Native Invader Tori Amos I’ve always been conflicted about Tori Amos. Actually, that’s not true. I thought, and still think, that “Under the Pink” and “Boys for Pele” were not just a couple of the best albums released in the 1990s, but perhaps some of the best albums released in the 20th century. Bold words, […]Read more "“Native Invader” by Tori Amos"
How to define Paramore? Are they pop? Rock? Something else entirely? To be honest, I had always thought of them as catchy rock light, and liked them (or didn’t) on a song-by-song basis. “After Laughter” is the first album of theirs that I’ve listened to as an entire album; with that caveat, I’ll boldly claim […]Read more "“After Laughter” by Paramore"
I’ve always had mixed feelings about John Mayer. “Your Body is a Wonderland” was, and continues to be, a guilty pleasure (I just relistened to it several times), and I thought “Waiting on the World to Change” was amazing, but overall his sound was a little too…I don’t know, jazzy and…I don’t know, overthought or […]Read more "“The Search for Everything” by John Mayer"
Misfortunes of T-Funk, Book 1: (Built-in Music Edition) Long-time friends and musical collaborators Theo and Judah, now in their late 20s and getting by on dead-end jobs and part-time gigs, start music school together. What follows is the story, not of sudden success, but of the ups and downs of musicians who haven’t really hit […]Read more "“Misfortunes of T-Funk, Book 1” by Barnaby Hazen"
The Afterlove (Extended Version) [Explicit] If you listened to popular music around 2005-2006, or even if you didn’t, you probably heard James Blunt’s breakout single “You’re Beautiful”, and you probably developed a strong opinion about it. Many people hated it. I quite liked it, but here we have the irony of the breakout single: I […]Read more "“The Afterlove” by James Blunt"
Prisoner “Do you still love me, babe?” Adams asks in the opening track to his latest release, “Prisoner.” The answer, as the album unfolds, is a resounding “No.” The result is a breakup album for grownups. Musically, the sound is an homage to ’80s classic rock, with a side of country. This is nothing particularly […]Read more "“Prisoner” by Ryan Adams"
Divide (Deluxe Version) Okay, I admit it. I’m a huge Ed Sheeran fan. It took me a while, but “Divide” (why did he have to use a symbol that isn’t on my keyboard?!) has totally cemented my fandom. For those who enjoyed Sheeran’s previous two albums, “Divide” builds on his strengths while also being different […]Read more "“Divide (Deluxe)” by Ed Sheeran"
X Wembley Edition (CD+DVD) In “X,” Ed Sheeran’s follow-up to his stunning debut “+”(read my review here) he continues to dazzle with a wide variety of musical styles, all tied together with his trademark combination of rapid-fire rapping and mellow singing. In the “Wembley” deluxe edition, listeners are treated to some extra studio tracks, including the […]Read more "“X–Wembley Edition” by Ed Sheeran"
+ (Bonus Tracks) I have to confess I’m late to the Ed Sheeran bandwagon. I sort of liked “The A Team” when it came out as a single, but I could never quite get into most of Sheeran’s other songs. I could recognize why it was good, but it never quite gelled for me. Now, […]Read more "+ by Ed Sheeran"
What to say about this magnificent album? Well, many things, as it happens. But I’ll just pick one or two. One could wax on at length about the infectiously catchy songs, tinged with just the right touch of sorrow. One could talk about Swift’s meteoric rise from country curiosity to pop star of epic proportions. […]Read more "“1989” by Taylor Swift"