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My Top 5 New Releases :: The Week of February 3, 2015

1. Afraid of Ghosts :: Butch WalkerLJX090_800

Three-Sentence Review: Sometimes an album comes into my life and from the first notes of the first song (oh, and the spoken count of “one, two, three, four…yes please) I get that feeling that this is going to be my next musical obsessions, maybe it is timing, maybe it is because it has the sound and emotion and lyrical punch that I fall hard for, or maybe it it because it’s going to be just that good. For Afraid of Ghosts, I think it is all of the above, and trust me when I say, this album will be on my end of the year favorite albums, I just know it. Also, there is a song here called Chrissie Hynde – how could I not be strung out on the album?

Initial Favorite Track(s): Afraid of GhostsChrissie HyndeBed on Fire

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Bed on Fire

2. Mysteries :: Tigercats

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Three-Sentence Review: There is something that so reminds me of the early 90’s in this album, especially the vocals on tracks like Laura and Ceser (oh my stars, is this actually a song with my name in it that does not associate with death?) which is reminiscent of The Sundays and Frente! to me. I’m digging the addictive nature of King of Vic that has that nudge in it that makes me keep expecting the song to explode into something loud and dance-able, though I kind of like the restraint, there is a longing to it that is intriguing, and highly listenable. I think this is definitely a band to watch.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Laura and Cesar, King of Vic and Wendy and Lisa

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Laura and Cesar

3. We are Undone :: Two Gallants

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Three-Sentence Review: Harder and rougher than anything that came before, this album feels post-apocalyptic to me, the kind of soundtrack to kill zombies and survive the end of the world to (especially the opening track/title track, We are Undone). Fools Like Us is deliciously catchy, the one track that I am dying to hear played live. The ending song, There’s So Much I Don’t Know, ends the album solemnly, sad and broken, but not giving up kind of a story told, and it fits so well into that “end of the world” feel I picked up at the start, this is a very “last of us left here” kind of song.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Incidental, Fools Like Us and There’s So Much I Don’t Know

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

There’s So Much I Don’t Know

4. Worthy :: Bettye LaVette

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Three-Sentence Review: Soul and Blues and Rock and Roll all rolled up into one of the sexiest, seductive albums I’ve heard in a long time. This is more than love songs, no, it’s desirous, sensual, dirty in the best way songs, and really, it is meant to be listened to naked, with another naked someone right there with you. Even the heart breakers like Wait and Undamned still scream to be playing while touching and kissing and everything that should come along after.

Initial Favorite Track(s)Wait, Just Between You and Me and the Wall You’re a Fool and Complicated

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

 Just Between You and Me and the Wall You’re a Fool

5. Self-Titled :: All We Are

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Three-Sentence Review: An album that teeters between complete Chill and Shoegaze, dipping its pinkie into Trip Hop (not enough, for my taste, but I can never get enough “Trip Hop” sensibilities). This is an album that needs a few listens to really take in, but once you do it starts to stick and stay, wanting you to play it yet again. One of the songs, Go, has made its way into my writing playlist because I can’t help but feel there is some untold story/stories in it, lurking in the background – it is definitely my favorite track.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Ebb/Flow, Keep Me Alive and Go

Rating (1-5 Stars): 4

Go (live version)

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