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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | EMI Catalogue

In its original form, Let It Be signaled the end of an era, closing the book on the Beatles, as well as literally and figuratively marking the end of the '60s. The 1970 release evolved from friction-filled sessions the band intended to be an organic, bare-bones return to their roots. Instead, the endless hours of tapes were eventually handed over to Phil Spector, since neither the quickly splintering Beatles nor their longtime producer George Martin wanted to sift through the voluminous results. Let It Be... Naked sets the record straight, revisiting the contentious sessions, stripping away the Spectorian orchestrations, reworking the running order, and losing all extemporaneous in-studio banter. On this version of the album, filler tracks ("Dig It," "Maggie Mae") are dropped, while the juicy B-side "Don't Let Me Down" is added. The most obvious revamping is on the songs handled heavily by Spector. Removing the orchestrations from "The Long and Winding Road" and "Across the Universe" gives Paul McCartney's vocals considerably more resonance on the former, doing the same for John Lennon's voice and guitar on the latter. This alternate take on Let It Be enhances the album's power, reclaiming the raw, unadorned quality that was meant to be its calling card from the beginning. © TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2014 | EMI Catalogue

Admittedly, the soundtrack to Yellow Submarine wasn't one of the highlights in the Beatles' catalog, so providing an official alternate version of it is no big deal. The soundtrack always felt cobbled together, because it was. It only contained four new songs -- two of which were written by Harrison, which indicates how seriously Lennon and McCartney took the project, if their enjoyable throwaways ("Hey Bulldog" and "All Together Now," respectively) didn't provide enough of a clue -- plus two previously released songs ("All You Need Is Love," "Yellow Submarine") and a side of George Martin instrumentals from the film's score. The Beatles never assembled a slighter album while they were active, so it wasn't a sacrilege when their organization decided to assemble a "songtrack" -- a soundtrack that featured only the songs in the film, not any of the instrumentals -- to coincide with the re-release of the film in 1999. In a way, the "songtrack" (which is what the Beatles' associates insisted on calling the new effort) is an improvement on the soundtrack since it eliminates dead weight and strengthens the original six songs with nine songs featured in the movie ("Eleanor Rigby," "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," etc.). It's a little jarring not to hear the songs from the soundtrack in a different order on the songtrack, but ultimately the record is entertaining, if a bit familiar. That's not the case with the sound, though. The Beatles have decided to make this the first remixed CD in their catalog. The differences are slight but often notable and never really an improvement; as a matter of fact, it could likely be enough to irk, possibly anger, longtime Beatlemaniacs. It helps distinguish the Yellow Submarine "songtrack" as much as the new sequencing. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released February 19, 2013 | EMI Catalogue

Just as the film pays homage to the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz, Danny Elfman delivers a love letter to the classic scores of old Hollywood on the soundtrack to Oz the Great and Powerful. Filled with whimsy, melodrama, and grandeur, the score wears its emotions on its sleeve, taking listeners on the kind of fantastical voyage that Elfman has become a master of. Just like the magical land of Oz, the score of Oz the Great and Powerful feels like an avenue of escape for dreamers looking for something to break up the monotony of their humdrum days, and while this score might lack the catchy musical numbers of its predecessor, it's nevertheless a solid outing from Elfman. © Gregory Heaney /TiVo
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Children - Released January 1, 2013 | EMI Catalogue

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Film Soundtracks - Released September 11, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

The debut album from singer/actor Ross Lynch is also the soundtrack to his Disney TV show, Austin & Ally. On the show, Lynch, who looks a lot like former teen pop idol Aaron Carter, plays a mischievous vocalist who posts an online video of a song written by his strait-laced, stage fright-stricken friend Ally. The vid goes viral and hijinks ensue. Musically, the album flows from the One Direction style dance-pop of "Heard It On the Radio," to Justin Timberlake-sounding cuts like "Illusion," to even more contemporary sounding songs like the very Maroon 5-ish "Double Take." In that sense, Austin & Ally will definitely appeal to its pre-teen demographic and might even charm a few more grown-up fans of catchy, radio-ready dance pop. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Children - Released January 1, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

