fire. and when karen opens up, no one can do it better. but where did they get their name. not just north of harlem, where i come from. oh, fuggetabattit. it doesn't matter.

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Prisoner of Consciousness Talib Kweli
Javotti Media / EMI / Capitol

Author:

with guest appearances by every other rapper, aside from mos def, his former partner, "prisoner of consciousness" proves that there's a place for party-shit and a place for the gangsta-shit. i focus on the guys who are always pushing themselves forward. that's where talib kweli opens the door.

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Golden Lady Antebellum
Capitol Nashville

Author:

"golden" is another work of art by the one and only lady antebellum. the whole album is a masterpiece; a keeper, a cornerstone of american pop country music. lyrically, the songs are fantastic, played by wonderful musicians. and when hillary scott sings you can't pin her down. it's like she's doing solo shows. she marches to the beat of her own drum. the songs have everything, and she captures every feeling: humor, pathos, romance--with gorgeous melody.

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Free the Universe Major Lazer
Secretly Canadian

Author:

"free the universe" is a very spectacular album by major lazer and many other superstars. this record is about the secretive kid in the room, with posters on the wall, putting on fur coats and eyeliner--with no shirt on--just listening to this glorious music.

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Samba, Jazz and Love Cristina Braga
ENJA

Author:

did you ever have the pleasure of listening to brazilian jazz, entitled "samba, jazz and love," played by an extraordinary band, and sung by harpist christina braga. she looks amazing, wearing this thin black cat suit. and everything about the music is gentle magic. as bruce once said--"she's all that heaven will allow."

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Give Up The Postal Service
Sub Pop

Author:

"give up" is a double album by a couple of guys named benjamin gibbard and jimmy tamborello, also known as the postal service. they fool us into loving them. they mess with our hard-wiring, locate a vulnerability we thought we long ago had soldered over. falling in love with singers is like being a teenager every time it happens.

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Shine Through Tim Mahoney Band
Self-Release

Author:

"shine through" shows us that a vocal performance that tenderizes our hearts is a kind of high-wire walk, a breathtaking act of preposterousness at once. we can assure ourselves that great artists have dug from the bedrock for the poles and strung the wire themselves. that's what tim mahoney does  with "shine through."

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In Love with... Cole Porter
Universal

Author:

there's something about a cole porter song--the wit, the craftsmanship, the originality--that inspire top-drawer performers to give their upmost. mainstays in the great american songbook, porter's enchanting complex tunes bring out the best in the best. listen to artists such as peggy lee, eartha kitt, ella fitzgerald, etc, etc. sing mr. porter's masterpieces and you can hear what i mean.


Yes Please The Bills
Red House Records

Author:

it's about time the bills have released a new album. as always "yes please" have their voices and music take you far away. there is no performing, just life; as yeats says, the bills are like when the dancer becomes the dance.

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To Be Loved Michael Buble
143 / Reprise

Author:

michael buble's voice is certainly put to the service of ancient souls. there is certainly iron ore in there--and bitter cold. "to be loved" is summoned through the heart, hammered into form by the throat, given propulsion by bellows of his lungs, teased into a final form by tongue and lips--a vocal that is an audible kiss.

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