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Tell Me I'm Pretty
Tell Me I'm Pretty
Price: $11.49
78 used & new from $5.35

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trippy and cool, December 31, 2015
This review is from: Tell Me I'm Pretty (Audio CD)
US band Cage The Elephant continue their classic rock/blues sound on album number four "Tell Me I'm Pretty". Produced by Black Key Dan Auerbach, the album is laden with his fuzzy and reverb effects, but still allowing the band to shine through.

A pair of garage rockers open the album, "Cry Baby" and the psychedelic groove "Mess Around". "Sweet Little Jean" starts off all Beatles-esque, leading to an airy falsetto chorus.

The enchanting "Too Late To Say Goodbye" is a creepy cinematic ballad with shades of The White Stripes, while the swinging "Cold Cold Cold" is an addictive retro rocker with the pleading line "Doctor can you help me cause I don't feel right, better make it fast cause there ain't much time". This pair are the album highlights. "Trouble" is a stoned bluesy ballad with sporadic bursts of guitar, reminiscent of the band's "Aberdeen". "How Are You True" is a breezy ballad with vocalist Matthew Shultz displaying his delicate falsetto against dreamy harmonies.

"That's Right" kicks the pace back up, followed by the aptly titled "Punching Bag", a chugging rocker with stomping beats and a touch of the blues. The flamenco-tinged "Portuguese Knife Fight" is a crunchy rocker.

Yes, the band wear their influences on their sleeve (White Stripes, Pixies, Tame Impala), but this is still a good effort and yes, it is pretty.


Kenneth Cole New York Men's Both Feet Down Fashion Sneaker
Kenneth Cole New York Men's Both Feet Down Fashion Sneaker
Price: $74.99 - $118.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Put your best foot forward, December 14, 2015
These Kenneth Cole sneakers are very trendy looking, and very snug and comfortable. They also feel durable.

Made of glossy black leather with a contrasting white stripe, they look great with jeans or even a suit.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 8, 2016 3:11 PM PDT


A Head Full Of Dreams
A Head Full Of Dreams
Offered by lola's dream
Price: $13.54
97 used & new from $4.97

53 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will still Fix you., December 4, 2015
This review is from: A Head Full Of Dreams (Audio CD)
Coldplay's last album, 2014's "Ghost Stories" was dark and melancholic, arriving on the heels of lead singer Chris Martin's split from his wife. "A Head Full Of Dreams" is like bright sunlight shining through the grey clouds, from the colourful kaleidoscope-like artwork to the kaleidoscope-like sonics. It's laden with joy and fun and songs flirting with the dancefloor.

The disco-tinged title track opens the album, adorned with jangly guitars and anthemic chants of "Oh whoa oh". "Bird" is bouncy pop/rock. Beyoncé appears on "Hymn For The Weekend", an upbeat groove with flecks of hip hop beats.

Those seeking for the band that gave us songs like "Yellow" or "The Scientist" will be sorely disappointed as the band have broadened their sound picking from the pop stratosphere. The ballads that appear have an R&B edge, from the Bruce Hornsby-esque "Everglow" (which features Martin's former missus Gwyneth Paltrow on backing vocals), the enchanting "Fun" (featuring Tove Lo and "Woo hoos"), the woozy "Army Of One", the doo wop-ish "Amazing Day" (which sounds like something from "Grease"), and the brooding skittery hidden track "X Marks The Spot". Underneath it all, they are still Coldplay ballads.

The stomping Chic-esque "Adventure Of A Lifetime" is incredibly groovy, sounding like the kid brother to Daft Punk's "Get Lucky". Simply spectacular!

"Kaleidoscope" is a brief piano interlude featuring an interpolation of Obama singing "Amazing Grace" at the end of a poignant spoken segment, while "Colour Spectrum" is a brief ambient chiming interlude. "Up&Up" features Noel Gallagher on additional guitar and is a groovy ballad. Look out for the bonus track "Miracles", a guitar/piano ballad which is the closest the band come to their earlier sound. "Now I'm floating so high" croons Martin.

