The Handsome Scoundrels
Ooh, La La
Mobile’s pop-punk kings are back with a new full-length album to attract new fans and delight longtime revelers. With 11 tracks of effervescent enthusiasm mixed with enough snark to warm even the darkest of hearts, the Handsome Scoundrels are always a beacon of light in a genre that often feels beat to death with familiar tropes. Whether you are a full-fledged pop-punk aficionado or occasional listener, give this album a few spins and it’s impossible to be in a bad mood.
– Nikki Hedrick
The Tubby Hayes Quartet
Grits, Beans and Greens: The Lost Fontana Studio Sessions 1969
Tenor saxophonist Edward “Tubby” Hayes had the classic American jazzman story—recognition, eclipse (by rock ‘n roll), substance abuse, early death—except he did it in England. Hayes even left behind tantalizing rumors of “lost” master tapes. A series of studio sessions is restored and collected here. Grits, Beans and Greens is a fascinating look into a musician’s mind. There are four takes each of “Rumpus” and the title song, and six takes of “Where Am I Going?” (from the musical Sweet Charity). Like Miles Davis, Hayes loved to camp on a tune, digging deep into its potential.
– Bruce Collier
Jumping the Gun
Behind the 8 Ball
Back with a new full-length, the Beachcomberland band is ready to carve out their path to larger ambitions. With this enjoyable blend of rock meets pop, Jumping the Gun showcases their drive to craft original music that tells their unique story. From spunky coming of age lyrics to metaphors about facing life’s trials, Behind the 8 Ball is a snapshot of a band in motion with earnest dreams and the moxie to get there.
– Nikki Hedrick
English-born, Welsh-inspired guitarist Chris Roberts’ Adra (Welsh for “home”) is the performance tip of a musical and historical iceberg. Roberts dug back into old and more recent archives of harp and guitar both to learn and to make connections for this debut solo album. He also partakes of Senegalese harp (kora) music, and the Welsh/West African tradition of the traveling bard or griot. Roberts goes it alone, no vocal or instrumental sidemen. What results is a rich, varied program of one-on-one music featuring traditional, reflective works, and modern virtuoso pieces that sound like they were tailor-made just for your entertainment.
– Bruce Collier
Annelien van Wauwe
Belgian clarinetist Annelien van Wauwe has accomplished something I thought impossible…I now love hearing the clarinet. Belle Epoque offers 10 pieces from Brahms, Widor, Pierne, and Debussy—all French or German composers of the late 19th century (“Belle Epoque”)—and one modern composer, Manfred Trojahn. That period marked the crossing of the frontier between classical tradition and modern, experimental art, setting the stage for the rise of the great solo artists. Each piece gives the clarinet front row, allowing van Wauwe to demonstrate amazing virtuosity. If you hear the dawn of jazz, these guys were the pioneers.
– Bruce Collier
Signature Sounds Recordings
All hail the new queen of alt-country, though she pretty much masters any style she sets her sights on. Along with Tommy Womack’s recent “We’ll Get Through This Too,” Ms. Jewell’s “79 Cents (The Meow Song)” feels like the right song for the right time. And I challenge you to find a lovelier ballad than “Who Else But You.”
Twelve blasts of primo metal that never wear out their welcome. If you’ve had it with the endless noodling and Cookie Monster vocals that have become the norm in heavy music, these kids are worthy of your undivided attention.
– 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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