If you can read French, go to the French page for additional content.
SEARCH this page
Merely five months after the excellent
Folklore, which dethroned everything in 2020, Taylor Swift
already offers us the sequel, to everyone's surprise. This is her
third album in 16 months, which in no way diminishes their quality.
Evermore is the logical continuation of
Folklore, recorded in the same context, with the same team
and exploring the same emotions. This one is just a little looser
when it felt like every element on
Folklore fell into exact place.
Proof of her great maturity, Taylor no longer hesitates to express
herself directly, even if it means appearing a little too explicit
for her image of a good girl. She is collaborating again with
Aaron Dessner (The National) who co-produced and co-wrote
the great majority of the album. You can also hear The National on
"Coney Island". Also note the participation of HAIM on "No
Body, No Crime" and Bon Iver on the title song at the end of
the record. Evermore might not be as well put together as
Folklore, but it has also many great quality songs among the
15 tracks offered. Another good move from this artist who is
standing out more and more.
« Willow »
What could be better than surf rock music to
carry you on the beaches of California in the middle of winter! Here
is what this trio from Toronto offers us yet formed far from the
waves of the sea (Lake Ontario certainly does not compare to the
beaches of Santa Monica or San Diego). With Surfin’ the
Apocalypse, Chairmen of the Boards offer us a debut album
representing well 2020, but with a touch of positivism for the
continuation with instrumental pieces all sunnier than the others.
There are 14 in total, including of course the title track, but also
the remarkably effective first single, "Board Whacks", as well as
the excellent opening tracks, "Stormy Monday Payoff" and
"Run-a-Wave". They also cover a piece by Dick Dale, "Taco
Wagon". Those nostalgic for the good old surf rock of the 1960s will
be delighted with this new band in the wind.
For several years now, pop singer Miley Cyrus has
had a rock attitude in her provocative side. This time, it is
musically that she assumes her rock personality with an energetic
pop rock sound with influences from the 1980s and 1990s. This style
suits her rather well as she seems to have found the perfect balance
between her provocative personality and her music both catchy and
more aggressive. She surrounds herself with renowned collaborators
from the rock scene: Billy Idol on "Night Crawling" and
Joan Jett on "Bad Karma". Then, she pays a beautiful tribute to
Stevie Nicks and her hit "Edge of Seventeen" in her remix of
the hit "Midnight Sky" entitled "Edge of Midnight". She finally
covers two rock classics (Blondie’s "Heart of Glass" and the
Cranberries’ "Zombie") in live versions. Note also the
excellent collaboration of Dua Lipa for the hit single
"Prisoner". There's a little bit of everything on this great Miley
Cyrus album: instant hits, energetic rock songs, 1980s rock ballads,
great rock duets and punchy rock covers. What more can we ask for!
« Midnight Sky » -
« Heart of Glass » -
« Prisoner »
While his first solo album,
McCartney, was released in 1970 following the dissolution of
the Beatles and
McCartney II was released in 1980 after the end of the
Wings, Sir Paul McCartney has chosen the 2020 lockdown to
produce McCartney III. On the other hand, the only link with
the previous two is his approach as a one-man-band as he played
everything himself. The minimalist, mostly acoustic, arrangements
make sure to highlight McCartney's aging voice, while the themes
inevitably take us back to what he did in the past. It's obviously
great to hear new music from this prolific living legend, but he
seems to have lost the freshness of yesteryear on McCartney III.
For the first time we feel his 78 years and his 60 years of career.
Fortunately, a few energetic songs like "Lavatory Lil" and "Slidin’"
remind us why so many generations have loved his music. Die-hard
McCartney fans will find something interesting to justify their love
for the artist, but he no longer has the spark he had on the first
two albums of the trilogy.
With her new album, the Australian pop star
returns to her typical dance pop, to the delight of her fans. And as
the title of the record implies so well, Kylie draws more than ever
her influences from disco with a sound that is sometimes quite close
to the 1970s or the early 1980s. One of the moments that stand out
is the first single, “Say Something”, an electro-pop song with
guitar. We can also hear the unmissable “Magic”, “Miss a Thing” and
“I Love It”. Kylie surrounds herself for the occasion with several
renowned collaborators: Skylar Adams (with whom she worked on
Golden two years ago), Teemu Brunila (David Guetta,
Jason Derulo), Maegan Cottone (Iggy Azalea,
Demi Lovato), as well as her loyal collaborator Biff Stannard.
