Albums

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Pop - Released December 31, 2018 | A&M

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Pop - Released December 7, 2018 | A&M

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The greatest classics from The Carpenters have resurfaced in a sublime blend of vocal harmonies and symphonic arrangements. For this project in 2018, Richard Carpenter himself went along to Abbey Road Studios. Their last album in 1981, Made in America, was a half-posthumous album (Richard’s sister Karen having died in 1983 at only 32 years of age) and invoked a certain feeling of nostalgia, showing that this legendary pop group shifting more towards easy-listening could still be deep. However, it is still very rooted in the American culture of the seventies, particularly through the classics Close To You, Rainy Days and Mondays and We’ve Only Just Begun. With this album, the legacy of The Carpenters lives on in an unconventional way. The producers have kept the voices of the original recordings and some instrumental parts, surrounding them with the brand-new sounds of the violins from the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Thanks to their classy arrangements, these strings tastefully accentuate the romanticism of this timeless pop. © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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$17.99

Pop - Released December 7, 2018 | A&M

Hi-Res
The greatest classics from The Carpenters have resurfaced in a sublime blend of vocal harmonies and symphonic arrangements. For this project in 2018, Richard Carpenter himself went along to Abbey Road Studios. Their last album in 1981, Made in America, was a half-posthumous album (Richard’s sister Karen having died in 1983 at only 32 years of age) and invoked a certain feeling of nostalgia, showing that this legendary pop group shifting more towards easy-listening could still be deep. However, it is still very rooted in the American culture of the seventies, particularly through the classics Close To You, Rainy Days and Mondays and We’ve Only Just Begun. With this album, the legacy of The Carpenters lives on in an unconventional way. The producers have kept the voices of the original recordings and some instrumental parts, surrounding them with the brand-new sounds of the violins from the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Thanks to their classy arrangements, these strings tastefully accentuate the romanticism of this timeless pop. © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Reggae - Released November 23, 2018 | A&M

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Rock - Released November 16, 2018 | A&M

Nearly a year-and-a-half after Chris Cornell's death, a career-spanning retrospective collection captured the breadth of his varied career as a solo artist and vocalist of Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog. That massive vinyl box set was pared down into a tight greatest hits simply titled Chris Cornell. Arranged in chronological order as a highlight reel of his iconic career, this self-titled compilation offers a bittersweet reminder of just how much Cornell accomplished in roughly 30 years on the scene, from a '90s Seattle grunge icon to a fearless late-era singer/songwriter. Front-loaded with his mainstream alt-rock touchstones, Chris Cornell starts close to the beginning with "Loud Love" from Soundgarden's 1989 sophomore effort, Louder Than Love. While his signature vocal delivery was still in its nascent stage, hints of his inimitable howl can be heard percolating beneath the towering, metal-influenced attack of his bandmates. Yet once "Outshined" (from 1991's Badmotorfinger) kicks in, the power of Cornell's growls and wails are properly cemented. From here, it's a play-by-play of all of his major eras. Temple of the Dog's singular 1991 hit, "Hunger Strike," is paired with a soaring rendition of that band's "Call Me a Dog," which was recorded in 2011 for Cornell's live album, Songbook. Respectfully, the collection doesn't lean too much upon his time with Soundgarden: aside from 1994's Grammy-winning classic "Black Hole Sun" and 2012's swan song "Been Away Too Long," debut Ultramega OK and 1996's platinum-certified Down on the Upside are ignored. A pair of Audioslave's early-2000s alternative chart-toppers -- which have aged well in retrospect -- also appear, but the collection mostly sticks to his solo work. From his first solo song ("Seasons" from 1992's Singles soundtrack) to his very last recordings, these offerings are the true attractions on Chris Cornell. Additional soundtrack selections include his 2006 Bond theme, "You Know My Name," and the Grammy-nominated 2017 single from the film of the same name, "The Promise." Each of his albums is granted at least one inclusion, even 2009's oft-misunderstood collaboration with Timbaland, Scream, whose "Long Gone" is featured here as a "rock version" stripped of the hip-hop producer's signature sound. In addition to that deep cut, other highlights include a searing cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" (from 2007's Carry On); the folksy plucking of "Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart" (from his fourth and final solo album, 2015's Higher Truth); and a heartbreaking acoustic cover of "Nothing Compares 2 U," which delivers the biggest gut punch on the album. The grand finale, previously unreleased song "When Bad Does Good," is a mournful dirge wherein Cornell sings with a weary rasp, "Standing beside an open grave/Your fate decided, your life erased." It's an all-too-real end to the collection, both cathartic for mourners and an unfair taunt to those still processing this heavy loss. Chris Cornell is a reverential capstone that charts the tortured artist's highs and lows, providing an ideal first step for anyone wishing to dive deeper into the impressive catalog of one of rock's loudest and most emotive voices. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
$12.99

