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Luiz e os Louises: Life’s a Cigarette

Luiz e os Louises: Life’s a Cigarette

The piano leads us through the last big ended here, “Going Home.” The choruses vocals at the coda and again subtle guitar from Lead bring it all home as a perfect ender to Life’s a Cigarette…which is pretty much a perfect little read of what Luiz e os Louises is all about.

Alan Chappell: Penultimate

Alan Chappell: Penultimate

Alan Chapell’s newest LP, Penultimate, opens with the slicing violin dark melodic “Ride,” matched with some great lead guitar playing. This is as hot a lead-off tune you are likely to find and sets up this very good collection of very good songs.

Iggy Pop: Free

Iggy Pop: Free

As he always has, especially these later years of his solo output, Iggy Pop surprises his listener once again on his latest release, Free. I am a huge fan of Pop’s 2012 Apres, an album of French ballads as much as love what he managed with The Stooges, as with David Bowie, as pretty much all throughout his career. On this, his eighteenth album, the Godfather of Punk meets up with guitarist Noveller (real name Sarah Lipstate) and jazz trumpeter Leron Thomas, to create a 10-song collection Iggy says sees him, “reflecting the exhaustion of post-tour life.”

Young Goats: Goat Life Vol. 1

Young Goats: Goat Life Vol. 1

hat Samuel Weidler and Johnathan Johnson offer here is a 15-song collection focused on their strong distinctive voices, some subtle island-like rhythms and as much new as old rap sensibilities. I’m not exactly sure what the Goat Life is exactly about but it does seem to be about the good times and soft grooves, as we get on tunes like the roiling “Beautiful,” the piano plink quick rap of “Take You With Me,” and the slow and sexy echo piano of “Whole Snack.” All these just a few of the beginning solid tracks offered in this thick brew.

The Waterboys: Out Of All This Blue

The Waterboys: Out Of All This Blue

I have always loved the rock/Irish folk/acoustic balladeering/sometimes even slight progressive music mix of this band. This, Out Of All This Blue proves once again how proficient with a melody, how tight with a tune, and how overall greatly unique The Waterboys still are.

Grace Potter: Daylight

Grace Potter: Daylight

“Every Heartbeat,” mines a sweet picked acoustic ache-for-a-lover tune, a pretty and unique take, even in the face of a lyrical concept we have heard very often. The killer slide doesn’t hurt either. Slowing things down even more, the deep tearjerker piano ballad of forgiveness, “Release,” and the mid-tempo organ swirl and heavy snare of “Shout It Out,” remind us of what Potter has been through in her near half decade off; divorce, the break up of her band, then her new marriage and the birth of her first child. All the pain and emotions handled expertly by Potter and her players here, Benny Yurco, Matt Musty, Benmont Tench, and Larry Goldings.

Aza Nabuko: Aza Nabuko

Aza Nabuko: Aza Nabuko

It seems Aza has been through some heartache in her few years on the planet or she’s especially empathetic to loves lots (or both). But she can certainly sing and construct a song. If I had any criticism, it would be that lyrically the six here are all of the same lyrical stripe, but if one isn’t singing about love in pop song construction what else is one to sing about?

Stimuli: They Are We

Stimuli: They Are We

Metallic guitar stabs into a flumping cool beat starts “ +x-“ the tune that begins STIMULI’s 11-song release. This heavy Oakland, California-based trio has lots to offer as becomes quite apparent as their self-titled release slowly reveals.

Iron Maiden: Brave New World

Iron Maiden: Brave New World

Opening with roiling high-endy tremolo hits (Nicko McBrain’s drums sound like garbage cans they are so metallic) of “The Wicker Man,” hat we have hear is a reissue of Maiden’s 12th studio album, Brave New World. Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith came back to the band to make Maiden a solid six-piece hard rocking outfit once again and here it shows.

Lillimure: Lillimure

Lillimure: Lillimure

A jaunty “Wallflower” opens Lillimure’s self-titled, debut. With its stop and goes, floaty harmony vocals, slipping sly horn work, plus Sam Caldwell’s light tickling keys, the listener is brought head first into what turns out to be quite a dense jazz-pop release.

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