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Note: If you can read French, go to the French section for additional content.

 

A - Aerosmith - Air - Albarn, Damon - All-American Rejects - All Time Low - Alt-J - Amos, Tori - Angry Kids - Apple, Fiona - Asia -

B - Bahamas - Barlow, Emilie-Claire - Bat For Lashes - Beach Boys - Beatdown - Bélanger, Guy - Bieber, Justin - Big & Rich - Billy Talent - Bingham, Kim - Brown, Zac - Bunnett, Jane - Burgh, Chris de -

C - Caracol - Celleste - Céu - Cherri Bomb - Church, Jarvis - Cirque du Soleil (2) - Clark, Gary Jr. - Cohen, Leonard - Cole, Holly - Coltrane, Ravi - Connors, Stompin' Tom - Cooder, Ry - Cook, Jesse - Cranberries - Cult - Curumin -

D - Dahlen, Sienna - Darkness - Dearly Beloved - Deftones - Desnoyers, Dan (2) - Diawara, Fatoumata - Disterheft, Brandi - Divine Fits - Doley, Clayton - Dominguez, Chano - D.O.A. - Dragonette - Dr. John - Dubeau, Angèle - Duffield, Victoria - Dylan, Bob -

E - Egan, Coral - Egyptian Project - Electric Light Orchestra - Elisapie - Empress Hotel - Estelle - Etheridge, Melissa - Evancho, Jackie - Every Time I Die -

F - Fagen, Donald - Fanfarlo - Fastway - Fiasco, Lupe - Finaldi, Angelo - Fine Frenzy - Finn, Craig - Fiona, Melanie - Fite, Tim - Flaming Lips - Flo Rida - François & The Atlas Mountains - Fun. - Furious Swampriders - Furtado, Nelly -

G - Galactic - Garbage - Ghost Inside - Glasper, Robert - Glass Tiger - Gloriana - Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Gossip - Grasscut - Great Big Sea - Green Day (3) - GrimSkunk - Grinderman - Grizzly Bear - Gualazzi, Raphael - Gurrumul -

H - Hangmen - Hansard, Glen - Harris, Steve - Harvest Breed - Hellbound Hepcats - Hives - Hogan, Kelly - Hook, Shawn - Hot Chip - Howard, Ben - Hunger, Sophie -

J - James, Colin - Jarrett, Keith - JEFF the Brotherhood - Jepsen, Carly Rae - Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson - Johnson, Biddle & Poulain - Jones, Norah -

K - Karp, Peter and Foley, Sue - Killers - Killing Joke - Kimbra - King Charles - KISS - Krall, Diana - Krief -

L - Lacuna Coil - Ladylike Lily - La Havas, Lianne - Lamar, Kendrick - Lambert, Adam - Lamontagne, Julie - Led Zeppelin - Lee, Amos - Lee, Ranee - Lemieux, Marie-Nicole - Linkin Park - Little Willies - Lopez, Roberto - Loren, Halie (2) - Lost in the Trees -

M - Madonna - Marina and the Diamonds - Maroon 5 - Mars Volta - Matchbox Twenty - Maynard, Conor - McCartney, Paul - McKennitt, Loreena - MC Mario - Men Without Hats - Menzingers - Metric - Mika - Millencolin - Minaj, Nicki - Minogue, Kylie (2) - Moffatt, Ariane - Moriarty - Morissette, Alanis - Motion City Soundtrack - Mraz, Jason - Muse -

N - Nardi, Daniela - Ndegéocello, Meshell - No Doubt -

O - Ocean, Frank - O'Connor, Sinéad - Offspring - Of Monsters and Men - Osborne, Joan - Our Lady Peace -

P - Papa Roach - Paul, Sean - Pennywise - Pepe, Luisa - P!nk - Platinum Blonde - Pop, Iggy - Presley, Lisa Marie - Prettyman, Tristan - Prima Donna -

R - Radin, Joshua - Ramin Torkian, Loga - Ramone, Joey - Real McKenzies - Revolver - Romero, Pepe - Roxette - Rumer - Rush -

S - Sagapool - Samson, John K. - Santana - Santigold - School of Seven Bells - Scissor Sisters - Simple Plan - Skip the Foreplay - Slash - Smashing Pumpkins - Solveig, Martin - Songz, Trey - Soundgarden - Starr, Ringo - St Germain - Stone, Joss - Sugar - Swans - Swedish House Mafia

T - Tame Impala - Tankian, Serj - Temper Trap - Three Days Grace - Tiersen, Yann - Total Chaos - Tragically Hip - Trust - Twiggy -

U - Ultravox - Used - Usher - Usher, David -

V - Vangelis - Van Halen -

W - Wainwright, Martha - Wainwright, Rufus - Walsh, Bob - Walsh, Joe - Ward, ZZ - Ware, Jessie - Watson, Patrick - Watters, Andrée - Weller, Paul - Welsman, Carol - White, Jack - Wintersleep - Wolf, Karl - Womack, Bobby -

Y - Yellowcard - Yoakam, Dwight - Young, Neil (2) -

Z - Zucchero - ZZ Top -

CHRISTMAS ALBUMS: Green, Cee Lo - Jenkins, Katherine - Lady Antebellum - Perri, Christina -

MISCELLEANOUS: American Idol - Backbeat - Fifty Shades of Grey - Now! 20 - Now! Country 7 - Perks of Being a Wallflower - Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2

 

 

Mo Kenney – Mo Kenney

Mo KenneyMo Kenney (2012)

Mo Kenney is a young singer-songwriter from Nova Scotia that grabbed attention in the Maritimes for the past few years. She has an incredible sense of catchy melodies, whether in a minimalist folk sound, very left field pop or oldies rock. The album was beautifully produced by Joel Plaskett who succeeds in giving it a unique color. Despite her young age, Mo has already received praise from many renowned Canadian songwriters like Ron Sexsmith. This is a very good debut album that offers us this talented artist that should be checked out closely in the coming years. (April 2013 Featured New Artist)

New Scotland / Pheromone / SIX

½

Amaury Vassili – Una Parte Di Me

Amaury VassiliUna Parte Di Me (2012)

The young French tenor is skillfully blending classical singing and pop music, and it is again the case on this third album. He revisits some pieces by the greatest composers: Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Chopin, Fauré, Mozart, Bach, Pachelbel, Debussy and others. He gives these classics a touch of modernity thanks to pop beats and he adds his own Italian lyrics written in collaboration with Davide Esposito. There is only "Siamo Noi Il Futuro", inspired by Borodine, that we can also hear in a French version in conclusion of the CD, "Tous ensemble pour demain (Nous on rêve)". (February 2013)

Warner

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Last of a Dyin’ Breed

Lynyrd SkynyrdLast of a Dyin’ Breed (2012)

For the last 40 years, Lynyrd Skynyrd was representing the perfect American southern rock band, fusing rock 'n' roll, blues, country and boogie in a rather heavy sound. On this new album otherwise, they are leaving country music and boogie aside to focus on pure hard rock, on some occasions flirting with the Canadians of Nickelback. It is rather far from the southern US sound that has made them famous and which allows them to remain popular in concert. Several pieces are energetic and fun to listen to, but with Last of a Dyin 'Breed, Lynyrd Skynyrd might have trouble rallying their fans from the debut and they will try to attract a new audience of contemporary rock fans. (January 2013)

Roadrunner / Warner

Radio Radio – Havre de Grâce

Radio RadioHavre de Grâce (2012)

Radio Radio is the perfect mix between English and French hip hop, thanks in part to the inclusion of chiac, this unique language of southeastern New Brunswick merging the two languages. In addition, the band includes in a great way different musical influences such as electronics and rock for a result of great wealth. On this third album, the trio explores new horizons for a mixture difficult to approach between a jazzy hip hop and original pop music. Some tracks as the inevitable "Galope" are instant anthems to party, but the ensemble requires some efforts from the listener. While less immediately catchy, Havre de Grâce remains a good record by a group that certainly doesn’t lack creativity. (January 2013)

Video: « Galope »

Bonsound

½

The Sheepdogs – The Sheepdogs

The SheepdogsThe Sheepdogs (2012)

The Sheepdogs are a band from Saskatoon formed in 2006 that sounds like a Southern United States band in the 1970s. They are in fact a mixture of classic rock and boogie, with traces of blues, all delivered in an alternative rock sound of the 2010s. This fourth album is the first for a major label. They have strong compositions with unforgettable melodies and music passages that make them immediately sympathetic. Some tracks stand out from the lot as "Feeling Good", "The Way It Is" and "While We're Young." Here is a particularly good album by a timeless band to discover. (March 2013)

Videos: « Feeling Good » - « The Way It Is »

Atlantic / Warner

½

Klone – The Dreamer’s Hideaway

KloneThe Dreamer’s Hideaway (2012)

Klone is a French alternative metal band that falls somewhere between post-grunge and corporate hard rock. The six guys have powerful guitars, but still retain very good melodies. They also incorporate more atmospheric guitars, keyboards and saxophones to make their music richer than many other bands in the genre. Few compositions really stand out of the lot, but the whole 54 minutes are listening well to the end. (March 2013)

Klonosphere

John Roney – St-Henri

John RoneySt-Henri (2012)

For this third album as a trio, jazz pianist John Roney allows himself an exploration of new sounds and some intrusions into electronic music. He adds so much richness to his music that was already well alive. Accompanied by Rémi-Jean Leblanc on bass and Damien Schmitt on drums, Roney covers works of Oscar Peterson ("Place St-Henri") and Chuck Corea ("Spain"). Otherwise, he offers especially strong original compositions worthy of his huge talent. Already well established internationally, Roney will leave with a very nice project under the arm for his upcoming tour. (March 2013)

Effendi / SIX

½

Waves of Fury – Thirst

Waves of FuryThirst (2012)

Waves of Fury is a new British band founded by Londoner Carter Sharp. The group offers influences of R&B and funk on an indie rock sound filled with distortion and feedback. Sharp's voice can be downright rude on occasions when he shouts to stand out among the rather noisy instruments that accompany him. The set has some interesting aspects, but the result may make several people uncertain by its very pronounced rawness. (March 2013)

Video: « Businessman’s Guide to Witchcraft »

Alive Naturalsound

Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire

Alicia KeysGirl on Fire (2012)

Alicia Keys has probably the best contemporary mix between R&B and soul. Her talent was impressive for over 10 years and she is back now with her fifth studio album. For the 13 tracks of Girl on Fire, Alicia can count on the collaboration of twenty composers and a dozen of directors, as well as singing with Nicki Minaj on the title-song and Maxwell on "Fire We Make". Few jazz atmospheres alternating with electro beats are perfectly accompanying Alicia's voice throughout this record, which has a production of quality. Otherwise, we can hear overproduction which can become annoying considering Alicia Keys has all the talent needed to give us the creeps in a completely stripped atmosphere. After effective songs in the first half, the CD is becoming somewhat less interesting and it gives us the feeling of rushing towards the end. But there are still good moments that will probably succeed in satisfying her most ardent fans. (March 2013)

Video: « Girl on Fire »

½

Serena Ryder – Harmony

Serena RyderHarmony (2012)

For her new album, the singer from Ontario explores her career past, present and future. She has so many personal themes that influence her, which allows us to discover a little more about her. The album was recorded largely in her home studio, The Cottage, with Jerrod Bettis (Better Than Ezra) and Jon Levine (K'naan, Nelly Furtado), but also in Los Angeles, before being mixed by Joe Zook (Modest Mouse, Katy Perry). It has good moments, like the first single, "Stompa", but the whole remains easily replaceable in the universe of adult pop rock. (March 2013)

Video: « Stompa »

EMI / SIX

St. Ange – Second Nature

St. AngeSecond Nature (2012)

St. Ange is a Montreal band with multiple influences combining especially pop and jazz. First issued in November 2011 independently, their first album, Second Nature, was re-released by the Justin Time label in the fall of 2012. Following the image of the female singer, Angela Gallupo, the record presents colorful and joyful sounds. The CD fits perfectly into the new trend that mixes jazz with intelligent pop. This is a very good album that offers us St. Ange. (March 2013)

Justin Time / SIX

½

Elizabeth Shepherd – Rewind

Elizabeth ShepherdRewind (2012)

The Canadian singer now based in Montreal presents her fifth album in career, but her first one comprised of jazz standards. She managed to completely bring these classics in a world of her own. Among the essentials that you can hear on Rewind there are Cole Porter’s "Love For Sale", Cannonball Adderley’s "Sack of Woe", George Gershwin’s "Buzzard Song", Mel Tormé’s "Born To Be Blue" and Duke Ellington’s "Prelude to a Kiss". You can also hear a pair of songs from the French repertoire, including Georges Brassens’ "Les amoureux des bancs publics". With this warm album, Elizabeth Shepherd not only creates expectations for her next album, but she makes us to want to discover her in concert. (March 2013)

Linus / SIX

½

Meek Mill – Dreams and Nightmares

Meek MillDreams and Nightmares (2012)

Born Robert Williams, Meek Mill is a rapper from Philadelphia who began recording around 2006. After catching up attention from Rick Ross, he gives us his first album. Even if he is in hardcore rap, Meek Mill plays rich music that is pleasant to listen to. In addition, he is accompanied by numerous collaborators throughout the album like Rick Ross on a few tracks, Kirko Bangz (the excellent "Young and Gettin' In"), Mary J. Blige ("Who Your Around"), Trey Songz ("Lay Down"), as well as John Legend and Nas ("Maybach Curtains"). Unfortunately, there are several rap clichés on Dreams and Nightmares, but there are enough interesting moments and musical wealth to make us pay attention. Meek Mill is an artist to check out. (March 2013 Featured New Artist)

Video: « Young & Gettin’ It »

Maybach / Warner

½

Wiz Khalifa – O.N.I.F.C.