Film Soundtracks - Released July 23, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

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Brave drew attention for being Pixar's first film to feature a female protagonist, the headstrong, flame-haired Scottish princess Merida. However, as Brave's soundtrack reveals, the movie is also noteworthy for being one of the studio's most musical films, especially for one not featuring music by Pixar's go-to songwriter Randy Newman. Instead, Brave's songs make the most of the film's girl-power sentiments and Celtic setting with Patrick Doyle's lively score and songs performed by the cast, as well as Scottish folksinger Julie Fowlis and English singer/songwriter Birdy. Though Fowlis often sings in Scots Gaelic, she sounds just as soaring and sweet in English on "Touch the Sky" and "Into the Open Air"; likewise, Birdy -- accompanied by folk-rock sensations Mumford & Sons -- channels Merida's longing for freedom and wide-open spaces in "Learn Me Right." The princess' mom and dad get in on the act too, with Billy Connolly leading the cast through "Song of Mor'Du," a rousing song about a local monster, while Emma Thompson and Peigi Barker sing the lovely lullaby "Noble Maiden Fair (A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal)." Meanwhile, Doyle's score embellishes its orchestral pieces with plenty of pipes, fiddles, and lilting melodies, particularly on "Fate and Destiny" and "Merida's Home," but also delivers some wonderfully cartoony moments with "The Games" and "Through the Castle," and downright tense cues such as "Merida Rides Away" and "Not Now!" Judged purely on its musical merits, Brave might not be the most memorable of Pixar soundtracks, but it maintains the studio's reputation for creative and fitting details in every part of its productions. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

Sinead O'Connor allegedly sang briefly for the Irish septet In Tua Nua. She doesn't appear on The Long Acre, the band's second release, although lead singer Leslie Dowdall is a fairly passionate vocalist in her own right. Produced by the noted Don Dixon, In Tua Nua blended alternative rock with more traditional instrumentation including Lovely Previn, who plays violin, and Brian O'Braian, who adds pipes, whistles, and saxophone. The album's eleven tracks mainly have a bead on radio and, basically, the band fell somewhere between other Irish acts Hothouse Flowers and The Corrs, musically. "Woman On Fire" opens things with a violin-driven, quick-paced tale of destructive devotion delivered fiercely by Dowdall. "The Innocent And The Honest Ones" is anchored by an insistent drumbeat and punctuated by violin and fluid guitar work from Martin Clancy and Jack Dublin. Other notable cuts include "All I Wanted," "Some Things Never Change," and the catchy "Don't Fear Me Now." The Long Acre has plenty of hooks and, although they don't sink too deep, it's still worth a listen. © Tom Demalon /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

The soundtrack to the Disney Channel's show Shake It Up, about two girls who finally get a chance to live their dreams of being professional dancers, is as foot-tapping as its subtitle, Live 2 Dance, suggests. The dance-pop set features Bella Thorne's text-speak hit "TTYLXOX," Blush's driving "Up Up and Away," and Amber Lily's Ke$ha-esque "Turn It On," along with tracks by Zendaya, Coco Jones, and Adam Trent. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Pop - Released October 15, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

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Film Soundtracks - Released October 15, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

Composer Danny Elfman's score for director Tim Burton's black-and-white stop-motion tale of a boy and his newly reanimated dog is steeped in the kind of rich, choir-driven, harmlessly macabre innocence that supplied 1990's Edward Scissorhands with the heart it needed to break free of its overly quirky trappings. With nods to the frantic, pinball-like precision of Pee Wee's Big Adventure ("Electricity") and the good-natured malevolence of The Nightmare Before Christmas ("Invisible Fish/Search for Sparky"), Frankenweenie is fun, breathlessly atmospheric, and surprisingly affecting. Employing an effortless mix of menace, heartache, and joy, Elfman has crafted his most sentimental and nuanced score since 2003's Big Fish, and while it may borrow liberally from some of his previous works, it's still a joy to listen to from start to finish. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

Film Soundtracks - Released December 3, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

