Thanks to the hard work carried out in cooperation with recording studios as well as an increasing number of music labels (Plus Loin Music, Bee Jazz, Ambronay Editions, Zig Zag Territoires, ECM, Mirare, Aeolus, Ondine, Winter & Winter, Laborie, etc.), Qobuz now offers a rapidly-growing selection of new releases and back catalogue records in 24-bit HD quality. These albums reproduce exactly the sound from the studio recording, and offer a more comfortable listening experience that exceeds the sound quality of a CD (typically \"reduced\" for mastering at 44.1kHz/16-bit). \"Qobuz HD\" files are DRM-free and are 100% compatible with both Mac and PC. Moving away from the MP3-focused approach that has evolved over recent years at the expense of sound quality, Qobuz provides the sound calibre expected by all music lovers, allowing them to enjoy both the convenience and quality of online music.

Note 24-bit HD albums sold by Qobuz are created by our labels directly. They are not re-encoded using SACD and we guarantee their direct source. In order to continue on this path, we prohibit any tampering with the product.

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Soul - Released January 1, 1972 | UNI - MOTOWN

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R&B - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note Records

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Back in 1985, Aaron Neville offered fans a glimpse of his love of doo wop with the EP Orchid in the Storm. Over a quarter-century later, he returns to it on My True Story. Doo wop pre-dates rock & roll. Its reliance on the human voice in group harmony communicates not only melody but rhythm, and influenced the sounds of Motown, Stax, and early rock & roll. Even Frank Zappa claimed it as a prime influence. Co-produced by Keith Richards and Blue Note label boss Don Was, the dozen tunes here make prime use of Neville's voice, placing his high, smooth, vulnerable tenor way up front; he is backed by vintage-era doo wop singers and an all-star band that includes Richards and Greg Leisz on guitars, Benmont Tench on keyboards, bassist Tony Scherr, and drummer George R. Receli. Lenny Pickett helps out on horns and winds on a number of tracks as well. The production is clean, the musical backing used more as texture and color than as real support -- Neville and his vocalists offer all the impetus needed to pull this off (indeed one wonders what this set might have sounded like a cappella). The tunes are all classics. Standouts include Lieber & Stoller's "Ruby Baby," a medley of Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman's "This Magic Moment" and "True Love," Hank Ballard's "Work with Me Annie" (featuring a guest appearance from Art Neville on B-3), Sylvester Bradford's and Al Lewis' "Tears on My Pillow," and Curtis Mayfield's "Gypsy Woman." The latter marries doo wop to early Chicago soul, and Neville celebrates this in his reading. "Be My Baby," which will forever be associated with the Ronettes and Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, is stripped back to the source music that inspired its authors, Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Spector -- even when adding a Pickett flute solo to the chart. Ultimately, My True Story is a smooth, mostly laid-back, and soulful recording by Neville. He provides a healthy -- sometimes overly -- reverential respect for the original material. Coupled with his vocals, these restrained yet imaginative arrangements offer some surprising twists and turns. ~ Thom Jurek
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Soul - Released January 1, 2014 | Motown

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Songs in the Key of Life was Stevie Wonder's longest, most ambitious collection of songs, a two-LP (plus accompanying EP) set that -- just as the title promised -- touched on nearly every issue under the sun, and did it all with ambitious (even for him), wide-ranging arrangements and some of the best performances of Wonder's career. The opening "Love's in Need of Love Today" and "Have a Talk with God" are curiously subdued, but Stevie soon kicks into gear with "Village Ghetto Land," a fierce exposé of ghetto neglect set to a satirical Baroque synthesizer. Hot on its heels comes the torrid fusion jam "Contusion," a big, brassy hit tribute to the recently departed Duke Ellington in "Sir Duke," and (another hit, this one a Grammy winner as well) the bumping poem to his childhood, "I Wish." Though they didn't necessarily appear in order, Songs in the Key of Life contains nearly a full album on love and relationships, along with another full album on issues social and spiritual. Fans of the love album Talking Book can marvel that he sets the bar even higher here, with brilliant material like the tenderly cathartic and gloriously redemptive "Joy Inside My Tears," the two-part, smooth-and-rough "Ordinary Pain," the bitterly ironic "All Day Sucker," or another classic heartbreaker, "Summer Soft." Those inclined toward Stevie Wonder the social-issues artist had quite a few songs to focus on as well: "Black Man" was a Bicentennial school lesson on remembering the vastly different people who helped build America; "Pastime Paradise" examined the plight of those who live in the past and have little hope for the future; "Village Ghetto Land" brought listeners to a nightmare of urban wasteland; and "Saturn" found Stevie questioning his kinship with the rest of humanity and amusingly imagining paradise as a residency on a distant planet. If all this sounds overwhelming, it is; Stevie Wonder had talent to spare during the mid-'70s, and instead of letting the reserve trickle out during the rest of the decade, he let it all go with one massive burst. (His only subsequent record of the '70s was the similarly gargantuan but largely instrumental soundtrack Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants.) ~ John Bush
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Soul - Released January 1, 2014 | Motown

