Albums

905 albums sorted by Date: from newest to oldest
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Alternative & Indie - Released September 14, 2018 | Naive

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Rock - Released September 14, 2018 | Parlophone UK

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
As the icon of a generation, a bona fide star since his beginnings with the Jam, the Modfather has always inspired and fascinated fans, even just with his haircut! And in the year of his 60th birthday, Paul Weller is still giving his best. As always… Made up for the most part of acoustic songs, True Meanings, his 26th album (the 14th in solo), is far removed from his 2015 Saturns Pattern. Here, Weller seems to take a step back and reflect. He goes back to something extremely simple, straightforward, a floral and poetic album. As if the recording took place in a flowery meadow on a summer evening for an audience of insomniac romantics. Introspection is under way. The British artist studies the elements around him, dwells on his memories, sings a fanciful tribute to Bowie, all without omitting his distortions between jazz and soul… True Meanings in itself is a Wellerian praise of ballad. It starts nicely and slowly with a guitar theme, before being wrapped in violins and background vocals. It’s an absolute delight to hear the Modfather live up to his seventies masterpieces like English Rose and Liza Radley. Even though Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler are no longer by his side in the studio, Paul Weller has always managed to surround himself with talent, as illustrated by the guests on True Meanings: Rod Argent from the Zombies (The Soul Searchers), Lucy Rose (Books), Tom Doyle (Movin On) and even a small appearance of Noel Gallagher on White Horses… A calm, laidback voice that fits perfectly with the few compositions of songwriter Erland Cooper from the band Erland and the Carnival. Two lyricists for an album that discreetly and subtly draws from genres, like this invention of a glam-rock picking ballad: Mayfly. A beautiful reference to T. Rex’s Get It On, without the glitter of course. No doubt about it, Paul Weller is a “Changingman” with delicate taste. © Clara Bismuth/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 31, 2018 | Jazz Village

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
Dying today. In Creole, mo jodi. The title says it all for Delgres’ first album, an impeccable trio that could easily be compared to what would happen if the Black Keys dropped their anchor in the Antilles… Delgres for Louis Delgrès, an abolitionist infantry colonel born in Saint-Pierre, famous for his anti-slavery proclamation, a high point of Guadeloupe’s resistance against Napoleonic troops who wanted to restore the slave trade. When Louis Delgrès and his 300 men realised all was lost when faced with Bonaparte’s soldiers, they decided to commit suicide using their explosives, by virtue of the revolutionary emblem live free or die… However, this historic name doesn’t constrain Pascal Danaë, Baptiste Brondy and Rafgee to only be a “band with a message”. Delgres proudly waves its name and the ideals that go with it, but focuses first and foremost on making rock with a touch of garage, fed with some primitive blues, raw soul music and sounds from New Orleans. Combining dobro guitar, drums and sousaphone – an atypical tuba popular in the carnival fanfares of the Antilles and New Orleans −, the trio assert their originality. In his writing too, Danaë goes back and forth − with great ease − between Creole and English, blurring the lines between his influences, which he has always treated with taste throughout his long career (he was for instance involved in Rivière Noire, best World Music album at the 2015 Victoires de la Musique). A stylistic kaleidoscope, illustrated by the ballad Séré mwen pli fo, sung in duo with Morcheeba’s Skye Edwards. In its edgier moments as well as nostalgic and absorbing sequences, Mo Jodi talks about History, but also hope, and builds bridges between continents and centuries to create a blissful journey of rock’n’blues’n’soul that will take you by the guts! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released August 31, 2018 | ACT Music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
To say that Vincent Peirani shook the world of jazz accordion is an understatement... In 2015, his album Living Being further broke down the preconceptions of the instrument. "I wanted to start my own band, in which I needed to feel confident", explained the accordionist. I wanted to feel like a "family". That’s why I got in touch with four musicians who are good friends of mine". Peirani teamed up with Emile Parisien, his partner from the duo Belle Epoque, as well as the bassist Julien Herné, the drummer Yoann Serra and the keyboardist Tony Paeleman... The compositions by Peirani and the covers of Michel Portal and Jeff Buckley make Living Being an incredibly holistic album. These young musicians succeed in closing the gap that sometimes exists between composition and improvisation. Vincent Peirani's writing is touching and imaginative yet also surprising and elusive. The accordionist is from a generation that draws its inspiration from various musical sources, hence the albums’ richness. Three years later, with the same group members, Living Being II (Night Walker) is also wonderfully rich. Peirani also includes four covers alongside his eight compositions: Bang Bang by Sonny Bono, What Power Art Thou, an extract from King Arthur by Purcell and two hits by Led Zeppelin, Kashmir and Stairway To Heaven. His approach towards this atypical choice of covers is fascinating, as is the way in which his instrument adapts the score of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Living Being II (Night Walker) is principally the success of a group who are in perfect equilibrium. Osmosis at its best. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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French Music - Released August 31, 2018 | Musique Sauvage ()