Wiz KhalifaO.N.I.F.C. (2012)

The Pittsburgh rapper has come up with a new album after the success of Rolling Papers in 2011. Unfortunately, that sudden success has a negative effect on the new record while the lyrics refer only to his new financial situation, his love for weed and what he can buy now that he is rich. After 3 tracks, we hope very much that it will not be a general trend until the end of the 74 long minutes. But it is coming back at different times throughout the CD, which is in addition not very interesting musically. There are 17 mid-tempo songs that give us a few moments of excitement. O.N.I.F.C. is therefore an extremely disappointing album by a rapper who proved highly promising only a few months ago. (March 2013)

Video: « Work Hard Play Hard »

Atlantic / Warner

½

Mother Mother – The Sticks

Mother MotherThe Sticks (2012)

For their fourth album, the quintet from Vancouver returns with the energetic pop rock sound that they have developed in recent years, especially on the previous album, Eureka. Folk influences of their debut are now rare and we rather hear an excellent indie pop and rock sound on which you will have to keep the beat. Many of the 14 tracks on The Sticks not only have the ability to make us stomp, but they also have beautiful creative qualities. This is the case for the title song, "Bit by Bit" and many others. If the band finally discovered themselves with Eureka, they reached the peak of their career with The Sticks. To discover! (March 2013)

Video: « Bit by Bit »

Last Gang

½

Bob Mould – Silver Age

Bob MouldSilver Age (2012)

In recent years, the legendary Bob Mould issued albums that were particularly effective, almost worthy of his most creative years, either in solo or as part of Hüsker Dü or Sugar. He resumes his momentum with Silver Age, an energetic album which is not betraying the age of its creator. Songs are well linked and they never disappoint us. It sounds like the Bob Mould of the heyday of Sugar! We can still hear several tracks a bit slower, but never boring. Mould may be nostalgic or not, the fact remains that he brings back what his fans prefer of him, for their own pleasure. Silver Age is once again an excellent album by this genius of alternative rock. (March 2013)

Merge

½

Lee “Scratch” Perry – Master Piece

Lee “Scratch” PerryMaster Piece (2012)

Lee "Scratch" Perry is considered as the biggest reggae legend after Bob Marley. He has contributed greatly to the development of dub and made ​​many important albums in the genre, including some of the first recordings by Marley. On the eve of his 77 years of age, Perry continues to give us new material. He may not be reinventing the genre, but he still has good moments of dub / lounge, proving that he remains a towering figure in reggae dub. (March 2013)

Born Free / Megawave / MVD

Therapy? – A Brief Crack of Light

Therapy?A Brief Crack of Light (2012)

The Northern Irish alternative metal band first caught attention in 1994 with its excellent album Troublegum, in the flow of the tsunami wave driven by post-grunge. They quickly went back to the underground, a much more natural place for Therapy?. A Brief Crack of Light is the 13th album of the band, which has lost none of its power of 20 years ago. The group seems determined to regain the charts with "Living in the Shadow of the Terrible Thing". Otherwise, it still presents experimental moments that are difficult to access, such as the instrumental "Marlow". The album offers interesting portions, but a few tracks prove to be truly memorable. (March 2013)

Blast / MVD

Neomythics – New Corporate Resistance

Neomythics – New Corporate Resistance (2012)

Neomythics is a duo formed of Gregory Howe and Matt Montgomery, two multi-instrumentalists that play many different instruments on the album. Produced by Howe, New Corporate Resistance is their first album together after they have composed several songs for other artists, especially in jazz and funk. Neomythics has a post-punk sound like Television and you could also compare them to early U2 material. Their music is rich and has beautiful creative qualities, even if they often fail to really capture our attention. Note the presence of guitarist Harvey Mandel who played with The Rolling Stones in the 1970s. (March 2013)

Ex-Fed

Brad Mehldau Trio – Where Do You Start

Brad Mehldau TrioWhere Do You Start (2012)

The pianist and his trio cover here some pieces by rather eclectic artists such as Alice In Chains ("Got Me Wrong"), Sufjan Stevens ("Holland"), Jimi Hendrix ("Hey Joe") and Chico Buarque ("Samba e Amor"). He still allows some jazz covers as Clifford Brown’s "Brownie Speaks" and Sonny Rollins’ "Airegin". Note also the reworked versions of the touching "Baby Plays Around" from Elvis Costello and Cait O'Riordan, as well as Nick Drake’s "Time Has Told Me". Although it is very interesting to hear jazz covers of pieces as varied, the fact remains that the whole is somewhat bizarre at the end. The trio is not at its best on Where Do You Start, but it brings an element of curiosity that is the whole point of the CD. (March 2013)

Nonesuch / Warner

Little Big Town – Tornado

Little Big TownTornado (2012)

Little Big Town is a Nashville vocal quartet consisting of 2 men and 2 women. They have a country pop sound based primarily on vocal harmonies. Tornado is their fifth album in 10 years and it is certainly their most pop record to date. Otherwise, it is not sure that the country purists will be disappointed by it since they were not already enjoying the band. In fact, Little Big Town has always been perceived as a slightly more country version of Fleetwood Mac, and it continues with Tornado. If one forgets their country influences, one can easily perceive the new album as a great pop record, simply. (February 2013)

Videos: « Pontoon » - « Tornado »

Capitol / EMI

½

Jimmy Target and The Triggers – Jimmy Target and The Triggers

Jimmy Target and The TriggersJimmy Target and The Triggers (2012)

For its second album, the rock 'n' roll band from Montreal presents only original compositions, some of them dangerously heavy. The group produced the album itself and the result is a highly effective garage rock 'n' roll sound. Some tracks are approaching a bit western spaghetti like "Lexie's Fang", and we can find enough variety on the album to keep us off balance. But the fact remains that the pieces frankly rock 'n' roll are the most interesting, as the first single, "Gimme Action". It's just a shame that with only nine tracks we seem to hear an album that would have benefited greatly additional moments of energetic rock. (February 2013)

C4

Jah Wobble & Keith Levene – Yin & Yang

Jah Wobble & Keith Levene – Yin & Yang (2012)

Jah Wobble and Keith Levene were two of the original members of Public Image Limited alongside the singer John Lydon (Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols). The bassist and the guitarist met years later to offer us a totally experimental rock album. Very psychedelic, Yin & Yang brings us into an atmosphere fusing rock, jazz, punk, funk and dub. The album has some very good moments while Levene remains in great shape behind his guitar. Otherwise, other parts may be shocking with their weird side and a sometimes raw production aggressive for the ears. Note the somewhat psychedelic cover of "Within You Without You" of The Beatles. This is definitely an album that requires a great effort to adapt, but the nostalgic of PIL will probably find what they are looking for. (February 2013)

Cherry Red / MVD

Machine Head – Machine Fucking Head Live (2 CD)

Machine HeadMachine Fucking Head Live (2 CD) (2012)

Formed 20 years ago, the group maintains a Californian metal horde of admirers since that time. To celebrate their 20 years, they have a double live album comprising an assembly of recordings at various locations around the world. The 15 tracks included on both discs paint a good picture of the band's career. The installation is smart enough to make us believe that it is a single concert, then the presence of the crowd felt so much so that sometimes seems to be on the spot, a few meters from the scene. Machine Fucking Head with Live, the group offers a gift to his fans who follow touring all these years. (February 2013)

Roadrunner / Warner

½

Stone Sour – House of Gold and Bones, pt. 1

Stone SourHouse of Gold and Bones, pt. 1 (2012)

Corey Taylor and Jim Root formed Stone Sour a few years before joining Slipknot and they have always pursued the band in parallel. More melodic than Slipknot, Stone Sour has influences of Metallica and Alice In Chains for a heavy alternative metal sound, but still accessible. House of Gold and Bones, pt. 1 is the fourth album of the band and the 1st part of a concept album in two parts. The album has a lot of depth, both musically and lyrically. There are extremely strong compositions, among the bests that the band has offered so far. The guideline is effective and the transition is beautiful between metal songs and more introspective songs, sometimes acoustic ("The Travelers, part 1"). Here is a very good album that will make us eagerly await the follower. The release of the second part is scheduled for April 9. (February 2013)

Video: « Gone Sovereign »

Roadrunner / Warner

½

Erik Truffaz Quartet – El Tiempo de la Revolucion

Erik Truffaz QuartetEl Tiempo de la Revolucion (2012)

The French trumpeter quartet (completed by Marcello Giuliani on bass, Marc Erbetta on percussion and Benoît Corboz on keyboards and guitar) entirely composed this tenth album in the studio, almost one song per day. The logical continuation to In Between, the album navigates between various atmospheres, often influenced by their different travels ("Istanbul Tango", "African Mist"). Among the 10 tracks of the CD there are three songs, beautifully highlighted by the voice of Anna Aaron. Here is a very good ambient jazz record. (February 2013)

Blue Note / EMI / SIX

½

Pitbull – Global Warming

PitbullGlobal Warming (2012)

Only one year after the huge success of Planet Pit, the Cuban native is back with a new album of 12 concise tracks totaling only 41 minutes. Sampling the famous "Macarena" on the title song in introduction and "Take on Me" on "Feel this moment" with Christina Aguilera reinforce what is guaranteed to be successful. "Back in Time" was propelled by the movie Men in Black 3, and with hymns to the party as "Don’t Stop the Party", "Party Ain’t Over" (with Afrojack and Usher) and "Have Some Fun" (with Afrojack and Wanted), we know where Pitbull goes: directly late at night... Note also the participations of Chris Brown ("Hope We Meet Again"), Jennifer Lopez ("Drinks for You (Ladies Anthem)") and Enrique Iglesias ("Tchu Tchu Tcha"). With such a collection of sure hits provided at a non-stop pace, it would be difficult for his fans to complain. Even if it doesn’t necessarily include his best compositions in career, Global Warming is certainly his best album to date considering the way everything fits well together. (February 2013 Featured Review)

Videos: « Don’t Stop the Party » - « Back in Time »

½

Ke$ha – Warrior

Ke$haWarrior (2012)

For her second official album, the pop singer managed to assemble with coherence a dozen of pieces for a record which is listening well as a whole. These are not all the songs that have the potential to become a hit, but there are still some essential titles as the title track and the excellent "Die Young". Her lyrics remain of course at the first degree, always with that little vulgar side which differentiates her from the mass of singers in the genre. She even raps on some occasions, but it should be noted that this is rarely when she is at her best. Please note that she invited punk legend Iggy Pop to sing with her on "Dirty Love". Overall, Warrior is stronger than her first album and she manages to have good songs for partying. (February 2013)

Video: « Die Young »

½

Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox

Bruno MarsUnorthodox Jukebox (2012)

After writing several hits for other artists including Brandy and Flo Rida, Bruno Mars took advantage of the momentum to start his own singing career in 2009. After the success of his first album, definitely rose to the top thanks to the hits "Grenade" and "Just the Way You Are", he returns with a second record. There is a problem with the pop singer on Unorthodox Jukebox: he seems rather bitter against women, when he managed to seduce them on his first CD. It only remains to hope they don’t listen too much to the lyrics if he wants to maintain his fan base gained only during the last two years. There are a few good moments of R&B like with "Treasure", but the whole is dark with very few exciting passages. Fortunately, there is the first single, "Locked Out of Heaven", the best one among the 10 small tracks offered. Not easy the test of the second album Mr. Mars! (February 2013)

Video: « Locked Out of Heaven »

Atlantic / Warner

½

Outasight – Nights Like These

OutasightNights Like These (2012)