This 15th recording of the pop icon is an energetic album with no
downtime. Note that a deluxe version is also available with 4
additional tracks for a total of 16.
(December 2020 Featured Review)
« Say Something » -
« Magic »
Rooks – The High Road
Rooks is a trio formed in Calgary in 2018 which
aims to make us relive the best years of good old rock 'n' roll with
a wall of guitars, the 1970s. They can remind us of Thin Lizzy
and the Rolling Stones, with undoubtedly influences from the
Black Keys. The energetic guitar remains at the forefront of
this first record which unfortunately turns out to be too short with
only eight tracks totaling 33 minutes. It is still a very good rock
'n' roll album for the nostalgic ones. A great entertainment!
(December 2020 Featured New Artist)
« Vagrant Dreams »
AC/DC – Power Up
Six years after
Rock or Bust, the Australian band returns with an explosive
new album, worthy of their best years. Yet the past few years have
not been easy for AC/DC members. First, guitarist Malcolm Young
retired in 2014 while suffering from dementia (he died in 2017).
Then drummer Phil Rudd found himself stuck in a legal case,
singer Brian Johnson had to drop out of tour due to hearing
loss and ultimately, bassist Cliff Williams resigned at the
end of the last tour. So, there was only the eternal teenager
Angus Young who must have felt very lonely in his school
shorts... It was at Malcolm's funeral that Angus managed to convince
the band to get together to record again with the intent to pay
tribute to his brother, much like they did at the turn of the 1980s
following the death of Bon Scott, producing what would become
their greatest classic,
Back in Black. It is Stevie Young, nephew of Angus
and Malcolm, who puts on the shoes of the deceased on the rhythm
guitar, he who had already done it during a tour of the band in the
late 1980s, when Malcolm was fighting alcohol addiction. The band
does not try to reinvent the wheel on Power Up, but they
rather immerse themselves in what made them so successful, even
incorporating a few mocking nods to the past. The 12 tracks are as
energetic as you like and will once again make you stomp your feet
with a raised fist.
After two great successes in 2018 (Sweetener)
and 2019 (thank
u, next), the 27-year-old Floridian returns with a third
album in as many years, the sixth in her career. Announced only two
weeks before its release, Positions certainly does not
contain radio bombs like on the two previous records. In addition,
apart from perhaps the strings in "shut up", few moments are likely
to surprise. She once again offers her skillful mix of pop, neo-soul
and R&B, with dance tracks and more intimate and sensual songs like
"off the table", in duet with The Weeknd. More daring than
ever, Ariana now seems comfortable to openly deal with sex, as we
can discover in "34+35" and in "nasty", but also in the background
of "my hair", "love language" and the title song. In addition to her
usual style, Ariana discreetly explores funk on "motive" (with
Doja Cat) and "love language", as well as jazz on "my hair"
which ends on the saxophone. The album concludes with the ultimate
love song, "pov", in an atmosphere reminiscent of Mariah Carey.
With Positions, Ariana Grande delivers another good pop
album, even if it does not match her previous two. Her voice remains
as haunting as ever and here she proves that she does not have to be
high-flying to show off all her talent.
(November 2020 Featured Review)
« positions »
Formed in Los Angeles in 2017, The Jaded Hearts
Club is a supergroup including Matt Bellamy (Muse),
Nic Cester (Jet), Miles Kane (The Last Shadow
Puppets, The Rascals), Graham Coxon (Blur),
Jamie Davis (Margo Price) and Sean Payne (The
Zutons). It was Jamie Davis who had the idea of assembling
British musicians to reproduce the Beatles of the Cavern Club
era in the early 1960s. The sextet does covers of classics and more
obscure songs of rock, soul and jazz in a rather dirty and raw rock
style, a garage style with a wall of guitars where distortion
largely dominates. We can rediscover in particular “Reach Out I’ll
Be There”, “I Put a Spell On You” and “Money (That’s What I Want)”,
without forgetting “Fever” by Bellamy in conclusion. There are 11 in
all for a total of 30 short minutes, the downside of this record
that makes us want to hear more or see them live.