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released August 24, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
In what sense Hayden's two concertos for cello – at least, the two that we know of as his, although he surely wrote more – are the fruit of a "Transfigured Night" is not clear, and isn't made more so by reading the booklet, although it is very interesting, historically speaking. But on the other hand, of course, Schönberg's Transfigured Night, still a classic of his tonal and post-Wagnerian works, clearly justifies the title. Hayden's concertos are played by the magnificent American cellist Alisa Weilerstein, herself a "privileged partner" of Trondheim Soloists who accompany her here (without a conductor) and give us Schönberg's version for string orchestra. Given that Trondheim is slap bang in the middle of Norway, we can well imagine how the night and the twilight – which lasts most of the day for several months every year – must be full of images of transfigurations to inspire our musicians! And let's recall briefly how this ensemble, founded in 1988, recorded the Four Seasons with Anne-Sophie Mutter in 1999, a veritable stepping stone to international fame. © SM/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released June 29, 2018 | Blue Note

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
No need to have the same musical tastes to appreciate each other’s cuisine... The proof of this truism can be found in this collaboration between a revered queen of alternative country and a respected old sage of modern jazz: Lucinda Williams and Charles Lloyd, a one-day couple supported by a five-star cast of musicians in which we find guitarist Bill Frisell, pedal steel master Greg Leisz, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland... Both Lloyd and Williams have previously lead a revolution in their respective fields. Here, the duo are celebrating a certain idea of America with an open-minded repertoire. A heterogeneous menu mixing jazz, blues, country and rock'n'roll, with Williams only singing on half of the ten tracks. Vanished Gardens offer up Jimi Hendrix (Angel) as well as Thelonious Monk (Monk's Mood) and Roberta Flack (Ballad of The Sad Young Men), though they also include some of their signature dishes (three by Charles Lloyd and four by Lucinda Williams). This is, above all, a refined and profound album; the work of two musicians who know how to digest well decades of music. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Zouk & Antilles - Released June 22, 2018 | Bongo Joe

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
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Maghreb - Released June 15, 2018 | Glitterbeat Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
An escapee from the collective Bargou 08, Tunisian electro musician Sofyannn Ben Youssef took on the pseudonym Ammar 808 to release his hair-raising first album. As with 808 State, English pioneers of the Manchester acid movement, the name is a reference to the legendary TR 808 drum machine, which was the pride of any electro or hip-hop producer's arsenal in the late 1980s and early 1990s. And while this machine teams up with traditional North African instruments (guembri lute, gasba flute, zukra pipes), it doesn't impose a dominant retro feel on the album. The crafty producer has also brought along a few of the most remarkable voices of the North African scene: his compatriot Cheb Hassen Tej (Ichki lel Bey, El Bidha Wessamra), the Moroccan Mehdi Nassouli (Boganga & Sandia, Layli), found here alongside Titi Robin, and the Algerian Sofiane Saïdi (Zine Ezzine), with whom Ammar 808 pursues a fruitful dialogue, which was begun in the company of Mazalda on the very winning album El Ndjoum. Ammar 808 lines up covers of traditional pieces, but dresses them in futurist combinations. Already excited by the good surprises thrown up by the electro chaabi movement, and by the Acid Arab collective, this Maghreb United shows that in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, clubbers will still be filling the dancefloors. © Benjamin MiNiMuM/Qobuz
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Metal - Released June 8, 2018 | Relapse Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released May 25, 2018 | Alpha

