Every Man Should Know Harry Connick Jr.
Columbia Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

harry connick, jr. said that he doesn't "recall ever reaching quite as deeply--or confidently--into my inhibition pool," when discussing his latest album, "every man should know." his secret ingredient is his unconventional phrasing--it's very unpredictable, and the sounds and poetry are very logical. and for the first time we hear just harry conick, jr., not even the slightest hint of anyone else.

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Siren Song Various Artists
Universal

Author:
john shelton ivany

masterpieces by artists such as beth orten, madeleine peyroux, brandi carlile and thirteen others have come together to create "songs of the siren." this is an album of an international array of superlative singers and songwriters who step forward with music that's rich in melody, soul, artistry and insight.

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Rattle Their Chains Brian Wright
Sugarhill Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

brian wright has released his second album, "rattle their chains." the master of plaintive ballads and rootsy rockers he's not singing to you. he's talking to you. he has that pure tenor voice with incredible range--all honeysweet soul and raw sexuality gutbucket blues and gritty rock. a "must buy" album.

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Big Waves: Five Decades of Surf Rock Various Artists
Rhino Music Group / Starbucks Entertainment

Author:
john shelton ivany

the beach boys captivated the popular imagination with vocal tours de force that pictured a california dreamland of fun and sun while guitarists led by dick dale devised instrumentals that captured the elation surfers experienced when they rode the waves. the popular heyday of the surf passed after a few years, but the music endures, still evoking the power, grace and beauty of the waves. enjoy the mentioned artists and 16 others here.

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Crash My Party Luke Bryan
Capitol Nashville / Universal

Author:
john shelton ivany

luke bryan's fourth album is entitled "crash my party."after the confused beginning the party goes into overdrive. tempos slow, themes get deep and bryan spends several great songs mooning over girlfriends or his lost small-town youth. . but he's best at drinking songs, and with that manly voice, very sensual, very emotional, very fierce and very wry. the wild colt that he is takes us to the party.

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Paracosm Washed Out
Sub-Pop

Author:
john shelton ivany

forget the awkward style of paracosm's debut album. here, on "washed out," ernest greene provides with the sweet sound of chirping birds, mellotrons, bongos, children laughing and the beautiful feeling of a sweet dream. his technical skills, those high notes, pure tones and passionate sincerity is undeniable.

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"Another Self-Portrait” the book leg series, volume 10. Bob Dylan
Columbia Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

"another self portrait (1969-1971): the bootleg series vol. 10" has the marvelous bob dylan providing us with two cds of songs we've never heard before. then, in the deluxe edition, we are totally lucky to be treated to a 1969 concert he performed with the band at the isle of wight. i could go on and on about --previously unissued demos, alternate takes, scrapped arrangements and discarded songs this glorious gift provides. but all i'll say is "don't follow leaders, watch your parking meters."

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Prove It The Expendables
Stoopid Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

"prove it" by the expendables combine all kinds of music. they sound like no one else, and that's a compliment.

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Roots and Groove Whitewater Ramble
Whitewater Ramble

Author:
john shelton ivany

"roots & grooves" is the sophomore release by whitewater ramble. not only do they create a high-energy marriage of traditional americana roots music. the please you with insightful lyrical content mixed with dance beats, rhythms and grooves. they sound like brilliant teachers--but the album is not autobiographical. is it?

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Story Time Billy Lester
JKA Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

"story time" is the latest album by jazzmaster, pianist billy lester. it's like he's playing with his heart into the mic with pure honesty. lester is authentic as a person, as a musician, with all the doubt, mystery and wonder at being alive.

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24/seven BTR
Columbia Records / Nickelodeon

Author:
john shelton ivany

24/seven" is the third album released by big time rush, new music from the fourth season on the nickelodeon hit live-action comedy series. the btr band are a bunch of usa guys with perfect, beautiful and great sounds. all those vowels and consonants, those s's and t's, everyone of them knock you out.

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the back forty Marty Raybon & Full Circle
Rural Rhythm

Author:
john shelton ivany

"the back forty" take us back to marty raybon's bluegrass roots, with his signature vocals and tight harmonies provided by his band, full circle. marty's golden voice of heart, wisdom, soul and experience is there as always. he's trying to move as fast as he can, and he completes his dream.

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Pora Vida Conspiracy Gogol Bordello
ATO Records

Author:
john shelton ivany

"pura vida conspiracy" is the sixth album by gogol bordello. ah, to be gypsy-folk, punk rock and rabble-rousing politics rocker. the power, the range, the tone--eugene hutz, has created his own style. and there's no other singer in the rock world that even comes close.

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Hall of Fame Big Sean
The Island Def Jam Music Group

Author:
john shelton ivany

"hall of fame" is big sean's sophomore album. the detroit mc gets over on congeniality and crisp delivery. the big man reveals a penchant for wavering reverb-soaked melodrama that will appeal to millions of fans. guarenteed.

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Hail to the King Avenged Sevenfold
Warner Brothers

Author:
john shelton ivany

“hail to the king" is the sixth album by avenged sevenfold. these mainstream headbangers pile clarion solos atop clean, sludge-chug riffs. and the lead singer, m. shadows, has the gift of a singer/screamer who will always lay down great vocal tracks. we know they're coming. and as the former editor of "hit Parader" may metal last forever.

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Bula Quo! Status Quo
Kayos Productions / Eagle Rock Entertainment

Author:
john shelton ivany

he classic british rock icons have released a double album "bula quo!" the first disc features nine new tracks from their first ever feature-film. meanwhile, album two feature ten live quo classics also featured on the film. the quo is first and last in loud, denim-clad, beer-soaked and stripped to the basics in music making. trends come and go, but status quo will last forever. and now they truly will burst into the united states.

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Ski Mask Island
Manque Music

Author:
john shelton ivany

islands started in montreal. they are now based in los angeles, where they
released their fifth album, "ski mask." this album is less raw than their
previous work, but it's the songwriting that keeps the record in your mind.

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The Magic of Christmas Jim Brickman
Somerset Group

Author:
john shelton ivany

"the magic of christmas" is a glorious album by pianist jim brickman, with the one and only johnny mathis adding his magical voice. now i rarely review christmas albums. in fact, if you see another please write and curse me out. but "the magic of christmas" is a great, well-written album. and while i listened it made a believer out of me.

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a rise in the road Yellowjackets
Mack Avenue

Author:
john shelton ivany

i had the honor of seeing the yellowjackets play live in my hometown recently. the jazz legends have been around for 32 years, released 23 albums and have been nominated for 17 grammies, winning twice. i've played "a rise in the road" a million times. it's another classic, to say the least. and they will always have the opportunity to express themselves in a way that reflects where they are at every given moment.

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Up on Blocks Tim Ash
A&M productions

Author:
john shelton ivany

the ivory tickling aficionado tim ash has released his newest album, "up on
block." his 12-track collection encompasses love, flirtatious lust, loss and the pursuit of the party. we are never surprised when he lays down great vocal tracks. we all just expected it.

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And Then You Woke Up! Walter Midi Group
Walter Midi Group

Author:
john shelton ivany

"and then you woke up!" is the debut album by dave u. hall 9 (a.k.a. the walter midi group.). there's so much going on in the album, but the strongest message is when dave stops wailing against the world and turns his anger against himself. that's when he (and we) are bought to our knees. a "must buy" album.

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