• In These Silent Days

    In These Silent Days

    Carlile, Brandi

    Brandi Carlile had her breakthrough with 2018's By the Way I Forgive You, an album released 13 years after her debut. Having a rich body of work at the point she became a household name meant she had the confidence to depart from the stately sweep of By the Way I Forgive You when it came time to deliver its successor, In These Silent Days. Working with the same crew as she did on By the Way I Forgive You -- her longtime collaborators Phil and Tim Hanseroth are here, along with co-producers Dave Cobb and Shooter Jennings -- Carlile crafts an album that's bolder and brawnier than its predecessor. In These Silent Days has plenty of intimate moments -- it starts quietly, unfolding with just Carlile's voice and piano, the same elements that close the album -- but they're punctuated by brisk melodies, steady-rolling rhythms and dramatic crescendos that capture the full roar of Carlile and the Hanseroths. That power is evident during the spells where they restrain themselves, adding texture and color to Carlile's hushed passion. What separates In These Silent Days from the rest of Carlile's albums is its controlled urgency and tight sense of craft, an aesthetic evident in how the album is as lean and robust as a well-loved record from the '70s. Often, In These Silent Days conjures a specific spirit, as if Elton John cut a collection of Laurel Canyon folk-rock in 1973 without abandoning his yearning to rock. Carlile may tip her hat to Elton and Joni Mitchell here ("You and Me on the Rock" feels like an explicit nod to "Big Yellow Taxi") but as the album alternates between candid whispers and raw catharsis, it is unmistakably the work of Brandi Carlile, who once again proves she's one of the best singer/songwriters of her generation. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View In These Silent Days
  • CLOUD CUCKOO LAND (CD)

    CLOUD CUCKOO LAND (CD)

    Doerr, Anthony

    Anthony Doerr is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the Light We Cannot See. He is also the author of two story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won four O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Libraryu2019s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

    Format: Audiobook CD

    Availability: On order

    View CLOUD CUCKOO LAND (CD)
  • Happier Than Ever

    Happier Than Ever

    Eilish, Billie

    A subtle triumph in the face of overwhelming pressure and expectations, Happier Than Ever is the sound of an artist coming into their own. Without losing any of the experimental, genre-blurring spirit of her Grammy-conquering debut, Billie Eilish elevates her trademark sound and expands her scope with the assistance of her producer-brother Finneas. In addition to baring her soul with increasingly confessional lyrics, she's also strengthened her delivery and range, taking inspiration from jazz and vocal pop greats of old like Julie London and Peggy Lee, lending a timeless air to tracks like "Billie Bossa Nova" and "my future." With this sophomore set, Eilish steps out of the shadows of When We All Fall Asleep, transforming from the creepy little sibling that freaks out the neighbors into a poised and confident young adult with existential issues aplenty. Growing older (relatively) and wiser in the years following her breakthrough, she processes the flood of experiences that come with a swift ascent in the public eye. Reflecting on the pitfalls of being famous, the introductory "Getting Older" reveals the immense pressure and associated dangers of the limelight, setting her insight and measured optimism to a delicate electronic heartbeat. Later, she charts her struggles in a male-dominated industry and details encounters with predatory men and misogyny on the scathing "Your Power," an indictment of exploitation disguised as a gorgeous acoustic ballad, and on the striking interlude "Not My Responsibility," she confronts critics and toxic opinions atop ominous synths and atmospheric haze before calling out media objectification on the hypnotic "OverHeated." Beyond these emotional trials, Eilish leans into the album's title, realizing her own growth, hope for the future, and newfound feelings of self-love and self-empowerment. The nostalgic Bristol-scene trip-hop vibes of the dubby "I Didn't Change My Number," hit single "Therefore I Am," and the boom-bap-lite "Lost Cause" offer mischievous diversions from the otherwise moody meditations, but a trio of dynamic standouts steal the show. Throbbing to life with deep bass and a thick beat, the lustful "Oxytocin" is a club hit in the making, nailing the pleasure centers like the titular hormone, while the cautionary "GOLDWING" lures listeners in with an angelic hymn before skittering to life with tribal flair like early-era Björk. On the title track, Eilish begins with an old-timey vocal showcase that explodes into a '90s alt-rock rager, complete with cathartic kiss-off lyrics, crashing drums, and jagged riffs. In these moments, Eilish reclaims a bit of herself and hones her perspective, effortlessly playing with a wide range of genres in the process. Delivering on the promise of her industry-shaking debut with confidence and grace, Happier Than Ever has the markings of a big career moment, one that signals artistic growth and hints at even more greatness to come. ~ Neil Z. Yeung (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View Happier Than Ever
  • THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY (CD)

    THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY (CD)

    Towles, Amor

    In June 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the working farm where he has just served a year for involuntary manslaughter. His mother is long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett intends to pick up his eight-year-old brother and head west where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the working farm have hidden in the trunk of the wardenu2019s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmettu2019s future. Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towlesu2019s third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.

