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Pop - Released June 26, 2020 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | Virgin EMI

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Since officially embarking on a solo career in 1995, former Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler has been quietly and consistently amassing an unassuming horn of plenty, maintaining his prior outfit's penchant for fusing meticulously crafted English blues-rock with sardonic, radio-ready AOR pop, while introducing elements of traditional folk and country with the effortless gait of an artist who has spent his years as both a student and a professor. On Privateering, his seventh solo outing, Knopfler has crafted his most ambitious and pugnacious collection of songs to date, going all in on a two-disc set that pits all of the aforementioned influences against each other without ever succumbing to the convenience of their architectures. Upon first spin, Privateering feels a little like a garage sale, offering up long cold plates of once warm, late-night porch jams that feel like pre-studio session warm-ups, but the album's stately yet schizophrenic nature, which pits lo-fi, studious, yet ultimately forgettable exercises in rote American blues like "Hot or What" and "Gator Blood" with amiable, highway-ready rockers ("Corned Beef City") and incredibly affecting, spooky folk-pop ballads like "Redbud Tree," "Kingdom of Gold," and the magnificent "Dream of the Drowned Submariner," all three of which owe a couple of polite high fives to Dire Straits songs like "The Man's Too Strong" and "Brothers in Arms," reveals an artist in complete control of his arsenal. Could the album use some trimming? Sure, but Knopfler is that rare gunslinger who can make even the wildest shot look like it was completely intentional, and his steady voice, mercurial lyrics, and instantly recognizable guitar tone, that latter of which falls somewhere between the rich, lucid beauty of David Gilmour and the Pan-like spell-casting of Richard Thompson, provide just the right amount of ballast to keep a ship as big as Privateering buoyant. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Pop - Released November 6, 2019 | Virgin EMI

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Electronic - Released April 12, 2019 | Virgin EMI

On a brisk set with some familiar callbacks to their big beat heyday, the Chemical Brothers offer a decent late-era installment with their ninth album, No Geography. Not as exploratory or insular as their other 2010s output, No Geography is a steady, no-frills mix that focuses more on clever samples than guest vocals and festival-sized body-rocking. Standing out atop the pack, the singles are the best moments on the album. Persistent throbber "Got to Keep On" rides a glittery disco-funk sample (Peter Brown's 1977 gem "Dance With Me") while "We've Got to Try" goes the soul route by swiping the uplifting vocals from the Hallelujah Chorus' "I've Got to Find a Way" and grinding them into a buzzy, robust anthem that recalls the duo's late-'90s best. In a similar vein, "Free Yourself" is all digital dread, taking snippets of Diane di Prima's utopian poetry and twisting them into a robotic instruction manual for liberation through the dancefloor. However, "MAH" ends up being the riotous highlight of No Geography (utilizing a hilariously crotchety El Coco sample from 1977), the closest the Chems come to that "classic" old-school sound. In addition to the singles, Norwegian singer Aurora plays an important role in the album's sound, bringing much-needed emotion to a trio of songs with her ethereal vocals and songwriting. Japanese rapper Nene also guests, dropping a scene-stealing and all-too-brief verse on "Eve of Destruction." While not a low in the Chemical Brothers' catalog by any means, No Geography is also not their strongest or most memorable work to date. It's best not to call it a comeback, just another ample addition to their decades-long discography. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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Pop - Released February 28, 2020 | Virgin EMI

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Film Soundtracks - Released April 15, 2015 | Virgin EMI

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Rock - Released January 1, 2014 | Virgin EMI

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R&B - Released April 24, 2020 | Virgin EMI

