HOW TO BUY - Solid gold sounds of a soul survivor [10 ESSENTIAL ALBUMS BY BOBBY WOMACK]

MINIT, 1968
Graduating from
guitarist to solo artist,
Womack’s debut is a
genre-busting covers LP. From the killer
version of “California Dreamin’” to a
funkified makeover of “Moonlight In
Vermont”, the R’n’B arrangements,
warm horns and Womack’s gravelly
rasp make for a compelling blend.

Benjamin Booker - Benjamin Booker Review

Rating: 7/10 - Review: Young, New Orleansbased singersongwriter’s feral debut Jack White likes
Benjamin Booker – and Benjamin Booker certainly returns the favour. He’s got the rasping voice (see “Slow Coming”), and the influences spanning Blind Willie Johnson to The Gun Club. He’s also got a respect for the duo format: as illustrated by the swaggering “Have You Seen My Son?” on which his sole accomplice, drummer Max Norton displays a wayward, hurtling sense of rhythm. There’s artifice in Booker’s make-up but the troubled, strutting loner, serving sizzling sides of electrified psyched-swamp blues, is a role he inhabits with conviction and aplomb. A name to watch.

Bahamas - Bahamas Is Afie Review

Rating: 8/10 Review: Former Feist collaborator unveils mellow gold “I’ve got all the time in the world – don’t you want some of that?” asks Afie Jurvanen four songs into his third album. Like his pseudonym, it’s indicative of the Toronto musician’s laidback, warm nature: Bahamas Is Afie drifts effortlessly from such easygoing, blue-eyed soul – also evident on the brassy “Stronger Than That” – to autumnal campfire acoustics, reminiscent of the work of overlooked fellow Canuck Paul Hayden Desser. Blessed by an amiably husky voice, Jurvanen unfurls elegant melodies amid intelligent, economical arrangements, with the delightfully understated strings and flute of “Can’t Take You With Me” a particularly tender highlight.

Marc Almond - Ten Plagues Review and Music Video

Rating: 6/10 - Love and death during the Great Plague Playwright Mark Ravenhill and composerConor Mitchell’s song cycle about the 1665 bubonic plague debuted at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011 before moving to Wilton’s Music Hall in Tower Hamlets, East London. Written specifically for Almond, it followed a year in the life of a London-dwelling survivor and his struggle to come to terms with the death of friends and family, and the near destruction of his city. Accompanied only by piano in this studio recording, Almond has certainly been in better voice, although he still manages to bring enormous depth and poignancy to Ravenhill’s libretto and its echoes of the AIDS crisis.

Under-G Playlist (Best Albums)

Harlan County
“It’s just got that thing.
A few heads play on that,
don’t they? Like Dr John…”

time of the last
tHe Bottom of an
old GrandfatHer CloCk
“‘Camille’, I’ve been playing that a lot…
and ‘Plan D’. It’s miserable; you’re not
going to pull listening to that one.”

fully Qualified
“This was a big one for me while
I was writing this last album. I wanted
to have some of that quality in this
record. I’m not really listening to
that any more, but Wrecked Again
has a song called ‘You Say’ on it or
something [actually on Rainmaker]…
You’ve talked to him… Is he cool?”

raw Power
“Before the Brits we had
Raw Power on really loud to get us
there. It’s like, ‘Come on, Iggy, we need
you now…’”

Hot Buttered soul
“‘Walk On By’. It’s on that
Wu-Tang sample, ‘I Can’t
Go To Sleep’. It’s a heavy groove for
20 minutes.”

“It was on the True
Detective series. Have
you seen that? All the
music’s incredible. T Bone Burnett
did it, I think.”

“I quite like that folky thing
when there’s a groove as
well. The bass sounds like Melody
Nelson or something, those
Gainsbourg records.”

“It’s the new one. Good
to have something new
on there…”

Kimbra - "90s Music" Official Music Video Out Now

Watch Kimbra's amazing new video for her "90s Music" track, the first song released from The Golden Echo, which comes out at the end of August.  Directed by Justin Francis (Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, Demi Lovato), the trippy visual premiered on Just Jared this morning.
"90s Music" Official Video
"90s Music" is available on all digital retailers.

