Pre-Order Robert Plant’s New Album
"It’s really a celebratory record," says Plant, "powerful, gritty, African, Trance meets Zep."
"It’s really a celebratory record," says Plant, "powerful, gritty, African, Trance meets Zep."
Robert Plant’s label debut, lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar was produced by Plant and features 11 new recordings, nine of which are original songs he wrote with his band, The Sensational Space Shifters. "It’s really a celebratory record," says Plant, "powerful, gritty, African, Trance meets Zep." Pre-orders include a limited-edition print and an instant download of an album track.
Shot over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater's film Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child who literally grows up on screen before the viewers' eyes. The soundtrack spans the story's 12 years, with songs ranging from the year 2000 (Coldplay's "Yellow") to 2013 (Yo La Tengo's "I’ll Be Around"). The album also includes the classic "Band on the Run," by Paul McCartney and Wings, and the debut of a new song written by Jeff Tweedy and performed by the father/son duo Tweedy, "Summer Noon." The New Yorker calls the soundtrack "a tribute to the fading moments of the now."
Joshua Redman's Trios Live was recorded during stands with two different trios: Redman and drummer Gregory Hutchinson with bassists Matt Penman (at Jazz Standard in NYC) and Reuben Rogers (at Blues Alley in Washington, DC). Trios Live features four original tunes by Redman and interpretations of three additional songs. "It's a great set," says the Financial Times, "full of muscular rhythms and the abandon of live performance, yet as tightly argued as a rigorous studio date."
Louis Andriessen's Grawemeyer Award–winning film opera La Commedia, a collaboration with director Hal Hartley, is based on Dante's Divine Comedy, with additional texts including the Old Testament's "Song of Songs." This two-CD-plus-DVD set of the Dutch National Opera production features the Asko | Schönberg Ensembles, led by Reinbert de Leeuw. The Washington Post calls La Commedia "an exciting, powerful and rich piece that shows Andriessen at the top of his game." The Los Angeles Times considers it "the greatest opera of the century so far."
Conor Oberst's Upside Down Mountain features many of his friends, including producer Jonathan Wilson, engineer Andy LeMaster, bassist Macey Taylor, multi-instrumentalist Blake Mills, and the Swedish folk-rock vocal duo First Aid Kit. Rolling Stone raves: "A sumptuous immersion in '70s California folk pop, it is the most immediately charming album he has ever made." The New York Times says: "All of Mr. Oberst’s gifts align on Upside Down Mountain."
Toumani Diabaté, widely recognized as the greatest living kora player, and his eldest son Sidiki, release the recording Toumani & Sidiki on World Circuit. The album is a set of unaccompanied kora duets, featuring both obscure, almost forgotten kora pieces and a new look at some Mandé classics from Mali. The Evening Standard calls it "a rare treat, one of the albums of the year." The Guardian calls it "the finest Toumani collaboration since his classic work with Ali Farka Touré ... gently exquisite."
Produced by Danger Mouse, Dan Auerbach, and Patrick Carney, Turn Blue features 11 new tracks. Mojo says the album "underlines the fact that The Black Keys are the most vital rock band in the world right now." Rolling Stone calls it "a giant step into the best, most consistently gripping album the Keys have ever made."
David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's Here Lies Love cast recording features performances by the original 2013 Public Theater cast of the Obie Award-winning Here Lies Love musical, starring Ruthie Ann Miles and Jose Llana as Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos and featuring seven new songs written for the musical. CDs include an 80-page full color book with lyrics and two essays by Byrne. Here Lies Love, raves the Daily News, "will leave you walking on air." On the album, says Playbill: "The score is revealed to be as glitteringly faceted as the production itself." PopMatters calls it "exceedingly seductive."
Natalie Merchant's self-titled album is her sixth solo work and her first collection of entirely original songs in 13 years. Merchant describes the self-produced release as informed "by decades of experience and keen observation," dealing with issues of "damage, love gained and lost, regret, denial, surrender, greed, destructiveness, defeat, and occasional triumph." The AP calls it a "rich musical tapestry." The Telegraph lauds her "quietly magnificent" voice. Merchant "is in terrific form," says the Times of London. "It is Merchant’s mature, versatile voice that steals the show."
John Adams's City Noir (2009), inspired by LA "noir" films of the 1940s and '50s, and the debut recording of his 2012 Saxophone Concerto are performed here by the St. Louis Symphony led by David Robertson, featuring saxophonist Timothy McAllister. "Dense, brash and exuberant," says the New York Times, "these two stellar works by John Adams are love letters to the confidence of the 1950s and a time when some of the greatest feats of virtuosity were often performed in smoky jazz clubs ... McAllister sizzles."