Rock - Released November 16, 2018 | A&M

Nearly a year-and-a-half after Chris Cornell's death, a career-spanning retrospective collection captured the breadth of his varied career as a solo artist and vocalist of Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog. That massive vinyl box set was pared down into a tight greatest hits simply titled Chris Cornell. Arranged in chronological order as a highlight reel of his iconic career, this self-titled compilation offers a bittersweet reminder of just how much Cornell accomplished in roughly 30 years on the scene, from a '90s Seattle grunge icon to a fearless late-era singer/songwriter. Front-loaded with his mainstream alt-rock touchstones, Chris Cornell starts close to the beginning with "Loud Love" from Soundgarden's 1989 sophomore effort, Louder Than Love. While his signature vocal delivery was still in its nascent stage, hints of his inimitable howl can be heard percolating beneath the towering, metal-influenced attack of his bandmates. Yet once "Outshined" (from 1991's Badmotorfinger) kicks in, the power of Cornell's growls and wails are properly cemented. From here, it's a play-by-play of all of his major eras. Temple of the Dog's singular 1991 hit, "Hunger Strike," is paired with a soaring rendition of that band's "Call Me a Dog," which was recorded in 2011 for Cornell's live album, Songbook. Respectfully, the collection doesn't lean too much upon his time with Soundgarden: aside from 1994's Grammy-winning classic "Black Hole Sun" and 2012's swan song "Been Away Too Long," debut Ultramega OK and 1996's platinum-certified Down on the Upside are ignored. A pair of Audioslave's early-2000s alternative chart-toppers -- which have aged well in retrospect -- also appear, but the collection mostly sticks to his solo work. From his first solo song ("Seasons" from 1992's Singles soundtrack) to his very last recordings, these offerings are the true attractions on Chris Cornell. Additional soundtrack selections include his 2006 Bond theme, "You Know My Name," and the Grammy-nominated 2017 single from the film of the same name, "The Promise." Each of his albums is granted at least one inclusion, even 2009's oft-misunderstood collaboration with Timbaland, Scream, whose "Long Gone" is featured here as a "rock version" stripped of the hip-hop producer's signature sound. In addition to that deep cut, other highlights include a searing cover of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" (from 2007's Carry On); the folksy plucking of "Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart" (from his fourth and final solo album, 2015's Higher Truth); and a heartbreaking acoustic cover of "Nothing Compares 2 U," which delivers the biggest gut punch on the album. The grand finale, previously unreleased song "When Bad Does Good," is a mournful dirge wherein Cornell sings with a weary rasp, "Standing beside an open grave/Your fate decided, your life erased." It's an all-too-real end to the collection, both cathartic for mourners and an unfair taunt to those still processing this heavy loss. Chris Cornell is a reverential capstone that charts the tortured artist's highs and lows, providing an ideal first step for anyone wishing to dive deeper into the impressive catalog of one of rock's loudest and most emotive voices. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

Rock - Released November 16, 2018 | A&M

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Reggae - Released September 28, 2018 | A&M

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Reggae - Released May 25, 2018 | A&M

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$14.99

Reggae - Released April 20, 2018 | A&M

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Grammy Awards
Sting and Shaggy: not such a surprising tandem! In 1979 Police’s leader released Reggatta de Blanc, a second album under the Jamaican influence that fed the reggae-punky wave at the time of the Clash, PIL, Ruts Madness, as well as Bob Marley himself. Gordon Summer, who has always been fascinated by Caribbean rhythms, never truly broke away from them. So when his manager Martin Kierszenbaum, who also works with Shaggy, let him listen to his next dancehall hit song, the bassist made the trip from his Malibu home to do a featuring. The understanding between the Jamaican artist and the ex-Police singer was stellar and the track became the single Don't Make Me Wait. And six months later, 44/876, the tandem album was complete. From Crooked Tree to Dreaming In The USA − which restored the US image −, the two companions gave us a most surprising album that blends reggae, dancehall and catchy pop, without falling into ridiculous clichés. “This is exactly the record the world needs right now”, according to Orville Richard Burrell a.k.a. Shaggy… © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Reggae - Released April 20, 2018 | A&M