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After releasing two "head" records during 1970-71, Stevie Wonder expanded his compositional palette with 1972's Talking Book to include societal ills as well as tender love songs, and so recorded the first smash album of his career. What had been hinted at on the intriguing project Music of My Mind was here focused into a laser beam of tight songwriting, warm electronic arrangements, and ebullient performances -- altogether the most realistic vision of musical personality ever put to wax, beginning with a disarmingly simple love song, "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" (but of course, it's only the composition that's simple). Stevie's not always singing a tender ballad here -- in fact, he flits from contentment to mistrust to promise to heartbreak within the course of the first four songs -- but he never fails to render each song in the most vivid colors. In stark contrast to his early songs, which were clever but often relied on the Motown template of romantic metaphor, with Talking Book it became clear Stevie Wonder was beginning to speak his mind and use personal history for material (just as Marvin Gaye had with the social protest of 1971's What's Going On). The lyrics became less convoluted, while the emotional power gained in intensity. "You and I" and the glorious closer "I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)" subtly illustrate that the conception of love can be stronger than the reality, while "Tuesday Heartbreak" speaks simply but powerfully: "I wanna be with you when the nighttime comes / I wanna be with you till the daytime comes." Ironically, the biggest hit from Talking Book wasn't a love song at all; the funk landmark "Superstition" urges empowerment instead of hopelessness, set to a grooving beat that made it one of the biggest hits of his career. It's followed by "Big Brother," the first of his directly critical songs, excoriating politicians who posture to the underclass in order to gain the only thing they really need: votes. With Talking Book, Stevie also found a proper balance between making an album entirely by himself and benefiting from the talents of others. His wife Syreeta contributed two great lyrics, and Ray Parker, Jr. came by to record a guitar solo that brings together the lengthy jam "Maybe Your Baby." Two more guitar heroes, Jeff Beck and Buzzy Feton, appeared on "Lookin' for Another Pure Love," Beck's solo especially giving voice to the excruciating process of moving on from a broken relationship. Like no other Stevie Wonder LP before it, Talking Book is all of a piece, the first unified statement of his career. It's certainly an exercise in indulgence but, imitating life, it veers breathtakingly from love to heartbreak and back with barely a pause. ~ John Bush
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Soul - Released January 1, 2014 | Motown

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After brilliantly surveying the social, political, and spiritual landscape with What's Going On, Marvin Gaye turned to more intimate matters with Let's Get It On, a record unparalleled in its sheer sensuality and carnal energy. Always a sexually charged performer, Gaye's passions reach their boiling point on tracks like the magnificent title hit (a number one smash) and "You Sure Love to Ball"; silky and shimmering, the music is seductive in the most literal sense, its fluid grooves so perfectly designed for romance as to border on parody. With each performance laced with innuendo, each lyric a come-on, and each rhythm throbbing with lust, perhaps no other record has ever achieved the kind of sheer erotic force of Let's Get It On, and it remains the blueprint for all of the slow jams to follow decades later -- much copied, but never imitated. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Soul - Released January 1, 2014 | Motown

