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The Pauseandplay.com Record Roundup

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The Apalachicola Sound

Gritwater

Independent

With Pensacola roots, an old-timey country voice, and less traveled subject matter, the Apalachicola Sound is bound to appeal to those who associate the word “cash” with a certain person as much as currency. And about that subject matter…instead of the well-worn roads of love and heartbreak for a special person, Gritwater revels in those same emotions for favorite fishing holes that have been corrupted by time and greed. There is something beautifully nostalgic about the album, an ode to simpler times that is especially endearing during turbulent times.

– Nikki Hedrick

Hollow Leg

Civilizations

Argonauta Records

Yes, Florida has metal bands. And yes, there is more to Florida metal than the old school death metal that put Tampa on the map. If your flavors go a little more Black Sabbath than most of your friends, sludge kings like Hollow Leg may find a special place in your heart. Civilizations roars and churns—a slow march into madness, with snarled vocals leading the way to the end of the world.

– Nikki Hedrick

Farnell Newton

Lofijazzsoul

Nwsoulacademy

Trumpeter Farnell Newton teams with producer-composer-arranger Toranpetto on Lofijazzsoul. The 11-track album was my introduction to the “Lofi” (formerly Lo-Fi, as in, “the opposite of Hi-Fi”) genre of recording. It’s minimally processed recording, an aural analogue to organic food. If you don’t like hip-hop, this may take some getting used to. Still, the marriage of jazz and hip-hop is actually a natural fit—rock ’n roll is far too confrontational to accommodate it. There’s a lot to enjoy here, if you’re in the mood and enjoy “atmospheric” or relaxation recordings. An acquired taste, like the rest of jazz.

– Bruce Collier

Philippe Quint and Marta Aznavoorian

Chaplin’s Smile – Song Arrangements for Violin & Piano

Warner Classics

Charlie Chaplin turned 130 on January 11. A consummate auteur, he wrote, directed, acted, produced and even composed the scores for his films. Violinist Philippe Quint and pianist Marta Aznavoorian collaborated on this 13-track tribute. Along with the title tune (“Smile,” Charlie’s most enduring song), there are excerpts from City Lights and The Kid, dances, and suite arrangements. Like much of Chaplin’s work, the music can sometimes be overwhelmingly sentimental. Nevertheless, there’s still that touch of underclass subversion and mockery that keeps the Little Tramp’s adventures timeless. If listening turns you on to the movies of this genius, even better.

– Bruce Collier

John Raymond

Real Feels Live Vol. 2

Sunnyside Records

Trumpeter-flugelhornist-composer John Raymond joins with his band Real Feels (including guitarist Gilad Hekselman and drummer Colin Stranahan) for this second live album. Recorded at the Blue Whale club in Los Angeles, it features Raymond on flugelhorn only. The six tracks include some Raymond standards like “Joy Ride,” and a leisurely, mournful cover of “The Times They Are A-Changin’” that sounds like the score of a Clint Eastwood western. Raymond’s flugelhorn tone offers a clinic on how to sound mellow and smooth without sounding like Mellow Smooth Jazz. Though live, you scarcely hear the audience on this record. It’s that good.

– Bruce Collier

Ryanhood

Early Best (2003-2009)

Independent

This award-winning acoustic-pop duo has released a steady stream of new material since their formation. With live albums, Christmas compilations, and more original music than you can shake a stick at, Ryanhood have continuously honed their harmonies and melodies to a place where they exude an effortlessness that only comes with endless hours of work. Whether the best-of is your first introduction of the band or an easy way to have a curated playlist of their more popular tunes, Early Best is 16 tracks of Ryanhood at their strongest.

– Nikki Hedrick

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Patton Oswalt

Annihilation

Comedy Dynamics

The best comedy LP in years is loaded with the expected belly laughs, but then Mr. Oswalt confronts the death of his wife (true crime writer Michelle McNamara) and his and his daughter’s grief, and now you’ve got yourself a work of art.

 

Alice Merton

MINT

Mom + Pop

This exciting newcomer could get by on attitude alone, but the 11 songs here are catchy as hell, too. And Ms. Merton, a rocker at heart, sings her ass off.

– 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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