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CD Reviews

Jason Aldean Keeps It Country on ‘Old Boots, New Dirt’

October 9th, 2014 1:35pm EDT
Jason Aldean
“Ain’t had a drink and I’m torn up / ain’t even had a taste of your love… we’re just getting warmed up.” Anyone who’s partaken of country music as of late can’t deny the ‘bro-ness’ of the style, definitely led by the likes of Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line. Jason Aldean is oft considered a member of this movement, despite despising the phrase.

Regardless whether Aldean dislikes labeling or the fact his music is dominated by love, alcohol, and his “truck,” the artist’s latest album, Old Boots, New Dirt is ultimately a sound and enjoyable affair.

“Just Gettin’ Started” proves to...
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Blake Shelton Wins Race To The Top of The Billboard 200

October 9th, 2014 11:13am EDT
Blake Shelton
When the Billboard issue their chart prognostications last week, it was suggested that Blake Shelton had a solid shot at his second career #1 album. That said, that forecast would become cloudy thanks to one Barbra Streisand, who was projected to be competitive in the race for the top spot once again. Fellow country artists Lady Antebellum were considered to be likely third place. Things didn’t complete go as expected.

Blake Shelton indeed topped the Billboard 200, selling a more robust than expected 101,000 copies of Bringing Back The Sunshine. While prognostications had allotted 90...
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Irish Singer/Songwriter Hozier Allures on Self-Titled Debut

October 8th, 2014 1:30pm EDT
Hozier
The art of the singer/songwriter is not dead. Being a singer/songwriter isn’t necessarily the most commercially lucrative musical style currently, but in the age where ‘records’ dominate and the ‘song’ doesn’t, having singer/songwriters on the scene is big. Hozier is a terrific singer/songwriter with ample potential. This Irish musician is the real deal. The evidence, ‘exhibit A’ is his stellar debut album, Hozier.

“Take Me To Church” brilliantly initiates Hozier – there’s little else to say about the breakout single. One of the more brilliantly, deceptively penned songs of modern ...
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Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL Rock Out On 'PLECTRUMELECTRUM'

October 6th, 2014 2:25pm EDT
Plectrumelectrum
One of the best parts of September 30, 2014 was the fact that The Purple One, aka Prince returned. Not only did he bestow upon the music world a highly anticipated solo album in Art Official Age, but he also delivered a second set with 3RDEYEGIRL entitled PLECTRUMELECTRUM (say what?). While PLECTRUMELECTRUM is the less buzzed about set of the two, don’t let it discourage you – there’s plenty to dig about PLECTRUMELECTRUM besides its daring title!

“Wow” opens PLECTRUMELECTRUM sensationally. Rather than being set in common time, “Wow” is in six-eight meter, giving it something of a blues...
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Tony Lucca's New Album Is On The Way: Check Out Our Early Review!

October 6th, 2014 12:15pm EDT
Tony Lucca
There is no such thing as a bad Tony Lucca record.

As we enjoy the latest season of The Voice, it's worth remembering that the show introduced us to some tremendous unheralded performers, one of the best being Lucca. His two most recent EPs, With the Whole World Watching and Drawing Board, hinted at musical growth and versatility from the Detroit native, but the question was always when would we get to hear a full album?

The answer is January, and we're telling you now so that you can mark your calendars. We had the opportunity for an early listen to his upcoming record, simply titled To...
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Prince Is At His Eccentric Best On 'Art Official Age'

October 1st, 2014 7:04am EDT
Prince Is At His Eccentric Best On 'Art Official Age'
Calling Prince ‘orthodox’ or ‘traditional’ would be nothing short of an insult; a big-time middle finger. Throughout his lengthy, innovative career, Prince has always pushed the boundaries, fusing rock, pop, and R&B (among other genres). Additionally, Prince’s promotional strategies have been as unique as his style and albums. Once more affiliated with Warner Bros, Prince drops not just one album, but two – Art Official Age and PLECTRUMELECTRUM with 3rdeyegirl.

Despite issuing two albums, Prince’s solo album, Art Official Age, earns the most buzz. Over its course, Art Official Age is d...
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Review: Lenny Kravitz Is On Autopilot On 'Strut'

September 29th, 2014 3:45pm EDT
Review: Lenny Kravitz Is On Autopilot On 'Strut'
At 50, Lenny Kravitz has been around for a minute – a ‘lengthy’ minute to be exact. Even though Kravitz’s heyday has passed, age truly “ain’t nothing but a number” on his exhilarating new album, Strut. Arriving three-years after sensation LP Black and White America, Kravitz’s consistency and energy are nothing short of magnificent.

Strut opens ferociously with standout single “Sex,” which is an incredibly funky, attention-getting record. “Got that feelin’ coming over me / sex, sex, sex,” Kravitz sings enthusiastically on the catchy, rocking chorus.

Kravitz remains on autopilot o...
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Review: Jennifer Hudson's Vocals Remain Impressive On ‘JHUD’

September 24th, 2014 12:30pm EDT
Jennifer Hudson
How many people would’ve predicted that a big-voiced R&B diva like Jennifer Hudson would release a dance R&B album? The better question might be, who would’ve guessed someone as remarkably talented as Jennifer Hudson would’ve only made seventh place on American Idol, let alone been voted off at all? Don’t shed tears for Hudson, as her entertainment career has easily atoned for an untimely exit on Idol – namely in the form of an Academy Award (Dreamgirls) and Grammy (for Best R&B album for Jennifer Hudson).

Now on album three, the established R&B chanteuse, who’s dropped two gold albums, ...
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Review: Barbra Streisand Sounds Amazing On 'Partners'

September 22nd, 2014 7:20pm EDT
Barbra Streisand - Partners
Nothing better than getting “a little help from friends” right? That’s exactly what veteran entertainer Barbra Streisand does on her latest studio album, Partners. Why go it alone when you can enlist the likes of Michael Bublé, Stevie Wonder, and Billy Joel on your album? Covering classics she popularized (such as “The Way We Were”) as well as classic vocal standards, Partners is a truly beautiful effort with Streisand herself sounding truly amazing. 72 – she can’t be!

Partners opens stunningly with standard “It Had To Be You” with Michael Bublé serving as Streisand's partner in c...
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Review: After Many Delays Chris Brown's 'X' Is Stronger Than Expected

September 18th, 2014 3:30pm EDT
Chris Brown - X
What’s a deadly disease that damages a musician’s career? The correct answer is the delayed album. Sure, controversy does the same (Chris Brown might know something about that), but the delayed album can be truly devastating. Brown’s sixth studio album X has been delayed several times. That said, even at its most imperfect, X is better than previous LP Fortune. Not only was Fortune filled with curse words, it also incited curse words…

"X" opens the effort mysteriously, gradually evolving into electro-R&B. It sports repetition and gimmickry commonplace to contemporary R&B and pop. Eve...
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