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Rock - Released June 16, 1969 | Zappa Records

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As soon as that UFO cover (a man with a trout's head wearing a woolen waistcoat on a fluorescent pink background) comes into focus, we understand that the ground is mined and that the trip is bound to be singular; or even much more... The first notes of Trout Mask Replica resound and the devil himself has taken possession of the protagonists' bodies embarked in a swerve of crazy blues strangely resembling free jazz, contemporary music and voodoo-optional garage rock. Produced by another iconoclast—Frank Zappa—and released in June 1969, this third album of Don Van Vliet alias Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band links real blues, fake blues, atonal improvisations, sound experimentations, funny or crazy monologues, the time of an infinite, uncontrollable and uncontrolled farandole. The whole is carried by Beefheart's voice, like a Howlin' Wolf on acid that would go on to strongly influence Tom Waits. To produce such a sonic delirium, our rock 'n' roll Salvador Dali locked himself up in a house in the San Bernardo Valley with his close friends and family, all of them wearing improbable pseudonyms: guitarist Bill "Zoot Horn Rollo" Harkleroad, bassist Mark "Rockette Morton" Boston, John "Drumbo" French, drummer Jeff "Antennae Jimmy Semens" Cotton and clarinetist Victor "The Mascara Snake" Hayden. As John Peel, the influential British DJ, would say, "If there is a single thing in the history of popular music that can be described as a work of art, in the sense understood by those who work in other fields of art, Trout Mask Replica is probably that work." © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released November 22, 2019 | Parlophone UK

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Ever since Coldplay started out in 1998, their leader Chris Martin has certainly not shied away from religious references. This habit, however, seems to have reached new heights with Everyday Life, the group’s eighth album. In some cases, the spiritual outbursts are characterised by a distinct (and never over-the-top) gentleness. The simple guitar/voice/birdsong track comes WOTW/POTP to mind, as does the eight-person gospel song performed with no accompaniment (BrokEn). At other points, the musical colour and content are much more lyrical, like in Church, When I Need a Friend, and Arabesque, a call for peace. This last song features Stromae (who sings in French) and the Nigerian saxophonist Omorinmade Anikulapo-Kuti. The other “big” track on the album is Orphans: over Coldplay’s typical soaring pop-rock rhythms and a large choir, Chris Martin carries the torch for forced migrants and refugees. Divided into two parts (Sunrise and Sunset), Everyday Life constantly plays with the idea of yin and yang, something which is evident even on the album cover; the quartet pose like traditional fanfare musicians next to Friedrich Nietzsche! The image appears both the right side up and upside-down. All throughout the album, Coldplay alternates between positive energy (like on the soft voice/piano song Daddy) and anger-filled denunciations of today’s social ills (such as on the rock-guitar track Guns). Towards the end of the album we find a song with an unusual title and lyrics - for a mainstream Western album that is. Entitled بنی آدم (Children of Adam in Arabic) and beginning with a melancholic waltz on the piano, the piece was inspired by Bani Adam, a text written by the Persian poet Saadi Shirazi. Chris Martin’s spiritual, benevolent way of thinking - especially evident on this album – seems to be summed up in just the first two lines: “The children of Adam are members of a whole/In creation of one essence and soul”. © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released September 17, 2021 | Candid

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Rock - Released December 11, 2020 | Reprise

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Soul - Released February 22, 2019 | Rhino

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
A guitarist worshipped by Jimi Hendrix, an insanely good falsetto singer that even Prince looked up to, an author heavily involved in the American civil rights movement and a top-tier songwriter: Curtis Mayfield was a man of many talents. His groovy symphonies helped form solid links between funk, jazz, blues, soul and traditional gospel. After making his name with The Impressions in the 60s, he embarked on a solo career in 1970. This box set named Keep On Keeping On contains the singer’s first four studio albums, each remastered in Hi-Res 24-Bit quality: Curtis (1970), Roots (1971), Back to the World (1973) and Sweet Exorcist (1974). Here, the rhythm'n'blues enjoy a second life, supported by a wah-wah guitar, careful percussion and an always airy string section. Every topic concerned is a mini-tragedy, socially engaged, anchored in traditional gospel music. The masterful arranging of these albums (especially his masterpiece Curtis, and Roots) can be considered rivals to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On. It is worth mentioning that this 1970-1974 box set does not include the soundtrack to Superfly, Gordon Parks Jr.’s 1972 film which contains the singles Pusherman and Freddie’s Dead. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Pop - Released April 13, 2004 | Rhino - Elektra

