What We're Listening To

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What We're Listening To

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In the lonely hour : drowning shadows edition

Smith, Sam, 1992- composer, performer.


Sam Smith offers up an expanded edition of his Grammy Award winning debut album. Along with all of the content from the deluxe edition, this version includes new music, covers, live performances, and collaborations.

Suggested by Brian

Violin concerto: Romance ; Mazurek ; Humoresque

Dvořák, Antonín, 1841-1904.

eMusic hoopla

Even though Anne-Sophie Mutter recorded most of the great violin concertos early in her career, working closely with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic, she hadn't recorded the Violin Concerto in A minor of Antonín Dvorák. This 2013 recording with Manfred Honeck and the Berlin Philharmonic fills that gap in her legacy, and this is an exceptionally bright and passionate performance, well worth the wait. Mutter is impeccable in execution and warm in expression, especially in the infectious Finale, and her presence is quite vibrant, thanks to Deutsche Grammophon's expert microphone placement that separates the violin from the orchestra and puts it front and center in the mix. The rest of the program offers the Romance in F minor and the Mazurek in E minor, both played to the same high standards as the Concerto, and an encore with pianist Ayami Ikeba of the perennial favorite, the Humoresque in G flat major, which Mutter gives a charming lilt. This CD is a pure delight, and Mutter's fans should be sure to add it to their collections. - Blair Sanderson

Suggested by Brian

Pride & prejudice: music from the motion picture

Marianelli, Dario.

eMusic hoopla

As stated in a producers' note, the intention of the creators of the 2005 theatrical film Pride & Prejudice was to have Marianelli compose music that conceivably could have been heard at the time the story is set, in the late 18th century. Thus, he has come up with a couple of dance cues ("Meryton Townhall," "Another Dance") that actually recall the dance music of the period, as well as a march ("The Militia Marches In") that a military band actually might have been expected to play at the time. But the main scoring, calling upon Beethoven's sonatas for its inspiration, finds Marianelli providing music for pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, sometimes accompanied by the English Chamber Orchestra, that has a strong Romantic flavor to accompany the familiar romantic plot. No doubt Stothart and Davis (among others) also did their homework in preparing their scores, but they may not have been as concerned as Marianelli with essentially impersonating an 18th century composer. - William Ruhlmann

Suggested by Brian

What we saw from the cheap seats

Spektor, Regina.

eMusic hoopla

Regina Spektor's sixth outing, the predictably unpredictable What We Saw from the Cheap Seats, feels a little like a Wes Anderson movie. By now, you're either on board with the Russian-American's unique blend of East Village anti-folk and immaculately detailed thespian indie pop, or you've swapped her wares for the more accessible quirkiness of Fun. or the lunchroom loner art pop of St. Vincent. Like Anderson, Spektor is a gifted world builder, and one of Cheap Seats' greatest strengths is its prep school confidence.-James Christopher Monger

Suggested by Brian

All the little lights

Passenger (Musical group : England)

eMusic hoopla

All the Little Lights, the third long-player from Mike Rosenberg, better known as the founder, vocalist, songwriter, and driving force behind English folk-rock outfit Passenger, continues in the vein of 2010's Flight of the Crow, offering up another evocative collection of heartfelt, largely acoustic, indie folk gems that invoke names like Coldplay, Van Morrison, Villagers, Mumford & Sons, and even Neil Young. - James Christopher Monger Recorded once again in Australia, All the Little Lights represents an evolution in both Rosenberg's songwriting and his overall sound, maintaining the emotional intimacy of his previous outings while introducing a bigger and bolder production style.- James Christopher Monger

Suggested by Brian

For Emma, forever ago

Bon Iver (Musical group)


Justin Vernon began recording as Bon Iver following the breakup of DeYarmond Edison, an indie folk group similar in tone and manner to Iron & Wine, Little Wings and, to a certain extent, Bonnie "Prince" Billy. Pronounced 'bohn eevair', it is French for "good winter" which is spelled wrong deliberately. This debut CD is centered around Justin Vernon, who is the primary force behind Bon Iver, as he moved to a remote cabin in the woods of Northwestern Wisconsin at the onset of winter, alone for three months. From this solitary time emerged a bold, uninhibited new musical focus of all his personal trouble, lack of perspective, heartache, longing, love, loss, and guilt that had been stockpiled over the past six years into songs.

