Steely Dan UHQR Series

Music Reviews: Pop

December 7th, 2022

Standards And Originals Take Flight on Lori Lieberman's Newest Album

truly her finest vocal performances on record

By: Michael Fremer

Lori Lieberman performs this set of standards without a "net"—no reverb bath, or any kind of cover. Singing directly and closely "on mic" where there's no room for error she delivers her finest vocal performances on record backed by Matt Rollings on keyboards (piano and B3), Lyle Workman on guitars, David Piltch on upright bass and Victor Indrizzo on drums.Lieberman produced the record with Rollings, a player in Lyle Lovett's Large Band... Read More

November 27th, 2022

"Thriller" Ala Mobile Fidelity

The 40K One-Step Is a Mixed Sonic Bag

By: Michael Fremer

Trackingangle's purchased at retail copy of MoFi's "Thriller" arrived just the other day, but editor Michael Fremer was well-prepared for the review, having served as an expert witness in Quincy Jones's lawsuit against the estate of Michael Jackson. He'd spent a lot of time listening to the trio of Q produced Jackson albums.

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genre Pop Pop Rock format Vinyl

November 23rd, 2022

A Nondescript Album of ‘Christmas Songs’

The various artists LP ‘Christmas Songs’ lives up to the name, but how good is it?

By: Malachi Lui

Last year, when I reviewed the Yen Records holiday LP "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", a reader recommended another Japanese Christmas LP, simply titled 'Christmas Songs.' Released in 2010 by Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Commmons label, 'Christmas Songs' is a various artists LP of then-new recordings mostly of Christmas standards by a diverse range of artists, among them all three members of Yellow Magic Orchestra (albeit on separate tracks).... Read More

genre Pop format Vinyl

November 17th, 2022

Aimee Mann's 'I'm With Stupid' Offers Up A Set Of Thoughtful Observations

From the archives: Not since Moby Grape has so much talent been victim to dumb circumstance

By: Michael Fremer

(This review originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)Not since Moby Grape has so much talent been victim to dumb circumstance. Mann hit it big out of the gate with ‘Til Tuesday’s 1984 hit “Voices Carry.” You’d think two gold records would vindicate her pop musical instincts, but when Mann begin edging away from the drum machine/synth rut she’d dug for herself, towards folkier, acoustic guitar-based music, her label resisted, ultimately killing the group’s third... Read More

October 24th, 2022

Stereolab’s ‘Pulse Of The Early Brain (Switched On Volume 5)’ Rounds Up Rarities

As rare pieces of their back catalog continue to go up in price, this collection provides a varied set of less-obvious entry points into The Groop’s long career

By: JoE Silva

It’s a bit hard to fathom, but Stereolab has now released almost as many compilations as it has original albums. Sure, there’s some crossover, but taken as a whole, all of the rarer material gathered across their Switched On series gives you the sense that during their initial 20-year run the Anglo-French outfit never left the studio .

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genre Pop Space Age Pop format Vinyl

September 23rd, 2022

Razor & Tie Presents A Joe Meek Compilation CD

From the archives: No self-respecting audiophile geek should be without this 20-song disc

By: Michael Fremer

(This review originally appeared in Issue 5/6, Winter 1995/96.)Joe Meek was a lonely British eccentric producer/engineer who played with electronic gizmos in the studio to create kitsch filled teenage classics like “Telstar” by the Tornadoes, which those of you from the boomer generation remember as the song which introduced us to “the future” and to the sound of “outer space.”The stuff collected here is wonderful in its campy early 60s awfulness, but it also reveals... Read More

genre Pop format CD/SACD