Current Album Reviews

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

Candi Staton - Life HappensCandi Staton - Life Happens (Beracah Records) review


An R&B legend returns with a killer new album


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Candi Staton has been at it for a long time, yet her new record, Life Happens, is easily one of the best of her entire career.  She had a hand in writing most of the tracks on the album, and there’s an honesty that she imparts that can only come from someone who has loved, lost, bounced back, and lived to tell about the whole ordeal.


Lisa Mills - I'm ChangingLisa Mills - I’m Changing (Lisa Mills) review


Gritty and soulful - a great record


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We have gotten so used to detached, computer-driven music, that when an honest, earthy record comes along, it can be jarring at first.  Alabama singer Lisa Mills has recorded one such record with I’m Changing.  It’s obvious that this is music recorded with real musicians, all looking at each other in a studio - you can hear the sound of the room when the drummer hits the snare.  And, when Mills opens her mouth to sing - well, get ready to be moved.

Better Than Ezra - All Together NowBetter Than Ezra - All Together Now (The End Records) review


Our vote for album of the year - it's that good


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Remember, years ago, when your favorite band put out a new album?  You couldn’t wait to listen to it ALL THE WAY THROUGH.  You knew it would be great.  Then, when you finished it, you played it again….and again.  Well, nobody makes records like that anymore, right?  Wrong.  All Together Now from Better Than Ezra is a fantastic album - from beginning to end.

Better Than Ezra - All Together NowDevon Allmän - Ragged & DirtySeth Walker - Sky Still BlueBest of 2014 - Six Albums You Probably Missed, But Should Check Out


Lisa Mills - I'm ChangingCandi Staton - Life HappensDavina & the Vagabonds - Sunshine

So, what happens when your entire family gets sick right before the holidays?  Well, it kind of throws a wrench in everything, and sets you back several weeks.  Finally recovered, here's our list of the Best of 2014 - albeit, a little late.

Over the Rhine - Blood Oranges in the SnowOver the Rhine - Blood Oranges in the Snow (Great Speckled Dog) review

A holiday album you can enjoy the entire Winter season


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Over the Rhine,  at their best, have the ability to transport the listener to far away places.  For Blood Oranges in the Snow, we travel to rural Ohio in the chill of winter.  This isn’t strictly a holiday album, per se, although much of the subject matter deals with snow and traveling.  The duo of Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist have once again been joined by The Band of Sweethearts, the same group that has played on their last two fantastic records, The Long Surrender, and Meet Me at the Edge of the World.  And, it’s their unique accompaniment that truly elevates the album.

Foreigner - Complete Atlantic Studio AlbumsForeigner - The Complete Atlantic Studio Albums (Atlantic / Warner Group) review

A great collection of riff-heavy rockers and soulful ballads


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When a band gets played over and over on the radio, it’s easy to forget just how good they were.  Foreigner was one of the most successful hard rock bands of the late Seventies and early Eighties.  Yet, what set them apart from their contemporaries was how soulful they could be as well.  The Complete Atlantic Studio Albums chronicles the band’s rise to fame and peak years.  All their essential tracks are included in this 7-disc set.

Rosemary Clooney - White ChristmasRosemary Clooney - Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Real Gone) review

With the addition of newly-discovered archival footage, this becomes a bona fide Christmas classic


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It seems completely ridiculous that the biggest movie of 1954, White Christmas, never had a proper soundtrack (even though it remains a perennial holiday favorite on TV) .  The problem was that the stars of the film (Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney) all recorded for different record labels.  Bing & Danny released their version on Decca, while Rosemary had her version come out on Columbia.  Irving Berlin’s White Christmas originally came out as an 8-song set issued on a 10-inch vinyl LP.  Not surprising, it was never issued on CD.  However, credit goes to the folks at Real Gone Music, who, in addition to the original tracks, have unearthed seven bonus cuts.  No longer tied to the label restrictions, these feature Rosie with Bing on many of the songs.  The result is a holiday classic, sixty years in the making!

Big Star - Live in MemphisBig Star - Live in Memphis (Omnivore Recordings) review

The reunited band in front of a hometown crowd


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2012’s excellent documentary, Big Star - Nothing Can Hurt Me, brought this underrappreciated band’s story to an entirely new audience (we reviewed the soundtrack here).  Live in Memphis follows up that success with the release of the only-known complete concert filmed of the reunited band, playing in front of their friends, family and fans in their hometown in October of 1994.

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