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Alternative & Indie - Released May 8, 2012 | Secretly Canadian

Booklet Distinctions 5/6 de Magic - Sélection Les Inrocks
Luke Temple and company keep on their road with the band's third album, but Here We Go Magic just aren't quite living up to their name beyond familiar, ultimately less than inspiring moves. It's not that the bandmembers aren't trying -- more than once they almost suggest an inspired fusion of early Beta Band with Hail to the Thief-era Radiohead, if more straightforwardly rock-inclined than both. But when Temple's voice takes on more of a clear Thom Yorke quality as it goes -- "Alone But Moving" in particular is pretty much an overt tribute -- then sometimes the line between inspiration and tribute is effaced. The album does start promisingly: after a bit of moody murkiness in a brief piece appropriately and descriptively called "Intro," hearing them shift into a mood that sounds like Nick Drake getting quietly funky -- soft echoed vocals, bouncing bass, and a steady pulsing energy in the rhythms -- is a treat. Here We Go Magic move between more full-on hyperactivity in that vein from songs like "Make Up Your Mind" and "I Believe in Action" to the easier-going grooves of "Alone But Moving," but too often they don't do much with that. "How Do I Know" strikes one of the better balances between the band's two sides, driving and energetic while just a bit wistful, even as Temple's voice has a bit more of a clipped quality. Meanwhile, "Over the Ocean" isn't a Low cover but that might have been a fun curve ball, or at least a more distinct one. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 13, 2012 | Parlophone UK

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Hard work was hardwired into Dr. Feelgood's DNA. They never left the road, not even after the death of their lead singer Lee Brilleaux in 1994. Nearly two decades after his demise, a lineup of Dr. Feelgood containing no original members continues to grind out gigs across the United Kingdom, a testament to the band's take-no-prisoners aesthetic, even if their presence tends to obscure what made the Feelgoods so special in the mid-'70s. It took Julien Temple's 2009 documentary Oil City Confidential to remind the world at large about Dr. Feelgood's crucial place in history, how they turned pub rock into something tougher, harder, leaner, and meaner, something that paved the way for punk rock just a few years later. Oil City Confidential told the story, but it's All Through the City (With Wilko 1974-1977) that provides the supporting evidence. A four-CD/one-DVD box chronicling everything that the original lineup of Brilleaux, guitarist Wilko Johnson, bassist John B. Sparks, and drummer John "The Big Figure" Martin recorded during their four years together, All Through the City contains all the vital music Dr. Feelgood ever recorded. They'd make other good records -- 1978's Private Practice and its hit single "Milk & Alcohol," for instance -- but this is the music that made the band's legacy, and it still packs a wallop: this is intense, gritty, hard rock & roll, its love of old R&B tying it somewhat to the past but the vicious vigor of the performances still feeling modern. This lacerating energy is best felt on the live performances -- their hit album Stupidity and the television performances collected on the DVD -- but their first two LPs, Down by the Jetty and Malpractice contain much of the same nervy spirit, conveyed by Wilko's slashing cubist guitar and Brilleaux's growl. On the welcome disc of rarities that concludes this set, some of the thought behind the band's evolution is evident -- an early version of "Roxette" betrays some deep doo wop roots that the group defiantly shook off just a year later -- but that only strengthens the case for Dr. Feelgood. They knew precisely how to trim away the fat, they knew what mattered: the hard angular riffs, the throttling rhythms, the sense of malicious malevolence that pervades even the love songs. All of that is showcased on All Through the City, a box set that captures Dr. Feelgood in all of their rage and glory. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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World - Released April 2, 2012 | Because Music

