Franz Ferdinand and Sparks unite as FFS

FFS is an art-rock supergroup, bringing together Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand and Sparks, a Los Angeles synth-pop duo whose experimental theatrics have made them cult figures in Britain for 40

Trumpeter Blanchard makes powerful statement on new album

Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard makes a powerful political and musical statement with his new E-Collective quintet on "Breathless," his first plunge as a bandleader into groove-based electric

Whitesnake delves deep into Purple past on new album

Who says you can’t go home? David Coverdale delves deep into his Deep Purple background on the new Whitesnake album, which re-does songs from his tenure fronting the legendary classic rock

Snoop Dogg’s funk-inspired album hits right mark

Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams made magic together more than a decade ago, and now the rapper and producer are doing it again. Snoop Dogg and Williams, who collaborated on the

‘Pitch Perfect 2’ soundtrack not so perfect

There is such a thing as being too clever. The Barden Bellas and the Treblemakers, who return in the film “Pitch Perfect 2,” have found a way to cram even more

Blur leave Britpop behind with ‘The Magic Whip’

Blur were Britpop flag-bearers of the 1990s, waging a media-driven battle with Oasis for the musical soul of Cool Britannia. Since that distant era, the band’s members have traded the laddish

Passion Pit feeling the ‘Kindred’ spirit

America’s reigning synthpop king, Passion Pit, is out with a third studio album, “Kindred,” a passable offering of tidy little electro ditties. For their heartfelt lyrics, Passion Pit (aka Michael Angelakos

Halestorm delivers tight, yet very basic rock

Grammy-winning rock band Halestorm is out with its third studio album, “Into the Wild Life,” 13 tracks of edge-free power rock, spurred on Lzzy Hale’s strong vocals — if anything

Waters’ sophomore album, ‘What’s Real,’ is real good

Former Port O'Brien frontman Van Pierszalowski left the alt-rock outfit in 2011 and promptly formed Waters, hoping to gel with a fresh band and begin anew. They came out strong

Sufjan Stevens’ latest album is worth the time

Plucked strings and pulsing keyboards dominate the distinctive arrangements on Sufjan Stevens’ latest album, and in the absence of a rhythm section, they serve to keep time. But time’s not for

Marcus Miller explores his African roots on new CD

Inspired by his work as spokesperson for UNESCO's Slave Route Project, bass guitarist, composer and producer Marcus Miller takes listeners on a groove-filled musical odyssey on "Afrodeezia." The CD explores

Kendrick returns with an impressive sophomore album

Rapper Kendrick Lamar went three years without releasing an album, taking his time to craft an impressive sophomore effort in “To Pimp a Butterfly.” This new album was certainly worth the

Madonna’s ‘Rebel Heart’ is lovely

Madonna’s 13th studio album, “Rebel Heart,” beats with romance and rebellion. At 19 tracks, it’s an overstuffed triptych through the iconic performer’s life, careening between uplifting dance tracks, like the

Iron & Wine releases choice archive material

The songs from Iron & Wine’s first album, “The Creek Drank the Cradle,” were cherry-picked from material Sam Beam had been recording at home for years before catching the attention

’80s hair metal giants join forces for Sweet & Lynch

Is this heaven-sent hair metal, or did they just get lucky? Either way, Sweet & Lynch have hit it out of the park on the debut album by some of

1 channel is all the Mavericks need on ‘Mono’

The Mavericks have always been a rootsy band, plying musical turf from Havana to Nashville via Miami. Here their sound is more retro than ever, recalling the era when these

‘Fifty Shades’ soundtrack is a sexy romp

Prepare to get crazy in love, in lust and everything in between. Anticipated sex romp ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ may or may not get you wound up, but its soundtrack

Bob Dylan’s late-night disc

Bob Dylan has never called “Shadows in the Night” a Frank Sinatra tribute album. The idea seems nuts: one of the last century’s greatest songwriters challenging perhaps its greatest voice,

Ne-Yo’s ‘Non-Fiction’ tells the same story

Ahh, Ne-Yo. So much talent — the voice, the songwriting. And yet, somehow, such a boring album. It’s a little crazy-making, truth be told. All the ingredients are here — some

Album celebrates music of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

Fans of the Coen brothers’ amused, affectionate portrait of the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene — and of banjo-playing, guitar-plucking Americana in general — will relish this recording of a

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