January 18, 2020

Music


The Milk Carton Kids – The Only Ones – MCK Records

FourScore
By Kristi Kates | Jan. 11, 2020

Mixing up folk/bluegrass/Americana with a hint of pop, The Milk Carton Kids have snagged Grammy nominations and plenty of critical acclaim for their twisty-turny musicianship and powerful harmonies. While they dallied with a full band setup last album, here they return to their duo format, which always serves them well — especially on pretty tracks that vacillate between melancholy and, well, more melancholy. The standouts of same include the vintage-sounding “I Meant ... Read More >>


Eilish and White Team Up for Live Record

Modern Rock
By Kristi Kates | Jan. 11, 2020

Singer-songwriter and acid-green-haired diva Billie Eilish recently hung out with former Detroiter Jack White, at White’s own Third Man Records Nashville outpost. Eilish performed a short live show in the Blue Room, and the set, like most performances in the tiny venue, was recorded direct-to-acetate on the premises by a team of recording engineers. Eilish, whom White calls “innovative,” performed alongside her brother, multi-instrumentalist Finneas O’Connell, for 40 minutes. The set will ... Read More >>


Motown Founder Finally Retires

Modern Rock
By Kristi Kates | Jan. 4, 2020

As 2019 wound to a close, so did Motown mogul Berry Gordy’s career; the always-busy Detroit native, who founded and grew Motown Records (and launched the careers of such acts as Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, and the Jackson 5) announced (at Motown’s 60th anniversary program, at Detroit's Orchestra Hall) that he’s “come full circle” and is finally embracing retirement at the age of 90. He’ll likely pursue said retirement in ... Read More >>


James Blunt – Once Upon a Mind – Atlantic

FourScore
By Kristi Kates | Jan. 4, 2020

Still fighting his meme-worthy “You’re Beautiful” reputation, Blunt has spent the past several years continuing his growth as a songwriter, and with this album, at last, it’s clear he deserves another listen. He tried some electronica components on his last album, to medium effect, but with this one he returns to basics: pop-rock songs with candid lyrics and poignant performances. Ballads “Monsters” and “The Greatest” are just two of the more downtempo ... Read More >>


Wham! – Last Christmas: The Soundtrack – Legacy

FourScore
By Kristi Kates | Dec. 21, 2019

A movie inspired by … ’80s dance-pop outfit Wham!? That’s Last Christmas, a new romantic holiday comedy co-written by Emma Thompson and featuring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Henry Golding. The soundtrack’s are mostly fun, in a nostalgic sense, and outline much of the plot for the movie (girl meets boy, romance and roadblocks occur), and the album itself represents Wham!’s own trek through their career, from first hit “Wake Me ... Read More >>


Get Festive with Kacey and Friends

Modern Rock
By Kristi Kates | Dec. 21, 2019

Singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves is the latest musical celeb to get her own holiday special, and it’s streaming now on Amazon Prime. Narrated by Dan Levy, the show will feature performances of classic seasonal tunes by Musgraves and her friends, including late night talk show host-slash-singer James Corden on “Let it Snow,” actress Zooey Deschanel on “Mele Kalikimaka,” fellow singer Lana Del Rey on “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and comedian/actor Fred Armisen ... Read More >>


Blake Shelton – Fully Loaded: God’s Country – Warner Bros. Nashville

FourScore
By Kristi Kates | Dec. 7, 2019

Shelton is an interesting mix of traditional good ol’ country boy and kindly coach (with bonus dad jokes) of aspiring talent on NBC’s “The Voice.” A settled relationship with pop star Gwen Stefani has also shifted Shelton’s sound to a more mainstream tone. Five new tunes are shuffled in here with some of his previously recorded tracks, with the standouts depending on which side of his musical persona you enjoy most. The ... Read More >>


Pharrell Finds Something in the Water

Modern Rock
By Kristi Kates | Nov. 30, 2019

Pharrell Williams’ multi-day music and culture festival, Something in the Water, which Williams debuted last April in his hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is set to return for 2020. The tentative dates: April 24–26. The fest will be divided into two portions: culture (with culinary, technology, environmental, and media happenings) and music. No performers have been announced just yet, although the 2019 edition offered up sets from the likes ofTimbaland, Tyler the ... Read More >>


Hovvdy – Heavy Lifting – Double Double Whammy

FourScore
By Kristi Kates | Nov. 30, 2019

Sketching out an audio picture of life as a teen in the ’burbs, Hovvdy’s third album of faintly naïve indie pop circles around first relationships and the breakup of same. Whether the duo, Will Taylor and Charlie Martin, are looking for the keys to long-lasting love (“Feel Tall” and “Watergun”) or searching their soul (the character sketch of “Mr. Lee” or the childhood reminisces of “Sudbury”), all the tracks are executed in ... Read More >>


Peter Green – Kolors – MOV

FourScore
By Kristi Kates | Nov. 16, 2019

Composed of leftover blues-rock tracks from several of Green’s earlier recording sessions (ones that didn’t make it to the actual albums), this is an interesting collection — especially considering any of the tunes would’ve fit in to his other sets seamlessly. It’s like finding a nearly-new item at the thrift shop. Highlights include the pedal-floored “Funky Jam” and whining guitar riffs of “Big Bad Feeling,” plus vintage blues-inspired numbers like “Same Old ... Read More >>

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