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JANUARY 2019

 

Featured Review:  lp    Featured New Artist:  kRIS wU

 

January 18-24:

Mike Boguski

 

January 1-10:

bIANCA oRTOLANO & gARY mOFFET

 

December:

iMAGINE dRAGONS - tHE mAPLE cITY - Clean Bandit - Muse -

Chris Cornell - Pink Martini

 

 

Key for the stars

 

 

archives:

 

   

         

       

   

         

         

         

 

       

     

 

 

Buy Music CDs at CD Universe. Audio Samples and Reviews Available on Music New Releases

 

 

FEATURED REVIEW:

 

 

LP – Heart to Mouth

LP – Heart to Mouth

The American behind the hit "Lost on You" is back with her fifth studio album. The first singles, "Girls Go Wild" and "Recovery", literally carry Heart to Mouth, which oscillates between catchy pop rock songs and more emotional pieces. Laura Pergolizzi presents here by her own admission her most personal album to date, directly from the heart. The melodies are still as effective, with sounds that come from who knows where. Her long-time fans or those who discovered her with Lost on You should not be too mixed up with Heart to Mouth, which logically pursues the already well-done work of the singer-songwriter. Here is once again a very solid and pleasant album to listen to from LP.

Music Video: « Recovery »

BlackBox / SIX

½

 

     

 

 

FEATURED NEW ARTIST:

 

 Kris Wu – Antares

Kris Wu – Antares

On his debut solo album, Chinese singer Kris Wu moves away from the K-pop that made him known in EXO. He rather presents a quite slow mixture of rap and R&B, focused on rhymes, all in English. Especially thanks to the first single, "Like That", Wu has made a very good breakthrough on most charts in the United States. He surrounded himself with various collaborators: Jhené Aiko, Travis Scott and Rich the Kid (for the most recent single, "Coupe"). Without presenting an album brimming with creativity, Kris Wu managed to find the recipe to reach an international audience. Here we are witnessing his true outbreak.

Ace Unit / Interscope / Universal

 

 

JANUARY 18-24:

 

 Mike Boguski – Blues for the Penitent

Mike Boguski – Blues for the Penitent

Mike Boguski is best known as a keyboardist for Blue Rodeo since 2008. He presents his new solo album, Blues for the Penitent, a 12-piece instrumental CD that he performs alone on the piano. Highly improvised, the album offers a mix of jazz and avant-garde music. Several tracks are highly emotional, such as "Madawaska Moonlight", "Eva" and "Memorial". It also includes songs by Townes Van Zandt ("To Live is to Fly") and Neil Young ("On the Beach").

 

 

JANUARY 1-10:

 

 Bianca Ortolano / Gary Moffet – Bianca Ortolano / Gary Moffet 

Bianca Ortolano / Gary Moffet – Bianca Ortolano / Gary Moffet 

Canadian singer Bianca Ortolano joins legendary guitarist Gary Moffet (April Wine) to present a folk pop album with sometimes jazz or blues sounds. In addition to some original songs, she presents pieces by Bob Dylan ("Don’t Think Twice It's All Right"), Roy Orbison ("Blue Bayou"), Carole King ("Crying in the Rain"), etc. The duo is surrounded by renowned musicians, including Daniel Zanella (drums and percussion), Jean Pellerin (bass), Bob Stagg (piano, organ, accordion, trumpet) and Jeff Smallwood (dobro). Let's also note the participations of Jim Zeller (voice and harmonica on "Don’t Think Twice It's All Right") and Nancy Martinez (voice on "Crying in the Rain"). Here is a very interesting album with a warm atmosphere for this unlikely duo.