Hi-Res Distinctions Victoire de la musique - Sélection Les Inrocks - Hi-Res Audio
On 2012's Folila (which translates as "music" in Bambara), Mali's famed Amadou & Mariam, the husband-and-wife duo, effortlessly prove that "purist" alarm calls about melding popular and traditional musics across geographies because they dilute authenticity are not only inherently false, but their motivations are suspect. Amadou & Mariam originally cut twin albums -- same songs, tunings, and tempos -- one in New York with Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner, Santigold, Theophilus London, members of TV on the Radio and Antibalas, the Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears, and Bertrand Cantat. The other was a Malian offering, cut in Bamako with master musicians, including Bassekou Kouyaté on ngoni, Zoumana Tereta on sokou, and Toumani Diabaté on kora, to name a few. A possibility presented itself when they took the completed sessions to producer Marc-Antoine Moreau in Paris. He was asked to try to bring the albums together. Moreau enlisted other producer/engineers -- Kennie Takahashi, Renaud Letang, Josh Grant, and Antoine Halet -- to assist. The end result is an organic-sounding masterpiece of cross-cultural collaboration, sung in three languages -- Bambara, French, and English (sometimes in the same song). Production magic aside, this project wouldn't have succeeded were it not for truly amazing songs (written by the duo) and inspired performances by all the musicians. "Dougou Badia" features crunchy guitar interplay between Amadou's instantly recognizable percussive style and Zinner's more rockist attack; it's fuel for a soaring duet between Mariam and Santigold. "Wily Kataso" features Amadou & Mariam with Kyp and Tunde from TV on the Radio on lead vocals; the meld of the two guitarists with Kouyaté's ngoni and the popping rhythm section is infectious. "Metemya" features Shears and Amadou's voices with the latter's knotty, raw guitar and Wurlitzer from Antibalas' Victor Axelrod amid layers of organic percussion. "Nebe Miri" features London rapping and singing in complement to Amadou's lead vocals, all drenched in a soulful meld of harmonies, three guitars, keyboards, and dundun drums. "C'est Pas Facile Pour les Aigles" is a rave-up that combines highlife, power pop, and Bo Diddley, and features Ebony Bones singing with Mariam. On "Sans Toi," Mali's traditional instruments such as sokou and kamale ngoni appear alongside guitar, piano, and the duo's hypnotic vocals. The haunting "Mogo" features bass clarinet, ngoni, djembe, dundun drums, and slide and rockist guitars and chants. "Chérie" is simply presented with Mariam above a Malian children's choir, with Diabaté's kora adding a carefree rural feel to close it. Forget prejudices about "world music"; Folila is great music. Period. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released April 2, 2012 | XL Recordings

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Rock - Released March 30, 2012 | Nonesuch

Booklet Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks - Le top 6 JAZZ NEWS
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French Music - Released March 26, 2012 | naïve

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Jazz - Released March 20, 2012 | Jazz Village

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks - Qobuzissime - Hi-Res Audio - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 19, 2012 | Believe Recordings

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released March 16, 2012 | Odd Future

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Funk - Released March 13, 2012 | Truth & Soul Records

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Electronic - Released March 12, 2012 | Bromance

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Rock - Released March 6, 2012 | Columbia

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Pop/Rock - Released February 27, 2012 | Wagram Music - Cinq 7

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Ambient - Released February 27, 2012 | Tricatel

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 21, 2012 | LUAKA BOP

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Pop/Rock - Released February 14, 2012 | Columbia

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 14, 2012 | Southern Lord

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Jazz - Released February 7, 2012 | Jazz Village

Booklet Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - Sélectionné par Ecoutez Voir
Still going strong at the age of 81, legendary jazz pianist Ahmad Jamal's love letter to his favorite Broadway, Hollywood, and Great American Songbook classics, Blue Moon, is arguably one of his most accomplished efforts since his Chess/Impulse! heyday. The Pittsburgh virtuoso, once credited by Miles Davis as a major influence on his career, shows that age is no barrier to invention with six exquisite reworkings of postwar standards, from a romantic orchestral take on the title track to Otto Preminger's 1944 film Laura to a delicately whimsical interpretation of Charlie Parker's "Gypsy." Jamal's improvised cluster of chords remains as expressive and sprightly as ever, but it's when drummer Herlin Riley, who along with bassist Reginald Veal (Wynton Marsalis) and percussionist Manolo Badrena (Weather Report) form the backbone of the record, is allowed to let loose that they really spring to life, from the syncopated grooves of the epic 13-minute adaptation of A Life of Her Own's "Invitation," to the Latin rhythms on the title track and Dizzy Gillespie's "Woody'n You," to the surprisingly contemporary R&B beats of Golden Boy show tune "This Is the Life." The simmering lounge pop of "Autumn Rain," the delicate "Morning Mist," and the tender solo "I Remember Italy," a Debussy-esque number inspired by his many travels, all of which are original compositions, are equally majestic. But it's his interpretative skills that ensure Blue Moon will go down as one of Jamal's modern greats. © Jon O'Brien /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 31, 2012 | Delmore Recording Society

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Rock - Released January 30, 2012 | pinkflag

Distinctions Sélection Les Inrocks