Booklet
Sting and Shaggy: not such a surprising tandem! In 1979 Police’s leader released Reggatta de Blanc, a second album under the Jamaican influence that fed the reggae-punky wave at the time of the Clash, PIL, Ruts Madness, as well as Bob Marley himself. Gordon Summer, who has always been fascinated by Caribbean rhythms, never truly broke away from them. So when his manager Martin Kierszenbaum, who also works with Shaggy, let him listen to his next dancehall hit song, the bassist made the trip from his Malibu home to do a featuring. The understanding between the Jamaican artist and the ex-Police singer was stellar and the track became the single Don't Make Me Wait. And six months later, 44/876, the tandem album was complete. From Crooked Tree to Dreaming In The USA − which restored the US image −, the two companions gave us a most surprising album that blends reggae, dancehall and catchy pop, without falling into ridiculous clichés. “This is exactly the record the world needs right now”, according to Orville Richard Burrell a.k.a. Shaggy… © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
$12.99

Reggae - Released April 20, 2018 | A&M

Booklet
Sting and Shaggy: not such a surprising tandem! In 1979 Police’s leader released Reggatta de Blanc, a second album under the Jamaican influence that fed the reggae-punky wave at the time of the Clash, PIL, Ruts Madness, as well as Bob Marley himself. Gordon Summer, who has always been fascinated by Caribbean rhythms, never truly broke away from them. So when his manager Martin Kierszenbaum, who also works with Shaggy, let him listen to his next dancehall hit song, the bassist made the trip from his Malibu home to do a featuring. The understanding between the Jamaican artist and the ex-Police singer was stellar and the track became the single Don't Make Me Wait. And six months later, 44/876, the tandem album was complete. From Crooked Tree to Dreaming In The USA − which restored the US image −, the two companions gave us a most surprising album that blends reggae, dancehall and catchy pop, without falling into ridiculous clichés. “This is exactly the record the world needs right now”, according to Orville Richard Burrell a.k.a. Shaggy… © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Pop - Released February 26, 2002 | A&M

There was a gap of about five years between Loeb's second and third albums, which is enough time for some sort of significant growth or stylistic alternation to have taken place. There's not much of such things on Cake & Pie, however. Loeb remains an above-average major-label singer/songwriter, given to pensive self-reflection that doesn't quite cross the line into self-absorption. The emphasis is on intense examination of the motives that drive, maintain, and sometimes erode relationships, passionate without boiling into a rage. Perhaps she should get a little more uncoiled once in a while, though, as the hardest-rocking numbers here, like "Payback" and "Too Fast Driving," deviate enough from her established brainy-yet-emotional persona to command a little more attention than usual. On the more expected acoustic-colored numbers, "She's Falling Apart" is, again, a standout in that it strips down the production to enough basics that the arrangement has an unguarded edginess on par with the wary uncertainty of the lyrics. Otherwise the melodies and playing tend too much toward average modern rock, albeit with more heart and intellect than most. As a singer, she remains pleasant and confident, but not so unique or fiery that she burns into the synapses as well as the best storytelling songwriters do. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Pop - Released April 1, 1993 | A&M

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Country - Released September 1, 1973 | A&M

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Reggae - Released March 17, 1982 | A&M

Just what were Dennis Brown and Joe Gibbs thinking on Love Has Found Its Way? Had the two totally lost the plot? The answer is a sad and simple no, sad because with the failure of Brown's Foul Play album -- his first for A&M and the record that was meant to make him an international star -- it's evident that the singer and his producer had given up any hopes of reaching the mainstream. So instead, at the label's urging, they turned their attention to the U.S. R&B market. But who better to sell coal to Newcastle than Brown, one of Jamaica's premier vocalists, whose emotive delivery seemed perfect for the U.S. soul chart? And there's no faulting his performance here. Soulful, romantic, and glowing with sincerity, Brown's work across this entire set is phenomenal. The music is equally flawless, laid down by a stellar roster of the island's elite. These men were so versatile that they had no difficulty in creating the sound and style that Gibbs and Lindo, who also acted as co-producer and arranger, demanded. Certainly, all concerned hit the right note with the title track, a rich romantic number that beautifully blends reggae beats with a lush soul style. Released as a single, "Love Has Found Its Way" was directed to number 42 on the Black Singles chart (as it was then called). "Why Baby Why" worked its magic in a similar vein, and a cover of Burt Bacharach's "Any Day Now" was just as glorious, a perfect hybrid of reggae beats and lush synths. "I Couldn't Stand Losing You" took romance into rootsier territory, while "Get High on Your Love" jumped into fields of pure funkdom. Back then, it was de rigueur for Jamaican artists to split albums between a pop or lovers side and a cultural flip. And although the themes were not segregated by side, the rest of the songs on the set on Love Has Found Its Way move blithely into cultural waters: the state of the world of "Handwriting on the Wall," the sufferers-themed "Weep & Moan" and "Blood, Sweet & Tears," and the searching for a better way of living on "Halfway Up, Halfway Down." However, in keeping with the label's marketing aims, even these songs were arranged with an Afro-American audience in mind, albeit within a rootsier or more stoutly reggae milieu. "Weep" was downright chirpy, resurrecting a breezy rocksteady rhythm and giving it a chic reggae garb, "Blood"'s high-stepping rhythm beautifully encompasses a jazzy tinge, while "Handwriting," released as a single in the U.K., combines strong reggae riffing with urban soul. "Get Up" was obviously inspired by the Wailers' classic "Get Up, Stand Up," a celebration of Brown's own Rastafarian faith and of his Twelve Tribes of Israel sect. A&M could pat themselves on the back, for, like the single, the full-length had no trouble finding its way up the soul chart, finally stopping just outside the Top 35. The only clouds on the horizon was the scathing response the set received from Brown's core reggae fans outside the island and the label's desire for not just more of the same, but an even "blacker" sound. ~ Jo-Ann Greene
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Rock - Released February 6, 1969 | A&M