Alto Cantina

½

 

 

 

December:

 

 Imagine Dragons – Origins

Imagine Dragons – Origins

In three albums, the Las Vegas quartet has become one of the most prominent bands on the planet, even going so far as to line up three #1 hits on their previous record, Evolve ("Believer", "Thunder" and "Whatever It Takes"). Imagine Dragons come back a year and a half later with Origins, their fourth release, which is the companion to Evolve. The band continues its various sound explorations, not limited to any genre or musical trend. The band can indeed go from heavy rock to pop melodies sometimes even dancing, not to mention some new wave incursions with synthesizers of another era and a little bit of electro of the years 2010. If the result was not always convincing last year, Imagine Dragons seem to have found a better guideline on Origins that turns out a little less chaotic. There are obviously some hits that emerge through the lot (like the inevitable "Natural"), but the whole is linked more pleasantly. The advantage with Imagine Dragons is that you can include their music in any playlist and it remains consistent. If you enjoyed Evolve, you should be thrilled with Origins. (December 2018 Featured Review)

Music Video: « Natural »

KIDinaKORNER / Interscope / Universal

   

     

 

 The Maple City – Brief Golden Age

The Maple City – Brief Golden Age

The name of The Maple City comes from the nickname of their hometown, Chatham, Ontario. The folk rock collective led by singer-songwriter Jason McFadden presents its debut album, Brief Golden Age. Their roots sound was inspired by both Bob Dylan and Violent Femmes. Their pleasure to play together, among friends, transpires throughout the record, and more particularly in songs like "Come With Me", "Love Means..." and "No Predator / No Prey". Friendship seems indeed at the heart of their work ("Friend of Mine", "Long Lost Friends"). It is a light album that is pleasant to listen to along its length and will surely make you stomp your feet with a smile. (December 2018 Featured New Artist)

Music Video: « Come With Me »

½

 Clean Bandit – What is Love?

Clean Bandit – What is Love?

With their debut album four years ago, the English band impressed by their ability to merge dance house and pop beats with strings and classical music. When "Rockabye" (with Sean Paul and Anne-Marie) came out two years ago, Clean Bandit took a more pop turn and it was a huge instant hit. This is probably what dictated the guideline of this new record, while house-classical mergers are from the past (we still find traces of violin and cello though). It's more like a pure dance pop album that is offered to us with What is Love, a refreshing record that has so many immediate hits. Many of these tracks have been released in the last year and have played in a loop all over the place, making the album look like a greatest hits collection. Clean Bandit can recall a modern version of Ace of Base on several occasions with also some hip hop / R&B moments. The band is accompanied by a line-up of renowned artists: Marina and the Diamonds, Elliot Goulding, Big Boi, Rita Ora, Charli XCX, and many others. This is a quality pop record that Clean Bandit offers us with What is Love. (December 2018)

Music Videos: « Rockabye » - « Symphony » - « I Miss You » - « Solo » - « Baby »

Big Beat / Atlantic / Warner

½

   

 

 Muse – Simulation Theory

Muse – Simulation Theory

With their latest album, the British trio brings us deep into an atmosphere of science fiction, with synthesizers right out of a parallel world. The orchestrations and dubstep disappear completely on Simulation Theory, and the band even tries to rap on "Break It To Me". However, the beats remain dynamic throughout the record that offers a good mix of rock, pop and electro. Above all, Muse arrive with a good cohesion throughout the 11 tracks that total only 42 minutes. It is concise, but vast at the same time with explorations in different directions. There are some passages with somewhat old-fashioned synthesizers that may seem to come from a 1980s B-series sci-fi movie, but the whole is very nice though. Muse live up to their reputation with Simulation Theory. (December 2018)

Music Videos: « The Dark Side » - « Pressure » - « Algorithm »

Warner

½

   

 

 Chris Cornell – Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell – Chris Cornell

This is the first album to be released since the death of Chris Cornell in 2017. This is a collection of 17 tracks spanning his entire career, from Soundgarden to his solo work, to Temple of the Dog and Audioslave. You can even hear an unreleased song at the very end, "When Bad Does Good," a song he particularly liked. All the greatest hits are included, except for a few by Soundgarden (there are only four songs by the band that made him known). The whole is presented chronologically and is a good tribute to the career of this unique voice of contemporary rock. Note that a deluxe box of 4 CDs and 64 tracks is also available, including 11 unreleased recordings and a booklet of 54 pages, not to mention a version of 2 vinyl LPs. Finally, a super deluxe version of 4 CDs, 1 DVD and 7 LPs is also on sale for the most demanding fans. (December 2018)