    Format: Audiobook CD

    Availability: On order

    View THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY (CD)
  • RAISE THE ROOF (CD)

    RAISE THE ROOF (CD)

    Plant, Robert

    In 2007, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss released Raising Sand, one of the most acclaimed albums of the 21st century. It was an unlikely, mesmerizing pairing of one of rock's greatest frontmen with one of country's music's finest and most honored artists, produced by the legendary T Bone Burnett. Now, after 14 years, they return with a dozen songs from a range of traditions and styles that extend this remarkable collaboration in new and thrilling directions.

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: On order

    View RAISE THE ROOF (CD)
  • THINGS TAKE TIME, TAKE TIME (CD)

    THINGS TAKE TIME, TAKE TIME (CD)

    Barnett, Courtney

    An assured leap forward for Barnett; a breakthrough really. This is Barnett at her most relaxed, creative and joyful. An exquisite look at the intimate, private world created by Barnett and drummer/producer Stella Mozgawa.

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: On order

    View THINGS TAKE TIME, TAKE TIME (CD)
  • Welcome 2 America

    Welcome 2 America

    Prince

    Prince recorded the 12 songs that comprise the posthumous album Welcome 2 America back in 2010, polished off some mixes, and allegedly completed a sequence, then he set it aside. It's impossible to tell if Prince considered the album finished or if he planned to release it. He did launch the Welcome 2 tour in December 2010 but it was in support of 20Ten, an album given away with copies of the Daily Mirror in the U.K. and never officially released in the U.S., and almost no songs from the Welcome 2 America sessions were played on-stage or leaked from the vaults: the fizzy trifle "Hot Summer" was streamed on the website of local radio station 89.3 The Current but that was it. Few Prince fanatics were aware of its existence until it was unearthed in 2021 as the first release in his estate's deal with Legacy. Complete unreleased albums are relatively rare among Prince's known outtakes, so the appearance of Welcome 2 America was big news. The album itself doesn't quite live up to expectations. Welcome 2 America is essentially the product of Prince giving the rhythm section of bassist Tal Wilkenfeld and drummer Chris Coleman a test run, leading the pair through chord sequences without singing scratch melodies or anything that would give them an idea of a finished song. Prince added his vocals later, along with harmonies and keyboards from Morris Hayes, who is credited as a co-producer on the released product. The results sound every bit as complete as either 20Ten or Art Official Age or any other latter-day official Prince album. It also sounds very much of a piece with the music Prince made toward the end of his life: he moves with ease through the slipstreams separating funk, soul, and pop, using his guitar as the bonding agent between the styles. The opening triptych of "Welcome 2 America," "Running Game (Son of a Slave Master)," and "Born 2 Die" suggests Welcome 2 America may be a thematically weightier album than usual from Prince, but by the time "Hot Summer" kicks in, it's clear this is a trick of sequencing; the rest of the album is fairly standard Prince fare. The sequencing doesn't do the album a lot of favors, as it gets the proceedings off on a slow foot, but the second half has a distinct pulse surfacing on the fuzz-funk of "Check the Record," the sultry "When She Comes," and the jazzy struts "Same Page, Different Book," and "1010 (Rin Tin Tin)." Welcome 2 America is still a latter-day Prince album, so it's filled with vaguely baffling turns of phrase, slick jazz-funk, and covers of 21st century Soul Asylum songs. In other words, it's not a buried gem or a return to form but a snapshot of an excellent musician having a pretty good run in the studio. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View Welcome 2 America
  • Springtime in New York: 1980-1985

    Springtime in New York: 1980-1985

    Dylan, Bob

    If Bob Dylan's Bootleg series of archival releases -- now in its fourth decade -- has taught fans anything, it's that preconceived notions about his catalog are often proven erroneous. Entries such as Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait (1969-1971) and Vol. 13: Trouble No More 1979-1981 offered substantive counterarguments for the criticism the source albums received. Vol. 16: Springtime in New York 1980-1985 begins with the thoroughly slagged final outing in his Christian trilogy, Shot of Love (1981), and continues through the more warmly greeted albums Infidels (1983) and Empire Burlesque (1985). It reveals the many musical directions Dylan was traveling in simultaneously. Over 57 tracks and five discs, his sometimes radical experimentation with musicians (Sly & Robbie served as the rhythm section on Infidels), material, and production styles posits that he was seeking a way forward not out of restlessness but because he was lost -- he would release the execrable Knocked Out Loaded and Down in the Groove over the next few years. The songs leading to and from Shot of Love are represented on the first two discs. There's a stellar rehearsal version of "Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)," and a supercharged Bo Diddley-esque "Jesus Met the Woman at the Well." the scorching garage rocker "Borrowed Time" was created on the spot. There are many covers too. Dylan delivers the yacht rock hit "This Night Won't Last Forever" without irony, as well as Hank Williams' "Cold Cold Heart," a fine read of the Temptations' "I Wish It Would Rain," a swampy "Mystery Train," and an awful "Sweet Caroline." Discs three and four showcase material from the Infidels sessions. There's a (different) gospel-infused read of "Blind Willie McTell" and an alternate mix of "Jokerman" with a prophetic vocal that brings Mark Knopfler's and Mick Taylor's guitars way up front. After two versions of "Too Late," we get a third in the ragged blues "Foot of Pride." Outtakes of "Don't Fall Apart on Me Tonight" and "I and I" are superior to the album takes. The Empire Burlesque material offers "Enough Is Enough," penned on tour and performed only three times, and a Late Night with David Letterman performance of "License to Kill" with the Plugz. There is also a loose, soulful alternate version of "Tight Connection to My Heart." The squalling, shambolic garage rocker "Straight A's in Love" was previously unissued. One of the two versions of "When the Night Comes Falling from the Sky" contains a disco beat in a rocking context. The 12-minute "New Danville Girl" is fantastic, but eventually became the inferior "Brownsville Girl." Closer "Dark Eyes" (an alternate take) was composed because producer Arthur Baker wanted an acoustic track. Springtime in New York was curated and produced by Jeff Rosen and Steve Berkowitz. They went beyond the call of duty in sonic clarity, warmth, and selection; further, Damien Love's liner notes are detailed, authoritative, and wonderfully enthusiastic. Whether Shot of Love warrants deeper appreciation now is debatable, but this box set wonderfully showcases Dylan's lengthy, complex creative journey that only got rockier as the decade wore on. ~ Thom Jurek (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: On order

