14.12.16 – Live in Paris
Universal Music Distribution
French-Lebanese trumpeter and composer Ibrahim Maalouf staged this concert at AccorHotels Arena in Paris. This 21-track album preserves the evening, and it’s a grand spectacle, sort of like Cirque du Soleil meets Super Bowl Halftime show. The tracks move back and forth from intimate and introspective tunes to massive call-and-response pieces, with audience participation (including “We Will Rock You,” sung in English with a French accent). Maalouf’s commanding horn has a unashamedly dramatic, cinematic quality, and his compositions evoke his blended heritage. It’s energetic, sweaty, exotic stuff, and a great, exhausting way to lose yourself in this artist’s music.
– Bruce Collier
Bipolar finds the area hip-hop artist coming into focus and settling into beats reminiscent of the founding 808 synth with a harder edge to appeal to trap fans. The album is a much more cohesive listen than previous releases, but the majority of the songs still hit that two-minute mark—just long enough to pop in, make an impression, and move forward to the next idea. Bipolar marks an evolution in Mybrothavan’s artistic approach as he continues to make a name for himself in Beachcomberland.
– Nikki Hedrick
The New Mastersounds
The Nashville Session 2
One Note Records
Reverent funk and soul from Leeds in the United Kingdom. The New Mastersounds recorded this album in the appropriately named Welcome to 1979 studios in Nashville. The quartet consists of two guitars, drums and keyboards. They’ve been around for 16 years, keeping the ‘60s and ‘70s funk sound alive on about 10 albums. It would be too easy to dismiss this as some sort of “reenactor” album, like that proliferation of high-style swing bands that hit in the ‘90s, but these guys take their work seriously, with a tight jazz ethic that makes for some crunchy, fun-to-listen-to music.
– Bruce Collier
Something to Yield
A Version of Villainy
Local rockers are ready to show off with their long-awaited EP. From the new tweaks to stage-tested songs like “Better Left Unsaid” to the guys’ melody-driven chops on “Serendipitous,” this six-song EP is a wonderful representation of the band’s talents from crunchy riffs, catchy choruses and splashes of keys and synths. Hints of the band’s influences—from current to decades past—are tucked in the corners of the songs, giving the listener an inkling of how their creative process builds in new directions.
– Nikki Hedrick
The Swedish Mounted Band of the Royal Lifeguards
Music for Beasts
I couldn’t resist this one. The band is some 25 guys—real soldiers—who play an array of brass and kettledrums on horseback, dressed in 19th century uniforms. Contrary to my expectations, this is not an album of marches and military tunes. Rather, it evokes pieces like Camille Saint Saens’ “Carnival of the Animals,” and movie soundtracks (James Horner, John Williams). There’s even a “Concerto for Piano and Brass Band,” something I didn’t think existed in nature.
– Bruce Collier
EDITOR’S CHOICE – THE BEST MUSIC OF 2018
John Prine, “I Just Called to Say I Love You”
Ice Cube, “Arrest the President”
Becky Warren, Undesirable
Gretchen Peters, Dancing with the Beast
Rae Morris, Someone Out There
Bettye LaVette, Things Have Changed
Clutch, Book of Bad Decisions
Rosanne Cash, She Remembers Everything
Alejandro Escovedo, The Crossing
Eric Church, Desperate Man
The Beatles, The Beatles (Super Deluxe Edition)
Frank Sinatra, Sings for Only the Lonely
The Rolling Stones, Beggars Banquet
Elvis Presley, The King in the Ring
Yes, The Steven Wilson Remixes
Casey Kearney, “I Want to Dance”
Price, et al., “Destin”
Jessie Ritter, Coffee Every Morning
Betsy Badwater, Betsy Badwater
Mari Gleason, Coffee Kisses
Gone With the Flesh, Gone With the Flesh
– Chris Manson
Pauseandplay.com – Since 1997, P&P has been the definitive place for music fans to find out when a new album is coming out. Also stay up on the latest reissues and music‑related DVD/Blu‑rays and books. Elton John says he uses Pauseandplay.com to keep track of new music, and Entertainment Weekly has included it on its list of “The 100 Greatest Web Sites,” one of only 17 music sites to be selected.
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