Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Vinyl

When I opened the package that contained this album, I rolled my eyes and said, “Just what the world needs, another audiophile reissue of Waltz for Debby.” But on a few seconds’ reflection, I dropped my cynicism. The previous reissues, on vinyl anyway, were either out-of-print or available only as part of an enormous, expensive 11-album boxed set, so, yes, this is at least one of the things we can welcome to the world with joy. Waltz is the best album in Bill Evans’... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

After dominating the UK music scene in 2021 with her epic, bombastic LP “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert”, Little Simz (real name Simbi Ajikawo) wasted no time in returning with another magnificent expression of her partnership with producer Inflo. While her latest LP “No Thank You” was released on streaming services in December 2022, the physical formats, including a range of vinyl variants, finally surfaced in mid-June 2023.Before turning to the exceptional Little... Read More

Barbra Streisand has garnered virtually every accolade, tribute, award, and honor it’s possible for a great popular artist to get: ten Grammys, nine Golden Globes, five Emmys, two Oscars, and a Tony, not to mention four Peabody Awards, the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Arts, and France’s Légion d'honneur. Her albums have been reshuffled, remastered, and reconfigured with almost... Read More

genre Pop Broadway format Vinyl

1971 was a mammoth year for the Alice Cooper group (not to be confused with the group’s frontman who would eventually go solo). After delving into Los Angeles-tinged psychedelic freakouts with their first two albums, Pretties for You and Easy Action, the group relocated to the Metro Detroit city of Pontiac, Michigan. Within the area that embraced the harder driving sounds of The Stooges and MC5, the band was able to hone in on a straightforward hard rock sound. This... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

What do you get when you combine acoustic singer-songwriter qualities with the electronic and infectious beat of the dancefloor? You might find something similar to the German duo of childhood friends, Clemens Rehbein and Phillipp Dausch who go by the moniker Milky Chance. This review may be your introduction to the band—if so, then Willkommen!—but Milky Chance have existed for about a decade and have just released their seventh full-length, Living in a Haze on their... Read More

Josh Smith records the epic inner struggle between music and hatred, which provides the backdrop to his review of the late Republican operative's infamous vanity project.

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genre Blues Blues Rock format Vinyl

If we set our musical Wayback Machines to 1976 what do we find dominating the radio landscape? ABBA had two of their biggest singles that year, “Dancing Queen” and “Fernando” and Queen was king with “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Chicago’s “If You Leave Me Now” was a monster hit, as was Elton John and Kiki Dee’s, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”. If there is one commonality between those five songs, it’s the slick and glossy - perhaps even hedonistic - production values. For better... Read More

genre Blues format Vinyl

Brotherhood kills two birds with one stone. The first bird climbs high altitudes, showing no hesitation. This bird possesses two key qualities: strength and valiancy. Strength—the ability to grapple the truth—compliments valiancy. Above the clouds one finds the first bird. It soars despite the truth: if it falls, the ground takes its life. On the ground one finds the second bird, the first bird’s antithesis. Whilst the first bird aims beyond the sky, the second bird... Read More

genre Rock Alternative Rock format Vinyl

Sasha Matson first came to the attention of many audiophiles with his 1993 Audioquest release "i-5/Steel Cords" (Audioquest AQ-LP 1013), which includes the most unusual "Works For Pedal Steel Guitar, Harp and Strings" and i-5" a paen to Interstate Highway 5, the road that in the late 1980s brought Matson from Berkeley to Los Angeles (the composer will probably tell me "paen" is the wrong word for his tribute, but that's okay).... Read More

genre Jazz Big Band format Vinyl

Subtlety is a delicate art form. Too little, and one runs the risk of being too obvious, clunky, or blatant. Too much, and no one gets the joke, takes the hint, or catches the drift. Finding the right amount of subtlety makes comedy funnier and mysteries more intriguing; it can also lead to music that is full of the magic that leaves the listener wanting to hear more. Performing and recording together since 2007, Balmorhea has often explored the auditory world of... Read More

Despite the accusations of antisemitism for his support of Palestine and his stance on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine being “not unprovoked,” there is still no denying Roger Waters’ timeless influence in all avenues of the performing arts. Best known for being a founding member of progressive rock giants Pink Floyd and a profitable touring artist, Waters has always struck a certain chord with his thematic lyrics pertaining to adult life, society and isolation. Those... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

In his Downbeat review of jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby's 1965 release "The Fantastic Jazz Harp of Dorothy Ashby" (Atlantic 1447), "K.D." wrote : "Flighty" has Miss Ashby gliding in a Wes Montgomery-like style of octave approach. But it's obviously very much her own creation." K.D. compares bassist Richard Davis to Segovia. What a well-written, perceptive and interesting review, I thought to myself. Then I looked in the box... Read More

genre Jazz Cool Jazz format Vinyl

Vashti Bunyans's Just Another Diamond Day (1970) and Terry Callier's The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier (1965) are classic, collectible folk records from artists who never got their deserved attention. Both have been reissued by The Electric Recording Company, makers of limited and very expensive reissues of often quite rare recordings.

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genre Folk Acoustic format Vinyl

Many have long forgotten, if they ever knew, but for a brief spell in the mid-to-late 1950s, André Previn was one of America’s most popular jazz musicians, at least judging by record sales, and his cover of West Side Story, released in 1960, marked his high point in that realm. It was his 6th and final album devoted entirely to a Broadway score—the first, in ’56, was My Fair Lady, which remained the best-selling jazz album for the next three years. It also marked pretty much his farewell to jazz, after which he turned to arranging unabashed mood music and then, in a total switch, to conducting classical symphonies.

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genre Jazz format Vinyl