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Drake
"If You're Reading This It's Too Late"
Cash Money

One night in December 2013, while many people were getting ready to turn in for the night, and others took to Facebook and Instagram for some late night reading, a quick scroll past singer Beyonce's page revealed she had released a surprise album. You couldn't hear it, but you could hear a collective OMG across the Internet.

Published in Reviews

Bob Dylan
"Shadows in the Night"
Columbia

Last May, on the anniversary of Frank Sinatra's fatal heart attack, Bob Dylan released his own version of the Chairman's classic, "Full Moon and Empty Arms." Sparse and wistful, the release hinted at a new album but was left unexplained at the time.

Published in Reviews

Becky Buller
"'Tween Earth and Sky"
Dark Shadow Recording

Becky Buller has, until now, been known principally in the bluegrass world as a songwriter, and her list of credits bears that out. Her songs have been recorded by a who's who of the bluegrass world, and they in turn have had great success with her songs.

Published in Reviews

Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge
"Avalon"
+180 Records

The cover photo of this disc is a composite of Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge, one image overlaid on the other. It's hard to see who belongs to which hands, or which head goes with which shirt, and indeed, the music on this disc continues in that vein -- they play so closely together, it is as if the two minds have become one. It's unreal.

Published in Reviews

Sean Watkins
"All I Do Is Lie"
Roaring Girl

If you were a musician and needed a place to hide -- say you're on the run from an angry spouse or the revenue man -- you might consider standing next to Chris Thile.

Published in Reviews

Hot Rize
"When I’m Free"
Thirty Tigers

If you’re not excited to hear that Hot Rize has a new album out, then you should be. The quartet is a defining band in the grand sweep of bluegrass, formed as a supergroup in a sense, though perhaps that only came after the fact.

Published in Reviews

Willie Watson
"Folk Singer Vol. 1"
Acony

The jacket design of Willie Watson's "Folk Singer Vol. 1" is pure 1963 camp: he's got a pipe, and the presentation is sparse to look like a Lomax field recording from the period.

Published in Reviews

Comet Gain
"Paperback Ghosts"
Fortuna POP!

Forgoing the garage stomp of past efforts "Howl of the Lonely Crowd" and "Réalistes," Comet Gain embraces introspective folk and indie pop on its seventh LP, "Paperback Ghosts."

Published in Reviews

White Lung
"Deep Fantasy"
Domino

Vancouver quartet White Lung keeps a frenzied tempo for the entirety of "Deep Fantasy," maintaining raw intensity before reaching an abrupt halt.

Published in Reviews

Lana Del Rey
"Ultraviolence"
Interscope

Nine hundred some days since vultures began circling after that ill-fated "Saturday Night Live," Lana Del Rey has returned as a dark, defiant diva, a phoenix breaking free with unbridled "Ultraviolence."

Published in Reviews
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