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The team behind Disney's Wreck-It Ralph, the tale of a video game villain who wants to go good, committed to authenticity at every level of the movie, from including Q-Bert and and Clyde (aka the orange ghost from Pac-Man) as minor characters to making sure the film's music conveyed the golden age of arcade games and the feel of the games that followed. Wreck-It-Ralph shows that composer Henry Jackman and the other artists featured here did an impressive job of capturing that spirit without getting geeky enough to alienate anyone not steeped in gamer culture. That said, this soundtrack relishes that culture, most notably on "Wreck-It, Wreck-It-Ralph" by Buckner & Garcia, the duo who had their fingers on the pulse of the early '80s with "Pac-Man Fever." While "Wreck-It, Wreck-It Ralph" isn't quite as charmingly wacky as its predecessor, it still harks back to a time when a hit song could be written about a video game, instead of a game including a hit song on its soundtrack. Elsewhere, the J-pop group AKB48 embodies the kawaii feel of many Japanese games with the theme song for the candy-based racing game "Sugar Rush," while Skrillex's "Bug Hunt (Noisia Remix)" delivers a more-than-reasonable facsimile of the tense, aggressive music that soundtracks the first-person shooters of the 21st century. Jackman's score mostly follows suit, especially when it incorporates electronic elements as on "Royal Raceway"'s bleepy synth-pop paradise, the brilliantly rudimentary 8-bit doodles of "Life in the Arcade," or the relentless beat of "Rocket Fiasco." However, Jackman's music also relies heavily on orchestral arrangements that, while perfectly effective and even inspired in some cases ("Vanellope von Schweetz"'s playful pauses and dynamics recall the way Looney Tunes used these kind of cues) aren't quite as distinctive as an all- or mostly electronic score would have been. While Wreck-It-Ralph misses out on being a Tron for the preteen set, the soundtrack still scores high when it comes to playfulness and devotion to its subject matter. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

The soundtrack to the Disney Channel's show Shake It Up, about two girls who finally get a chance to live their dreams of being professional dancers, is as foot-tapping as its subtitle, Live 2 Dance, suggests. The dance-pop set features Bella Thorne's text-speak hit "TTYLXOX," Blush's driving "Up Up and Away," and Amber Lily's Ke$ha-esque "Turn It On," along with tracks by Zendaya, Coco Jones, and Adam Trent. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released July 23, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

Brave drew attention for being Pixar's first film to feature a female protagonist, the headstrong, flame-haired Scottish princess Merida. However, as Brave's soundtrack reveals, the movie is also noteworthy for being one of the studio's most musical films, especially for one not featuring music by Pixar's go-to songwriter Randy Newman. Instead, Brave's songs make the most of the film's girl-power sentiments and Celtic setting with Patrick Doyle's lively score and songs performed by the cast, as well as Scottish folksinger Julie Fowlis and English singer/songwriter Birdy. Though Fowlis often sings in Scots Gaelic, she sounds just as soaring and sweet in English on "Touch the Sky" and "Into the Open Air"; likewise, Birdy -- accompanied by folk-rock sensations Mumford & Sons -- channels Merida's longing for freedom and wide-open spaces in "Learn Me Right." The princess' mom and dad get in on the act too, with Billy Connolly leading the cast through "Song of Mor'Du," a rousing song about a local monster, while Emma Thompson and Peigi Barker sing the lovely lullaby "Noble Maiden Fair (A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal)." Meanwhile, Doyle's score embellishes its orchestral pieces with plenty of pipes, fiddles, and lilting melodies, particularly on "Fate and Destiny" and "Merida's Home," but also delivers some wonderfully cartoony moments with "The Games" and "Through the Castle," and downright tense cues such as "Merida Rides Away" and "Not Now!" Judged purely on its musical merits, Brave might not be the most memorable of Pixar soundtracks, but it maintains the studio's reputation for creative and fitting details in every part of its productions. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

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Film Soundtracks - Released August 13, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

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Pop - Released June 24, 2012 | EMI Catalogue

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Children - Released January 1, 2012 | EMI Catalogue