Outasight is the pseudonym of Richard Andrew, a singer rapper who does a mix of rap, rock and R&B. He became known in 2011 with the dance pop megahit "Tonight is the Night", the song at the centre of this first record that has few other interesting moments. One of those rare moments worthy of mention is "Shine" featuring Chiddy Bang, and you can also enjoy "I'll Drink to That". For everything else, it is a light pop sound without substance and without excitement, even in more danceable moments ("Ready Set Go", "Now or Never"). (February 2013)

Videos: « Tonight is the Night » - « Now or Never » - « Shine »

Warner

½

Redd Kross – Researching the Blues

Redd KrossResearching the Blues (2012)

Formed in the late 1970s in California, Redd Kross has become a cult punk and alternative rock band. After a break of 15 years, it returns with its sixth album, Researching the Blues. The McDonald brothers show us not only their best compositions in a long time, but also superb unforgettable melodies, sometimes almost worthy of The Beatles, no less. Moments of rock 'n' roll will not leave you indifferent and mid-tempo songs will not fail to seduce you. Without daring to say that Researching the Blues is the best album of the career of Redd Kross, let’s say it is possibly the most enjoyable one to listen to. A breath of fresh air by a group of 35 years that doesn’t seem to have taken age! (February 2013)

Video: « Stay Away from Downtown »

Merge

½

Debbie Tebbs – Modern Talking

Debbie TebbsModern Talking (2012)

DJ Debbie Tebbs is a Montreal native who toured across Canada over the past 15 years. On this new album, the artist makes a return to basics, abandoning her turntables for her voice and synthesizers, beautifully presented in electronic arrangements. She offers us a dance electro pop sound heavily influenced by the 1980s. Debbie is also fully in the new wave of disco. For Modern Talking, she can count on the participation of Eric Speed, DJ Nerve and Marie-Luce Béland, not to mention Sylvain Taillefer who wrote several lyrics. So, Debbie Tebbs is particularly well accompanied for the first album out of her comfort zone and bringing her in a world we didn’t know about her. Her tour will stop in Montreal on February 13 at the Casa Del Popolo with a surprise guest. (February 2013)

Cliché / Universal

½

Quadro Nuevo – Grand Voyage

Quadro NuevoGrand Voyage (2012)

The German acoustic jazz quartet is back with a new album. It carries this time its tango on a journey through Europe and the rest of the world. The 18 tracks of Grand Voyage were in fact recorded in various locations around the world. Their atmospheric music makes us inevitably travel, and this is doubly the case with this sixth album for the Justin Time label. Bon voyage! (February 2013)

Justin Time / SIX

½

Xavier Rudd – Spirit Bird

Xavier RuddSpirit Bird (2012)

Xavier Rudd is an Australian indie musician who does not hesitate to explore different avenues of alternative rock music. From the opening track of Spirit Bird, "Lioness Eye", he managed to create a heavy and hypnotic atmosphere which can totally captivate us, or make us give up immediately. Otherwise, he quickly returns to a more standard acoustic folk sound on "Comfortable in My Skin" with just a guitar and an harmonica. This mix of folk and indie experimentation is sure to keep our interest, but Rudd does not revolutionize anything and we retain only very little from this new album. (January 2013)

Side One Dummy / EMI

The Toy Dolls – The Album After the Last One

The Toy DollsThe Album After the Last One (2012)

The Toy Dolls are a British punk band that was formed in 1979. They do comedy rock and have never really taken themselves seriously. The trio presents the 12th studio album of its career. The record includes a few pieces of energetic efficiency and good times of rock 'n' roll, but their caricatural side often takes the spotlight which can become annoying, especially since it is not really funny though it wants to be comedy. The album features 3 bonus acoustic tracks by singer and guitarist Olga. (January 2013)

Secret / MVD

½

Rihanna – Unapologetic

RihannaUnapologetic (2012)

The pop / R&B singer presents almost an album every year since her debut in 2005, which is meaning she is already issuing her seventh record. Rihanna loving to provoke, she is not shy to undress for the cover of Unapologetic. Musically, she goes back to something a little darker and deeper, as it was the case on Rated R in 2009. We like when Rihanna dares to experiment, even if it then separates a portion of her audience that prefers her when she plays light pop and dance music. Otherwise, there is still some variety throughout the record which still has good catchy pop and dance songs (including the excellent "Right Now" with David Guetta). Collaborations include Eminem ("Numb") and her boyfriend Chris Brown ("Nobody's Business"). With 14 varied tracks, the album may seem somewhat uneven. But, it still has very good compositions, strongly interpreted by one of the most complete artists of her generation. (January 2013 Featured Review)

Videos: « Diamonds » - « Right Now »

Def Jam / Universal

½

Milo Greene – Milo Greene

Milo GreeneMilo Greene (2012)

Milo Greene is a pop rock / indie rock quintet from Los Angeles which is arriving with its first album. The band puts forward unusual vocal harmonies around the singer Marlana Sheetz, in addition to presenting superb orchestrations of guitars and strings that create a unique atmosphere, often cinematographic. It can be compared to Fleetwood Mac, but also Sarah McLachlan in atmospheric moments. Tracks like "What's the Matter," "Don’t You Give Up On Me" and "1957" are likely to stay on your mind for a long time. While Milo Greene does not revolutionize the genre, it manages to create an enveloping atmosphere that is very pleasant to listen to. Here is a beautiful debut album by a band that should be checked out closely. (January 2013 Featured New Artist)

Videos: « 1957 » - « Silent Way » - « Don’t You Give Up On Me » - « What’s the Matter »

Chop Shop / Atlantic / Warner

½

Kid Rock – Rebel Soul

Kid RockRebel Soul (2012)

Kid Rock seemed to have somewhat calmed down on his previous album, but he is back now with his well assumed rebellious side. He produces the album himself and this is perhaps his biggest mistake while Rebel Soul sounds a bit cheap. His lyrics remain predictable, but this is the case since the beginning of his career anyway. He continues to praise strippers and parties, as if the ex-boyfriend of Pamela Anderson knew only that... These are clichés over clichés that are sent by the kid of Detroit, all on a rock 'n' roll sound that is often simplistic, music from another era dangerously lacking creativity. In fact, Kid Rock could have had an important place in the history of music if he had instead produced albums in the mid-1970s. Forty years later, it seems like recuperation... (January 2013)

Videos: « Let’s Ride » - « Happy New Year »

Atlantic / Warner

½

Taylor Swift – Red

Taylor SwiftRed (2012)

The young singer has come to change the face of country music in 2006, which was something great. Six years later, she presents her fourth studio album. Despite a few references to country, we must say that Red is primarily a pop album. But it is a pop of quality that presents Taylor when she really found her place and her own style. The 16 tracks of the album are varied and allow us to appreciate the different facets of her personality. A deluxe edition of the album is also available with a second CD containing additional songs, demo versions and an acoustic version of "State of Grace". (January 2013)

Videos: « We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together » - « Begin Again » - « I Knew You Were Trouble »

Big Machine / Universal

½

Misstress Barbara – Many Shades of Grey

Misstress BarbaraMany Shades of Grey (2012)

The Montreal DJ comes up with a new album which is more pop than ever. She presents many good songs on which she recorded all the instruments. They are all catchy songs, but much less underground house than in the past. In fact, this is electro pop music with a disco direction, music that can be played at full volume. She would have been able to afford this album under her own name, Barbara Bonfiglio, as it is certainly her most personal album to date and for which she has literally done everything. Many Shades of Grey is a good album that can be listened beautifully until the end. (January 2013)

Video: « The Right Time »

Energia / Maple

½

Aerosmith – Music From Another Dimension!

AerosmithMusic From Another Dimension!

The rock band from Boston is back with its first album of original material since Just Push Play in 2001. The question that we may ask is: do they really have been missed? And the answer for most people is likely to be no! In fact, for the last twenty years, the group doesn’t give us good reasons to look forward to their new compositions. On this new album, the band picks up where it left off with its huge sound which could have very well been recorded in 1992. In fact, the band plays music from another era, music that has nothing to do with 2012. In addition, it lacks the big hit ballad the band gave us on its recent albums. The opening piece that should set the tone for the album, "Luv XXX", is rather tasteless and it is certainly not Julian Lennon back-up vocals that will increase the interest. Moments of pure rock 'n' roll can reconcile us with the band by providing at least some energy to the album, even if it is not really creative. Carrie Underwood does a duet with Steven Tyler on "Can’t Stop Lovin 'You", one of the highlights of the CD. Joe Perry is also taking a place a little more important writing a few songs by himself and seizing the microphone in some occasions. With 15 tracks totaling 68 minutes, Music From Another Dimension! is an album far too long which could easily have been cut by a third in cleaning some useless tracks. This record was probably done to demonstrate that the band was still working well together considering the various rumors of disagreement in recent years. But more importantly, it is certainly a good excuse for a new tour. (December 2012 Featured Review)

Video: « Legendary Child »

Columbia / Sony

Air - Le voyage dans la lune

Air - Le voyage dans la lune

The French electronic duo had managed to impress the music world in 1998 with the release of Moon Safari. It is perhaps in a desire to go back to the roots that Air is back on the moon 14 years later, inspired by Georges Méliès. Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Nicolas Godin have indeed put to music the restored version of Melies’ film Le voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the Moon), a science fiction classic of 1912. Without following the pacing of the film, this album presents 11 pieces from the film. Musically, the duo explores all its influences from trip hop to rock to new age and electronic experimentation. Sounds of all kinds are also added to the set. The beautiful "Moon Fever" is definitely the best track of the album, but it is oddly surrounded by two almost progressive rock pieces that are also of high quality, "Parade" and "Sonic Armada". "Seven Stars" and "Cosmic Trip" are other highlights of Le voyage dans la lune. Only three songs have lyrics, and the voices are provided by Victoria LeGrand ("Seven Stars") and Au Revoir Simone ("Who Am I Now?"). The album features great quality in general, but if you want to find a negative point that would probably be the electronic sounds that seem to age a little, to come from another era. Otherwise, whereas the mandate was to develop music for a film of 100 years ago, we cannot really blame them... The music of Air still contributes well to modernize the film. (April 2012)

Virgin / EMI / SIX

½

Damon Albarn – Dr Dee

Damon AlbarnDr Dee

Best known for his work with Blur and Gorillaz, Damon Albarn has redefined the contemporary British sound. On this first official solo album, he takes a different direction. He offers us a folk opera inspired by the life of John Dee (1527-1608), a mathematician, alchemist, philosopher and advisor for Elizabeth I. Around his voice, you can hear a choir and ancient English instruments mixed with more contemporary instruments from West Africa. The album was recorded partly in his London studio, but also in Salford with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. This is a pretty strange album that requires an open mind. This is a theatrical recording that would finally be entirely meaningful on stage. But on record, the effort will be hardly rewarded while listening to these 18 dark tracks that seem endless. Dr. Dee is a difficult album to listen until the end and even harder to listen many times... (July 2012)

Parlophone / EMI

The All-American Rejects - Kids in the Street

The All-American Rejects - Kids in the Street

After a great debut album 10 years ago, the emo band from Oklahoma had many problems when it presented two mediocre albums in 2005 and 2008. The interest has greatly decreased about them. The All-American Rejects are able to make a strong comeback in 2012 with Kids in the Street, a pop rock album highly accessible. Effective melodies and a pop sound that goes as far as the influences of the new wave of the 1980s characterize this new album of great maturity. The musicians have gained experience and dexterity, and they are no longer the teenagers they were in their debut and which simply wanted to shake everything. Here, we feel a special effort on the compositions which, even if they borrow from different genres, manages to differentiate them. There are some ballads which are not very interesting, but at the same time they demonstrate the extent of the capabilities of the band presenting its richest and most varied album to date. (June 2012)

Videos: « Someday’s Gone » - « Beekeeper’s Daughter » - « Kids in the Street »

Interscope / Universal

½

All Time Low – Don’t Panic

All Time LowDon’t Panic

For its fourth studio album, the pop punk quartet from Baltimore goes one step further in its unique pop universe. There are only a few elements of their early punk sound and the band is easier to compare to commercial hard rock of the 1980s, with a personal touch of modernity. On Don’t Panic, the group manages to present solid compositions and especially to balance everything to make an album that is listening well until the end. Although some tracks may seem common, there are enough energetic pieces to make a greatly interesting album. In fact, it is here perhaps their strongest record to date. (February 2013)

Video: « For Baltimore »

Hopeless

½

Alt-J – An Awesome Wave

Alt-JAn Awesome Wave

Alt-J is an English quartet that was formed at Leeds University in 2008. They present their very first album, An Awesome Wave. Rather difficult to describe, we can say the band mixes alternative rock and folk with dub beats and pop melodies. The result is a minimalist fusion that is very interesting and creative. Some tracks may seem a bit pretentious, but the whole remains very solid and entertaining, especially when you consider that they are in their first steps in music. Alt-J is thus a band to check out closely. (February 2013 Featured New Artist)

