Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Spoken Word

People are hardly self-sustaining. Everyday life neglects and misaligns our spirit. Periodically, everyone must seek a spiritual tune up. Some read, some paint. Others meditate, chasing the unrivalled clarity silence offers. Most reading these words prefer music. Though not all artists create equal music. Many albums, while fun, are just that; lighthearted pleasure. Compelling music reorients its recipient. Of course, lighthearted pleasure isn’t especially compelling. Susanne Sundfør’s Blómi is. The Norwegian artist’s sixth studio album checks all boxes. It’s creative, inquisitive, and intricate, incorporating multiple cultures. Chiefly, Blómi certainly spiritually revitalises its listener.

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Back in 2014 when I was an undergraduate student at the Manhattan School of Music, I remember the Jazz department in a perpetual uproar over the release of the film Whiplash. It seems every Jazz musician I knew had something to say about that movie, from praise to condemnation, from astonishment at what it got right, to a laundry list of everything it got wrong (it didn’t help that supposedly the fictional “Schaefer Conservatory” was based on our own institution).... Read More

As I paid $25 for an original US copy of Lou Reed’s 1978 live album Take No Prisoners, my local record shop owner said, “Enjoy it, man, I’ve never seen this record before. Plus it’s a promo.” Indeed it is: not only is there a sticker from Arista denoting it a DJ copy originally loaned for promotional use only, but there’s also a bold red hype sticker reading “SPECIALLY PRICED TWO-RECORD SET—All the raw excitement of Lou Reed-Live,” with quotes from the Chicago... Read More