Universal

   

 

 Pink Martini – Non Ouais! The French Songs of Pink Martini

Pink Martini – Non Ouais! The French Songs of Pink Martini

Since their debut more than 20 years ago, American band Pink Martini has always been a Francophile by presenting some songs in French on their albums. This is probably what has opened them a place of choice in the hearts of Quebeckers and French. The jazz pop band offers us today a nice collection bringing together all their songs in French. There is a dozen, including international hits "Joli garçon" and "Sympathique (Je ne veux pas travailler)" (named Song of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique in France). Note the special appearances of French superstars: Philippe Katerine in "Je ne t'aime plus" and Georges Moustaki in "Ma solitude". This is great to spend a very pleasant time with this unique group. (December 2018)

Heinz / Audiogram

½

   

 

NOVEMber:

 

 Twenty One Pilots – Trench

Twenty One Pilots – Trench

The Ohio duo surprised everyone in 2015 with its album Blurryface which contained the mega hit "Stressed Out". The album has sold over seven million copies around the world and has given the duo the possibility to win their first Grammy. Three years later, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun are back with a new record of first quality. Twenty One Pilots are once again able to skillfully mix styles by incorporating alternative rock, rap and electro to their ever-catchy pop music. They do, however, go deep into their personal demons with several dark moments, but they still manage to maintain excellent entertainment. However, we must pay attention to their music which is a little more complex at different times. In short, even if one does not manage to find a hit the size of "Stressed Out", Trench presents a richer and more creative whole than the previous record. Maybe the success was not easy for the duo, but it still results in their best album so far. (November 2018 Featured Review)

Fueled by Ramen / Warner

½

   

     

 

 Hater – Siesta

Hater – Siesta

Hater is a Swedish band formed in 2016 that arrives in North America with its first album (the second in total). They offer a mix of indie pop and rock with catchy melodies, thanks to the soft voice of Caroline Landahl. She is in the heart of the work of the quartet, its central point around which everything seems to gravitate. The music can sometimes be rather minimalist, but the production of Joakim Lindberg can also lead to arrangements rich of several musical layers. It is this variety that makes Siesta so interesting, right from the first listen. But there is especially room for discovery during subsequent listening. Here is an excellent contemporary indie music album! (November 2018 Featured New Artist)

Fire

½

 

 Barbra Lica – You’re Fine

Barbra Lica – You’re Fine

Toronto singer-songwriter Barbra Lica is back with her fourth album, You're Fine. To get inspiration, she went to Nashville to reflect on the jazz music that influenced her. She also wanted to explore the sound of Music City, merging it with her light jazz pop sound. She co-wrote the album with new collaborators and it was produced in Nashville by Marc Roger. Famous musicians participated in the recordings, including Paul Franklin (Vince Gill, Mark Knopfler, Shania Twain) and multi-instrumentalist Wanda Vick Burchfield (Taylor Swift, Trisha Yearwood, Jason Aldean). With You're Fine, Barbra Lica succeeds in the feat of marvelously unifying jazz and country, with as a hyphen her beautiful warm voice. (November 2018)

Justin Time / SIX

½

 

 Elliot Maginot – Comrades

Elliot Maginot – Comrades

After seducing with his debut album in 2015, Quebec singer-songwriter Elliot Maginot returns with his sophomore album, Comrades. Co-produced with Connor Seidel (Matt Holubowski), the CD presents music that is more pop than before with rich arrangements and atmospheres that can remind of Phil Collins. It is this quality of arrangements that hits when listening to the first track, "Common Place (Comrade I)", and this feeling continues throughout the record on which the artist's agile and expressive voice is always enhanced. Just to add elaborate harmonies to the whole, Maginot didn’t hesitate to invite his female friends, including Les Sœurs Boulay, Sarah Bourdon, Ariane Brunet and Marie-Claudel Chénard. Really carried by the opening song, Comrades unfolds with great beauty and a lot of emotion along its length. (November 2018)