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama
It was when he heard a harpsichordist playing for the students at the university in his home town of Angers that Justin Taylor first discovered this instrument and its intriguing sound. He split his time between the piano and a harpsichord apprenticeship that he took with Olivier Beaumont and Blandine Rannou, also following masterclasses from Skip Sempé and Pierre Hantaï. What followed was a modern fairytale. The young man made furious progress, swiftly becoming a poster boy for the French harpsichord, winning the Bruges Competition and being named the musical "Revelation" of 2017, at the age of 23. A first album, dedicated to the Family Forqueray (Alpha, Qobuzissime) was showered in plaudits and soon followed by a number of concerts at prestigious festivals, which seem not to have remotely changed this young Franco-American. For his second project with Alpha Classics, Justin Taylor deftly blends Scarlatti with Ligeti, a composer he knows well, having played his formidable Continuum at the admission competition for the Conservatoire de Paris (CNSMD). In this new album, Scarlatti's harmonic daring joins a György Ligeti fascinated by the work of his distant Neapolitan colleague. The result is a real firework, lit and aimed by ten fingers which are as intelligent as they are fiendish – this artist is absolutely one to watch. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Folk - Released May 18, 2018 | Haïku Records

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 18, 2018 | Marathon Artists

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
Courtney Barnett’s second studio album is as magnificent as it is simple. But not simplistic, no, just simple. The young Australian creates a rock’n’roll of an almost disarming purity and clarity. For the simple reason that the songs presented here are absolutely brilliant. Indeed, songs. That “detail” that can make or break an album… Just like the compilation of her first two EPs ( A Sea of Split Peas), her first album (Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit), and her duo album with Kurt Vile (Lotta Sea Lice), this Tell Me How You Really Feel strings together ten trips that perfectly blend cynical humour and sincere confession. Most importantly, Courtney Barnett appears more introspective than in years past. And because things are firing on all cylinders for her, both in her career (with an impressive critical and popular success on the global stage) and personal life (she’s been sharing her life with her peer Jen Cloher for quite a long time now), it becomes clear that the Australian artist took her time to polish perfectly each of these ten compositions. Even more impressive as she combines well-worn themes (her loves, anxieties, frustrations and opinions) while never sounding cliché. As per usual, Courtney Barnett wraps her prose in an impeccable indie rock on the guitar, that never feels overproduced. She’s been influenced by big names such as Lou Reed, Kurt Cobain, Neil Young and Jonathan Richman, including a collaboration on two tracks with the Deal sisters, Kim and Kelley, from The Breeders. What was Neil Young saying again on his famous Hey Hey, My My? Rock’n’roll can never die? © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Cello Concertos - Released May 18, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
After two albums which met with unanimous critical acclaim all over the world, the Resonanz Ensemble, based in Hamburg, is offering a recording dedicated to Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: the Cello Concertos wq. 170 and Wq. 172, respectively from 1750 and 1753, and the Symphonie Wq. 173 of 1741. The listener will immediately note the radical difference in language between the two concertos, written after the death of Bach Senior, and the Symphony, written while he was still alive: the concertos keep their eyes firmly fixed on the nascent classical era, including the "Sturm und Drang" which still lay ahead (in this regard, the Concerto in A Minor which opens the album, full of force and melodic power, is an excellent example), whereas the Symphony takes the final throes of baroque as its point of departure. Cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Resonanz Ensemble offer a crystal-clear reading, conducted by their new musical director in residence, violinist Riccardo Minasi: and coolly resist the vogue – which can be quite intrusive, or even dictatorial or exclusive – for period instruments, which seems to hold that any music before Mozart (and even sometimes Mozart too) may not be played on modern instruments. Queyras, Resonanz and Minasi are all able to make use of stylistic elements gleaned from the fashion for baroque. This is a very fine album, superbly played, which really brings out all the originality of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. © SM/Qobuz
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World - Released May 11, 2018 | Strut

Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 11, 2018 | Domino Recording Co

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Classical - Released May 4, 2018 | Challenge Classics