"You make me feel like I'm alive again" goes a line from "Adventure Of A Lifetime", and they sure do with this album. If as is being speculated this is their final album, what a way to go.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 17, 2016 8:50 PM PST


25
25
Offered by PerniciousTCC
Price: $11.49
127 used & new from $3.49

5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The girl who saved the (music) world, November 20, 2015
This review is from: 25 (Audio CD)
Adele is on the cusp of musical history with her third album "25". Following up her album "21" which sold over 30 million copies worldwide, it's more of what we've come to expect from Ms. Adkins which should please most, and infuriate those willing her to experiment. But why should she when it's worked so well so far, and when what we have is this good?

Lead single and opening cut "Hello" is a haunting piano ballad building to a bombastic chorus, her vocals a force to be reckoned with - effortless or explosive as the need arises with some soulful raspiness. There's more where that came from; the heartfelt "When We Were Young" (which finds her singing "You look like a movie, you sound like a song... My God, this reminds me of when we were young"), the spare and resonant piano ballad "Remedy", the enchanting and theatrical "Love In The Dark", the incredibly stunning Chanson-tinged guitar ballad "Million Years Ago" ("I miss when life was a party to be thrown, but that was a million years ago" - my favorite), the yearning "All I Ask", and the ode to her 3 year old son Angelo "Sweetest Devotion" ("There is something in your living that tears down my walls" she sings to a bluesy groove).

The Max Martin-produced "Send My Love (To your New Lover)" has a playful pop lilt. "Treat me soft but touch me cruel, I want to teach you things you never knew" she sings to a staccato of skittery beats and whisps of Gregorian chants on "I Miss You". The haunting gospel-tinged "River Lea" is co-written and produced by Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton, the most out there offering on this collection but in an understated way, and lyrics touching on her Tottenham roots. "When I was a child, I grew up by the River Lea, there was something in the water, and now that something's in me" she sings.

Lyrically, we find her embracing growth and adulthood, with some fleeting glances behind. Musically, she eschews current trends and does her own thing. I did mention she's on the cusp of musical history. "Hello" is the first single to sell over a million downloads in a week in the US, while the album is expected to shift over 2 million in a week. It might not be groundbreaking, but she's sure to move the earth with this. Beautiful.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 28, 2015 3:25 AM PST


In Dream
In Dream
Price: $14.75
54 used & new from $7.71

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gloom, doom, and beauty, October 14, 2015
This review is from: In Dream (Audio CD)
For album number 5, Editors self-produce and largely ditch the guitars for a dark electro sound. Opening cut "No Harm" perfectly encapsulates this, stark swirling synths which gradually build and lead singer Tom Smith's vocals flitting from baritone to falsetto and back. Very Bowie meets Depeche Mode.

"Ocean Of Night" is a brooding ballad featuring Slowdive's Rachel Goswell adding some ethereal harmonies (she appears again on the similar guitar-sprinkled "The Law"), followed by the even gloomier (but still melodic) "Forgiveness".

Upping the tempo is the catchy eighties-sounding indie pop "Life Is A Fear" (with Bowie-sounding vocals) much like a ray of sunlight after all that darkness, while the falsetto-sung hypnotic synth-pop of "Our Love" takes another leaf from Depeche Mode as well as Bronski Beat. "Don't stop believing" they repeat in the songs piano-sprinkled coda. The stomping "All The Kings" is fittingly triumphant in feel with a tender piano coda ("Send me to Venus, send me to Mars"). Closing is the hymnal "Marching Orders" which slowly builds, falls back, then levels off.

This isn't a commercial collection, but repeated play reveals its beauty. Fans of the band's earlier sound may frown as there isn't any "Munich" or "Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors", but those willing to allow the band spread their wings should enjoy the ride.


