December 14, 2019

Music


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 >>


Yeasayer – Fragrant World – Secretly Canadian

FourScore
By Kristi Kates | Nov. 9, 2019

There’s a lot of machinery on Yeasayer’s latest, as the experimental indie-popsters dig into more eclectic, diverse sounds and steer away from classic indie-rock guitars. Piling layers of synths and drum machine tracks atop each other would seem to result in disorder, but the band is deft enough to use restraint on lushly appealing songs, like the spacey “Blue Paper,” the thought experiment that is “Longevity, or “Henrietta,” where an unexpected bass ... Read More >>


Kraftwerk, Houston, B.I.G. for Hall of Fame

Modern Rock
By Kristi Kates | Nov. 9, 2019

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its annual list of nominees, Among those on the list of 16 performers up for inclusion in the rock hall in 2020 are Whitney Houston, The Notorious B.I.G., Kraftwerk, Soundgarden, and Todd Rundgren. The ceremony itself, presented by Klipsch Audio, will be held May 2, 2020, following a week of celebratory events at the Public Auditorium in Cleveland, Ohio, home of the Rock ... Read More >>


Various Artists – Big Little Lies Season 2 – ABKCO

FourScore
By Kristi Kates | Nov. 2, 2019

A big-time roster of actresses leads this Emmy-winning HBO series — Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Shailene Woodley, and Laura Dern — and the series’ accompanying soundtrack is equally impressive. Here, you’ll find tracks deftly themed to the show’s edgy storylines, from Christina Vierra’s pleading take on “Piece of My Heart” to Jim James’ “Why Can’t We Live Together.” Also included are bonus tunes from Elle King, The Spinners, Cassandra Wilson, ... Read More >>


Lamp Light Fest Dimmed

Modern Rock
By Kristi Kates | Nov. 2, 2019

Eight years in, Grand Rapids Lamp Light Music Festival is closing down the early November event that showcased live “house concert” performances in various Eastown area homes, citing difficulties with community support, accessibility, financial sustainability, and safety. Word is, the event had grown too big to remain hosted in private homes but was too small to book venues or, in the case of a short run at the Wealthy Theater, too unique. ... Read More >>


Sam Fender – Hypersonic Missiles – Interscope

FourScore
By Kristi Kates | Oct. 26, 2019

British singer-songwriter Fender is an interesting case. A storytelling performer primarily influenced by Bruce Springsteen, he’s openly hostile to what he calls “wimpy” performers like James Bay and Ed Sheeran. Nevertheless, his latest, an album of modern folk-rock compositions, lumps him into the same category — though the attempt to outdo them is far from successful. Particularly painful is the title track (with an out-of-place saxophone), the haughty “Privilege,” and the weird ... Read More >>


Greta Van Fleet Gets Soundtracked

Modern Rock
By Kristi Kates | Oct. 19, 2019

Greta Van Fleet got its start in Frankenmuth, Michigan, and now is a nationally known band with a full-length major album under its collective belt, 2018’s Anthem of the Peaceful Army. Now, a single that surfaced from the sessions for that album but wasn’t included in the final track list has found its way onto the soundtrack ofA Million Little Pieces,a movie by director Sam Taylor-Johnson. The tune, “Always There,” sounds similar ... Read More >>

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