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 22, 2019 | Virgin EMI

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 29, 2018 | Virgin EMI

The story started ten years ago for Florence + The Machine with the single Kiss with a Fist that revealed a certain feminism and a strong personality. For her fourth album High as Hope, the English singer steps into the big league with a unique pop that borrows from rock as well as baroque arrangements. She produced this latest creation herself, with the support from Emile Haynie who has produced the likes of Bruno Mars, Eminem and Kid Cudi. Needless to say, Florence Welch bet on the right horse! Her extraordinary voice reaches new heights on High As Hope. She effortlessly navigates between melancholy and reveries. She alternates between sweet lyric vocalizations and disturbing throat cries! A piano sounds the death knell on Big God, then a whole orchestra comes to life on No Choir. With the strings, keyboards and two talented guests, Sampha and The xx’s Jamie xx, the intensity is at its height. Welch uses her music to create a wild and fantastic world, in which the listeners can truly lose themselves. Throughout the album’s ten tracks, she deals with a general theme about her relationship to art and the voids it filled in her life. Voids created by her dyslexia, anorexia, as well as her addictive personality and disturbed sexuality. Hypersensitive, Florence manages to give birth to a tough and strong creation charged with emotions, and affirms her dual character, both vulnerable and dominant. © Anna Coluthe/Qobuz
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Rock - Released January 1, 1989 | Virgin EMI

Intelligent, tuneful adult pop with terrific female vocals and bluesy slide guitar work. © Steve Aldrich /TiVo
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R&B - Released December 4, 2019 | Virgin EMI

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Dance - Released July 31, 2015 | Virgin EMI

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Pop - Released November 6, 2019 | Virgin EMI

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Pop - Released November 6, 2019 | Virgin EMI

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 4, 2018 | Virgin EMI

"[H]er vision becomes more tightly wound. There’s a loose, jazzy feel to the set, which lends itself to casual listening, yet there’s something more at play..." © TiVo
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R&B - Released April 4, 2019 | Virgin EMI

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Pop - Released January 1, 1996 | Virgin EMI

10cc's third album, The Original Soundtrack, finally scored them a major hit in the United States, and rightly so; "I'm Not in Love" walked a fine line between self-pity and self-parody with its weepy tale of a boy who isn't in love (really!), and the marvelously lush production and breathy vocals allowed the tune to work beautifully either as a sly joke or at face value. The album's opener, "Une Nuit a Paris," was nearly as marvelous; a sly and often hilarious extended parody of both cinematic stereotypes of life and love in France and overblown European pop. And side one's closer, "Blackmail," was a witty tale of sex and extortion gone wrong, with a superb guitar solo embroidering the ride-out. That's all on side one; side two, however, is a bit spottier, with two undistinguished tunes, "Brand New Day" and "Flying Junk," nearly dragging the proceedings to a halt before the band rallied the troops for a happy ending with the hilarious "The Film of Our Love." The Original Soundtrack's best moments rank with the finest work 10cc ever released; however, at the same time it also displayed what was to become their Achilles' heel -- the inability to make an entire album as strong and memorable as those moments. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1996 | Virgin EMI

Spanning the group's prime period of 1983 to 1993, Saturnine Martial & Lunatic is an odd, incomplete collection of B-sides and rarities from Tears For Fears. Although this material is valuable for hardcore fans, it only scratches the surface of the group's B-sides. Nevertheless, several prime tracks -- including the non-LP U.K. hit single "The Way You Are" and a cover of David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes" -- are featured, which makes it worthwhile for dedicated fans, even though its incompleteness (especially since it comes at the expense of several weaker latter-day cuts) will make Saturnine Martial & Lunatic a frustrating listen. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2013 | Virgin EMI

To coincide with their 2013 reunion, Irish new wave legends the Boomtown Rats offered up their fifth greatest-hits collection in Back to Boomtown: Classic Rats Hits. The usual suspects like "Rat Trap," "She's So Modern," and "I Don't Like Mondays" are all present, sounding nice and punchy with their updated Abbey Road remasters. While their 2003 anthology The Best of the Boomtown Rats was a bit more thorough, the draw for fans here is the addition of two brand new tracks penned by bandleader Bob Geldof. Their first new material in decades, opening cut "The Boomtown Rats" is a strange electronic club banger that feels immediately out of place, though the other new addition, "Back to Boomtown," holds up quite nicely and is delivered with the kind of ragged moxie the band was known for in their heyday. While the two new cuts might not be reason enough to add yet another reshuffled Rats compilation to your collection, Back to Boomtown still serves as a solid introduction to the band. © Timothy Monger /TiVo