THE GLEANERS
THE GLEANERS
Price: $15.49
36 used & new from $3.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Clubbing late into the night, October 14, 2015
This review is from: THE GLEANERS (Audio CD)
Birmingham producer Joe Flory is Amateur Best and his new album "The Gleaners" comprises harrowing fluttery electro soul grooves. Vocally, he recalls Seal or Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals, while sonically the album has a late night club feel.

Opening is the gloomy ballad "Rely" which finds him crooning "Cool cats love attack, stab yourself right in the back, I was never catching, I was always falling with you" against haunting synths. It contrasts sharply with bouncy songs like "Marzipan" which sounds as sweet as its name suggests ("You shouldn't worry about your figure, you should worry about your soul" he sings to dizzying synths and club beats), or "They Know" which rides on clipped beats, alternating between somber verses and euphoric bursts.

He lets the electronics shine on the upbeat cascading instrumental "Part Timer", and the gloomy tempo-shifting "Night Shifter" (with beats and his melancholic vocals ebbing in halfway through the song), while the tender ballad "Hey Darlin'" has lovely Beach Boys-style harmonies and a bridge that sounds other-worldly.

Closing is "No Sleep", the album highlight, a soulful synth ballad with warbled effects and a shiny undulating tempo.

A serene, yet interesting experience from start to finish. Fans of everyone from James Blake to Jamie XX to Hot Chip will love this.


Unbreakable
Unbreakable
Offered by Music Choice
Price: $10.99
78 used & new from $5.00

59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Janet is still in Control, October 2, 2015
This review is from: Unbreakable (Audio CD)
"Unbreakable" is Janet Jackson's first album in 7 years and finds back with Jam and Lewis who produced most of her hit-filled career from "Control" to "20 Y.O." It more than lives up to expectations as we get back the fun Janet who made us dance as well as pensive Janet making us think.

The retro neo soul title track opens the album and finds Janet in a reflective mood telling us "Anytime I get lost in the world, you'll always be there". The groovy electro dance number "BURNITUP!" features Missy Elliott getting Janet and everyone hyped up, and showcases Janet's duskier sounding vocals. "Dammn Baby" is a funky midtempo number and is absolutely brilliant. The gently swinging electro "The Great Forever" takes the tempo down with Janet sounding very much like brother Michael as she pleads "Hate will only divide".

"Shoulda Known Better" builds from a hush to anthemic pop/EDM and back as Janet takes a look at the state of the world and borrowing some of Michael's vocal tics, as well as name checking her "Rhythm Nation". "When you're young, you feel like I can change the world... and then you look 25 years later and you go; Okay, I should have known better" she explains in an interview. "After You Fall" is a tender piano ballad with tremulous affecting vocals and lovely guitar solo that should please fans of "Again". "Night" is a magical club number with heavenly harmonies, jazzy piano and sprinklings of guitar. Lead-single the laid back "No Sleeep" features J. Cole and recalls "That's The Way Love Goes". "Dream Maker / Euphoria" is a trippy soul ballad with shades of Shuggie Otis. "Take Me Away" is shimmery dance/pop with a squealing guitar coda. "Black Eagle " is a finger snap-driven ballad with lyrics about resilience; "You'll never know, unless you've been there" she croons. "I've come a long way, got a long way to go" she sings on the hymnal "Well Traveled", while closing the album is "Gon' Be Alright", a raucous jam with Janet vocally recalling Diana Ross in parts (and singing in different voices in other parts) as she sings to a horn-laced Motown-style bounce.