Audiogram

½

 

 Pascale Picard – The Beauty We’ve Found

Pascale Picard – The Beauty We’ve Found

Singer-songwriter Pascale Picard returns after a four-year record absence. During this break, she was far from having rested while she has performed across Quebec and France, hosted a radio show and had a child. She joins this time with producer and multi-instrumentalist Antoine Gratton and takes a new artistic direction. She relies a little more on the piano and the strings to accompany her acoustic guitar and her frank voice. For the first time, Pascale presents a song in French, "La tempête" (The Storm), among the nine tracks of the album. She confesses herself to have much difficulty writing in French and had to destroy fifteen songs before keeping this one. The Beauty We've Found is another very beautiful album by Pascale Picard, which carries us into a universe of which she alone has the secret. (November 2018)

Simone / SIX

½

 

 The Respectables – The Power of Rock ‘n’ Roll

The Respectables – The Power of Rock ‘n’ Roll

The Respectables' last album, Sweet Mama, was released in 2009. The quartet from Quebec City is back in Shakespeare's language with The Power of Rock 'n' Roll, produced by Bernard Fowler (Rolling Stones, Dead Daisies). Sébastien Plante and his band present several rock 'n' roll bombs, with some blues influences. Songs like "Give Some", "Wheel in My Hand" and the title track carry the album. In the meantime, the band gets out of their comfort zone in the excellent "Mardi Gras" and presents two ballads with beautiful string arrangements with "As Good As Love Gets" and "Oasis". Without being stunningly original (many already heard times), the set of 11 tracks remains consistent until the end for a fairly solid album, and especially, very enjoyable to listen. (November 2018)

Vega

 

 

 Robyn – Honey

Robyn – Honey 

Après un album électronique plutôt froid en Body Talk, Robyn revient avec un enregistrement plus chaud et sensuel. Elle venait pourtant de sortir d’une période difficile et n’avait même plus envie d’enregistrer un nouveau disque. Les chansons de Honey ont été inspirées d’événements sombres (la perte d’un ami, une rupture, etc.), mais il en résulte un album passablement joyeux, voire même ensoleillé. La preuve que la musique peut devenir un bon exutoire pour tous ses malheurs. La chanteuse suédoise propose à nouveau des pièces pop dansantes et énergiques, pour un excellent divertissement. Des titres comme le premier extrait, « Missing U », nous restent inlassablement en tête. L’ensemble est original et cohérent pour l’un de ses albums les plus solides à ce jour. Certainement l’un des meilleurs disques pop de l’année! (November 2018)

Konichiwa / Interscope / Universal

½

   

 

 Jean-Philippe Sylvestre – Mathieu / Rachmaninov

Jean-Philippe Sylvestre – Mathieu / Rachmaninov

Following the enthusiastic reception of André Mathieu's Concerto de Québec in 2017, pianist Jean-Philippe Sylvestre returns with a new album and another work by Mathieu. This time it is the "Concerto No. 4 in E minor for piano and orchestra", which is associated with Rachmaninov’s "Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, op. 43". Accompanied by Montreal’s Metropolitan Orchestra conducted by Alain Trudel, Sylvestre shows us another incomparable work in the repertoire of the Quebec composer. The recording was made as part of the Classica Festival in Saint-Lambert, Quebec. (November 2018)

ATMA Classique

   

 They Call Me Rico & The Escape – Sweet Exile

They Call Me Rico & The Escape – Sweet Exile

They Call Me Rico is the pseudonym of Frédéric Pellerin, a real one-man band who has performed more than 500 times in Canada and Europe. For Sweet Exile, he decided to join the services of Jean Joly (bass) and Josselin Soutrenon (drums) to create a rhythm section worthy of the name. The result is a powerful and world-class blues rock sound. The guitars remain dirty and the melodies are still effective. In addition to blues and rock, Rico explores folk occasionally, always with his rocky voice. They Call Me Rico possibly presents his most accomplished album to date with Sweet Exile. (November 2018)

Voxtone / SIX

 

 

 

 

        

 

 

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