Categories :

Albums

CD$12.99

Pop - Released January 27, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Jennifer Warnes became a household name in the '70s with her hit "Right Time of the Night" and scored equally big with the Righteous Brothers' Bill Medley on "The Time of My Life" from the film Dirty Dancing. She also wowed critics and fans alike with Famous Blue Raincoat, her album of Leonard Cohen songs. In all, she's sold over 35 million records worldwide, but she's hardly a household name. Warnes has returned to the recording scene for the first time since 1992 with The Well, a collection ten songs co-produced with Martin Davich. And what a collection it is. As a singer and a songwriter, Warnes knows her strengths well. She understates lyrics and musical phrases as a way of getting them to open up on their own through her gorgeously wrought singing. She's no acrobat; she doesn't reach for the note that breaks the pitch-meter. Instead, she allows her voice to come up from the heart of the lyric she's singing. She wears the song and allows the song to adorn her as well, whether plaintively, as on the title track, one of her co-writes with Texas legend Doyle Bramhall, or her lilting, haunting, spiritual tome "Prairie Melancholy." When doing takes on the songs of others, such as Tom Waits' nugget "Invitation to the Blues," she imbues them with the soft, bluesy swing inherent in the original, but adds depth and dimension with her dry, reportorial storytelling (with fine guitar work from Doyle Bramhall). The songs on The Well seem spare and open, layered lightly, and full of room for Warnes' warm voice to reveal the wealth of emotions in the tunes themselves. But what's interesting is without it being noticeable to the listener, there are small but lush string sections, a few horns here and there, and a full-on four-piece rock band. Her reading of Billy Joel's "So It Goes" is virtually a reinvention of the song. She offers this song from a heart that has been cracked enough times, to paraphrase her friend Cohen, that it has been flooded with light. But it's the songs with Bramhall that are the masterpieces here; they reveal the subtle, bluesy textures of Texas and the strength in expressing one's vulnerability to forces one does not understand, such as on "The Panther." As if to underline the evidence, there is a vocal duet between them on Eddy Arnold's country swing gem "You Don't Know Me" that rivals Ray Charles' version for pure, expressive passion. With her stunning rendition of Arlo Guthrie's "Patriot's Dream," she is backed by a folk music symphony orchestra, with Guthrie himself lending a guest vocal as well as Blondie Chaplin and Kenny Edwards, with a Carmen accordion appearance by Van Dyke Parks. The set ends with a piano trio reprise of the title track that wraps all the magic up into a circle, as if these songs were a cycle of mystery, sensuality, and imagination from the very beginning. And, of course they were; Warnes isn't capable of anything less. Welcome back, Jennifer Warnes, you've been missed. ~ Thom Jurek

Pop - Released February 3, 2015 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available

Country - Released April 1, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available

Alternative & Indie - Released April 1, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available
CD$14.49

Country - Released September 18, 2015 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Southern Drawl arrives 14 years after Alabama's last secular album, 2001's When It All Goes South -- a record that reached four on Billboard's Country Albums chart but is largely forgotten -- but a better way to put it into context is that it is the group's first record since Brad Paisley kick-started a new millennial Alabama revival thanks to his 2011 hit "Old Alabama." The group -- now down to the founding trio of Randy Owen, Jeff Cook, and Teddy Gentry -- did attempt to ride that wave in 2013 via the showy tribute album Alabama & Friends, a record mainly notable for getting the band back out on the road, a process that eventually led to Southern Drawl. Opening with a heavy-footed stumble through all the things that make the South great -- a parade of signifiers that could double for the best things of Red States -- Southern Drawl doesn't get off to an auspicious start; buttressed with big beats and cranked guitars, Alabama don't sound defiant as much as a group of greying uncles squeezing themselves into skinny jeans to prove they're hip. Trying too hard is an unfortunate undercurrent on the record, whether it's on the clunky cornpone novelty "Hillbilly Wins the Lotto Money," the sticky wedding dance wannabe anthem "I Wanna Be There," or "American Farmer," an attempt to reignite the workingman spark of "40 Hour Week (For a Living)." Such down-the-middle numbers overshadow much subtler and nicer moments scattered throughout the record, moments that usually arrive in the soft, sweet ballads that give the group plenty of opportunity to showcase its gentle, interwoven harmonies. These slow tunes more than the over-pumped rockers feel the truest to old Alabama. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Country - Released April 1, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available

Alternative & Indie - Released April 1, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available

Pop - Released August 23, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available

Alternative & Indie - Released June 29, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available
CD$2.49

Pop - Released July 8, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Country - Released August 29, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available

Country - Released August 29, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available

Rock - Released August 5, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available

Gospel - Released November 15, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available
The fifth studio album from singer Danny Gokey, 2017's Rise showcases more of the former American Idol contestant's passionate, faith-based pop. The album follows Gokey's number one Billboard Christian album Hope in Front of Me. Where that album found him still working through the pain of his wife's death in 2008 (an experience that continues to inform his work), Rise is about overcoming tragedy and personal struggles to find new meaning in your life. As he sings on the title track, "Lift your head and look around you/See the dreams you lost, they’ve found you." And," I wanna restore your Glory/So Rise." Also featured alongside Gokey on the album are several guests including fellow American Idol alum Jordin Sparks and vocalist Kierra Sheard. ~ Matt Collar

Rock - Released August 19, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available

R&B - Released November 9, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available
CD$1.49

R&B - Released August 26, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Gospel - Released August 26, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available

Country - Released August 29, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available

Dance - Released August 31, 2016 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Download not available