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
This is the third album for Challenge Classics from the excellent Israeli pianist Einav Yarden, who, having made the most of the world of Haydn, and before that Beethoven and Stravinsky, is now taking on the most complex figure in early German romanticism, Robert Schumann, by way of a repertoire that is in part fairly original (Drei Fantasiestücke Op. 111 to start) but also well-trodden (Fantasie Op. 17, Waldszenen) by his fellow musicians. The tough competition should not distract you, however, from this musician, who is still little known in these parts, a student of Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory, much beloved of Elisso Virsaladze, and who first trained in Israel. His performances of Schumann set themselves apart with their striving for structural clarity and ample phrasing, which sometimes presages Brahms, rather than a drive for lyricism or for sweetly febrile poetry. © Théodore Grantet/Qobuz The three works on this album span a period of fifteen years – years in which the young Schumann suffered forcible separation from his beloved Clara, followed by their marriage and a brief period of relative calm, to the increasing bouts of mental instability which were to close him off from the world around him until his death. The piano Fantasiestücke op. 111 was composed in 1851 during a time of deteriorating mental health and increasing disillusionment with his post as Music Director of the Düsseldorf Music Society. In contrast to the youthfully extrovert Fantasiestücke op. 12 of 1837, these three untitled pieces are “of a serious and passionate character”, as Clara described them, their bold harmonies intensifying their expressivity. The Fantasie in C major op. 17 is one of Schumann’s most powerful large-scale piano works, composed during the bitter period of his enforced separation from Clara. Schumann completed his cycle of nine forest piano miniatures, Waldszenen, in 1849, while struggling with increasing bouts of mental instability and depression. Each piece is headed by a descriptive title. These masterly tone paintings display Schumann’s genius in creating miniature images consummate in expression, characterisation and mood. © Challenge Classics
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Full Operas - Released May 2, 2018 | PentaTone

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - Diapason d'or / Arte - Le Choix de France Musique
The story of the Pêcheurs de perles [Pearl Fishers] by Bizet is nothing short of torturous: after its first outing in 1863, the score – whose manuscript is now in private hands and no longer available, alas – fell into obscurity, and was only returned to its rightful place in the sun after the composer's death, once Carmen had made his name. Alas – a thousand times, alas – many different theatre directors took themselves for great geniuses and made little amendments to the work, cutting here, adding there, changing bits up to and including the end. Until the 1960s, this calamitously cack-handed version was the one that was performed – this libretto looks a little flat, why not add a few mistakes? – until musicologists stumbled across the original documents, in particular the cut-down version by Bizet himself, as well as the "conductor's score" of the time, which contained many notes about orchestration. This version, put together in 2014 by Hugh MacDonald, is sung by the flower of great French lyrical music – Julie Fuchs, Florian Sempey, Cyrille Dubois and Luc Bertin-Hugault – and returns as closely as possible to the original version of the work, so that the listener will encounter a number of big surprises, and good surprises too: additional numbers, several melodic and dramatic developments: almost a whole new score. © SM/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 27, 2018 | ATO Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Behind his thick lenses, the head of Okkervil river is a thinker, who has led his group on a meandering course. For Away (2016), Will Sheff started with the mournful Okkervil River R.I.P, the better to announce his return. This is a group that he had left in order to renew himself. For this ninth work, oddly optimistic, the songwriter didn't take long to find inspiration. Touring America for Away, with the help of the election campaign period, Sheff turns out tracks part way between precious folk (How It Is), loquacious folk (External Actor), delicate pop (Pulled Up The Ribbon), more sombre pop talking about his tracheotomy and other better-known numbers like the one by Mary Wells (Famous Tracheotomy), which are full of stories as painful as they are direct. Mixed by Shawn Everett, In The Rainbow Rain seems to be the positive to Away's negative. It's a highlight of their discography.  © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Secular Vocal Music - Released April 27, 2018 | harmonia mundi

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - 4F de Télérama - Special Soundchecks
We could say that the composers chosen here by Sébastien Daucé and the Ensemble Correspondances cover England from 1600 to 1700, from Coprario's generation (real name Cooper, but Italicised for fashion reasons!), Johnson and Lanier, all born before the turn of the 17th century, up to Hart and Blow who died just after. Step by step, we follow the integration of the new art brought over from Italy, although the typically-Italian recitations remain coloured by "declamation", a typical feature of English music. Another clear pivot is the twenty-year musical hiatus between the start of the Civil War in 1642 and the Restoration with Charles II's return to the throne, and in between, the Puritan religious dictatorship of Cromwell, which tried to ban more or less any form of celebration, including music. A number of English artists chose exile in the countryside, teaching music, or went abroad. This comprehensive selection spanning a whole century allows the Correspondances ensemble, a broad group of singers and instrumentalists, to show their deep knowledge of this whole epoch, which is extremely rich despite often precarious conditions of life and threats to survival. © SM/Qobuz