The album is sonically diverse and Janet thankfully does away the with overtly sexual lyrics of her recent past (you know, songs like "Warmth", "Moist" or "Love Scene"). "Unbreakable" is a solid work, I daresay her best since "Velvet Rope", and it's great to have Janet back showing how it's done. "Hello, it's been a while, lots to talk about, I'm glad you're still here, I hope you enjoy" she says after the title track fades, and we sure do enjoy it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 1, 2016 11:14 AM PST


Love + War
Love + War
Price: $14.99
50 used & new from $3.64

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Synth soul delight, September 25, 2015
This review is from: Love + War (Audio CD)
"Love + War" is UK soul singer Kwabs' debut, and his sound can best be described as brooding synth soul with a touch of jazz and dance. It also helps that he has an incredibly beautiful smoky and sonorous voice.

The mournful title track opens the album with a gospel-style chorus joining in towards the end. "Save yourself while you can" he pleads. "Fight For Love" is left-of-centre, starting off beguilingly in a soul direction then veering into clubby territory.

"Perfect Ruin" is a somber piano ballad with barely there percussion and hushed strings, "Forgiven" sounds like blues and a black spiritual simultaneously, while "Layback" is jazzy Neo soul.

Upping the tempo is the groovy "Make You Mine" reminiscent of The Weeknd's smash "Can't Feel My Face" with a euphoric gospel-tinged chorus and a retro feel. "Father Figure" isn't the George Michael hit but a hymnal ballad, as is the heartfelt "Cheating On Me". "I don't want to be your leader, I don't want to let you down" he sings on "Wrong Or Right" as synths stab and cascade over electro beats.

A soulful delight.


Music Complete
Music Complete
Price: $11.99
82 used & new from $4.62

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still got the world in motion, September 25, 2015
This review is from: Music Complete (Audio CD)
UK band New Order return with their 10th album and first since 2005. Fans of the band will be enamoured with "Music Complete" comprising lengthy pieces with extensive instrumentation, the band back at their best.

Shimmery synth pop rocker "Restless" opens the album with lead vocalist Bernard Sumner's laid back vocals and spidery guitar riffs, it recalls "Regret". "Singularity", "Academic" and "The Game" are similar and just as maddeningly catchy with a touch of melancholy.

Elly Jackson of La Roux appears on a trio of songs, the very Giorgio Moroder-ish "Plastic" (which recalls Donna Summer's "I Feel Love"), the chugging Eurodisco "Tutti Frutti", and "People On The High Line" (with funky Nile Rodgers-style guitars.

The dark atmospheric "Stray Dog" features a growled narration by Iggy Pop, while "Unlearn This Hatred" is the only surrender to contemporary dance sounds before morphing to shimmery rock. Closing is "Superheated" featuring Brandon Flowers and recalling A-Ha's "Take On Me", shiny and bouncy. "Sometimes I wake up, and the sky is red, when you're not here, by my side" go the forlorn lyrics. Great to have them back, and on form.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 2, 2016 9:34 PM PST


Dodge and Burn
Dodge and Burn
Price: $9.99
79 used & new from $5.98

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The band that Jack built, September 25, 2015
This review is from: Dodge and Burn (Audio CD)
Jack White returns with his other side group Dead Weather, and "Dodge and Burn" is their third album.

The squealing bluesy "I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)" opens the album with pulsing synths and Alison Mosshart on vocal duty. White appears against a wall of wailing and squealing guitars on the oddball tempo-shifting "Three Dollar Hat" speaking/rapping lines like "Johnny said, Jackie, don’t take my life, I got three young kids and a badass wife"
With Mosshart handling the more frenetic break. Very White Stripes.

"Lose The Right" is a reggae-tinged rocker with Mosshart on vocals, while "Rough Detective" is an exchange between White and Mosshart, an interrogation of sorts. "Be Still" is dark alternating between calm and explosive bursts with both again sharing vocals. "Mile Markers" finds Mosshart turning in a spoken delivery over playful beats and buzzing guitars.

Other standouts are the slinky groovy "Cop And Go", the gritty quivery "Too Bad", and closing cut "Impossible Winner", a piano/string ballad with a theatrical bent, very much a curveball coming on the heels of all the blistering rockers.


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