Videos: « Breezeblocks » - « Tessellate » - « Something Good » - « Fitzpleasure »

Atlantic / Warner

½

Tori Amos – Gold Dust

Tori AmosGold Dust

Twenty years after Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos is arriving with Gold Dust. She revisits 14 pieces from her catalog with the Metropole Orchestra conducted by Jules Buckley. The album was recorded live with the orchestra in the Netherlands. Even if every hit is not necessarily included, it is a great way to rediscover some of the best compositions of the artist. The orchestra plays its role perfectly in accompanying Tori’s voice and piano, without overwhelming them. We realize that it is the best environment that might have hoped Tori Amos for her songs. A deluxe version is also available with a bonus DVD including a documentary about the making of the album. (October 2012)

Deutsche Grammophon / Universal

½

The Angry Kids – The Angry Kids

The Angry KidsThe Angry Kids

The Angry Kids are a duo from Toronto which is playing danceable house music, often influenced by rock. Jeff Beck (no, not the one you’re thinking of) and Ryan Wilock were already active for a few years in the clubs, in addition to be a part of numerous compilations of electronic music. This first album is therefore actually a collection of their greatest hits to date and it includes inevitably "Mr. Brown" in two versions (with the voice of Bob Marley). You can also hear the song that made them ​​known at their debut, "I Ran (So Far Away)" (with A Flock of Seagulls). There are also the excellent "Monkey" (with Kaysh), "Wouldn’t It Be Good" with Nik Kershaw and their cover of the Ramones’ "Blitzkrieg Bop". Dance music lovers will find something to satisfy themselves on this energetic album. (February 2013)

Vidéoclips : « Mr. Brown »

Warner

½

Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

Fiona AppleThe Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

For her fourth album, it was necessary that Fiona Apple comes up with a title like a novel. The Idler Wheel (you allow the shortcut) has a very nice creativity for this artist a little troubled, but unique. We must say that she had waited seven years before recording a new album since Extraordinary Machine. The creative process has been long, but ultimately successful. Alone at the piano with percussionist Charley Drayton, Fiona presents a minimalist music with various sound effects (voices, synthesizers and other different sounds). The entire album remains focused on her voice and personality, making it perhaps her purest album to date. But what is clear is that it is one of her best records in career, if not the best one... (December 2012)

Video: « Every Single Night »

Asia – XXX

AsiaXXX

Asia is a British progressive rock supergroup formed in 1981 including John Wetton (King Crimson) Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), Steve Howe (Yes) and Geoff Downes (The Buggles). Thirty years after the smash hit of their self-titled debut album, the four original members gather for a new CD, XXX, and a world tour. The group may have failed to recreate the magic of its first record on its subsequent records, but it approaches it perhaps more than ever with this new album. It includes the items that made the band's success at the time, making it their best record in 30 years. It is therefore a very great achievement for this legendary band that can go on tour with new material of interest. An edition with a DVD is also available. Their 30th anniversary tour will stop in Montreal on October 12th at the Corona Theatre. (August 2012)

Frontiers / SIX

½

Bahamas - Barchords

Bahamas - Barchords

Bahamas is the solo project of guitarist from Toronto Afie Jurvanen, who has worked among others with Feist. After a first album in 2009, he is back with an excellent record in Barchords. A master of melody, Jurvanen brings music to its simplest expression, despite a few incredible solos. Bahamas offers us a superb blend of indie folk and pop rock with some blues influences. Especially, it has a communicative groove, accompanied by a soft and extremely warm sound. With such a talent for melody in addition, it is hard not to be seduced by Bahamas which is reaching new heights with Barchords. Here is a very good album, one of the great surprises of the year to date. (June 2012)

Universal Republic

½

Emilie-Claire Barlow – Seule ce soir

Emilie-Claire BarlowSeule ce soir

For the female jazz singer from Toronto, the idea behind this project was to assemble a compilation of French songs she had previously recorded. But she ended up re-recording the songs and adding more songs to explore in greater depth French and Quebec music. It therefore includes 14 tracks with 6 new ones including "Petit matin" (Sylvain Lelièvre), "Des croissants de soleil" (popularized by Ginette Reno), "La belle dame sans regret" (Sting), "La plus belle pour aller danser" (Charles Aznavour, popularized by Sylvie Vartan) and the title track (Charles Trenet). Other songs include the country classic from Quebec "Quand le soleil dit bonjour aux montagnes", "C’est si bon", "Ces bottes sont faites pour marcher", "T’es pas un autre" (Claude Gauthier) and "Jardin d’hiver". Here is an excellent jazz album that makes us rediscover a range of French songs, perfectly performed by one of the greatest jazz singers in the country. (December 2012)

Empress / SIX

½

Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man

Bat For LashesThe Haunted Man

Natasha Khan is back with a third album for her project of Bat For Lashes. If her music was generally soft on her previous album, this is still the case on The Haunted Man and with more obvious sadness. She is more than ever focused on her voice, but one can not help but wonder why she chose the intimate ballad "Laura" as the first single, while other songs are much more exciting. She skillfully blends genres with some folk coupled with electronic arrangements. She can still be compared to Björk, but she managed to detach increasingly from her establishing her own style. And I must admit her voice is damn more pleasant to hear. She has some frankly catchy tracks as "All Your Gold", and especially no weak moment and wonderful arrangements. The only thing that could possibly disturb some is the intimate side that is sometimes a little too quiet. But otherwise, The Haunted Man is a flawless album, the best of Bat For Lashes to date. (November 2012)

Videos: « Laura » - « All Your Gold »

Parlophone / EMI

The Beach Boys - That's Why God Made the Radio

The Beach Boys - That's Why God Made the Radio

The famous band from California celebrates a career of 50 years, which is ideal for a world tour. Otherwise, where we did not expect the Beach Boys, it's in the studio recording a new album, just months after their reunion (with Brian Wilson as producer). That's Why God Made the Radio is a record in two parts, first with sunny beats and secondly with ballads reflective about their past. With songs like the title track and the excellent "Isn’t It Time", the group reminds us of its sound of the late 1960s, with more arrangements. "From There to Back Again", sung by Al Jardine, is definitely one of their finest ballads in a long time. But, as with any album by the Beach Boys for 40 years, there are tracks a little too relaxed or tasteless ("Spring Vacation"). But these missteps are rare and this is definitely their best album in 35 years. Note the presence of Jon Bon Jovi who participated in the writing of "Summer's Gone" to conclude the CD. (June 2012)

Capitol / EMI

½

The Beatdown – Walkin’ Proud

The BeatdownWalkin’ Proud

The Beatdown is a reggae trio from Montreal presenting its second album. In a style called northern reggae, the band incorporates various guest artists. Arrangements are raw, but go well with the atmosphere of the live band. On Walkin' Proud, the trio makes getaways in other musical genres: sixties pop on "Gone For Good", surf on "The Other Side". The main negative point of the band is its singer, Alex Giguère, who is lacking of voice and is not at the right level on several occasions. Despite some flaws on the CD, you have no choice but letting go to the rhythms of reggae. (February 2013)

Stomp / ULG / Warner

Guy Bélanger – Dusty Trails

Guy BélangerDusty Trails

For his new album, the harmonica player from Quebec invited several colleagues to add their personal touch to the album. Among others, we can hear Breen Leboeuf, Nanette Workman, France D'Amour, Antoine Gratton (keyboards) and Mélissa Lavergne (drums). Bélanger plays a mix of original compositions and traditional blues music of the southern United States. While Dusty Trails follows in the footsteps of Crossroads released 2 years earlier, it goes one step further and shows how Guy Bélanger masters his art beautifully. Here is his best album to date. (February 2013)

Bros / SIX

½

Justin Bieber – Believe

Justin BieberBelieve

Now 18 years old, Justin Bieber has finally evolved and we can say that this is his album of passage to adulthood. He wrote or co-wrote all the songs except one, which demonstrates his desire to be at the core of the creative process and that is to his credit. The album starts strongly with the dance track "All Around the World" (with Ludacris), the hit "Boyfriend" and "As Long As You Love Me" (with Big Sean). Subsequently, several ballads quickly become unbearable and will only please his young female fans. "Take You" manages to make you tap your toe and "Beauty and a Beat" is another solid song (with Nicki Minaj). Drake is also part of the guest artists on "Right Here". We can compare Bieber to Michael Jackson before Thriller, and Justin Timberlake. Otherwise, he lacks the maturity that these two artists were able to acquire over the years to present material of much higher quality. This is still a good step forward for this superstar who succeeds in proving that he can really sing. (August 2012)

Video: « Boyfriend »

Island / Universal

Big & Rich – Hillbilly Jedi

Big & RichHillbilly Jedi

Big Kenny and John Rich are a duo from Nashville that debuted in 2004 in country music. They include rock and pop music in their country sound that is rather fanciful. After a break of five years, they are trying to reinvigorate their careers which seemed to be ending up badly with Between Raising Hell and Amazing Grace in 2007. They requested the services of Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora for the writing of the opening track, "Born Again" (on which Jon also participates), and "Can’t Be Satisfied". The album has some good songs, but the whole falls quickly in the insipidity of the last record. The duo appeared as a joke in the country music world but it cannot get out of that image, unfortunately. The joke lasted long enough... (March 2013)

Videos: « Born Again » - « Party Like Cowboyz » - « Lay It All On Me » - « Cheat On You »

Warner

½

Billy Talent – Dead Silence

Billy TalentDead Silence

After a trilogy of eponymous albums between 2003 and 2009, the pop punk band from Toronto Billy Talent has a new start on Dead Silence. The band's sound is still recognizable, but listening to the quality of the compositions, it seems that they were rehearsing on their first albums and now they move on to more serious things. The band has experienced in the past in post-hardcore, emo and even metal, but it seems to have finally found its own sound, hard to describe. In addition, the group spends its clever socio-political messages that fit perfectly into its music. Ian D'Sa shows more than ever his guitar virtuosity and in addition, he allows himself to produce the album. After a one-minute introduction, Billy Talent presents the first single from the album, "Viking Death March". We then hear an all-star trio with the excellent "Surprise Surprise", "Runnin 'Across the Tracks" and "Love Was Still Around". Everything resumes with the mid-tempo pop of "Stand Up and Run" and the intense "Crooked Minds". That is when we realize that we have heard 7 of the 14 tracks of the album and no obvious weakness has emerged. The second half will remain as strong to reach the conclusion that Billy Talent offers its best album to date. (October 2012)

Video: « Viking Death March »

Warner

Kim Bingham – Up!

Kim BinghamUp!

After Me, Mom & Morgentaler and the music of the French Quebec TV series Les Invincibles, Kim Bingham finally presents her first solo album. Co-produced by John Kastner (Doughboys, Bran Van 3000), Up! includes many prominent musicians: Gene Trautmann (Queens of the Stone Age), Jason Falkner (Jellyfish), Christopher Thorn (Blind Melon) and former members of The Dears, George Donoso and Martin Pelland. Kim can also count on the Montreal band Creature to produce the first single, "Party Girl" (the only song in French), and for the remix of the title track to the very end. On this first album, Kim presents a pop rock sound that many tracks have the potential to end up on the radio. Greatly influenced by classic rock, she offers a kind of modern version of a sound of the years 1960-70. The most interesting songs are the most energetic: "Get Lucky", "Hard Act to Follow" and the Invincibles theme song, "The Heroes Take". Even if she does not reinvent anything, Kim Bingham manages to offer us a record that is pleasant to listen to the end. (August 2012)

Video: « Up! »

Mudgirl

Zac Brown Band – Uncaged

Zac Brown BandUncaged

Zac Brown is a songwriter and performer from Atlanta who is on a mission to make a major shift in country music. He offers a contemporary country rock sound with influences of bluegrass, reggae and blues that has great commercial potential for its dynamism. The contributors to the album include Jason Mraz, who co-wrote the first song, "Jump Right In", Trombone Shorty on "Overnight" and Amos Lee on "Day That I Die." Production is of quality, and despite a few typically country tracks, it takes a direction rather pop and accessible to a wide audience. Uncaged is certainly the most interesting album by Zac Brown to date. (August 2012)

Video: « The Wind »

Atlantic / Warner

½

Jane Bunnett - Mundo: The World of Jane Bunnett

Jane Bunnett - Mundo: The World of Jane Bunnett

Composer and multi-instrumentalist from Toronto Jane Bunnett is one of the great Canadian jazz women. In tandem with her longtime partner Larry Cramer, she has established herself for almost 25 years. EMI presents now a double collection covering her entire career. There are 23 tracks taken from 16 albums recorded between 1989 and 2008, plus two new songs, "Gotcha’" and "After Rain, Comes Sun". This rich compilation allows us to discover the breadth of the musical range of this talented artist: contemporary jazz, Cuban rhythms, blues, gospel, classical and R&B among others. Here is a great way to introduce yourself to the work of Jane Bunnett. (June 2012)

