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CD Reviews

Is Mumford & Sons Highly Anticipated Third Album Any Good?

May 6th, 2015 10:53am EDT
Mumford & Sons - Wilder Mind
“What was I thinking?” Oprah once asked that question on The Oprah Winfrey Show when she was criticizing her past fashion choices. The same sentiment could be referenced towards Mumford & Sons’ highly anticipated third album, Wilder Mind. Indeed, Wilder Mind is an expansion to modern rock by the former folk-loving band, but the makeover is quite drastic with only middling results. If Mumford & Sons’ mark is to modernize its sound, then that is achieved and blatantly obvious on the album’s opener, “Tompkins Square Park.” However if Mumford & Sons are looking for a deeper artistic stateme...
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Josh Groban's Latest Album Should Please His Fans

May 3rd, 2015 11:00am EDT
Review: Josh Groban Remains Consistent On ‘Stages’
Few would characterize Josh Groban as an innovative musician – that’s not his ‘artistic lane’ you might say. What the classical pop/classic crossover vocalist is however is a terrific musician who possesses one of the very best voices in the game. Groban’s vocal tone is celestial; he definitely knows how to captivate with prodigious talent. Stages, an album where Groban covers film and theater classics, finds the musician in top-notch vocal form as always, accompanied by terrific orchestrations. It’s not a ‘sexy’ album per se, but sound.

“Pure Imagination” opens things lushly, as Groba...
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This Rock Band Has Its First No. 1 Album

April 30th, 2015 9:11am EDT
Alabama Shakes’ Sophomore Album Rocks To The Top Of The Billboar
Alabama Shakes have great reason to celebrate as their sophomore album Sound & Color tops the Billboard 200 this week. Sound & Color didn’t exactly break sales records with the 91,000 copies it sold (96,000 overall units per Billboard), but it was enough to give the rock band its first number one album and best sales week. Alabama must be proud!

Alabama Shakes’ album was definitely the most popular of the week, but Yelawolf got some love this week too. And guess where he’s from – Alabama! After his debut album Radioactive flopped, Yelawolf’s sophomore set Love Story debuts at #3. Of ...
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Lili K's Ruby Is A Must Listen

April 27th, 2015 8:40am EDT
Review: Lili K Delivers A Jazzy, Soulful Smash On 'Ruby'
Chicago musician Lili K represents fresh blood in the music game with a distinct throwback vibe. On her debut Ruby, Lili K showcases her exceptional musicianship, producing the effort herself and most of all, sharing her prodigious pipes for all to hear in their nuanced glory. Lilli K blends jazz and soul music like a champ throughout her debut, and her classical vocal training is always apparent; she’s flawless when it comes to developing a complete performance. Given her fine talents, Ruby proves early on to be a ‘must hear.’

“Mama Told Me” opens Ruby soulfully, offering a taste of wh...
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Alabama Shakes Latest Album Delivers

April 24th, 2015 1:34pm EDT
Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color © ATO
Back in 2012, Alabama Shakes seemed to come out of thin air. Who would’ve thought that the Alabama based alternative band led by front woman Brittany Howard would score a top ten album, a gold-certified album (Boys & Girls) and Grammy nominations? The aforementioned accolades have made the band’s sophomore album Sound & Color one of the most anticipated efforts of 2015. Is the anticipation deserved? Take one listen to Sound & Color and the answer is a resounding YES. YASSS may better describe it!

“Sound & Color” opens the album with an extended instrumental introduction – the first v...
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Tyler The Creator's Fourth Studio Album

April 19th, 2015 2:30pm EDT
Review: Tyler The Creator Remains Unapologetic On ‘Cherry Bomb’
“Can’t a n***a get some f**king chaos in here? / I’m the truth and the dare / and you can get your a** beat like a kick in a snare!” Those unapologetic lyrics characterize twenty-something underground Tyler the Creator to a tee – he has no filter whatsoever. This remarkable boldness continues on his fourth studio album Cherry Bomb. Even so, Tyler also manages to tweak his formula, showing more artistic range than previous albums. Maybe Cherry Bomb isn’t the ‘bomb’ that Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, but there is plenty to celebrate about the LP.

“DEATHCAMP” initiates the albu...
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Shawn Mendes Debut Album ‘Handwritten’

April 15th, 2015 1:30pm EDT
Review: Shawn Mendes Shows Great Potential On Debut Album ‘Handw
The power and the influence of video sharing sites is nothing short of incredible. Particularly for the youthful upstart musician, YouTube and Vine have done wonders for self-promotion. One of the latest benefactors is Canadian teen pop star Shawn Mendes. After dropping The Shawn Mendes EP back in 2014, the 16-year old singer/songwriter releases his major label debut, Handwritten.

“Life of the Party” plays true to the expected – solid, yet on the predictable side of things. The opener easily passes the marks – it’s a stand out contextually – even if it isn’t nearly as fun as the title ...
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‘Future Hearts’ Is Another Enjoyable All Time Low Album

April 8th, 2015 1:10pm EDT
Review: All Time Low Keeps Things Fun On ‘Future Hearts’
Sometimes the kids just don’t grow up – and that’s perfectly acceptable! For pop-punk/emo band All Time Low, growing up would cause them to lose some of their luster and fun. Known for grandiose, over the top records atoning for the lonely, disrespected, and ‘voiceless’ kids everywhere, All Time Low deliver another captivating set of such on Future Hearts. Much of the formula is the same: F-bombs perfectly placed, irresistible choruses, ‘emo’ lyrics, and slick production.

On “Satellite,” All Time Low recollects their ‘youth’ as a band with front man Alex Gaskarth singing, “We were jus...
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Review Of Wale's Fourth Studio Album

April 7th, 2015 10:58am EDT
Review: Wale Impresses On ‘The Album About Nothing’
An artist must be bold and fearless to title an album The Album About Nothing. That’s exactly what MMG rapper Wale does on his fourth studio album. The rollout for The Album About Nothing was rather reserved and somewhat enigmatic. That enigmatic sentiment can be felt throughout the course of The Album About Nothing, an effort with notable differences from The Gifted. Adding to both enigma and concept – the use of Jerry Seinfeld vocal samples – go figure!

“The Intro About Nothing” sets the tone, with Wale spitting agilely, backed by soulful, production. He’s ‘stretched’ more on the c...
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Ludaversal Is A Better Than Expected Comeback Album

April 2nd, 2015 1:10pm EDT
Review: Ludacris Is Still Ludicrous on Comeback Album 'Ludaversa
After a five-year hiatus, one of the South’s most beloved MCs has returned – Ludacris! It was back in 2010 when Ludacris had everybody nodding their heads to sex-driven joints like “How Low” and “My Chick Bad,” not to mention the Trey Songz assisted “Sex Room.” For anyone else, being out of the game for such a long time might end the career, but on Ludaversal, Ludacris pretty much picks up where he left off. No, he’s not nearly as suggestive as past, but he doesn’t let newfound maturity and expansion of palette ruin the fun in the least.

Ludaversal opens with an intro – “Ludaversal In...
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