‘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

Josh Ritter’s ‘Fever Breaks’ is especially engaging

Josh Ritter’s “Fever Breaks” is a work of stacked marvels, the result of an auspicious collaboration with Jason Isbell — who also produced — and his band,

‘Hurts 2B Human’ offers a predictable Pink

Right out of the gate on her new album, Pink gives you just the song you expect from the punk superstar: a pop ballad oozing with confidence

J.J. Cale’s posthumous album is vital and inviting

J.J. Cale’s “Stay Around” is a posthumous collection of 15 previously unreleased tracks that is as authentic as any of the original and compilation albums he’s released

Supergroup LSD’s debut both too much and too little

When solo artists combine into supergroups, the results are usually fun, if fleeting. But all too often, they have an Achilles’ heel: Too many cooks in the

Songs are the stars as Will Kimbrough focuses on South

Given the opportunity to showboat, a masterful guitarist using Kickstarter to finance an album might be expected to let ‘er rip on the record. Not Will

Peter Gabriel’s skill with film songs stars on album

If you’re a fan of Peter Gabriel, you probably know his popular hits like “Sledgehammer” and “Big Time,” as well as maybe some older classics like “Games

Gino Vannelli’s emotions carve up ‘Wilderness Road’

Looking for a jazzy follow- up to George Michael’s “Kissing a Fool”? Try Gino Vannelli’s “Gimme Back My Life.” It’s one of the standout tracks on “Wilderness Road,” the

Maverick Sabre’s new album is unapologetically cool

English-Irish musician Maverick Sabre doesn’t hold back on his new album “When I Wake Up.” Sabre writes with purpose and resolve on his third studio release, not

Snarky Puppy’s ‘Immigrance’ emulates live experience

With musicians from all over the United States, as well as Argentina, Canada and Japan, to name a few, and instruments from as far away as Egypt

Johnny Cash’s cabin is setting for fine Todd Snider album

The microphone pops when Todd Snider delivers an especially emphatic lyric, and his chair creaks under the weight of his performance. The rustic charm of the setting

Nick Waterhouse makes old soul sounds for new themes

There’s an exit/and there’s a way out/the two just ain’t the same is a typical lyric from Nick Waterhouse’s self-titled fourth album, a collection that stays true

Fiancee helps Hayes Carll deliver his prettiest work

Dysfunctional relationships abound on Hayes Carll’s new album, from the one- on-one wounds described in the opener “None’ya” to the cultural divide of “Fragile Men.” Even so, there’s

Chaka Khan’s ‘Hello Happiness’ is mini bundle of joy

With just seven songs in 28 minutes, Chaka Khan’s “Hello Happiness” is a little bundle of joy, emphasis on the little. But you shouldn’t feel shortchanged.

Beck, Patti Smith, Unkle inspired by ‘Roma’

Beck, Patti Smith, Unkle, DJ Shadow and Billie Eilish are part of a large and diverse group performing songs inspired by Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” resulting in an

Frances Cone delivers dreampop with a purpose

Frances Cone’s new album “Late Riser” is a brilliant work of modern melancholia that finds the sweet spot between soothing and soaring. Call it dreampop with a

Gunn adds intimacy to guitar-led folk-rock album

Steve Gunn has teamed up with stellar musicians over the years, from Kurt Vile to Michael Chapman, and his own albums — little gems like “Time Off,”

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