EMI

½

Chris de Burgh – Footsteps 2

Chris de BurghFootsteps 2

Footsteps 2 follows a first cover album released in 2009. This 19th studio album by the British singer presents once again 11 of his favorite songs that inspired him to write his own songs. And once again, The Beatles are honored with the covers of "Let It Be" and "Lady Madonna". But you can also hear "Blue Bayou" of Roy Orbison, "S.O.S" of ABBA and "In the Ghetto" popularized by Elvis Presley. To these 11 new versions, de Burgh adds 3 new compositions. Interpretations are rich and accurate, and they make a good tribute to the songs and their composers. As it was the case for the first album, without reinventing the original compositions, Chris de Burgh manages to deliver them in a great way for a record that is pleasant to listen to until the end. (September 2012)

Ferryman / Justin Time / SIX

Caracol - Shiver

Caracol - Shiver

After the album Blanc mercredi (White Wednesday) in 2011 which was mainly Francophone, Caracol is now coming back with a record primarily in English, Shiver. Included here are the three English songs of the previous album and the hits "Blanc mercredi" and "Certitudes". The six new songs are in English. With several arrangements a little more rock than on her previous album, Caracol shows a more mature side, a style full of nuances where intimate folk songs still have their place, without dominating as it was the case on Blanc mercredi. Offering an excellent addition to her last year record, Shiver has everything needed to enable Caracol to conquer the huge English-speaking market, having gone on tour for a short Canadian tour with Amelia Curren. (May 2012)

Videos: « Certitudes » - « Blanc mercredi »

Grosse Maman / Indica

½

Celleste – Join the Infestation

CellesteJoin the Infestation

For her second record, the singer is once again working with her faithful collaborator Eric Dick who co-wrote the album with her and produced it. It was mastered in Hollywood by Bernie Grundman (U2, Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson). Celleste presents nine songs with rhythm in which we can easily discover her passion for rock and catchy melodies. It is a custom made music for a trip in concert. Her voice remains unique and powerful, so she steals the spotlight to guitars on several occasions, despite the performance of the amps. With Join the Infestation, Celleste hits the mark and has everything it takes to make a name for herself around the world. (December 2012)

Video: « Join the Infestation »

Mighty

½

Céu – Caravana Sereia Bloom

CéuCaravana Sereia Bloom

Céu is a Brazilian singer born in Sao Paulo who comes up with a third album after the excellent Vagarosa issued in 2009. Caravana Sereia Bloom is less based on ambient electronics in the jazzy bossa nova and samba style. She rather presents songs of Latin pop widely accessible, with little more experimental elements, influenced by her travels on the road throughout Brazil. You can hear quite a bit of samba and cumbia, sometimes mixed within the same song ("Contravento"). "Amor de Antigos" presents surf guitar, while "You Won’t Regret It", one of three songs in English, is a cover of a piece of rocksteady. For those who like a rich Brazilian pop sound, you will be delighted with this new recording by Céu. (August 2012)

Six Degrees / SIX

½

Cherri Bomb – This is the End of Control

Cherri BombThis is the End of Control

Cherri Bomb is a young all-female quartet from Los Angeles led by singer and guitarist Julia Pierce. The band takes inspiration from both hard rock and alternative rock, reminding us on several occasions of Hole and the Runaways. These talented musicians throw solid rock right to our face, well supported by quality production and arrangements. The compositions are brilliant and everything is in place so that we have the chance to discover one of the best rock bands of the 2010s. There are a few melodies that are a little more pop, but you can only hear one ballad on this album of 12 tracks, "Heart is a Hole". This is the End of Control is an entertaining album that will pleasantly shake you until the end. An excellent debut album and a great discovery! (October 2012 Featured New Artist)

Video: « Let It Go »

Hollywood / Universal

½

Jarvis Church and The Soul Station – The Soul Station Vol. 1: The Songs of Sam Cooke, A Tribute

Jarvis Church and The Soul Station – The Soul Station Vol. 1: The Songs of Sam Cooke, A Tribute

Gerald Eaton by his real name, Jarvis Church is a Canadian singer who has several albums to his credit. On The Soul Station Vol. 1, he paid tribute to Sam Cooke by covering eight of his hits and adding two personal compositions. The album was recorded live in Toronto and its main problem is that it is too short with less than 33 minutes. It is a very good album of soul music that will make you discover (or rediscover) in addition the repertoire of Sam Cooke. (December 2012)

Rezolute / EMI / SIX

½

Cirque du Soleil – Amaluna

Cirque du SoleilAmaluna

For its latest show, the Cirque du Soleil team has yet ask Bob & Bill (Guy Dubuc and Marc Lessard) for the composition of the music. Their mission was to create a unique and raw sound and the result incorporates influences from heavy rock, certainly the heaviest music that has been heard so far in a Cirque show. Another interesting aspect is that these are all women who interpret the original music (with Jenifer Aubry on the microphone), a first for Cirque du Soleil. The guitars play a significant role throughout the CD, but they are supported by beautiful arrangements of strings and percussions among others that enrich pleasantly the music of Amaluna. Again. Bob & Bill managed to create a music soundtrack that complements the show, while bringing a lot of surprises. (March 2013)

½

Cirque du Soleil – Le Best of 2

Cirque du SoleilLe Best of 2

Le Best of 2 presents the best music produced by Cirque du Soleil since 2005. We can hear music from the shows KOOZA, ZED, Corteo, IRIS, TOTEM, Criss Angel Believe, ZAIA, OVO, Wintuk, Zumanity and the most recent, Amaluna. There is also the choice of Facebook fans, "Pageant" of . Of course are left aside themed shows about The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, whose music is the central subject of the shows. This new compilation by Cirque du Soleil makes us discover very good world music with hints of pop, cabaret, orchestral ensembles and modern rock. Although their music is primarily written and arranged to accompany their spectacular shows, we discover that it can live by itself on record. It also has the advantage of bringing us back into the atmosphere of the shows for those who were lucky enough to assist. (December 2012)

½

Gary Clark Jr. – Blak and Blu

Gary Clark Jr.Blak and Blu

Gary Clark is a guitarist from Texas who plays a blues rock sound mixed with more contemporary soul and hip hop. Often compared to Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, he has indeed a guitar play based heavily on them. His qualities are undeniable as a guitarist. After a few independent albums, Clark offers us a first album for a major label. Blak and Blu will not impress many fans of Jimi Hendrix, especially with his cover of "Third Stone from the Sun". Without revolutionizing the blues rock genre, he still manages to modernize it a bit. We must say that soul songs as the title track and "The Life" form quite a contrast with the walls of guitar that he offers on most of the album of 13 tracks. On a few occasions, like on "Numb", Clark can remind us of the Black Keys’ garage blues sound. However, the production of Blak and Blu is too clean to put the album in this category. He also provides a pure rock 'n' roll track with "Travis County". No matter what style he tackles, he doesn’t revolutionize anything, despite a talent for composition. But what really sets him apart is certainly his huge talent as a musician, one of the best guitarists of the new generation. (November 2012)

Videos: « Bright Lights » - « Ain’t Messin ‘Round »

Warner

½

Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas

Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas

Legendary poet Leonard Cohen is back on record with Old Ideas, an album on which he explores his favorite subjects (spirituality, love, mortality, and more). Where the record is somewhat surprising is that it is mixing different musical forms with rich arrangements. "Going Home" features sounds of electronic keyboards, acoustic piano and a violin. The excellent jazzy song "Amen" is played on banjo with a violin and guitar by Cohen. His live musicians join him on "Darkness" which is a superb blend of guitar and Hammond B3 organ. "Come Healing" is another song in which you can hear a church organ, while "Banjo" is a country-blues that would certainly like Hank Williams. Obviously, one can still hear a few songs with only guitar and voice, since that is his trademark. Otherwise, the musical richness he manages to bring to Old Ideas allows us to appreciate even more the talent of this huge poet. And, it's mostly an album we’re never tired of, a record we can listen to more and more. Here is one of the best albums by Leonard Cohen for a long time, perhaps since I’m Your Man issued almost 25 years ago! (April 2012)

Holly Cole – Night

Holly ColeNight

This superb voice of Canadian jazz returns with a first studio album in five years and in addition, she is accompanied by her original trio. For this record of 11 tracks, she explores various territories, from a James Bond theme ("You Only Live Twice") to Jacques Brel ("If You Go Away"), via Tom Waits ("Walk Away", "Whistlin' Past the Graveyard"), Mort Shuman (the classic "Viva Las Vegas"), Gordon Lightfoot ("If You Could Read My Mind") and even Captain Beefheart ("Love Lies"). She offers also an original composition, "You've Got a Secret." With Night, Holly Cole shows us once again the full extent of her talent. (February 2013)

Universal / SIX

½

Ravi Coltrane – Spirit Fiction

Ravi ColtraneSpirit Fiction

Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, son of John and Alice, is active on the jazz scene since the mid-1990s. Spirit Fiction is his sixth album, the first for the famous Blue Note label. There are two groups of musicians on the album: a quartet that was working with Coltrane for almost 10 years, but also the quintet which participated to the album From the Round Box, issued in 2000. Co-produced by Coltrane and Joe Lovano, the record has a jazz mood with some lightness, very pleasant to hear. With Spirit Fiction, Ravi Coltrane seems ready to take a new direction with his career. (January 2013)

Blue Note / EMI / SIX

½

Stompin’ Tom Connors – Stompin’ Tom and the Roads of Life

Stompin’ Tom ConnorsStompin’ Tom and the Roads of Life

Dr. Stompin' Tom Connors is the most famous country singer in Canada with a career that spans over 45 years. Unfortunately, he has always suffered from the comparison with the giant Johnny Cash. This new album features 17 songs including originals, instrumentals, as well as covers of Wilf Carter ("Rattlin' Cannonball"), Hank Snow ("My Nova Scotia Home") and other legends of country music. The Road of Life presents an interesting journey into the world of Stompin 'Tom and he will certainly succeed in capturing the attention of his fans. (February 2013)

EMI

Ry Cooder – Election Special

Ry Cooder Election Special

With the U.S. presidential election coming, legendary Ry Cooder felt the need to give his opinion in music. It is in folk and old blues songs that Cooder presents 9 political songs very specific to the time we are dealing with, and there is a huge risk that they are likely to age badly. Aside from the drums played by his son Joachim, Cooder plays all the instruments on this very special album. Not only he gives his opinion, but he clearly displays his anger on several occasions, as in "Guantanamo". Election Special is certainly his most raw album in many years, but more importantly, it is the most political record of his career. Although this is an interesting album in the genre, it probably will not stand the test of time, unfortunately. (October 2012)

Nonesuch / Warner

Jesse Cook – The Blue Guitar Sessions

Jesse CookThe Blue Guitar Sessions

For his eighth album, the flamenco guitarist is somewhat in a different direction and leaves room for his musicians to produce a particularly rich environment. Even if you can hear mostly original instrumental compositions, there are also two huge covers. The album begins with Screamin 'Jay Hawkins’ classic "I Put a Spell on You", beautifully interpreted by Toronto female singer Emma-Lee. Another classic comes from the French repertoire, Jacques Brel’s "Ne me quitte pas". The album was recorded with old microphones to recreate the atmosphere of the Miles Davis era. The result is an intimate and mature album that is listening beautifully in the late hours of the night. This is another great album by this excellent classical guitarist. (March 2013)

EMI / SIX

½

The Cranberries - Roses

The Cranberries - Roses

The Cranberries are back in the studio after a break of 11 years during which singer Dolores O'Riordan has issued two solo albums. The band was particularly successful with its first two albums in the mid-1990s, in the middle of the post-grunge era. Otherwise, the following three records were much more difficult and the Cranberries found themselves on hiatus in the early 2000s. All original members reunite for Roses, also with producer Stephen Street. On this new album, the band returns to the style that made it successful almost 20 years ago, which may be interesting for fans of the first hour. But, the sound may thereby show signs of age on different occasions with a rock sound which is now particular to the 1990s. We again hear their Smiths influences, with elements of Celtic music typical to their native Ireland. The melodies are still as effective and they are perfectly highlighted by the unique voice of Dolores, which is stronger than ever. The Cranberries avoid falling into the trap of trying to repeat another hit like "Zombie" with aggressive guitars, and the other trap of trying to modernize their music by incorporating electronic treatments. Instead, they opt for a more folk music trend, all in subtleties, drawing from the finest lightweight pop influences of their first recordings. The instruments are all organic and an occasional accordion or violin brings them back to their roots. "Tomorrow" is perhaps not the best single that would be needed for the album to climb the charts, but the record still contains tracks that are gaining strong interest after a few listens. Without revolutionizing anything, let’s say that Roses is a very good album of adult pop with a folk trend. (April 2012 Featured Review)