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Rock - Released October 1, 2021 | Reprise

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Neil Young had just released his third solo album After the Gold Rush a few months before he played Carnegie Hall in December of 1970, where he offered up a new set of introspective songs that were relatively toned down when compared to the stomping full-band jamming of 1969's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. This would just be the beginning of a run of classic albums that continued throughout the '70s, and both sides of Young's musical personality -- the hushed and patient songwriter side, and the side that tended toward rugged rock -- were integral to how that peerless run played out. Young appeared alone on-stage at Carnegie Hall, playing stripped-down versions of his songs on acoustic guitar and piano to an audience so rapt they remained completely silent even as he took his time tuning the guitar and bantering between songs. He played two nights at Carnegie Hall, and while audience recordings of the second show found their way onto various bootlegs over the years, no bootlegs were ever made of the first night. Carnegie Hall 1970 offers the first public release of multi-track recordings from that first night, finding Young in rare form and delivering a diverse set list that included material from his records up to that point, as well as tunes that hadn't been released yet. Songs that were raging and blusterous on record, like "Cinnamon Girl," "Southern Man," and "Cowgirl in the Sand," are mysterious and tender in their solo renditions, peeling away the distortion and guitar heroics to expose the lingering melancholy and aching beauty that so often lie at the core of Young's songwriting. Already, folksy acoustic songs like "Tell Me Why," and the piano-based "Birds" take on an even more marked intimacy on Carnegie Hall 1970. Young's legendarily quaky voice conveys the loneliness, hope, loss, and appreciation of his lyrics with a profound impact when he stands alone with a single instrument. Die-hard fans will want to listen closely to versions of "See the Sky About to Rain," "Old Man," and "Bad Fog of Loneliness," all of which had yet to be recorded and commercially released at the time of these performances. It speaks to the creative streak Young was in the thick of at that time (and would continue in various forms for the majority of his career) that he was already tired of playing his groundbreaking songs that were only a few years old and was eager to get the next ones out. Any Young completist will need Carnegie Hall 1970, but it's a special performance that can be appreciated by more casual listeners as well. Alone at the microphone, the purity, simplicity, and one-of-a-kind magic of some of Neil Young's best songs come into view in a way that's undeniable. © Fred Thomas /TiVo
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Pop - Released July 12, 2019 | Rhino - Elektra

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Instrumental and vocal firepower, the considerable ears of engineer Greg Ladanyi, and some magical mixing at the Sound Factory in Hollywood, combined to create the best known album of Jackson Browne's long career, reissued here in gloriously detailed and dynamically thrilling high resolution sound. Russ Kunkel's drum break at the climatic shift of the title track. David Lindley's mournful fiddle in "The Road." Rosemary Butler's soaring vocal solo in "Stay." A song list heavy with covers. Jackson Browne on piano. An extraordinary example of utterly masterful sequencing. Sometimes a band is in such a groove that it demands to be captured live. But making a live album that reflects being on the road, recorded literally on the road? Cutting tracks in a Holiday Inn room in Edwardsville, IL, or on a moving tour bus, complete with grinding gears? Even today with all the digital advances in home recording gear, it still seems like a disaster in the making. In addition, none of the material had ever appeared on a Browne studio record. A shambling cover of Rev. Gary Davis's "Cocaine" and a rendition of Maurice Williams' (The Zodiacs) "Stay"—with David Lindley memorably singing the falsetto part—are both knockouts. "You Love the Thunder," recorded live in Holmdel, NJ, is a classic Jackson Browne love song, one of the last before he turned to political themes. And then there’s the album's heart: the epic Lowell George/Browne/Valerie Carter collaboration, "Love Needs a Heart." It's the one tune worth having the entire record for: "Love needs a heart/And I need to find/If love needs a heart like mine." As this fresh remastering proves again, Browne and his merry band of SoCal pros better known as The Section drew a masterpiece out of the hat with Running on Empty. © Robert Baird / Qobuz
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Pop - Released October 23, 1992 | Reprise

