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A M – Future Sons & Daughters
A lot of musicians pay lip service to having a plethora of far-flung musical influences, but then you listen to their music and it sounds like they've done their best to avoid them at any cost. Citing artists as diverse as Jorge Ben, Brian Wilson, Sergio Mendes, and Curtis Mayfield, AM's first UK album - "Future Sons & Daughters" - truly delivers on the sum of its parts. At times sounding like Jim James of My Morning Jacket singing his way through Beck's lost album between "Mutations" and "Midnite Vultures", the record brings together the best of musical worlds, rippling through classic roots sounds: AM pop and rock, steamy soul and R&B, Brazilian tropicalia, British Invasion, and ‘60s Bay Area psychedelia.
A Perfect Circle – Mer De Noms
Mer de Noms (French for "sea of names") is the debut album by American rock band A Perfect Circle. It was certified platinum by the RIAA on October 31, 2000. The album entered the Billboard 200 at No. 4, making it the highest ever Billboard 200 debut for a rock band's first album. It sold over 188,000 copies in the first week, and stayed on the charts for 51 consecutive weeks. The album peaked at No. 27 on the Billboard Top Pop Catalog Albums on October 4, 2003, three years after the album's release. Mer de Noms has since been released on vinyl record format.
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ABBA – The Album
"The Album" was simply an incredibly popular release, yielding two British number one singles in "The Name of the Game" and "Take a Chance on Me". The opening number dominated by synthesizers and soaring larger-than-life vocal flourishes, is followed by the more lyrical Take a Chance on Me, with its luminous a cappella opening. The whole album is like that, effortlessly straddling hard rock, pop/rock, dance-rock, and progressive rock - though the hits turned to stand out in highest relief, there are superb album tracks here.
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Adrian Sherwood – Never Trust A Hippy NTAH
It's a mystery, really, why a music biz legend like Adrian Sherwood hasn't released a solo album until now. Okay, the man has been rather busy over the last twenty years or so, producing and/or remixing some of the most innovative recordings under his own moniker or that of his On-U Sound label Never Trust A Hippy reflects the way its maker sees the multifarious Real World.
Alan Parsons – Turn Of A Friendly Card
The album The Turn Of A Friendly Card includes two of Parsons’ very best songs: "Time," with its beautiful harmonies, and the gently swinging "Games People Play" which opens with Empire fanfares. That the instrumental tracks are find favor with almost all rock fans is hardly surprising because the music more often than not emulates the driving sound of Brit Rock rather than bombastic "sonic souffles" (Rolling Stone). But be that as it may, the title certainly holds its promise. The sales figures for this album clearly show that this "friendly card" has definitely turned up trumps for Alan Parsons.
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Alex Chilton – Like Flies On Sherbert
Like Flies on Sherbert is the first solo album to be released by the American pop-rock musician Alex Chilton. He had previously recorded a collection of songs in 1969 and 1970, ultimately titled 1970, but this was not released until 1996. As the AMG review states - it's nothing like Big Star instead reflecting Alex's newfound interest in Rockabilly, Country and R&B. Possibly a hangover from him playing as a member of the Panther Burns. This one and Live in London are essential stopping points for anyone interested in seeing where Alex went next after the breakup of Big Star. There is genius in the grooves. No other album by a major artist sounded like this - then or now.
Alison Krauss & Union Station – So Long So Wrong
As usual, it is Alison’s beautiful vocals that give it that "high, lonesome sound." There are 13 vocal songs and one instrumental on this two-record set. Krauss is the lead vocalist on eight of the songs and Union Station members share the other lead vocals. The virtuoso musicians comprising the group are Barry Bales (acoustic bass), Ron Block (banjo, guitar), Adam Steffey (mandolin), and Dan Tyminski (guitar). Of course Krauss started her career as a violinist (fiddler to the bluegrass world) and she doesn’t leave that instrument out either.
Beck, Bogert, Appice – s/t
On the whole, the supergroups of the Seventies didn’t last very long, but for that – all the more notably. This certainly applies to the Anglo-American trio made up of the extremely talented though narcissistic guitarist Jeff Beck, the bass-player Tim Bogert, and the drummer Carmine Appice. As early as 1970, the British Beck wanted to engage the two American musicians for a joint project. This plan however had to be postponed for two years because the speed-mad Beck had had a serious car accident and needed time to recover. 1973 saw the release of the trio’s first and only studio album, which not only demonstrated Beck’s powerful-hectic style of guitar playing but also allowed his musical companions to show off their prowess.
Belafonte – At The Greek Theatre
On a late summer evening in 1963, a show took place at Los Angeles' open-air Greek Theatre in, which had fans flocking to the Hollywood mountains. Those who were not lucky to get a ticket climbed to the surrounding trees to see the Calypso man from a distance at least.
Belafonte – The Midnight Special
No attempt has ever been made to compare Harry Belafonte with other singers of his own generation or generations following. Perhaps this is because there simply is no other singer in the American folk scene who possesses anything remotely comparable to his uniquely silky yet dusky voice, or his genial mix of calypso, blues, gospel and traditional songs.
Ben Folds : Supersunnyspeedgraphic, the lp
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger When Ben Folds cleans out his refrigerator, the leftovers that come spilling out of the rotten lettuce encrusted crisper may taste a bit better than most, but they're still leftovers. Supersunnyspeedgraphic: The LP collects the best moments from 2003's Speed Graphic and Sunny 16, 2004's Bens ( Ben Lee, Ben Kweller and Folds) and Super D, and 2005's Landed.
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Ben Harper – Welcome to the Cruel World
Welcome to the Cruel World is Ben Harper's debut album from Virgin Records. Released in 1994, the album established Harper as a popular folk musician in the California area. After this release, Harper went on to add a permanent backing band, the Innocent Criminals, although they remained unnamed until the Burn to Shine album.