Video: « Tomorrow »

Universal

½

The Cult – Choice of Weapon

The CultChoice of Weapon

Five years after Born Into This, the British hard rock band The Cult is back with what may be its best album in 25 years. Co-produced by Chris Goss and Bob Rock, the record releases indeed some anger from long time overproductions. The deeper and darker voice of Ian Astbury is even difficult to recognize at the beginning of "Honey From a Knife". It is not until "The Wolf" at the third track that we find the style that made the heyday of the band at the time of "She Sells Sanctuary" with Billy Duffy in a great shape on guitar. As for the first single, "For the Animals", it has a great energy and the rhythm section perfectly supports the work of Duffy and Astbury. Even if we no longer believed it for a long time, The Cult prove us they are still alive. (August 2012)

Video: « For the Animals »

½

Curumin - Arrocha

Curumin - Arrocha

Curumin (aka Luciano Nakata Albuquerque) is a Brazilian born from Spanish and Japanese parents. He offers a contemporary Brazilian music with beats and textures that are unique with influences of funk, reggae, bossa nova and hip hop. If the beat is important in the music of Curumin, tinted by his hometown of Sao Paulo, the melodies are just as important. He therefore presents a joyful and danceable music with memorable melodies, an ideal music under the sun. Arrocha is a very good album. (June 2012)

Urban Jungle / Six Degrees / SIX

½

Sienna Dahlen – Verglas

Sienna DahlenVerglas

Sienna Dahlen spends her time between Toronto and France. Present in Montreal in January 1998 during the ice storm, she was inspired by it for this short album of 7 tracks. The singer-songwriter presents an album with winter moods merging jazz and folk, a sound heavily influenced by Jane Siberry and Joni Mitchell. Sienna is dedicating the album to Lhasa de Sela who was also a major influence for her by her magnificent musical heritage. With Verglas, Sienna Dahlen offers a unique and moving record. (March 2013)

Justin Time / SIX

½

The Darkness – Hot Cakes

The DarknessHot Cakes

In 2003, English band The Darkness contributed to the revival of the hard rock sound of the late 1970s. First making critics smile, the group has established itself quickly with its debut album, Permission to Land, which became extremely popular, and finally respected. However, for their second album two years later, the interest was no longer there and the critics were very proud. The charismatic singer with a high voice Justin Hawkins then fell into the hell of alcohol and cocaine, and he left, forcing the end of the band. So it’s after a hiatus of 6 years that The Darkness is back on Hot Cakes. The group offers very catchy songs of hard rock with unforgettable melodies. You can quickly make a connection with Queen, mainly because of the voice of Hawkins, but AC/DC and Boston are never too far away. Without equaling the inevitable hits that you could hear on their first recording, Hot Cakes contains some tracks that really catch attention. This is the case for the hit single "Nothin's Gonna Stop Us", "Keep Me Hangin 'On" and "Everybody Have a Good Time", while "She Just a Girl, Eddie" is very entertaining while going to search the corners of macho hard rock. Moreover, clichés abound on the record, but it is after all their satirical side which was so pleasant at their debut. In addition, to well represent the hard rock of the 1980s, they could not prevent the inclusion of two mid-tempo love songs, "Forbidden Love" and the passionate "Love is Not the Answer" to conclude the CD. With Hot Cakes, The Darkness present the album they should have done in the wake of Permission to Land. (September 2012 Featured Review)

Video: « Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us »

Wind-Up / EMI

½

Dearly BelovedHawk vs. Pigeon

Dearly Beloved is an alternative rock trio formed in 2006 in Toronto. It is influenced by both punk and progressive rock. However, the two singers, Rob Higgins and Niva Chow, have often catchy pop melodies. Their music sometimes a bit weird can on the other hand make some listeners give up, despite some good compositions. (November 2012)

eOne

Deftones – Koi No Yokan

DeftonesKoi No Yokan

The alternative metal band presents its seventh album to date. Deftones continues to push their own limits pursuing their musical exploration, to the delight of their loyal fans for over fifteen years. The group manages the feat of bringing some warmth to its music while maintaining its aggressiveness. They managed to envelop the listener in their unique atmosphere, for our greatest pleasure. Although the band is no longer able to achieve the success it had in the 1990s, it remains that it is perhaps the only group of that nu metal wave to be able to renew itself and remain creative. It is still a very good album that shows us Deftones with Koi No Yokan. (January 2013)

Reprise / Warner

½

Dan Desnoyers – In Da House 2013

Dan DesnoyersIn Da House 2013

In all the series of compilations that produced DJ Dan Desnoyers over the years, it’s definitely the In Da House series that is the most consistent. Since 2006, this series offers the best of house music, mixed very tightly. This new compilation is no exception to the rule and provides a constant dance party of 78 minutes. The few pieces a little known are limited to "Let's Go" by Calvin Harris (featuring Ne-Yo), "The Night Out" by Martin Solveig, "Tonight" by the Bodybangers (with Victoria Kern) and "Free" by Alex Guesta. You will also surely recognize "Wherever You Will Go" by Mobin Master and Royaal, a cover of the song by the rock band The Calling. The rest of the CD may be known only by the biggest house music fanatics. As usual, D-Noy presents a pair of original compositions: "It Wasn’t Me" remixed by DJs From Mars, and "Tear It Up" with the voice of Sandy Duperval who wrote the lyrics (she is a former contestant to the Quebec version of Star Academy and she is now a well known DJ in Montreal). Again, Dan D-Noy gives a lot for our ears, a sure success to move to the New Year. (December 2012)

Video: Preview Megamix

Sony

½

Dan Desnoyers – Summer Session 2012

Dan DesnoyersSummer Session 2012

DJ from Quebec Daniel Desnoyers offers us year after year several compilation series of club music and remixed pop music. In the Summer Session series, he presents his 2012 version to entertain our summer. D-Noy still presents a perfect mix of 76 minutes. It includes several catchy tracks that you will keep in mind for a long time as "Sunshine" by Btsound, "Ma chérie" by DJ Antoine, "Baila Morena" by Karmin Shiff and Lik & Dak, "Senorita" by Eddy Wata and "Greyhound" by Swedish House Mafia. But above all, the CD starts with the hit single of the summer, "Ai Se Eu Te Pego" by Brazilian Michel Telo, a contagious rhythm that invaded YouTube well before its release in North America. The 2012 edition of Summer Session is once again very well done and it will certainly make you dance. (July 2012)

Videos: « Preview Megamix » - « Ai Se Eu Te Pego » - « Baila Morena » - « Senorita » - « Back to the Hustle » - « You See the Trouble with Me »

For more videos, visit www.youtube.com/user/dnoymuzik

D-Noy / Sony

½

Fatoumata Diawara – Fatou

Fatoumata Diawara Fatou

Fatoumata Diawara was born in Côte d'Ivoire from Malian parents and she now lives in France where she is pursuing a career as an actress. She presents her first album heavily influenced by the Wassoulou tradition, but which also includes elements of jazz, pop and funk. She is defined by many as one of the greatest discoveries in recent world music. The album was produced by Fatou and Nick Gold for a great result highlighting clearly the quality of the compositions. Among the collaborations to the album, they include John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) on bass, Toumani Diabaté on kora and Tony Allen (Fela Kuti) on drums. With this debut album, Fatou is really impressive and she will certainly succeed in seducing you. Here is a very good record of African music. (September 2012)

Nonesuch / Warner

½

Brandi Disterheft – Gratitude

Brandi DisterheftGratitude

With Gratitude, the young Canadian jazz bassist now based in New York City presents her third album. She once again shows a perfect mastery of her instrument, which Oscar Peterson compared in the past with his former bassist, the late Ray Brown, by her rhythmic pulse. The talented musician quickly captures our attention with "Blues For Mandela" and the title track. Performed in French and English, "Le regarder la rencontrer encore (Rendez-vous indésirable)" is a beautiful love song and one of the greatest moments of the CD. Note also her interpretation of Gershwin’s "The Man I Love". Dim the lights and Brandi Disterheft will make you spend a wonderful intimate evening. (March 2013)

Justin Time / SIX

½

Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits

Divine FitsA Thing Called Divine Fits

Divine Fits is an alternative supergroup consisting of Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs), Britt Daniel (Spoon) and Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks). They have an alternative rock sound mixed with great quality electro pop. Although the three individuals had not worked together in the past, their relationship seems to have quickly established because their offer a high quality music with a surprising strength. It seems like they have worked together all their lives. Electro pop beats are well composed, the melodies are effective and each song has what it takes in creativity to keep our interest until the end. Here is a more than interesting debut album by a supergroup which may decide to extend this simple side project. (December 2012)

Video: « Would That Not Be Nice »

Merge / Universal

½

D.O.A. – We Come in Peace

D.O.A.We Come in Peace

Following the release of We Come in Peace, the legendary punk band from Vancouver announced its retirement and its current tour will be its last one. This 14th album of Joe Keithley and his band takes on a whole new meaning. We can find again humor and political denunciation like what marked the heyday of the group, with still much power despite a 35-year career. The guest artists include Hugh Dillon (Headstones), Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys) and Ben Kowalewicz (Billy Talent). In the second half of the CD, Joe Keithley presents strong compositions like "Lost Souls" and "The Man with No Name". The group even allows a very efficient cover of The Beatles’ "Revolution". Finally, the record ends with an acoustic version of their classic "General Strike". With We Come in Peace, the Canadian punk pioneers certainly offer us their best album since a long time. (February 2013)

Sudden Death / MVD

½

Clayton Doley – Desperate Times

Clayton DoleyDesperate Times

The Australian ace of Hammond B3 organ presents on his new album a majority of original compositions strongly influenced by the 1960s, but also some blues classics like Willie Dixon’s "Seventh Son" and jazz classics as Erroll Garner’s "Misty". He also pays tribute to one of his early idols, legendary jazz organist Jimmy Smith, with the medley "Chicken Shack / How Blue Can You Get". Even though it contains only 9 tracks, Desperate Times, recorded in Toronto, offers some interesting parts. (March 2013)

Hi-Fi-Doley-T / SIX

Chano Dominguez - Flamenco Sketches

Chano Dominguez - Flamenco Sketches

Since the beginning of his career, Spanish pianist Chano Dominguez has made a point to explore the connections between jazz and flamenco. For Flamenco Sketches, he tackled the biggest selling album in jazz history, Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue released in 1959. This reinterpretation was recorded live in New York on the 50th anniversary of this classic by Miles Davis. In addition to the five pieces from Kind of Blue, you can hear two other popular Davis songs: "Nardis" (put on the map by Bill Evans, but never recorded by the composer) and "Serpent's Tooth" (a piece from Davis’ songbook recorded before Kind of Blue). From the 16-minute title track, the tone is set for this dynamic album. Dominguez managed to bring a dancing touch to the album that makes it extremely entertaining. The finger snaps are present, which focuses on the flamenco side of this jazz classic brought up to date. While one might have feared the worst, here is a highly successful album, which makes a good tribute to its composer. (June 2012)

Blue Note

½

Dragonette – Bodyparts

DragonetteBodyparts

Building on the success of their collaboration with Martin Solveig for "Hello" and several songs from his latest album, Dragonette are back with their third album. The Toronto band led by Martina Sorbara succeeds more than ever to get its place in the global pop industry and Bodyparts has everything it takes to become a reference in the style mixing pop rock and electronic. The album includes many dance songs, yet very efficient, but which can also be enjoyed by DJs. "Live in this City" and "Let It Go" carry on the record by themselves, but other pieces like "Right Woman" and "My Legs" not only put back synthesizers forward, but are able to prove it’s possible to take good music from it. Even if the band can easily be compared to Gwen Stefani, Goldfrapp and the Scissor Sisters, Dragonette has nothing to envy them and this album is better than the latest of these three artists. Perhaps that to some ears it’s missing an instant hit like "Hello", but that's about all we can blame on this quality entertainment. (November 2012)

Videos: « Let It Go » - « Live in this City »

Universal

½

Dr. John – Locked Down

Dr. JohnLocked Down

Dr. John was active in music as far as in the 1950s when he was a talented blues and boogie pianist known as Mac Rebennack in New Orleans. He became known most of all in 1968 with the superb album Gris-Gris, a classic of the psychedelic era. He had a less effective period from the 1980s before returning back strongly in the late 1990s. Locked Down is his 10th album since 1998. Produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, the record has an organic sound, a little garage in the style of The Black Keys, a blues rock style explored by Dr. John a long time ago. Otherwise, the fact of working here with a team of young musicians and technicians seems to give him a push in the back. Locked Down is an excellent album that Dr. John can place proudly alongside the greatest recordings of his career. (July 2012)

