CD Reviews


Arjun - Space

While many feel the music industry is in disarray right now it's always a breath of fresh air to hear a new and exciting band that's not afraid to take chances with their music. With their latest musical offering: Space (EP) from NY based 3 piece band that go by the name of Arjun, it’s clear to me they have surpassed what I could consider the a-typical musical release from a band in 2013.

Holly Elle - Leopardess EP

Holly Elle, a Canadian classically trained singer with a passion for pop, brings to the U.S. a unique twist on modern mainstream music. Her latest 5 song EP entitled “Leopardess” was released in 2013. Leopardess is a carefully crafted collection of catchy songs showcasing the best in modern day pop artisanship that creates a solid foundation for memorable and uplifting songs. There’s also clear-defined messages about love and life itself that will sure...

Meir Shitrit - Way

To be honest I expected Israeli based Jazz Guitarist Meir Shitrit to be a kind of flipped out Rock-Jazz guitarist with excessive showboating and a-typical musical meandering. To sharpen my skepticism over the years I’ve heard my share of tripped out fusion cross over music that recklessly ventures into the Jazz ream in a very overcompensating way. After all Jazz has some big shoes to fill and much of it is lacks a unique freshness or mass appeal to vintage Jazz lovers.

Layers and Frames - The Certainty of Being Found

I just listened to Frederic Brewer’s latest EP release called “Infinite Release” (2013). To say the least this music is as unique as the artist himself. This stunning collection of 5 mind blowing tracks presents a sensational, unique and superb space to bask in sonically. I like the way things kick off. Immediately after the slow introduction on Track 1 “Crossing” the song takes a rather unexpected turn as it advances providing some amazing Piano, Organ, Ambient...

Merrill Leffmann - New and Old Christmas Classics

Merrill Leffmann is a vocal teacher who gives singing lessons in Scottsdale, Arizona. She’s also an accomplished singer/songwriter recording artist who plays cabaret and specialty shows around the Phoenix area. Her latest release is a delightful Christmas CD entitled “New and Old Christmas Classics.” This 12-song Christmas CD contains 7 original and 5 cover songs. In her own words: So I selected 7 of my favorite originals...

Deana Carter - Southern Way Of Life

Much has changed in the life of Deana Carter since "Strawberry Wine" catapulted her to the fast lane in 1996. She has become a mother, and has endured the loss of her father - in addition to her own health worries. That has given her a lot to write about over the past couple of years - much of which can be heard in the material on this album. Kicking off with the 80s pop / rock groove of "You Can't Stay," Carter...

Mindy Smith - Snowed In

Mindy Smith’s publicist ships out her record enclosed in a shimmery, cranberry-red-foil padded envelope. This proves to be a notice-grabbing touch, as it glistens in the mailbox amidst the other packages – not unlike the music that awaits inside. “Snowed In” is this Americana singer/songwriter’s latest effort – a five-song holiday EP on Giant Leap/TVX Records. Once again joined by producer Steve Buckingham, who worked with her on her first...

Ettie Street Project – The Simplest Possible Setup

“The meeting of music and technology” is how San Francisco Bay area band Ettie Street Project describes their unique bold sound. They deftly blend jazz with funk, electronica and rock to blur the boundaries on their debut album, “The Simplest Possible Setup,” released on Jazzcubed Records. It’s a 12-track collaborative effort between founders and producers Tom Lattanand and Rob Gwin, and a stable of drummers, singers and brass players. As they point out on their...

Nikolitsa – Under The Moon

New York City multi-media artist Nikolitsa Boutieros’s powerful black and white photography draws in the on-looker and alienates at the same time – a quality that also is found in her music. Her explosive debut album “Under The Moon” is darkly intriguing punk grunge, frank and in-your-face rock ‘n’ roll. Produced by Brett Hestla, this album features eleven bristling songs penned by the artist. Backed by some fired-up musicianship, Nikolitsa’s distinctive, biting alto is thick and brooding...

JT Spangler – What’s A Little Heartbreak

“I got to the point where I was tired of sitting at my desk and I wasn’t sure I was cut out for it long term,” says Louisiana-born singer/songwriter JT Spangler about working as an engineer in the oil and gas industry. What must have been fossil fuel’s loss is most certainly music’s gain. With an established career forged in Los Angeles, the now Nashville-based artist has released his vibrant debut full-length album, “What’s A Little Heartbreak,” and from the very first measure it’s clear that this ...

Brandy Allison - Walkin’ On Faith

“Because of you, I have reaffirmed my faith and I am now singing for a much higher purpose,” writes Brandy Allison, in dedication of her debut EP to her late husband Josh. This South Carolina Christian pop artist grieved through his accidental death three years ago, has survived drug abuse, and now has a six-song release on Salvation Road Records to express her gratitude and prove that with hope, one can overcome the worst that life throws one’s way. Sunny productions by Mark ...

Lyda - North Shore

Originally from Long Island New York now centralized in Los Angeles Rapper Lyda just released his latest EP entitled North Shore in 2013. The result though far from a self-indulgent ego trip, rather a moving and elegiac artistic statement from start to finish. This is not your overly predictable Ramon Noodle “Sing-Songy” Rick Ross rap album. Instead Lyda makes all these tracks his own showcasing tasty rhymes, thick rhythms and an infectious persona that is of the charts.

Dido - Greatest Hits

I wasn't sure in the 1990s, and to be honest with you, I'm not sure even today on how you would classify the music of British sensation Dido. Her music blends so many different styles of music, and yet it all comes out sounding fresh and unique. As Sony releases this collection of her best-known works, it really is worth taking a look back at how cutting edge and musically diverse she was almost some twenty years...

Julie Roberts - Good Wine & Bad Decisions

I will start out this review with a statement that some might find to be very dramatic - this might very well be the sexiest Country record that has ever been released. OK, so how is that for dramatic? But, one listen to this album, and if the South Carolina native doesn't have you under her spell - check your pulse. That being said, don't get the wrong idea. This album is not Julie Roberts turning into Madonna or anything like...

Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott – Memories and Moments

“…This record is just the two of us reacting to one another, and it’s a pretty good game of Ping-Pong. We end up doing stuff that neither of us would do on our own…,” says Tim O’Brien about recording his second studio album with fellow veteran singer/songwriter Darrell Scott, “Memories and Moments.” Swapping lead vocals recorded live, and blending like blood relatives, the duo contribute five songs each, one collaborative effort, plus three covers on this Scott-produced, Full Skies ...
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