Electronic - Released September 3, 2021 | Warp Records

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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R&B - Released June 13, 2000 | Reprise

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Electronic - Released April 1, 2012 | Dreyfus Jazz

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Had Marcus Miller chosen a more fusion-centric path, it's quite possible that he would have become as iconic among fusion heads as Jaco Pastorius or Miroslav Vitous. Miller certainly knows his way around his electric bass, and he probably would have been a great addition to Return to Forever if Stanley Clarke had been unavailable for their 2008 reunion tour and Chick Corea had offered him the gig. But that is speculation, of course. What we can say with certainty is that being hell-bent for fusion is not the path chosen by the highly eclectic, broad-minded Miller, who is as well known for his work with Luther Vandross and for co-writing E.U.'s 1988 funk/go-go hit "Da Butt" as he is for the composing, producing, and playing he did on Miles Davis' Tutu and Amandla albums in the ‘80s. Nonetheless, Miller is quite capable of playing jazz when he wants to, and jazz is the main ingredient on A Night in Monte Carlo. Documenting a November 29, 2008 appearance in Monte Carlo, Monaco, this 63-minute CD unites Miller with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra as well as with trumpeter/flügelhornist Roy Hargrove. Occasionally, A Night in Monte Carlo steps outside of jazz; "State of Mind" and "Your Amazing Grace" (both of which feature singer Raúl Midón) are essentially vocal R&B. But instrumental jazz of the electric fusion variety dominates this concert, and the fact that Miller is operating in a very orchestral environment doesn't mean that there isn't room for stretching and improvising on memorable performances of Davis' "So What," George Gershwin's "I Loves You, Porgy," Jimmy Dorsey's "I'm Glad There Is You" and Amandla's title track. Some of those tunes have been beaten to death over the years, but not by fusion artists, and Miller manages to keep things intriguing even on some extremely familiar warhorses. A Night in Monte Carlo is not recommended to jazz purists; this is mainly jazz, but it's jazz with rock, funk, and hip-hop elements. Fusion lovers, however, will be delighted to hear Miller in this electric jazz-oriented environment. © Alex Henderson /TiVo
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Video Games - Released July 12, 2019 | Lakeshore Records

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Folk - Released May 3, 2019 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Distinctions Songlines Five-star review
“It’s the diversity in America that makes the music so powerful!”. Rhiannon Giddens, Gaelic first name, white father, mother of black and Native American (Occaneechi) ancestry, embodies the melting pot that is North American culture. The coloratura soprano that delivers an impenetrable folk, soul, blues, and bluegrass voice more than an opera one, has released her third record. She was discovered by the Coen brothers (Inside Llewyn Devis alongside Elvis Costello) and has collaborated with T-Bone Burnett. She has passed by Carolina Chocolate Drops and the White House and is the author of two acclaimed solo albums and one as Our Native Daughters (with Leyla McCalla, Allison Russell and Amythyst Kiah). The forty-year-old has, indeed, already done a lot. In collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi and produced by the excellent Joe Henry in 5 days in Dublin, There Is No Other combines original compositions with covers of classics, over a background of traditional Arabic music with Celtic and Italian influences. Within, one can find I’m Gonna Write Me A Letter by Ola Belle Reed, Brown Baby by the activist Oscar Brown Jr, or (from another genre) the Pizzica di San Vito or the Black Swan by Menotti. A diverse success. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Pop - Released October 2, 2020 | Nonesuch