By 1969, Gram Parsons had already built the foundation of the country-rock movement through his work with the International Submarine Band and the Byrds, but his first album with the Flying Burrito Brothers, The Gilded Palace of Sin, was where he revealed the full extent of his talents, and it ranks among the finest and most influential albums the genre would ever produce. As a songwriter, Parsons delivered some of his finest work on this set; "Hot Burrito No. 1" and "Hot Burrito No. 2" both blend the hurt of classic country weepers with a contemporary sense of anger, jealousy, and confusion, and "Sin City" can either be seen as a parody or a sincere meditation on a city gone mad, and it hits home in both contexts. Parsons was rarely as strong as a vocalist as he was here, and his covers of "Dark End of the Street" and "Do Right Woman" prove just how much he had been learning from R&B as well as C&W. And Parsons was fortunate enough to be working with a band who truly added to his vision, rather than simply backing him up; the distorted swoops of Sneaky Pete Kleinow's fuzztone steel guitar provides a perfect bridge between country and psychedelic rock, and Chris Hillman's strong and supportive harmony vocals blend flawlessly with Parsons' (and he also proved to be a valuable songwriting partner, collaborating on a number of great tunes with Gram). While The Gilded Palace of Sin barely registered on the pop culture radar in 1969, literally dozens of bands (the Eagles most notable among them) would find inspiration in this music and enjoy far greater success. But no one ever brought rock and country together quite like the Flying Burrito Brothers, and this album remains their greatest accomplishment. ~ Mark Deming
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Country - Released September 19, 1973 | A&M

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Rock - Released October 8, 1991 | A&M

Bidding for a popular breakthrough with their second major-label album, Soundgarden suddenly developed a sense of craft, with the result that Badmotorfinger became far and away their most fully realized album to that point. Pretty much everything about Badmotorfinger is a step up from its predecessors -- the production is sharper and the music more ambitious, while the songwriting takes a quantum leap in focus and consistency. In so doing, the band abolishes the murky meandering that had often plagued them in the past, turning in a lean, muscular set that signaled their arrival in rock's big leagues. Conventional wisdom has it that despite platinum sales, Badmotorfinger got lost amid the blockbuster success of Nevermind and Ten (all were released around the same time). But the fact is that, though they're all great records, Badmotorfinger is much less accessible by comparison. Not that it isn't melodic, but it also sounds twisted and gnarled, full of dissonant riffing, impossible time signatures, howling textural solos, and weird, droning tonalities. It's surprisingly cerebral and arty music for a band courting mainstream metal audiences, but it attacks with scientific precision. Part of that is due to the presence of new bassist Ben Shepherd, who gives the band its thickest rhythmic foundation yet -- and, moreover, immediately shoulders the departed Hiro Yamamoto's share of songwriting duties. But it's apparent that the whole band has greatly expanded the scope of its ambitions. And Badmotorfinger fulfills them, pulling all the different threads of the band's sound together into a mature, confident, well-written record. This is heavy, challenging hard rock full of intellectual sensibility and complex band interplay. And with their next album, Soundgarden would learn how to make it fully accessible to mainstream audiences as well. ~ Steve Huey
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Rock - Released May 21, 1996 | A&M

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