Current Album Reviews
Our take on some of the latest material from a variety of artists.
Marshall Crenshaw - #392: The EP Collection (Addie-ville Records) review
The best of his 2-year EP subscription series
In 2013, Marshall Crenshaw came up with the clever idea to abandon making records in favor of releasing shorter EP's. He encouraged his fans to subscribe to a series of singles, each containing four songs, which were released over about a 2 year period. He recorded a total of six said sets and has decided to release the best of the run as #392: The EP Collection.
Tommy Keene - Laugh in the Dark (Second Motion) review
12th long player from gifted melodic songwriter
Laugh in the Dark is the finest Tommy Keene album in years. The guitars are louder, and the hooks seem to sink in deeper this time around. Perhaps immersing himself in his influences on his covers album, Excitement at Your Feet, which we reviewed back in 2013, helped reconnect him with the reason he picked up the guitar in the first place.
The Doors - Other Voices / Full Circle (Rhino) review
First time on CD, the Doors try to carry on after Morrison's death
Replacing any lead singer can be a difficult task. If that person happens to be Jim Morrison, one of the greatest frontmen is all of rock, it’s damn-near impossible. That's the quandary the surviving members of the Doors found themselves in after their enigmatic vocalist was found dead in July of 1971. Instead of finding a new singer, the remaining band carried on as a trio, releasing a pair of albums - 1971's Other Voices, and 1972's Full Circle. These two records have never been released on CD. Rhino records has just remedied that fact - remastering both LP's in a 2-disc set.
Peter Frampton - reissues (Omnivore Recordings) review
Just in time for Peter Frampton's first-ever acoustic tour, Omnivore Recordings has just issued three of his albums that have long been out of print: Premonition (1985), When All the Pieces Fit (1989), and Now (2003).
John Faye - Box Set / USB Bracelet (It Keeps Evolving) review
Never before has so much great music fit on such a small device
John Faye has been consistently writing melodic songs for over 20 years now. Yet, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard his music. His first band, The Caulfields, were signed to A&M Records for a pair of under-appreciated albums in the mid-Nineties. After that, Faye has largely self-financed his musical endeavors, with the help of some of his more rabid fans. He’s just released a “box set” of sorts on his website, johnfaye.com, culling together all of his recordings, plus a treasure trove of bonus material.
Various Artists - Groove & Grind: Rare Soul ’63-’73 (Rockbeat Records) review
If you call yourself a fan of soul music, you need to own this set
Rockbeat Records has just done the impossible with the release of Groove & Grind: Rare Soul ’63-’73 - they’ve assembled a 4-CD box set containing over 100 vintage soul songs - and almost every one of them is making its debut on CD. And, while you might think this is probably “bottom of the barrel” material, the exact opposite is true - prepare to be knocked out.
Loveland Duren - “Johnny Boy” (Edgewood Recordings) review
The Memphis music community endured a huge loss in late 2014 with the passing of both John Hampton and John Fry within six days of each other. The former was a producer and co-owner of Ardent Studios, the latter was the studio’s founder. As a way of handling their grief, the duo of Vicki Loveland and Van Duren penned “Johnny Boy” as a loving tribute to both men.
Various Artists - Now That’s What I Call Music 55 (Universal / Sony) review
The soundtrack of the Summer of ’15
We’ve come to expect a new Now compilation about every three months or so, and the latest, Now 55, brings together the biggest hits of this summer - many of them coming from all over the world. The set kicks off with English singer Ellie Goulding’s majestic “Love Me Like You Do,” which was co-written with Swedish vocalist Tove Lo, who turns in “Talking Body,” her second hit single.
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