Suggested by Lindsey

Music for the masses

Depeche Mode (Musical group)


This album is a culmination of Depeche Mode's middle-period experimentation. More informed by Goth than techno, it is still anchored by plenty of the larger-than-life-baritone melodrama so distinctive of David Gahan's vocals.

Suggested by Lindsey

Inside Llewyn Davis : original soundtrack recording.


Inside Llewyn Davis is the soundtrack of music from the 2013 American film of the same name, written, directed and produced by the Coen brothers and starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund and Justin Timberlake. With the film set in New York City during the 1960s, the soundtrack, produced by T Bone Burnett, uses folk music appropriate to the time period. With the exception of Bob Dylan's "Farewell" and Dave Van Ronk's "Green, Green Rocky Road", the rest of the tracks are modern recordings.

Suggested by Lindsey

Légende : works for trumpet and piano

Balsom, Alison, arranger of music, composer, instrumentalist.


"2013 Gramophone Artist of the Year, three-time winner at the Classic BRITs and also three-time winner at the Echo Klassik Awards, Alison Balsom has cemented an international reputation as one of classical music's great ambassadors and is ranked amongst the most distinctive and ground-breaking musicians on the international circuit today. She and long-time collaborator Tom Poster have relished this opportunity to present - live in concert and on record - a chamber music masterwork like masterwork like the Enescu paired with such indispensable gems from their recital repertoire as the Goedicke and the Gershwin. "This day has been a long time coming," she says. "We've wanted to record this... most important repertoire for trumpet and piano since we started playing together more than 10 years ago"--Container.

Suggested by Brian

Lukas Graham.

Lukas Graham (Musical group), composer, performer.


MTV 2016 Music Video Award Nominated Artist - Breakout artist Lukas Graham releases his highly anticipated U.S. debut. Features the hit single 7 Years, which is rocketing up the charts around the world.

Death of a bachelor

Panic! at the Disco (Musical group), composer, performer.


MTV 2016 Music Video Award Nominated Artist - As attention grabbing as a flashing neon sign on the Las Vegas strip, Panic! At the Disco's fifth studio album, 2016's Death of a Bachelor, is a volcano-sized martini glass of emotive, theatrical, genre-bending pop. The first album recorded by the band since the departure of drummer Spencer Smith, who officially left in 2015, Death of a Bachelor is largely the vision of lead vocalist and founding member Brendon Urie. Inspired by Urie's 2013 marriage, as well as legendary vocalist Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday in 2015, Death of a Bachelor works as a loose concept album celebrating the end of Urie's party-hearty single life, and his creative maturation from emo-pop poster boy to self-styled rock sophisticate. Matt Collar


Cara, Alessia, 1996- composer, performer.


MTV 2016 Music Video Awards Nominated Artist - Following the success of her Four Pink Walls EP, Alessia Cara releases her highly anticipated debut album. It follows her journey from a girl writing songs in her room to her emergence as a blossoming star.


Drake, 1986- composer, performer.


MTV 2016 Music Video Awards Nominated Artist - One year after releasing two hit albums, including a collaboration with Future, Drake returns with one of the most talked-about albums of 2016.


Tiller, Bryson.


MTV 2016 Music Video Award Nominee - With his debut album Bryson Tiller has emerged from the streets of Louisville with his own brand of street soul that musically blends the urgency of trap music with the smoother sound of alternative R&B




With Telegram, edgy Icelandic woman-child Björk continues to push the post-rock envelope. Her new album consists mostly of remixed versions of songs from her second solo LP, Post. But unlike many remix albums, Telegram is no slapdash effort: Björk recorded new vocals for many of the songs and collaborated with a well-chosen array of artists from the avant-garde and electronic worlds.

Suggested by Lindsey

The OMD singles

Orchestral Manœuvres in the Dark (Musical group)


18 of OMD's choicest singles, from 1979's Electricity and their 1980 Top 10 UK hit Enola Gay through mid-'80s U.S. hits like So in Love; If You Leave; (Forever) Live and Die, and Dreaming all the way up to 1996's Walking on the Milky Way. That's 17 years of electrifying electro-pop from one of the architects of the genre.

Suggested by Lindsey

Some great reward

Depeche Mode (Musical group)


Some Great Reward is the fourth studio album by English electronic music band Depeche Mode, released in 1984. The album peaked at number five in the United Kingdom and at number fifty-four in the United States.

Suggested by Lindsey

Shostakovich, Glazunov.