(November 2020 Featured New Artist)
« I Put a Spell On You »
It is accompanied by L’Harmonie des Saisons,
an ensemble playing on old instruments and conducted by Eric
Milnes, that the soprano Hélène Brunet presents Solfeggio.
She offers baroque and classical arias by Bach, Handel,
Vivaldi, Mozart and Leonardo Vinci. The
latter's two arias, taken from L’Elpidia, are recorded here
as a world premiere: "Aria: D’alme luce" and "Aria: Pupillette
vezzosette". With these 13 beautiful pieces from an essential
repertoire, Hélène Brunet reveals more than ever all her talent as
an interpreter. An excellent record that will appeal to any
classical music fan!
The Canadian composer, double bassist and singer
presents her fifth album, Surfboard. As a trio with pianist
Klaus Mueller and Brazilian drummer Portinho, Brandi
Disterheft is also accompanied by virtuoso tenor saxophonist
George Coleman. She offers a varied program in 14 pieces ranging
from jazz to blues, including Brazilian and American standards.
Brazilian rhythms come to give a warm atmosphere to the album, as in
"Coup de foudre" for example, a personal composition by Brandi.
Coleman presents remarkable solos on the standards "My Foolish
Heart" and "Speak Low", as well as on "Coup de foudre". Brandi
wisely chose several classics like "Where or When", "On Broadway",
Oscar Pettiford’s "The Pendulum at Falcon’s Lair" and Sam
Jones’ "Del Sasser". Portinho also introduced her to two obscure
pieces from the Brazilian repertoire: Moacir Santos’ "Nana"
and the title track, a lesser-known piece by Antonio Carlos Jobim.
So, here is another excellent album from this incomparable jazz
artist from Vancouver.
Justin Time /
For his new album, Montrealer Peter Katz takes a
much more pop direction than before, leaving aside his folk
influences. He indeed presents contemporary pop music dominated by
synthesizers. The melodies remain well in the foreground but in a
sound of 2020 with strong influences of 1980s’ new wave and 1990s’
pop rock. These are sounds that go particularly well to Katz who
seems in his element on this new record. Produced by Derek
Hoffman (The Trews, Caveboy), City of Our Lives
is a very enjoyable album to listen to, perhaps his best to date.
Plaid Shirt /
On this new album, the Molinari Quartet presents
the main works of chamber music by Penderecki, which range from 1960
to 2008. We notably discover the “String Quartets No 1-3”, “Der
unterbrochene Gedanke” (The Broken Thought), the "String Trio”, as
well as the “Quartet for Clarinet and String Trio”. The quartet,
accompanied by guest clarinetist André Moisan, reproduces the
particularly dark atmosphere created by the work of Penderecki, a
prominent figure in contemporary Polish music who died on March 29,
2020 in Krakow.
Notturna – L’amant jaloux
Notturna, a collective of musicians playing on
period instruments, is dedicated to the interpretation of
unprecedented baroque chamber music. In the case of L’amant
jaloux (1778), the ensemble offers an instrumental version for
quintet of André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry’s opéra-comique in
three acts, conducted by Christopher Palameta (oboe and
artistic direction). This version, believed to date from 1778, is in
a period arrangement for traverso, oboe, violin, viola and bass. On
the album, we can also discover another piece by André Grétry, the
“Entr’acte” from La Caravane du Caire (1783), as well as a
work from 1755 by François-André Danican Philidor, the
“Quartet no. 2 in F major for oboe, two violins and bass” (from
The Art of Modulation). Therefore, here is a great album which
allows us to rediscover forgotten baroque music.
Montreal singer-songwriter Zoe Sanders introduces
us to her eight-track debut EP with Viral Education. She
offers intelligent pop music with dance passages and electro. The
record was produced by Alexis Aubin-Marchand and Thomas B.
Champagne (aka lefutur) who also co-authored the music
and the arrangements. The trio have created pieces with universal
themes on catchy grooves. With her pretty hoarse voice, Zoe lucidly
examines the habits and quirks of her generation in the age of
social media. In the energetic "Silver Boy", composed with Soran
who also signs the production, Zoe celebrates celibacy, just before
letting go with "Dance Floor". She concludes it all with "Open
Waters", a stripped-down piano song in which she shows great
vulnerability. With 27 minutes of music, Viral Education is
lacking little for it to be considered a full-length album. A very