Video: « Revolution »

Nonesuch / Warner

½

Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà – Musique de jeux vidéo / Game Music

Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà – Musique de jeux vidéo / Game Music

The virtuoso violinist and her female string orchestra present an original concept for an album of classical music. Certainly in order to reach a younger audience, they play video games music. The games that you will surely recognize are "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction" and "Assassin's Creed" by Ubisoft, "Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross", "Angry Birds", "Halo 3: One Final Effort", "Final Fantasy", "Secret of Mana", "Tetris" (a traditional Russian song completed by Bach) and "Heavy Rain". There are arrangements by François Vallières, Gilles Ouellet, Anthony Rozankovic, Claude "Mégo" Lemay and Antoine Bareil. Here is a very original way to discover classical music and above all, to make it discovered by a new generation riveted to video games. An idea that only Angèle Dubeau could have... (December 2012)

Analekta

Victoria Duffield – Shut Up and Dance

Victoria DuffieldShut Up and Dance

Victoria Duffield is a singer, dancer and actress from British Columbia. She presents her debut album which is in fact limited to an 8-track EP. You can discover energetic pop music, like the hits "Shut Up and Dance", "Feel" and "Break My Heart". Victoria also flirts with R&B on "They Don’t Know About Us", a duet with Cody Simpson. Even if her energy is refreshing in Canadian pop music, it lacks stronger compositions to hope to differentiate and especially to last. (March 2013)

Videos: « Shut Up and Dance » - « Feel » - « Break My Heart » - « They Don’t Know About Us »

Warner

Bob Dylan – Tempest

Bob DylanTempest

Bob Dylan issued his first album 50 years ago, but he remains active and now offers Tempest. He continues his exploration of the oldest styles of American music including of course folk, but also blues, country and rockabilly, all genres that were popular and present way before him. Dylan presents his songs with a fair amount of humor and he always seems to have so much fun doing his job. Not only is he a living legend, but he managed once again to prove that he is still as relevant with compositions of quality and great stories. The title track of 14 minutes talks about the Titanic adventure with many references to history and to the famous movie by James Cameron. It is not the most successful track of the CD and you can enjoy a lot more the energetic blues of "Narrow Way" which extends over 7 minutes. Three other songs stretch over 7 minutes, including "Roll on John", a tribute to John Lennon in conclusion of the album. While some critics talk about the genius of Tempest, let’s be more realistic and talk about another great album by this legend of music, an album which however can not compete with his masterpieces of the 1960s and 1970s. (September 2012)

Columbia / Sony

½

Coral Egan – The Year He Drove Me Crazy

Coral EganThe Year He Drove Me Crazy

After 5 years of absence, the singer-songwriter from Montreal is finally back with a new album. For the occasion, she surrounds herself with the best musicians of the Montreal scene with guitarist Warren Spicer of Plants and Animals and the rhythm section of Patrick Watson. She thus adds depth to her jazz and soul sound with some indie rock influences. She doesn’t hesitate to deliver personal romanticized lyrics in which she talks about her new life as a lover and a mom. If The Year He Drove Me Crazy presents a major shift in the artist's career, it is certainly a turning point in the right direction with her most accomplished work to date. (February 2013)

Justin Time / SIX

½

Egyptian Project – Ya Amar

Egyptian ProjectYa Amar

Egyptian Project is the project of French Jérôme Ettinger who wanted to combine traditional Egyptian instruments and electronic music assisted by computers. The result is a contemporary Egyptian sound, even if it borrows greatly to the musical traditions of the country. In fact, the album is more organic as you might think and electronic works are full of subtleties. The ensemble presents in a beautiful way the power of Egyptian instruments, which could attract a whole new audience. (March 2013)

Six Degrees / SIX

½

Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra

Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra

Attention, this is not really a collection of the greatest hits by ELO you will hear with Mr. Blue Sky. This is rather re-recordings by Jeff Lynne of the hits of his band, with arrangements of 2012. This kind of work is often dangerous and can give bad results in denaturing the original work, but not with the perfectionist Jeff Lynne who always used the maximum capacity of a recording studio. Mr. Blue Sky is of high quality and makes it possible to rediscover these classics from another era with greater clarity thanks to today's technology. This is therefore a very good addition to ELO’s catalog. (December 2012)

Big Trilby / Frontiers

½

Elisapie – Travelling Love

ElisapieTravelling Love

On her second album, Élisapie Isaac clearly intends to export her music as she dropped her surname and sings in English only. Only a few traces of Inuktitut allow us to remember her roots. Musically, she takes a resolutely pop way with unforgettable melodies, effective beats and electro sounds from the 1980s. The keyboards are dominant on this album very well produced by Éloi Painchaud and François Lafontaine. Several tracks have excellent commercial potential, but her fans of the beginning will certainly regret the fact Elisapie can now be compared to many other singers in the genre, especially those who find their inspiration in the music of 25 or 30 years ago. (February 2013)

Avalanche / Pheromone

½

Empress Hotel – Heavy Halo

Empress HotelHeavy Halo

Empress Hotel is an eclectic pop rock band from New Orleans inspired both by Prince, the pop music from the 1970s, Roxy Music and the Velvet Underground. Their music is accessible by its good beat and catchy melodies. But it also presents a great complexity and creativity. It is only a pity that we remember a very little from it in the end. (March 2013)

Park The Van / MVD

Estelle - All of Me

Estelle - All of Me

London female singer Estelle arrives with a third album, four years after the solid Shine which contained the mega-hit "American Boy". No other single from the album could get to the top and she now lives with the pressure of becoming a "one-hit wonder". At first, no track on All of Me does have the potential to match the popularity of her only hit. In opening, "The Life" has beautiful qualities with a very contemporary R&B sound. The presence of Chris Brown and Trey Songz on "International (Serious)" is not sufficient to make it brilliant (and they’re mostly useless). Rick Ross is a little more effective on "Break my Heart" and we are always happy to hear the freshness of Janelle Monae featured on "Do my Thing" in conclusion of the record, a little too late unfortunately. Estelle is as convincing as a rapper as a singer, but she prefers to concentrate on singing on All of Me which is essentially based on R&B. The album of 42 minutes contains 15 tracks including a few interludes, but few songs will succeed in catching attention on this singer yet so talented. (April 2012)

Videos: « Break my Heart » - « Back to Love » - « Thank You »

Atlantic / Warner

Melissa Etheridge – 4th Street Feeling

Melissa Etheridge4th Street Feeling

On her new album, Melissa Etheridge seems to look back on her life in Kansas, with many references to the past and a lot of nostalgia. Musically, she gives us again a very good mix of rock, blues, country and folk, but these are the more dynamic songs that are the most interesting ones and catch our attention. Even "Shout Now" manages to interest us despite the fact that it is difficult to fit with the rest through its riffs on the edge of metal. For the first time, Melissa plays all the guitars, plus harmonica and keyboards. Without revolutionizing anything, 4th Street Feeling is an honest album that should please her fans. (September 2012)

Video: « Falling Up »

Mercury / Universal

Jackie Evancho - Songs from the silver screen

Jackie EvanchoSongs From the Silver Screen

Jackie Evancho is only 12 years old, but she has a beautiful soprano voice. She also plays piano and violin, and she conquered the audience on her participation to the America's Got Talent TV show. She set a record by becoming the world’s youngest opera singer. In 2011, she issued her first full-length studio album, a live CD and a Christmas album. She is now back with an album on which she interprets movie classics as "The Music of the Night" (The Phantom of the Opera), "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" (The Lion King), "What a Wonderful World" (Good Morning, Vietnam), and of course "My Heart Will Go on" (Titanic), a Celine Dion classic she sings with Joshua Bell. Jackie shows great maturity in interpreting these inevitable Hollywood hits. (December 2012)

Columbia / Sony

Every Time I Die - Ex Lives

Every Time I Die - Ex Lives

Ex Lives is the sixth album by the hardcore band from Buffalo Every Time I Die. As it was the case on their previous album, the band continues in a slightly more serious approach. The lyrics by Keith Buckley are a real outlet to release all his anger, and hardcore metal is an excellent vehicle to carry on these lyrics. Musically, the band brings some interesting subtleties here and there, starting with some keyboards. Buckley's voice also explores different registers, which allows us to appreciate the possibilities of it. After 14 years, it is interesting to see that the band can still afford to explore new avenues. Some tracks are totally amazing in the repertoire of Every Time I Die, and it all culminates with "Indian Giver" in conclusion of the album, a piece of stoner metal slowing down the beat, but nonetheless perfectly fitting in the atmosphere of the CD. Ex Lives is a very good album that still promises beautiful years to come for Every Time I Die. (June 2012)

Videos: « Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space » - « Revival Mode »

Epitaph

½

Donald Fagen – Sunken Condos

Donald FagenSunken Condos

Donald Fagen is one of the two masterminds behind the jazz / pop band Steely Dan. He also recorded some solo albums. His last dated back to 2006, Morph the Cat, and it wraps up a trilogy spanning over 24 years. He is now presenting a new project, Sunken Condos. He offers a sound based on rhythms, often languid, but always dynamic. We find funky jazz grooves with a beautiful sensuality. The compositions are solid, maybe his best ones in 30 years. Also note the very good cover of Isaac Hayes "Out of the Ghetto". Sunken Condos is an album that we can listen repeatedly, always with a smile. A real pleasure for the ears! (November 2012)

Reprise / Warner

Fanfarlo – Rooms Filled with Light

FanfarloRooms Filled with Light

Fanfarlo is an indie rock band from London which presents its second album. On this new CD, the group takes a direction a little more pop / new wave incorporating synthesizers in quantity. The result is particularly successful, since it certainly gives us their best album to date, with influences of Arcade Fire. Produced by Ben Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Gnarls Barkley), the album has a very high quality production. It lacks only a few tracks that would stand out to succeed a little more to make it one of the best albums of the year. One of the highlights of the record is the excellent "Deconstruction". (July 2012)

Videos: « Deconstruction » - « Replicate » - « Shiny Things »

Atlantic / Warner

½

Fastway - Eat Dog, Eat

Fastway - Eat Dog, Eat

Fastway was one of the most promising supergroups of the British hard rock scene of the 1980s. It has yet failed to take its place in this genre dominated by bands from Los Angeles. Fastway is mainly the project of guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke following his departure from Motörhead. He was accompanied at first by bassist Pete Way (UFO), drummer Jerry Shirley (Humble Pie) and a very talented Irish singer, Dave King. After several personnel changes and only failures, Clarke decided to give up in the early 1990s. But now the band is coming back 20 years later with a new album. With new singer Toby Jepson (Little Angels), Clarke gives us perhaps his best compositions to date. Some may say that this is not very difficult considering that the group always had weak compositions, appearing most of the time as a sub-product of the best hard rock bands of the time. We must still admit that the group provides a solid album which, if it had been issued 25 years earlier, might have enabled Fastway to achieve the hoped success. Its main problem is precisely that it has a sound of 25 years ago, without any evolution, as if Clarke had been frozen in time since 1990. This is still a good album for nostalgic fans of the genre. (June 2012)

MVD

Lupe Fiasco – Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1

Lupe FiascoFood & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1

The Chicago rapper is back with his fourth album, only one year after Lasers which was probably his weakest record so far. The title of the new record is somewhat confusing when we could believe it is the follower to his debut album, Food & Liquor, and the first of a series of Great American Rap Albums. One thing is sure otherwise, the record has very little to do with his previous CD. The album begins with a poem by his sister, Ayesha Jaco, before aligning some good songs: "Strange Fruition", "ITAL (Roses)" and the single "Around My Way (Freedom Isn’t Free)". We can also hear three other singles of quality "Bad Bitch", "Battle Scars" and "Lamborghini Angels". Fiasco manages to deliver a quality hip hop sound creating a lovely atmosphere throughout the 69 minutes of the album. (January 2013)

Videos: « Around My Way (Freedom Isn’t Free) » - « Bitch Bad » - « Battle Scars »

Atlantic / Warner

½

Angelo Finaldi – Désoriented Voyage

Angelo Finaldi Désoriented Voyage

Angelo Finaldi worked with the greatest singers, both in France and Quebec. He wrote successfully among others with Nanette Workman ("Danser, Danser"), Nicole Martin ("Laisse-moi partir") and Mario Pelchat ("Reste là"), in addition to having worked with Ben Charest on Triplettes de Belleville and on the opera Dioxine de Carbone with Luc Plamondon (before he sabotaged it). With Désoriented Voyage, Finaldi proposes an expedition which is actually disorienting in the heart of Little Italy in Montreal with various quirky characters. He describes his own project as a pop music opera in which Italian, Native American and Quebec cultures collide. The least we can say is that it is a creative project, but how inaccessible! (March 2013)