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Released in 1982, the double-album Original Musiquarium I summarizes Stevie Wonder's classic period of the '70s, concentrating primarily on the hits, but adding a few album tracks to hint at the depth of his albums, as well as four new songs (one for each side, all pleasant, none particularly remarkable). Though there could be some dispute about the album tracks, this does wind up as an excellent overview of Wonder's period of greatest activity, and it's a terrific listen to boot -- any record that sports such hits as "Superstition," "You Haven't Done Nothin'," "Living for the City," "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," "Higher Ground," "Sir Duke," "Boogie on Reggae Woman," and "I Wish" is guaranteed to be a great listen, and it is. Wonder remains a quintessential album artist, but this record is a terrific snapshot of the highlights. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Soul - Released January 1, 2014 | UNI - MOTOWN

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R&B - Released April 8, 2014 | Epic - Legacy

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Disco - Released September 30, 2013 | Rhino Atlantic

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Released in 1978, just as disco began to peak, C'est Chic and its pair of dancefloor anthems, "Le Freak" and "I Want Your Love," put Chic at the top of that dizzying peak. The right album at the right time, C'est Chic is essentially a rehash of Chic, the group's so-so self-titled debut from a year earlier. That first album also boasted a pair of floor-filling anthems, "Dance Dance Dance" and "Everybody Dance," and, like C'est Chic, it filled itself out with a mix of disco and ballads. So, essentially, C'est Chic does everything its predecessor did, except it does so masterfully: each side similarly gets its timeless floor-filler ("Le Freak," "I Want Your Love"), quiet storm come-down ("Savoir Faire," "At Last I Am Free"), feel-good album track ("Happy Man," "Sometimes You Win"), and moody album capper ("Chic Cheer," [RoviLink="MC"]"[Funny] Bone"[/RoviLink]). Producers Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers were quite a savvy pair and knew that disco was as much a formula as anything. As evidenced here, they definitely had their fingers on the pulse of the moment, and used their perceptive touch to craft one of the few truly great disco albums. In fact, you could even argue that C'est Chic very well may be the definitive disco album. After all, countless artists scored dancefloor hits, but few could deliver an album this solid, and nearly as few could deliver one this epochal as well. C'est Chic embodies everything wonderful and excessive about disco at its pixilated peak. It's anything but subtle with its at-the-disco dancefloor mania and after-the-disco bedroom balladry, and Edwards and Rodgers are anything but whimsical with their disco-ballad-disco album sequencing and pseudo-jet-set Euro poshness. Chic would follow C'est Chic with "Good Times," the group's crowning achievement, but never again would Edwards and Rodgers assemble an album as perfectly calculated as C'est Chic. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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Funk - Released March 17, 2014 | Epic

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Now

R&B/Soul - Released March 7, 2014 | Jazz Village

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R&B/Soul - Released March 3, 2014 | Columbia

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At some point between In My Mind and this album, tracking Pharrell's accomplishments became more difficult than ever. His 2013 alone must be considered historic. That February, he accepted a Grammy for his role in Frank Ocean's Channel Orange. March brought the release of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," a Pharrell production that eventually topped the Hot 100. In April, there was Daft Punk's Pharrell-fronted "Get Lucky," a number two hit. From June through December, the Top Five of the Billboard 200 featured ten albums that involved him, including the number ones Random Access Memories, Blurred Lines, Magna Carta...Holy Grail, and Beyoncé. He subsequently earned seven additional Grammy nominations and took home three awards -- presumably stowed in one of the compartments of his hat -- the following January, including the one for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical. Just prior to the March 2014 release of G I R L, "Happy," one of several songs he granted to the soundtrack of Despicable Me 2, topped the Hot 100. That carefree soul throwback appears here, almost smack in the middle. It doesn't sound out of place in a set of upbeat, candy-coated pop-R&B that is relatively modern-sounding, laced with some elements of R&B from the mid- to late '60s and that sweet late-'70s to early-'80s spot. One highlight that owes more to the past is "Gust of Wind," a midtempo disco-funk Daft Punk collaboration filled with soaring strings and one of Pharrell's most effectively wistful/yearning turns. On the sunny "Brand New," he adds horns and shares vocals with Justin Timberlake, and they deal out some rare male self-objectification: "Like the tags still on me, jumpin' 'round in your bag." Much of the material is gentlemanly -- appearances from Alicia Keys, Miley Cyrus, JoJo, and other women add to the approach -- but this wouldn't be a Pharrell album without some goofball moves. "Hunter," like a funkier and tinnier take on what he did for Usher's "Twisted," is steeped in his charm-way-over-ability falsetto and cartoonish boasts with topical references. "Gush," what sounds like an outtake from the first N.E.R.D. album plus strings, begins with "Make the pussy just gush" and references "Light Your Ass on Fire" while proclaiming "My mama didn't raise me that way" somewhere between. Compared to his albums with N.E.R.D. and In My Mind, this is easily Pharrell's second most enjoyable album, just behind the original version of In Search Of... from 2001. It's fun, frivolous, and low on excess. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released February 10, 2014 | Jazz Village

