Dr. John's "Locked Down" and Jeremy Denk's "Ligeti/Beethoven" Among NPR Music's 25 Favorite Albums of 2012 (So Far)
With 2012 having hit its halfway mark, the folks at NPR Music have taken the occasion to assemble a list of their 25 Favorite Albums of 2012 (So Far), and among them are two Nonesuch Records releases: Dr. John's Locked Down and Jeremy Denk's Ligeti/Beethoven. NPR has also posted its 50 Favorite Songs of 2012 (So Far), adding Amadou & Mariam's "Dougou Badia," off their new Because/Nonesuch album, Folila.
In April, storied musician and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dr. John—Mac Rebennack—released Locked Down, a startling album that marks a significant departure from his recent efforts. The new album, produced by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, is an entirely new approach for the iconic Dr. John, featuring as it does his collaboration with Auerbach and a band of young musicians Auerbach hand-picked to make Locked Down at his Nashville studio.
"Locked Down is one of the best albums of his lengthy career," says WXPN Bruce Warren for the NPR Music favorites list. "A revisitation of the voodoo-funk of his previous classic records, Locked Down is filled with spectacularly syncopated grooves, head-nodding beats that rival any hip-hop release of the year and no shortage of memorable guitar playing ... This isn't Disneyland-style New Orleans; this is the city filtered through vintage R&B and gritty funk, that spooky, swampy side of New Orleans music that drew so many to Dr. John early on."
Acclaimed pianist Jeremy Denk made his Nonesuch Records debut with the May 15 release of Ligeti/Beethoven, which pairs Ligeti’s Piano Études, Books One and Two, with Beethoven’s Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111. NPR's Anastasia Tsioulcas describes it as "a musical puzzle box that few other musicians could or would even dare consider. What makes the seemingly impossible a reality is Jeremy Denk's genius—his technical prowess, insight, wit and ardor have resulted in an album that people are going to be talking about for years to come."
Read more, listen to tracks off the album, and see the complete list of NPR Music's 25 Favorite Albums of 2012 (So Far) at npr.org.
On April 10, Amadou & Mariam released Folila, their first studio album since 2009's acclaimed Welcome to Mali. The new album epitomizes the duo's embrace of collaboration, with contributions by TV on the Radio, Nick Zinner, Theophilus London, Bassekou Kouyate, and, on its opening track, "Dougou Badia," Santigold. Says NPR: "The Malian duo finds a perfect partner in Santigold, who has spent her career mashing together unlike influences and eluding classification."
You'll find NPR Music's 50 Favorite Songs Of 2012 (So Far) at npr.org.
To pick up a copy of any of these albums, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include an instant download of the album at checkout.