9BACH - Tincian Review

World music's new frontier: Snowdonian trip-hop Where their 2009 debut was stuffed with traditional Welsh balladry, Tincian (meaning ‘dazed’) is almost all original work by singer Lisa Jen and musician Martin Hoyland. The duo have refined their approach too, matching Jen’s crystalline voice to equally spare arrangements of harp, guitar, drums, keyboards, and electronic toy box. They have a distant cousin in Portishead, but 9Bach’s flavours are lighter, more mysterious and more uplifting. The traditional “Pa Le?” gets the full harp and finger cymbals treatment, while on “Plentyn”, Jen turns Bushesque againt a female chorus. Despite some ponderous moments, Tincian is a captivating original. Verdict: 70/100

Jimi Hendrix 1968 - Electric Ladyland CD Covers

Electric Ladyland is the third and final studio album by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and the only one of the band's LPs that was produced by Jimi Hendrix.

Eels - The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett Review and CD Covers

Cautionary Tales picks up where End Times left off. The style of the two albums is similar and it seems like the stories are extensions of that album. This is dark Eels, not the happier, funkier, more produced Eels of the past. E is at his best with these stories.

I wasn't a huge fan of Wonderful Glorious; it was too dark, and too long. End Times and Beautiful Freak are still my favorite albums - those seem to land on my playlists more than any others. I like that Cautionary Tales is thirteen songs long and much more to the point. It plays very well with my two favorite albums.

under-g Recommends - Beck - Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes

This track captures the romance betvveen the two lovers in perfect form. Its a classic song to a beautiful story. I love this movie and the soundtrack is pretty awesome too.

Lucinda Williams (Reissue) - Lucinda Williams CD Covers

Under-g Score: 65/100 Average

info: The remastered reissue of the singer's self-titled third release, considered by some as one of the first Americana albums, includes 20 live tracks. Release Date: 2014

Real Estate - Atlas CD Covers

Under-g Score: 80/100 Great

info: The third full-length release for the indie rock band was produced by Tom Schick and recorded at Wilco's studio in Chicago.

Beyoncé - Beyonce CD Covers

Under-g Score: 40/100 Bad

info: The fifth full-length record for the R&B pop singer was a surprise iTunes release, with a short film accompanying each track.

St. Vincent - St. Vincent CD Covers

Under-g Score: 60/100 Average

info: The fourth full-length release for the indie artist was produced by John Congleton and includes contributions from Dap-Kings drummer Homer Steinweiss and Midlake's McKenzie Smith.

These New Puritans - Field of Reeds CD Covers

Under-g Score: 70/100 - Good

info: The third full-length release for the British art rock band experiments with avant garde and classical music elements arranged with conductor André de Ridder and featuring guest appearances by Henry Lowther, Adrian Peacock, Elisa Rodrigues, and Michel van der Aa.
Genres: Alternative/Indie Rock, Electronic

Marc Almond 2014

Collaborations with Tony Visconti and Jarvis Cocker, “lustrous pop” albums, classical crossovers – and even an ’80s revival… MARC ALMOND’s hectic 2014

PRINCE - Plectrum Electrum Preview

The Purple One and his allgirl band get “guitar-heavy”

“3rdEyeGirl is Prince, Hannah Ford [drums], Ida Neilsen [bass] and myself. The process of how songs are  arranged is very organic, and often comes come out of us jamming together. Mostly we’re at Paisley Park, but we did spend some time in the studio in London. Sometimes we’ll go in at two in the afternoon and stay ’til six in the morning. We’re usually six days a week, 10 to 16 hours a day. At Paisley, I’m to Hannah’s right, Ida is to Hannah’s left, and Prince is in front of Hannah. We’re set up to record the same way we play live. There is a song out called ‘Fix Ur Life Up’, and that is a good indicator of what the rest of the album will be like: very guitar-heavy, very edgy, sounds huge. There’s a very interesting message behind all of the songs as well. Musically, it’s influenced by classic rock bands, and an older sound, although still combined with a fresh perspective. What really appealed to us was the idea of how bands would record back in the day. Like Led Zeppelin or Fleetwood Mac or Hendrix, where everyone’s in the studio, everyone’s playing together, and it’s about the feel and the performance, rather than the digital sound that’s popular now. We’re definitely a lot more analogue, and it’s about the way the musicians performed a piece, rather than just  lighting things up and going through a ton of takes. When 3rdEyeGirl perform live we improvise all the time, so what’s being heard on the record is just one interpretation of the songs. This album is a different style and direction from Purple Rain. But, in terms of how guitar-heavy it is, if you like Purple Rain, then this album is rockin’.”