North Mississippi Allstars’ latest is fun for all

The blues is alive and kicking, and rock ain’t dead either. Thank the North Mississippi Allstars for that reminder. Luther and Cody Dickinson’s latest album is a communal jam

Hiss Golden Messenger delivers music with a purpose

The new album by Hiss Golden Messenger is one to play on repeat, immersing in every nuance. It’s Americana music with a purpose. Like the North Carolina band’s earlier

Emeli Sandé returns with anthems for the every day

Emeli Sandé’s music has always leaned into the epic. Her clear, full voice powers sweeping anthems, most of which seem perfectly suited for bringing energy to momentous occasions (remember

Charli XCX, pop’s avant-garde princess, returns

Charli XCX could easily have turned in a safe, hit-heavy pop-dance album this year. But where’s the fun in that? If Jack White is the mad

Whitney create poignant, bittersweet album

Indie-rock duo Whitney may have a light, easy sound, but that isn’t an indication of the themes they touch on or emotions they evoke. The pair peaked interest in

Taylor Swift taps into her joyful side with ‘Lover’

If you want an easy way to see how far Taylor Swift has come since her last album, just compare the two covers. If 2017’s “reputation” featured

Entertaining array of stylings on Jason Hawk Harris’ debut

A single guitar solo is by itself worth the price of admission to Jason Hawk Harris’ world. The climactic moment on the Houston native’s full-length debut

Good guitar can’t save Jesse Dayton’s ‘Mixtape’

Seasoned music industry pro Jesse Dayton is out with his 12th studio album, “Mixtape Volume 1,” a bawdy collection of ho-hum country, masquerading as edgy outlaw stuff.

‘Finch’ from Penny & Sparrow is a gem

Texas-raised duo Penny & Sparrow had to do some heavy touring to truly search their souls. They explore the resulting range of emotions and deliver it on

Cuco brings layers to lo-fi love songs on ‘Para Mi’

Love songs may be known for their traditionally jovial tone, but on Cuco’s full-length debut he gives his love ballads a darker tone. “Para Mi” has lighter moments and

Tycho takes new direction on ‘Weather’

California-artist Scott Hansen, better known as Tycho, is back with his fifth studio album “Weather,” one that begins much as one might expect. Opener “Easy” is

The Flaming Lips’ concept album will blow your mind

The new album by The Flaming Lips is a head trip — literally. The ever-evolving, mind-blowing alt-rockers have somehow upped their game with a concept album

K.Flay celebrates all her sides on CD ‘Solutions’

It’s always been hard to pin down K.Flay’s music. She’s a bit of a sonic chameleon, mixing elements of hip-hop, rock and indie pop with moods that

Joanna Wallfisch’s travels result in unique album

Songstress, poet and darn good cyclist Joanna Wallfisch draws from both disappointment and wonder on her latest album. The emotions chronicle a west coast road trip and

Hollywood Vampires rise again on great second album

When Alice Cooper, Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and movie star Johnny Depp formed a band in 2015 to pay homage to dead drinking buddies, it might have

‘The Maze’ could be a breakthrough for Ariana Gillis

Ariana Gillis doesn’t linger on the lyrics when she starts to sing on “The Maze,” her staccato alto suggesting a young artist in a hurry to share

Review: Justin Rutledge turns the pages in ‘Passages’

Justin Rutledge stands in a strong tradition of literate Canadian singer-songwriters — think Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell or the late Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip. Like

The Stray Cats in mostly fine form on 1st album in 26 years

After 26 years, the Stray Cats are back with a new album. And the seasoned felines are in mostly fine form. The boys who brought rockabilly

Alan Parsons quotes from his past on ‘The Secret’

Magic is one of the themes of “The Secret,” Alan Parsons’ latest project, and it is best represented by the instrumental opening tune, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Its many moods

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