CD Reviews

Review: St. Vincent, 'St. Vincent'

March 5th, 2014 7:23pm EST
 St. Vincent
Singer/songwriter Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) delivers big-time on St. Vincent

After several albums, St. Vincent (Annie Clark) still isn’t what you’d call a household name. It’s a shame given the singer/songwriter’s most recent self-titled effort is nothing short of captivating, filled with some truly exceptional material. On St. Vincent, the groove seems to propel every track, and there’s not one thing wrong with that. The songwriting throughout isn’t too shabby either, making this alt/indie-pop affair quite the musical treat. St. Vincent isn’t perfect (“Perfect Isn’t Easy”), but t...

Review: Schoolboy Q, ‘Oxymoron’

March 5th, 2014 6:00am EST
Schoolboy Q, ‘Oxymoron’
Oxymoron proves to be a dark, captivating, yet sometimes difficult album to listen to

Schoolboy Q keeps things 100 on Oxymoron – he keeps it real “from the jump” (catch the Drake reference?). In fact, the MC keeps things so ‘real’ that at times Oxymoron is a truly difficult (polarizing) to listen to. Sure, the old saying “honesty is the best policy” applies here and the candidness and frankness of Schoolboy Q is appreciated, but Oxymoron isn’t exactly the most endearing rap effort because it is so grimy and raw. Schoolboy Q’s intentions seem to be emphasis on his machismo, his demons, ...

'Archer' Soundtrack Album 'Cherlene' Is A Stroke Of Pure Genius

March 3rd, 2014 11:20am EST
Someone better give Adam Reed and Matt Thompson a gold star, because not only have they pulled off a wild reinvention of Archer in its fifth season, but they've also commissioned a tie-in album that stands on its own as an entertaining country music record.

SPOILER ALERT: This review contains references to the currently airing fifth season of Archer, including one tidbit about tonight's episode.

If you've been watching Archer - retitled Archer Vice - so far this season, you know that one of the latest schemes of its dysfunctional cast is trying to turn mentally unstable former secretary C...

Review: Candice Glover, 'Music Speaks'

February 20th, 2014 10:55am EST
 Candice Glover - Music Speaks
After much delay, Candice Glover finally delivers her debut album

Honestly, it seemed like an urban-sounding artist might never win American Idol again, let alone a female contestant after a string of victorious males. Candice Glover became the first female victor since Jordin Sparks, though bad timing kind of killed her vibe. Glover was brilliant throughout a season where everything seemed dead WRONG. The judges’ panel lacked chemistry (and sometimes tact) while many of the contestants seemed, um, blasé. The ratings were down and despite a set summer 2013 release for Glover’s debut, i...

Review: Sam Smith, ‘Nirvana EP’

February 19th, 2014 12:00am EST
Sam Smith
Sam Smith’s Nirvana EP serves as a sound preview of his upcoming debut album

Every year there are a number of new artists looking for their breakthrough. Sadly, only a few hopefuls have their dreams realized. Sam Smith is the latest newbie who looks to break through. One of several standout British soul/pop artists, Smith definitely has the pipes to shine and deserves success to knock on his door. Whether or not his commercial aspirations actually come to fruition, critically, Smith is already there; he’s surpassed the test. Nirvana EP is Smith’s springboard, and even at just seven ...

Review: Daley, ‘Days & Nights’

February 18th, 2014 8:20pm EST
British singer Daley delivers an enjoyable, modern R&B debut with Days & Nights.

Call 2014 the year of British soul. The U.S. has been blessed by the gifts of John Newman (Tribute), Sam Smith (Nirvana EP), and now one Daley Gareth with his full-length debut, Days & Nights. Daley first made some noise in R&B circles in the U.S. with his EP, Alone Together, which featured a killer collaboration with Jessie J (“Remember Me”) as well as a cover of Amy Winehouse’s soulful “Love Is A Losing Game”. Two songs from the excellent prelude to Days & Night are reprised – “Blame The World” and “Alon...

Review: Ruben Studdard Is In Excellent Voice On 'Unconditional Love'

February 7th, 2014 10:54am EST
ruben studdard unconditional love
On February 4th, R&B artist Ruben Studdard released his sixth album, Unconditional Love. It is hard to believe that the “Velvet Teddy Bear” has released six albums. Unless you’re an avid Studdard follower, you are likely in the dark about many of Studdard’s albums given their underrated, quiet release. Studdard’s career went “south” commercially following gold-selling gospel album, I Need An Angel. On Unconditional Love, the perception given from Studdard – newly signed to Verve – is that he just wants to make music. An album where the majority of songs are covers, Unconditional Love isn...

Review: Mary Lambert, ‘Welcome To The Age of My Body’ (EP)

February 5th, 2014 4:40pm EST
Mary Lambert
Empowerment Is On Mary Lambert’s Mind on Debut EP.

Singer/Songwriter Mary Lambert is best associated at this point in her career with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for her work on Grammy-nominated song, “Same Love”, which is all about tolerance, marriage equality – prevalent social issues in 2013 and beyond. On her EP Welcome To The Age of My Body, Mary Lambert showcases the beginnings of herself as a solo artist; a singer/songwriter. 12 minutes is a short amount of time to make an evaluative decision about a burgeoning artist, but even Welcome To The Age of My Body gives the listener an idea....

Review: Algebra Blessett, ‘Recovery’

February 4th, 2014 11:45pm EST
Review: Algebra Blessett, ‘Recovery’
Algebra superbly delivers the ups and downs of the recovery of the brokenhearted.

Stating that R&B has cooled considerably in recent times would be an gigantic understatement. When Beyoncé shocked the world in December 2013 with her surprise fifth LP, she definitely gave the entire genre a much need pick-me-up. Until Beyoncé, no other R&B album had been certified platinum in 2013…that’s sad. In 2014, who knows what the struggles face the ailing genre, which has plenty of talented, often under recognized musicians to keep it breathing. Among those is Algebra Blessett, who returns with ...

Review: P!nk Entertains On 'The Truth About Love Tour: Live From Melbourne'

January 31st, 2014 7:20pm EST
P!nk Entertains On 'The Truth About Love Tour: Live From Melbour
Perhaps the mark of a true artist is how well they can step outside of the studio. If the studio is the comfort zone for many musicians, then (1) singing live and (2) truly entertain their audience may be the bigger challenge. Having the personality and accurate vocals to successfully perform a concert or a tour takes incredible artistry and upmost musicianship. Pop’s “it” girl as of late P!nk definitely knows how to work the crowd and impresses with her distinct, gritty vocals. Because of her gifts, Pink: The Truth About Love Tour: Live From Melbourne ends up being quite a treat to part...