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Pop - Released November 29, 2019 | Rhino

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Alternative & Indie - Released November 29, 2019 | Rhino

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Christmas Music - Released November 29, 2019 | Rhino

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Christmas Music - Released November 29, 2019 | Rhino

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Pop - Released November 22, 2019 | Rhino

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Rod Stewart first embraced his appeal to the middle of the road way back in 2002 when he recorded It Had to Be You, the first in a series of explorations of the Great American Songbook. Given those albums, it's no great surprise to hear Stewart sing with an orchestra on You're in My Heart: Rod Stewart with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. What is a surprise is that he's hopped upon the orchestral overdub bandwagon, letting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra glop on strings and horns over original vocal tracks for such hits as "Maggie May." Clever guy that he is, Stewart contributes a couple of ringers -- including a duet with Robbie Williams on "It Takes It Two" -- but those only wind up illustrating how stilted and stiff the overdubs are. On those hybrids, Stewart doesn't seem to be riding the waves of the music, which is a gift he's had since the beginning. Instead, the vocal tracks are tweaked to suit the needs of the orchestra, which gives You're in My Heart an odd stuffiness. Even on his Great American Songbook albums, Stewart hasn't sounded stuffy, so the fault isn't his, unless he should be blamed for consenting to this project in the first place. The reason why the record doesn't work is the concept itself: it's wrapping warm, empathetic recordings in a lounge robe that winds up as suffocating as a straightjacket. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released November 15, 2019 | Rhino

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Rock - Released November 15, 2019 | Rhino

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Rock - Released November 15, 2019 | Rhino

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Rock - Released November 15, 2019 | Rhino

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Rock - Released November 15, 2019 | Rhino

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Rock - Released November 15, 2019 | Rhino

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Rock - Released November 15, 2019 | Rhino

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Rock - Released November 15, 2019 | Rhino

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Pop - Released November 8, 2019 | Rhino

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Soul - Released January 1, 1977 | Rhino

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Rock - Released October 11, 2019 | Rhino

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Rock - Released October 4, 2019 | Rhino

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Rock - Released October 4, 2019 | Rhino

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The problem with the sizable majority of Christmas albums is they sound pretty much the same. Most yuletide records feature the same songs about Jesus or Santa that have been circulating for decades (if not centuries), and regardless of the genre, someone throws in sleigh bells or a "Ho Ho Ho" to remind you that yes, this is Christmas music. So hats off to Los Lobos for making a Christmas album that does something fresh and interesting with songs of the season. For 2019's Llegó Navidad, Los Lobos sifted through dozens of Christmas songs in a variety of Latin genres from South and Central America as well as Mexico (along with a few obscurities from the United States), and what they've delivered is a collection of tunes that (with two exceptions) has flown far under the radar of mainstream listeners in North America. Here the band celebrate the holiday with songs rooted in salsa, cumbia, ranchera, cancion, son jarocho, and Tex-Mex styles, most sung in Spanish, and while there's a genuine warmth and good cheer to these performances, this sounds less like a typical Christmas album and more like a Los Lobos album, which is most certainly a good thing. The group plugs in on a few tracks, but the bulk of Llegó Navidad is dominated by acoustic material, and fans who loved 1988's La Pistola y la Corazon and 2005's Acoustic en Vivo will especially enjoy this. Either acoustic or amplified, this music is performed with the passion, skill, and joy that this band has brought to their work for over 45 years, and listening to them play together is about as pleasurable as American music gets. The album also includes a fresh original tune, an old-school R&B-influenced track called "Christmas and You," and just to give wary listeners something they already know, they close the set with "Feliz Navidad" played like an enthusiastic singalong where friends and family happily shout the chorus, perhaps aided by a beer or two. If you're looking for something to play at your holiday party that's a change of pace, Llegó Navidad will fill the bill quite well, and don't be surprised if it stays in your personal rotation well into the new year. ~ Mark Deming

Ambient/New Age - Released October 4, 2019 | Rhino

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Rock - Released October 4, 2019 | Rhino

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