“It has been said that The Carpenter is the Avett Brothers' album about death. Death is there in the first song, there in the last, and wheedling all in between. The brothers, actual and nominal, aren't the raggedy kids they were when they started out a decade ago; they've married, started families, settled down. The band's last record, 2009's I and Love and You, offered a tamer version of Seth and Scott Avett's splintered yawps and shredded banjo strings, and their live show has tempered as their catalog has filled out and fanbase expanded from regional devotees to national masses. It's tempting to peg the Avetts' story as one of a little-band-that-could selling out and smoothing over when a major label and bigger stages come calling, but I'm not sure it's that simple; for an act in it for the long haul, a certain rounding of the edges seems not only inevitable, but natural– healthy, even. Growing up is hard to do, but outright refusing can be trickier.” (Pitchfork)
“So what happens when two powerful individuals from different backgrounds come together? Well, like when two strong rivers meet, things can get muddy, churn and toss. But when they settle, can open up into something bigger and better than either alone. That’s what happens on this CD, O Be Joyful.” No Depression
“This may be a weird statement to make about one of North America's most popular rock bands, but the Black Keys are survivors. The majority of the duo's colleagues from the early 2000s have since called it quits, but the workmanlike Akron boys Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney kept their heads down, dutifully churning out gutshot blues-pop mimicry that carried just enough of a punch to establish them as, at the least, a reliable stadium-act opening band.” more
Emmy Rossum has successfully embodied the antiquated spirit of many American classics, ranging from the ’20s to the ’60s in her cover album “Sentimental Journey.” Rossum adds a modernized vocal clarity to several wholesome ballads and jazz tracks that were childhood staples in her household.
Each track is intended to correlate with one specific month, and “Sentimental Journey” represents January as the launch of another year. Rossum was smart in meticulously choosing songs of the past to emotionally encompass her musical calendar. This deliberate arrangement of songs could classify “Sentimental Journey” as a concept album.
One of the most traditional soundtracks for a Wes Anderson film, Grand Budapest Hotel's music sidesteps pop songs in favor of pieces that highlight the story's setting. Befitting a caper set at a Central European hotel in the '30s, Alexandre Desplat's score and performances by ensembles including the Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra create a lavish, Old World feel. Budapest's orchestral pieces, which include “Concerto for Lute and Plucked Strings I. Moderato” and “The Linden Tree” are particularly charming, setting a genteel mood echoed by the traditional arrangement of “Moonshine.” Meanwhile,Desplat's score feels akin to his twinkly, mischievous music for Fantastic Mr. Fox, which was a caper of another sort. Indeed, this might be one of the twinkliest scores to an Anderson film, which is saying something. However, Desplat gives these sparkles nuance and depth, creating an entire vocabulary from them that spans the dreamy “Mr. Moustafa,” “Night Train to Nebelsbad”'s jazzy insistence, the lively wit of “The Society of the Crossed Keys,” and the oddly comforting “The War (Zero's Theme).” Most excitingly, the high-stakes nature of a heist film like this one allows Desplat to inject more drama and suspense into Anderson's ultra-stylish world, and at times his pieces echo iconic scores such as Dr. Zhivago and The Third Man. The winding melody that is one of the score's major motifs takes on a sinister cast on “The Family Desgoffe und Taxis” and “J.G. Jopling, Private Inquiry Agent,” while “The Lutz Police Militia” and “Last Will and Testament” add some menace – however stylized – to the proceedings. As always, the collaboration between Anderson, Desplat, and music supervisor Randall Poster sets the mood perfectly, whether that mood is innocence, mischief, mystery, or beauty.
Review by Heather Phares ALLMUSIC GUIDE
It takes 10 songs and a little over 36 minutes for Tegan and Sara Quin to redefine their profile within the confines of indie rock music, but “Heartthrob,” the sibling duo's seventh studio album, is most assuredly a game-changing release from a veteran act.