Could’ve? … Should’ve? … Would’ve? Three questions musicians ask themselves often, especially when it comes to what to do next in their careers. We spend a lot of time analyzing the career trajectories of our favorite artists, but rarely do we get to listen to what exactly those different directions would have sounded like. Well, for fans of Bruce Springsteen, The Promise offers answers to those questions at perhaps the most pivotal point of his career.
On their new studio album The Grand Theatre Vol. 1, the alt-country rockers Old 97's set out to remind us what captivated so many fans early in their career. This latest collection is a raucous, energy-filled set of songs that does its best to capture the band’s heralded on-stage intensity in the studio.
For nearly 15 years, Belle & Sebastian has set their mark on the indie-music world with a unique brand of pristine pop that continues to earn Stuart Murdoch and his band mates critical praise. While commercial success, for whatever reason, has been elusive it’s hard to argue with the musical results. On their eighth studio album, Write About Love, Belle & Sebastian deliver another collection of irresistible ear-candy while writing about exactly what they profess, love.
No, the new album from Sufjan Stevens is not a concept record about Alaska, Louisiana, Montana or any of the 50 states for that matter. Yet while his ambition of creating a musical-map of our country may have subsided (for the moment), the new full-length album The Age Of Adz is a sonic adventure all to itself.
Kings of Leon were propelled to stardom with the release of their 2008 Grammy nominated album Only By The Night. Their 5th studio album Come Around Sundown, another collection of undeniable rock anthems, comes almost exactly two years after and does little to lessen the argument that the Followill family currently reign as the biggest rock band in America.
While World Cafe is a year away from officially turning 20 years old, Live At The World Cafe Volume 30 is being released today. Another fantastic, fine collection of Cafe recordings, recorded live in the World Cafe Performance Studio at WXPN in Philadelphia.
Wake Up! is a one-of-a-kind collaboration first conceived roughly two years ago amidst the buzz of the Presidential election season. Similar to the minds of many, soul sensation John Legend and hip-hops most versatile players The Roots connected a likeness of the events of 2008 to the socially charged music of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Wake Up! is as much a testament to the power of that music as it is a literal ‘wake up’ call to a new generation.
Which direction Robert Plant turns next is anyone's guess. After his hugely successful collaboration album with Alison Krauss, Raising Sand, the Led Zeppelin frontman decides to turn back the clock on his latest solo effort Band Of Joy. Besides being the title of the new album, Band Of Joy references Plant's pre-Zeppelin blues band with drummer John Bonham. Band Of Joy is a bluesy, Americana collection comprised mostly of covers and supported by an all-star cast of musicians.
Promise and Potential are two words that often bring with them as much excitement as they do disappointment, especially in the case of young musicians. So, you can’t blame many of us for holding our breath in anticipation of the full-length debut album from the artist that simply goes by the name Lissie. The twenty something songwriter, originally from Rock Island, Illinois, perked our ears last year with her debut EP Why You Runnin’. And upon the release of Catching A Tiger not only could we exhale but applaud the collection as one of the years truly dynamic debuts.
In a time where most country musicians seem as glitz and glam as their pop music counterparts, it's songwriters like Ryan Bingham who remind us that it's not just the hat you’re wearing but the words you’re spilling that make you a country artist. Now on his third proper album, Junky Star, Bingham continues to impress as a songwriter offering a collection of songs that stress his talent with wordplay and emotion.