Artic

A Fine Frenzy – Pines

A Fine FrenzyPines

Three years after the excellent Bomb in a Birdcage, Alison Sudol is back. The young singer from Seattle who performs under the name A Fine Frenzy presents a record a little more intimate than the last one, handing the piano well in front for several songs. In addition, she explores themes a bit more abstract, telling the story of a tree... In this introspective folk universe, the voice of the singer is very important and she manages to captivate us with among others a unique charisma that is reflecting even on the album (a feat in itself). Sides a little more crazy on the previous album may lack to some of her fans, but Pines is still a very good record. (January 2013)

Video: « Avalanches »

Virgin / EMI

½

Craig Finn - Clear Heart Full Eyes

Craig Finn - Clear Heart Full Eyes

Craig Finn is the lead singer of indie rock band The Hold Steady that has existed for a dozen years. He makes his solo debut with an album of alternative rock rather mild-flavored country. An excellent songwriter, Finn tells his lyrics with a beautiful narrative voice. It is rather far from the rock sound of his group, but it is highly enjoyable to discover Finn in this context where he seems to enjoy. Fans of The Hold Steady may be somewhat bewildered by this new style for Craig Finn, but if they have the curiosity to listen to that other side of their favorite singer, they are likely to appreciate. Here is a very good first album for Craig Finn, who may well come back in the future with other solo albums. (April 2012 Featured New Artist)

Universal

½

Melanie Fiona – The MF Life

Melanie FionaThe MF Life

Melanie Fiona is a R&B singer from Toronto who comes to us with a second album. You can hear already since September 2011 the first single, the ballad "4 AM", a superb production. On a few occasions, Melanie explores contemporary rock, with soul influences that are still very present. She also draws heavily in the soul of the 1960s and 1970s. There are several collaborators on the album: J. Cole, Nas, B.o.B, John Legend and T-Pain. In addition, the major production is highlighting well the versatility of Melanie’s voice. With The MF Life, the singer shows us the extent of her capabilities in an album much superior to her previous one. (September 2012)

Video: « 4 AM »

Universal Republic

½

Tim Fite - Ain't Ain’t Ain’t

Tim Fite - Ain't Ain’t Ain’t

Four years after Fair Ain’t Fair, the eclectic Tim Fite is back with the third album of his Ain’t trilogy. He takes a drastic turn on this new record almost completely leaving aside sampling to focus on real instruments. At the same time, he becomes much more accessible and loses his creativity. He still continues to dissect each recording and then does a collage of the pieces. But listening to the album, one wonders if it was really necessary since each of the 13 tracks of the CD sound like a standard pop song recorded in one take. He seems to have worked hard unnecessarily. Ultimately, Ain’t Ain’t Ain’t is much easier to approach than his two previous albums and is likely to catch the attention of a wider audience. Otherwise, fans of the first hour will potentially have problems to follow him in his new journey. (June 2012)

Video: « We Are All Teenagers »

Anti- / Epitaph

The Flaming Lips – The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends

The Flaming LipsThe Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends

In recent years, The Flaming Lips have embarked on more psychedelic than ever new experiments in collaboration with various artists. Issued on ultra-limited EPs and vinyl (and often expensive), these collaborations are finally combined on a full-length album available for all. Among the names found on The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends there are Ke$ha, Biz Markie, Bon Iver, Nick Cave, Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band, Erykah Badu and many others. Several of the tracks presented may seem a little too surreal to ordinary people, but some still show cohesion. This is the case for "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" with Erykah Badu, a 10-minute song which is certainly the highlight of the record as far as at the 11th track (out of 13). The Flaming Lips had a habit of weird things in the past and it is not with this new album that they will change our perception. (August 2012)

Video: « I’m Working at NASA on Acid »

Warner

½

Flo Rida – Wild Ones

Flo RidaWild Ones

With Wild Ones, Flo Rida continues in the pop direction of his previous albums and he presents us once again a short album of 9 songs totaling less than 35 minutes. Most of the tracks offered have a danceable energy and a huge market potential, starting with the hits "Whistle" and "Good Feeling", as well as the title track (with Sia). Flo Rida seems to have a particular taste for the double sexual meaning which is never very subtle. This is the case for "Whistle" that will not require a very careful listening to understand its true meaning. Producers Dr. Luke and Avicci are taking over from David Guetta on this new record. They ensure that the ensemble is still remaining in the urban pop sound that is now Flo Rida’s trademark. Among the guest artists included, there are especially Jennifer Lopez on "Sweet Spot" and RedFoo of LMFAO on "Run", a song based on Bryan Adams"Run To You" presented as a bonus at the end. One can also hear a sampling of Etta James on "Good Feeling". While Wild Ones seems like an incomplete album, it is probably his best collection of effective songs to date. (July 2012)

Videos: « Wild Ones » - « Good Feeling » - « Whistle » - « Run »

Atlantic / Warner

François & The Atlas Mountains - E Volo Love

François & The Atlas Mountains - E Volo Love

Indie pop band François & The Atlas Mountains became the first French signature on the label Domino, opening the door at the same time to the entire world. François Marry and his band present a very beautiful album with memorable melodies. Mostly in English, the record also has a few tracks in French, including the hit "Les plus beaux". The sweet vocal harmonies and keyboards are accompanied by discrete African percussion. Mixed by Jean-Paul Romann who has worked among others with Tinariwen, the album can also be somewhat compared to this African group, in adding influences from Beck and Radiohead. One of the most annoying things about that album is unquestionably the French accent of François when he sings in English. Otherwise, the soft and enveloping atmosphere of the album is enjoyable until the end. (May 2012)

Videos: « Les plus beaux » - « Piscine » - « City Kiss »

Domino / SIX

½

Fun. - Some Nights

Fun. - Some Nights

Fun. is a pop rock band from New York City who appeared in 2008. Some Nights is their second album and was produced by Jeff Bhasker, the very one who produced Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and Emile Haynie (Eminem). The album has an accessible and highly effective pop sound which also borrows to hip hop on different occasions by the scope of arrangements. Otherwise, you can still do links with Queen and ELO. The first single, "We Are Young" featuring Janelle Monae, was a huge hit. The title song is unforgettable and many other pieces of the record are likely to stay in your mind for a long time. Some Nights is charged of strings, brass, keyboards, electronic drums and vocal harmonies. This album of great magnificence has its own personality. It has several completely captivating moments and most importantly, it is interesting until the end. For its second album, Fun. offers a very good record of contemporary pop rock. (May 2012)

Video: « We Are Young »

Fueled By Ramen / Warner

½

The Furious Swampriders – The Perc Presents New Rides of The Furious Swampriders

The Furious Swampriders The Perc Presents New Rides of The Furious Swampriders

The Furious Swampriders is an international collective of independent artists who gather occasionally since the 1990s around Tom "The Perc" Redecker. This is the fourth part of this series, including Deborah Harry (Blondie), Nick Cave, The Raymen, Johnny Dowd (with Brian Wilson), The Walkabouts, Wovenhand and many others. Among the most famous songs presented, there is "Enjoy the Silence" by M. Walking on the Water and "Heartbreak Hotel" by Kirschbaum-Weishoff-Trio. The main problem with this heterogeneous album is that it goes in all directions with punk, folk, rockabilly, electro and more ambient music. So, you get lost so quickly, despite some good moments of creativity. (February 2013)

Sireena / MVD

½

Nelly Furtado – The Spirit Indestructible

Nelly FurtadoThe Spirit Indestructible

Canadian pop singer is back with her fifth album, six years after her last record in English, which got a huge success, Loose. Although she issued an album for the Latin market in the meantime, Mi Plan, the momentum does not seem on her side anymore and she has trouble on The Indestructible Spirit to come back with radio hits like "Maneater" or "Promiscuous". The album has little more introspective pieces and in this sense it can be compared in part with Folklore. There are still a few interesting pop dance songs anyway as the title track, "Bucket List" and "Waiting for the Night". While it may seem somewhat uneven in some occasions, The Indestructible Spirit offers many good songs and confirms the status of Nelly Furtado as one of the most talented pop singers in the country. (November 2012)

Videos: « Big Hoops (Bigger the Better) » - « Spirit Indestructible » - « Parking Lot »

Interscope / Universal

½

Galactic - Carnivale Electricos

Galactic - Carnivale Electricos

The funk band from New Orleans Galactic has made a habit of performing endless concerts in its hometown on the eve of Mardi Gras. These spectacular shows are always looking like a big carnival. It was therefore obvious that the group present a whole carnival album, even if it was recorded in the studio. The group is surrounded again by many collaborators in addition to this unique context. The album contains several Brazilian influences, including the cover of "Magalenha" popularized by Sergio Mendes. Another cover is a must-have track in any carnival in New Orleans: "Carnival Time" by Al "Carnival Time" Johnson, who is also singing himself on the classic from the 1960s, updated for the occasion. These covers are surrounded by 11 conventional solid compositions from Galactic who managed to create a great atmosphere on this festive album. Mannie Fresh and Mystikal add just a touch of hip hop to the album on "Move Fast," one of the good moments of the record. Few instrumental tracks can also be heard, but they do not contribute to reduce excitement. With Carnivale Electricos, Galactic offer an excellent album to have fun and brighten our lives. (May 2012)

Anti- / Epitaph

½

Garbage - Not Your Kind of People

Garbage - Not Your Kind of People

Seven years have passed since the last studio album by Garbage, enough time to talk about a comeback. There is also the fact that the group becomes a little more pop on this last record. Shirley Manson, Butch Vig and company make themselves a gift of electro-pop with good guitars on Not Your Kind of People, the style that has put the spotlight on them in the mid-1990s. Electronic is a little more in front on some occasions and that is where the band is somewhat different. This is the case with the catchy opening track, "Automatic Systematic Habit", which makes us eagerly await the outcome, and with the first single, "I Hate Love". Their melodies are still as effective and beautifully sung by Manson, while their guitars have just enough vitriolic to keep the interest of enthusiasts of heavy alternative rock. Obviously, when a group has among its members a producer as successful as Butch Vig (Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, L7), it can not deliver anything else than a quality production. This is the case on this new album with very good arrangements that help to enrich their music. There are some effects a little weird on some occasions (especially in "Control" while the vibrant voice is a bit annoying), but the whole album is pleasant to listen. Otherwise, while the band might seem innovative in 1995, it makes us more nostalgic with this new record, reminding us of the atmosphere of that time. Ultimately, this fifth album is certainly the best by Garbage since they released their first album 17 years ago. (June 2012)

Universal

½

The Ghost Inside – Get What You Give

The Ghost InsideGet What You Give

With this third album, the hardcore band from Los Angeles presents unquestionably its best record to date. The Ghost Inside has found its own sound and it has a superb mixture of raw aggression and emo. Produced by Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember, Get What You Give sounds like a ton of bricks, is at times of an incredible speed, but manages primarily to provide excellent transitions with slower and catchy passages. The highlights of the CD are certainly "Outlive", the melodic "Engine 45", and "Dark Horse". But, the whole album is pleasant to listen and it will surely please any fan of contemporary hardcore. (January 2013)

Video: « Engine 45 »

Epitaph

½

Robert Glasper Experiment - Black Radio

Robert Glasper Experiment - Black Radio

Jazz pianist from Houston Robert Glasper has emerged in the mid 2000s and since then has attracted many positive comments. Black Radio is his fifth album, but the first fully recorded in quartet with the Experiment. Glasper offers us a superb blend of contemporary jazz, hip hop and R&B. He can count on the presence of many special guests: Erykah Badu, Lupe Fiasco, Bilal, Musiq Soulchild, Me'Shell Ndégeocello, Mos Def, and many others. In addition to numerous original compositions, the quartet literally rebuilt a few classics. They cover among others the Afro-Cuban standard "Afro Blue" with Erykah Badu (one of the highlights of the record), and "Cherish the Day" of Sade with Lalah Hathaway. They also revisit in a great way David Bowie’s "Letter to Hermione" with Bilal and the Nirvana classic "Smells Like Teen Spirit" to conclude the CD. The Robert Glasper Experiment managed a tour de force with Black Radio by combining perfectly jazz with contemporary music. The genres are mixing beautifully to create a very modern sound, even futuristic. The atmosphere is warm throughout the album that has very few weak moments despite a total of 65 minutes. The covers are extremely successful and represent more a nod to the original than just a faithful re-recording. The compositions are solid and each guest artist adds richness to an album that is already full of highlights. To conclude, Black Radio is an exceptional album by the Robert Glasper Experiment, a record that will become a benchmark in the industry by giving a new life to contemporary jazz. (May 2012)

Video: « Smells Like Teen Spirit (live) »

Blue Note / EMI / SIX