Current Album Reviews

Our take on some of the latest material from a variety of artists.

Son Volt - Trace - Deluxe Anniversary EditionSon Volt - Trace (Deluxe Edition) (Rhino / Warner Brothers) review

An alt-country masterpiece turns 20

 

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Out of the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, leader Jay Farrar formed Son Volt.  Their debut from 1995, Trace, made good on the promise of his former band.  That album has been remastered and expanded, featuring demos and live tracks, plus extensive liner notes from Farrar himself.

 

Ann Wilson - The Ann Wilson ThingAnn Wilson - The Ann Wilson Thing! - #1 (Rounder)

 

The Heart vocalist digs a little deeper

 

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Ann Wilson has been hitting nothing but home runs lately.  Her jaw-dropping performance of “Stairway to Heaven” during the Kennedy Center Honors proved that no one could’ve delivered a better performance. Along with her sister, Nancy, their band Heart has released a string of recent studio albums which rank among the band’s very best.  And recent tours, including one with Jason Bonham, proved that Heart is still a formidable live band.  So, it makes sense that Wilson would seek out a new challenge.  Hence, The Ann Wilson Thing #1, a new, 4-song EP.

Bad Company - Rock n' Roll Fantasy - the Very Best ofBad Company - Rock n’ Roll Fantasy: The Very Best of (Swan Song/ Rhino) review

All the good of Bad Company

 

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Back in 1985, Bad Company released an extremely successful "best of" called 10 From 6.  Now, thirty years later, it’s time for an upgrade.  Rock n’ Roll Fantasy: The Very Best of Bad Company features all of the songs from that previous greatest hits, and adds nine more songs, making it the one to grab if you’re a fan of this band.

Four Seasons - Sherry & 11 Others in Mono4 Seasons  - Sherry & 11 Others (Real Gone) review

 

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For years, the only way to hear Four Seasons’ music was in “wide stereo,” which means vocals in one channel, music in the other.  These days, trying to listen to their music in earbuds is maddening.  Well, once again it’s Real Gone Music to the rescue.  They’ve just released the first several Four Seasons’ albums for the first time on CD in their mono mixes! We grabbed their debut album, Sherry & 11 Others for review.

Johnny Mathis - The SinglesJohnny Mathis - The Singles (Columbia / Legacy) review

Collection celebrates the legendary vocalist’s 80th birthday

 

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The Singles is a four-disc box set which brings together an impressive 87 songs which were released strictly as 45 rpm’s during Johnny Mathis’ long and illustrious career.  Many of these songs are making their debut on CD.  So you get both the hit “A” sides, like “Chances Are,” “Wonderful, Wonderful,” and “It’s Not For Me to Say,” alongside “B” sides, including the surprise hit “The Twelfth of Never,” and “When Sunny Gets Blue.”

Steppenwolf - ABC/Dunhill Singles CollectionSteppenwolf - The ABC/Dunhill Singles Collection (Real Gone / Geffen) review

The singles as they were meant to be heard

 

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Although there have been several Steppenwolf compilations, The ABC/Dunfill Singles Collection is the first to concentrate on both the A and B sides of the band's peak years.  The two-disc set also marks the first time that the extremely rare mono single mixes were tracked down.

Now That's What I Call HalloweenVarious Artists - Now That’s What I Call Halloween (UMG / Sony) review

The perfect soundtrack to your next spooky get-together

 

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Finding good Halloween music is harder than you might think.  The Internet is overrun with tons of hokey, half-baked, knock-offs.  And, Spotify is no help either.  If you want a great playlist of Halloween-themed music - then you need Now That’s What I Call Halloween.  Featuring 18 haunted classics, it’s sure to keep the goosebumps going and your party rocking.

a-ha - Hunting High and Low - 30th Anniversary Editiona-ha - Hunting High and Low (30th anniversary edition) (Rhino / Warner) review

 

Early MTV darlings get the anniversary treatment

 

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Hunting High and Low by a-ha and it’s massive 1985 worldwide smash, “Take on Me,” is perhaps the crowning achievement of the initial MTV Era.  After all, it was the fledgling network that helped popularize the synthesizer in popular music with a steady stream of cute bands from Europe with funny haircuts and strange names.  But, by 1985, most of the strangeness and newness had been jettisoned for mainstream entertainers like Michael Jackson and Madonna.  Amidst all of this came the Norwegian band a-ha, and Hunting High and Low.  Rhino Records has just issued the classic album in several forms to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

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