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American folk is a traditional affair. It’s historically patriotic. Old songs are handed down from generation to generation, evolving as they go. Musicians play together as a family, passing the torch from one to the next. Joachim Cooder is no exception to the rule. He’s Ry Cooder’s son, an incredible musician with a broad vision for folk. Joachim often played with his father and here his father accompanies him on Over That Road I’m Bound, his debut album dedicated to covering old-time musician Uncle Dave Macon’s repertoire. Macon, who was born in 1870 and died in 1952, was one of the founding fathers of folk and country. He was immediately recognisable thanks to his high-pitched nasal voice and lively banjo playing. Joachim Cooder does of course respect Macon’s sound, but he also modernises the songs, almost appropriating them. On the opening track he plays the electric mbira, a strange African-inspired instrument that’s like a cross between a xylophone and a thumb piano, with a graceful sound that sets the tone for the rest of the album. His arrangements bring Africa to mind (you can hear echoes of Vieux Farka Touré, Ali’s son on guitar) as well as Ireland and the Appalachians. The vocal harmonies glide around like a warm breeze and the string instruments (guitar, violin, banjo...) weave new patterns into the fabric of Uncle Dave Macon’s songs. The record is beautifully produced: subtle, modern, soft to the ear and never old-fashioned. Joachim Cooder is definitely his father’s son. © Stéphane Deschamps/Qobuz
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Rock - Released July 10, 2012 | Rhino - Elektra

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In 1967 the world hadn’t fully digested the Doors’ astounding first album that they had already released Strange Days. Strange like these compositions that sounded like no other. Staggering, often dreamlike themes. And while Jim Morrison sang that people were strange, the same could be said about his Doors: incessant changes in rhythm, lyrics going back and forth between social critic and complete madness, and huge gaps between total trance and cabaret ballads… Months went by and Morrison was growing more and more out of control. In early 1968, the Doors nevertheless started working on their Waiting for the Sun. There are many anecdotes about these most chaotic weeks. Yet, upon its release in July, in the midst of the Vietnam War, fans appropriated pacifist anthem The Unknown Soldier and perky Hello, I Love You that opens this third album and propelled it to the top of the charts. Well aware of their leader’s unstable state, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore remained focused to create original and inspired parts. A notch below the two previous albums, Waiting for the Sun however approaches psychedelic music with the same unwavering originality. The use of acoustic instruments and refinement of some arrangements confirm the uniqueness of this band, even though it was on the verge of imploding… © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Rock - Released March 13, 2007 | Reprise

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Pop - Released July 19, 2019 | Rhino - Warner Records

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After leaving Apple Records in 1969, James Taylor signed a deal with Warner Bros. During those six years of partnership, his meteoritic rise made him one of the most adulated folk singers in the United States, for hits such as Fire and Rain and You’ve Got a Friend, that encapsulated his lyrical prowess, entrancing voice and overall capacity to rethink folk idioms in a more commercial-friendly format. Starting with Sweet Baby James in 1970, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon (1971) One Man Dog (1972), Walking Man (1974), Gorilla (1975), and last but not least In the Pocket, from 1976, the major steppingstones in Taylor’s career are here. These 6 albums, entirely remastered by Peter Asher, are featured on The Warner Bros. Albums: 1970-1976. The collection is a wonderful way to rediscover his halcyon days and his most important body of work, which would influence countless musicians during the 70s and after thanks to his sensitive, introspective charm. © Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz  
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R&B - Released June 25, 2021 | Craft Recordings

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Country - Released September 6, 2019 | Low Country Sound - Elektra

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The country supergroup of Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby—the Highwomen—mercifully isn't about girl power. Theirs is a show of strength by four grown-ass women and their mighty voices. They harmonize like nobody's business (the '80s-tinged "Redesigning Women," rodeo-sweetheart track "Heaven Is a Honky Tonk") but it's just as fun when they trade verses, as on the wickedly swinging "My Name Can't Be Mama" and lonesome-West title track, co-written with Jimmy Webb (who composed "Highwayman," made famous by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, who adopted the moniker in 1985 for their quartet). Morris takes center stage for "Loose Change," highlighting her clever-metaphor lyrics: "I'm gonna be somebody's lucky penny someday / instead of rolling around your pocket like loose change." Carlile exudes star power for the excellent "Wheels of Laredo" and "If She Ever Leaves Me"—a claim-staking weepie told from a lesbian POV. While not as famous, Shires ("Don't Call Me," a real spitfire) and Hemby (the Anne Murray-esque "My Only Child") prove much more than supporting players. And when all four voices come together with no solo turns for the angelic "Crowded Table," it's truly a high. © Qobuz