Benedetti, Nicola, 1987- instrumentalist.


Sensational violinist Nicola Benedetti returns with a riveting recording of Shostakovich's monumental Violin Concerto (No. 1). This new recording follows Benedetti's chart-topping success with Bruch's Scottish Fantasy (Homecoming, 2014) and Korngold's Violin Concerto (Silver Violin, 2012). Programmed alongside Shostakovich's assertive, uncompromising masterpiece, is Glazunov's bold, colorful Violin Concerto. A late-Romantic work, the Glazunov is notable for its lyricism; Benedetti's generous, radiant performance is uplifting and finely crafted.

Suggested by Lindsey

Complete nocturnes

Field, John, 1782-1837.


American pianist Elizabeth Joy Roe follows-up her breath-taking Decca debut with an album showcasing the Father of the Nocturne. These half-formed sighs floating through the air, softly lamenting and dissolved in delicious melancholy Franz Liszt on John Fields Nocturnes. Following her critically acclaimed coupling of the Britten & Barber Piano Concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra, Elizabeth Joy Roe enlightens the extraordinary world of John Field.

Suggested by Lindsey

Newsies the musical : original Broadway cast recording

Menken, Alan.


Hot on the heels of the Broadway debut of Disney's Newsies, the Original Broadway Cast Recording is set for release, allowing the show's rabid fans across the country to experience what The New York Times calls 'terrific songs, buoyant melodies, rousing lyrics and a sweet, funny, emotionally satisfying book. A musical worth singing about!' The cast recording features the musical's score by eight-time Academy Award® winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Sister Act) and lyricist Jack Feldman, with book by four-time Tony Award® winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy). The stage version introduces brand-new songs while keeping many of the beloved songs from the film, including 'Carrying the Banner,' 'Seize the Day,' 'King of New York' and 'Santa Fe.' The iconic music is performed by the musical's original cast, headed by Jeremy Jordan.

Suggested by Lindsey

Build me up from bones

Jarosz, Sarah, composer, performer.


The third full-length by 22-year-old Sarah Jarosz reflects not only her growth as a songwriter but her willingness to push the boundaries of country, folk, and Americana to discover connections not necessarily considered before. Build Me Up from Bones reflects years of study in contemporary voice improvisation at the New England Conservatory of Music. She wrote nine of the 11 songs here, and chose two covers: Bob Dylan's "Simple Twist of Fate" and Joanna Newsom's "The Book of Right-On." Build Me Up from Bones separates itself from its promising predecessors because it is a songwriter's record. Jarosz lets her considerable instrumental prowess submit itself to serving the needs of her songs instead of merely adorning them with a precocious imagination. She can do this because she possesses not only self confidence in her material, but in her discernment, which is rare for a musician so young. ~ Thom Jurek

Suggested by Brian

Livin' on a high note

Staples, Mavis, performer.


Soul and gospel music legend Mavis Staples has created what may be the most joyful and uplifting record of her career. Twelve original songs were written exclusively for her by such acclaimed artists as M. Ward, Ben Harper, Neko Case, and more.

Suggested by Brian


Grimaud, Hélène, 1969- instrumentalist.


One of the world's most celebrated pianists, Helene Grimaud presents a haunting call to nature. This album is an experimental project combining her two greatest passions, music and nature.

Suggested by Brian

Leslie Odom Jr.

Odom, Leslie, Jr., 1981- performer.


Singer/actor Leslie Odom, Jr.'s eponymous debut is a set of graceful vocal jazz interpretations of show tunes and popular song. The album was originally self-released in 2014 with nine tracks. He reworked the song list after his success (and Tony Award) as Aaron Burr in the original Broadway cast of the blockbuster musical Hamilton, cutting three songs and replacing them with four new selections for a 2016 re-release with S-Curve. Gone are Simon & Garfunkel's "Song for the Asking," a tune from the musical Civil War, and the title track from the 1957 film Wild Is the Wind, originally recorded by Johnny Mathis. Additions include Willie Nelson's "The Party's Over" and the Kosma-Mercer classic "Autumn Leaves," an album highlight. ~ Marcy Donelson

Suggested by Brian


Rice, Damien.


O is the debut studio album by Irish musician Damien Rice, originally released on 1 February 2002, in Ireland and in the United Kingdom. The album is dedicated to Rice's friend Mic Christopher, who died of a head injury in 2001.

Suggested by Lindsey

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