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Disco - Released January 1, 2013 | Island Mercury

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Donna Summer's brassy, matter-of-fact mezzo does not play the sexy sanctified diva, and her musicians' crisp, loud beats don't evoke rapture or delirium. Instead, she and her rhythm men live up to the title of "She Works Hard for the Money." Here's praise for a waitress' 12-hour workday that sums up Summer's own post-dance queen job status, as well as disco fans' own spotlighted lives and maintains the pressure, from the steel-and-synth riffs of "Stop, Look & Listen" to the impatient tenderness of "People, People." No one writes about love with as mesmeric a sense of wonder as Summer confesses in "Love Has a Mind of Its Own," "Unconditional Love," and "I Do Believe (I Fell in Love)." ~ Michael Freedberg
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Disco - Released January 1, 2013 | Island Mercury

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R&B/Soul - Released December 16, 2013 | Sony Music Entertainment

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R&B - Released November 11, 2013 | Epic - Streamline Records

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Thirteen years passed between Tamar Braxton's first and second solo albums, but Winter Loversland -- released in November 2013 -- followed the latter by only a couple months. It's a brief Christmas album, only 30 minutes in length, in which Braxton covers a lot of familiar ground ("Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," "Silent Night," etc.) yet puts forth maximum effort. In some cases, the amount of energy exerted is greater than what's required -- most audibly so on an a cappella update of "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" that features Trina Braxton and dollops of melisma. "Sleigh Ride" and "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" get traditional vocal arrangements with contemporary beats, while some songs -- like "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," including an undeniably stunning closing note, and a serious "Santa Baby" -- are played straight. A medley of "Away in a Manger" and "Little Drummer Boy," apart from what sounds like light fingersnaps, is all vocals as well, more an impressive showcase for Braxton's talent and versatility than anything else. Braxton co-wrote the album's lone original, a ballad titled "She Can Have You." Nearly suitable for everyday listening, it's basically a breakup song with Christmas mentioned three times. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released October 18, 2013 | Flying Buddha - Sony Masterworks

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20

R&B - Released October 11, 2013 | Epic

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The sticker on the front of TLC 20 proclaims "Music inspired by VH1's film CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story," which is neither actual nor factual. With the exception of one new song, "Meant to Be" -- a pleasant ballad co-written by Ne-Yo -- these songs were released during the early '90s through the early 2000s, long before the film was conceived. Keke Palmer, who portrayed Chilli, wasn't born until over a year after the release of Ooooooohhh...On the TLC Tip. Regardless, this set is a decent introduction to one of the biggest pop groups of the '90s. Released a week ahead of the film's premiere, it features all nine of the group's Hot 100 Top Ten singles, from 1992's "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg" through 1999's "Unpretty," along with a handful of relatively minor hits, album cuts, and the new song. It could have gone deeper -- as deep as the 19-track Now & Forever: The Hits (2003), at least. There's much more to enjoy beyond what's here. The group made three of the best '90s pop-R&B albums, and 2002's 3D was no embarrassment. ~ Andy Kellman

Funk - Released September 30, 2013 | Stardown

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