Composer Jacob Cooper’s label debut, Silver Threads comprises a six-song cycle performed by soprano Mellissa Hughes. Cooper wrote the title track for Hughes in 2011, setting a haiku attributed to Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō for voice and electronic track. To expand it into a full cycle (for voice and track), he enlisted five other poets to write text that was inspired by the haiku: Greg Alan Brownderville, Tarfia Faizullah, Kristin Kelly, Dora Malech, and Zach Savich.
For Record Store Day 2014, Conor Oberst, who makes his Nonesuch Records debut with the release of the album Upside Down Mountain, releases a limited-edition 7" single including the album track "Hundreds of Ways" along with album outtake "Fast Friends" on the B-side. The 7" was cut by Chicago Mastering Service and pressed at Record Industry in the Netherlands. This recording is no longer available in the Nonesuch Store.
Kronos Quartet and its artistic director/founding violinist David Harrington have long been known as interpreters of music from around the world, expanding the string quartet repertoire with works from across genres. Released in honor of the group's 40th anniversary year, Kronos Explorer Series comprises five classic albums from five different parts of the world—Pieces of Africa, Night Prayers, Caravan, Nuevo, and Floodplain—with new liner notes that include an in-depth interview of Harrington by renowned author Jonathan Cott. The Independent calls the set "extraordinary."
Released in Kronos Quartet's 40th anniversary year, A Thousand Thoughts is a look at the group's geographically wide-ranging sources, featuring music from 14 different countries, including China, India, Sweden, and Vietnam. The album includes the four cellists who have been in Kronos Quartet over the last 36 years. Ten of the album’s 15 pieces are previously unreleased. Songlines gives it five stars, calling Kronos "one of the musical marvels of our age."
This three-disc reissue of Emmylou Harris’s groundbreaking, Grammy Award–winning album Wrecking Ball, produced by Daniel Lanois, features the remastered original album, a bonus CD of previously unreleased material, and a DVD of the documentary Building the Wrecking Ball, which includes interviews and studio footage of Harris and Lanois as well as special guests Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Neil Young, Steve Earle, Brian Blade, and others. The reissue earns five stars from Mojo and Uncut, which calls it "ambitious and audacious ... a masterpiece."
From Nickel Creek—Chris Thile, Sara Watkins, Sean Watkins—A Dotted Line was produced by Eric Valentine and includes six new co-written songs, one tune by Thile, one by Sean Watkins, and two covers. "The most striking feature about A Dotted Line is the sheer strength of the singing, and the frequency with which it takes flight in three-part harmony," writes the New York Times. "The signature Nickel Creek blend comes across loud and clear." "It's tight, it's masterful; it's totally grown-up," says NPR. "But it's also a blast."
Abraçaço is the final installment of Caetano Veloso's trilogy with the youthful trio heard on Cê and zii e zie known as the Banda Cê: Pedro Sá on electric guitar, Ricardo Dias Gomes on bass and Rhodes piano, and Marcelo Callado on drums. The album won a Latin Grammy for Best Singer-Songwriter Album and earned the #1 spot on Rolling Stone Brazil’s Best National Albums list. A fusion of the traditional Tropicália style and the indie pop of contemporary Rio, Abraçaço includes 11 original songs written by Veloso. KCRW calls it Veloso "at his best."
Clint Mansell’s score to Darren Aronofsky’s film Noah is performed by Kronos Quartet, joined by Patti Smith for her song "Mercy Is." An orchestra and choir are led by Matt Dunkley, who was also the principal orchestrator and arranger. The album was produced by Mansell and Geoff Foster. The music "is appropriately stirring, threatening, terrifying and majestic," says the Wall Street Journal. Russell Crowe stars as Noah in the film inspired by the epic story of courage, sacrifice, and hope.
Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and Justin Timberlake. The film follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Brimming with music performed by Isaac, Timberlake, and Mulligan, as well as Marcus Mumford and Punch Brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis—in the tradition of O Brother, Where Art Thou?—is infused with the transportive sound of another time and place. Blu-ray and DVD include "Inside Inside Llewyn Davis," a 40-minute making-of documentary offering insights from the filmmakers, cast, crew, and musicians.
The debut album from the electric duo of Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana, Mehliana: Taming the Dragon, features Mehldau on Fender Rhodes and synthesizers and Guiliana on drums and effects. Mehliana comprises 12 original tunes—six written by the duo and six written by Mehldau—and was engineered and mixed by Greg Koller (Jon Brion, Kanye West). Jazzwise calls it "astonishing ... one of the best albums of 2014." The vinyl includes two 140-gram LPs pressed at Pallas MFG in Diepholz, Germany, and a CD of the album.