    View Springtime in New York: 1980-1985
  • I'll Be your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico

    I'll Be your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico

    When it was initially released in 1967, The Velvet Underground & Nico sounded less like an album ahead of its time than music that had appeared out of time and out of nowhere. There was some context for the sinister but dreamy pop of "Sunday Morning," the tough R&B of "There She Goes Again," and the Teutonic girl group accents of "Femme Fatale," but the dark themes, ferocious attack, and moral ambiguities of numbers like "I'm Waiting for the Man," "Venus in Furs," and "Heroin" were strong meat and without precedent in rock & roll. Brian Eno's famous quote about the album has become one of rock writing's greatest cliches -- "The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band" -- but it does speak to the fact that the few who embraced the album did so deeply and passionately. If time and changing tastes have allowed the record to evolve from a curiosity to a widely acknowledged classic, its style and personality remain unique. Producer Hal Willner, who took the tribute album to the level of an art form with projects like Amarcord Nino Rota, Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films, and Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill, had long planned to pay homage to the Velvets' debut, and it was a project he was working on at the time of his death in April 2020. I'll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico, doesn't play like a grand conceptual reimagining of the original album's themes in the manner of Willner's most ambitious releases. Instead, he allowed each artist the space to explore one of the LP's songs and find in it what they will, and the strength of I'll Be Your Mirror is how the performances often find a middle ground between the formative vision of the Velvet Underground and the viewpoint of the artist taking their turn with the music. Bobby Gillespie and Thurston Moore's cover of "Heroin" is more of an homage than a reimagining, and Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen approach "Femme Fatale" as if they think they can out-gloom Nico, but Andrew Bird and Lucius offer a remarkable take on "Venus in Furs" that strips away its noise without compromising its tension, Courtney Barnett takes the prettiness from "I'll Be Your Mirror" and makes it sound all the more organic and heartfelt, and Matt Sweeney and Iggy Pop take a deep dive into the maelstrom with "European Son" that actually outworks the original's terminal pulse. More than 50 years after its release, it seems there isn't much new to be said about The Velvet Underground & Nico, and I'll Be Your Mirror doesn't challenge that notion. But it does allow a number of worthy artists a chance to see themselves reflected in these songs, and it's a labor of love that's engaging and from the heart. ~ Mark Deming (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View I'll Be your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground & Nico
  • The Madness of Crowds

    The Madness of Crowds

    Penny, Louise

    While the residents of the Quu00e9bec village of Three Pines take advantage of the deep snow to ski and toboggan, to drink hot chocolate in the bistro and share meals together, the Chief Inspector finds his holiday with his family interrupted by a simple request. He's asked to provide security for what promises to be a non-event. A visiting Professor of Statistics will be giving a lecture at the nearby university. While he is perplexed as to why the head of homicide for the Su00fbretu00e9 du Quu00e9bec would be assigned this task, it sounds easy enough. That is until Gamache starts looking into Professor Abigail Robinson and discovers an agenda so repulsive he begs the university to cancel the lecture. They refuse, citing academic freedom, and accuse Gamache of censorship and intellectual cowardice. Before long, Professor Robinson's views start seeping into conversations. Spreading and infecting. So that truth and fact, reality and delusion are so confused it's near impossible to tell them apart. Discussions become debates, debates become arguments, which turn into fights. As sides are declared, a madness takes hold. Abigail Robinson promises that, if they follow her, u00e7a va bien aller. All will be well. But not, Gamache and his team know, for everyone. When a murder is committed it falls to Armand Gamache, his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir, and their team to investigate the crime as well as this extraordinary popular delusion. (10/15/2021 4:43:27 PM)

    Format: Audiobook CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View The Madness of Crowds