• For Free

    For Free

    Crosby, David

    In some ways, For Free plays like the culmination of David Crosby's late career purple patch. Working once again with James Raymond -- his son who has turned out to be an unusually empathetic and intuitive producer -- Crosby mines similar territory as he has on the records he's released since 2014's Croz, yet For Free contains its own distinctive vibe. It's smoother, for one, lacking the twilight haze of Lighthouse as well as the loose-limbed adventure of Here If You Listen, the 2018 record he made in concert with Snarky Puppy's Michael League, Becca Stevens, and Michelle Willis. The slickness is reminiscent of the glory days of pre-MTV soft rock, a connection underscored by two key guests: Michael McDonald and Donald Fagen, who both contribute songs redolent of their signature styles. McDonald lends his signature harmonies to "River Rise" while Fagen offers "Rodriguez for a Night," a song that sounds as if it could've been excavated from the Gaucho sessions. These, along with the Joni Mitchell cover that lends the album its title, anchor For Free, allowing Crosby to ease into reflective jazz-funk grooves that give him plenty of space to harmonize and reflect. The nimble beats and warm surfaces give For Free an appealing buoyancy while also putting the quiet coda of "Shot at Me" and "I Won't Stay for Long" in sharp relief. Here, Crosby hints at his folkier origins without dispensing with the musical elasticity that characterized the rest of For Free, an expansion that serves as a gentle reminder that Crosby is in the midst of the longest sustained burst of creativity in his entire career. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View For Free
  • Greatest Hits 1970-2002

    Greatest Hits 1970-2002

    John, Elton

    Greatest Hits 1970-2002 is a nearly flawless double-disc set commemorating Elton John's three-decade career. Disc one features what may arguably be John's most essential work: Seeing songs such as "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Candle in the Wind," and "Bennie and the Jets" -- not to mention "Your Song," "Rocket Man," and "Tiny Dancer" -- lined up back to back reaffirms just how diverse, and yet universal, his songwriting talent is. Disc two finds this talent maturing gracefully into the '80s, '90s, and beyond, touching on pop gems like "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," "I'm Still Standing," and "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" as well as his Lion King classic "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" and the Aida duet "Written in the Stars" with LeAnn Rimes. The collection also finds room for the highlights of his most recent albums, including Made in England's "Believe" and "Blessed," The Big Picture's "Something About the Way You Look Tonight," and Songs from the West Coast's "This Train Don't Stop Here Anymore." For most casual fans, Greatest Hits 1970-2002 will replace the need for collections such as Greatest Hits, Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, and Greatest Hits, Vol. 3, although these collections are still worthwhile as of-their-time retrospectives of John's work. ~ Heather Phares (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View Greatest Hits 1970-2002
  • Sob Rock

    Sob Rock

    Mayer, John

    John Mayer evokes the hushed professionalism of '80s adult contemporary rock on his eighth studio album, 2021's Sob Rock. Mayer has always worn his influences on his sleeve, often bringing together the bluesy fretwork of Eric Clapton with the yearning singer/songwriter sincerity of James Taylor. He's also made no secret of how much the sound of mid- and late-'80s pop/rock has informed his own work, and albums like 2006's Grammy-winning Continuum and 2012's Born and Raised have found him drawing upon the work of icons like Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Neil Young. Once again working with legendary producer Don Was (who helmed Born and Raised), Mayer has crafted an album that purposefully sounds like it could have been released anytime between 1985 and 1990. It's a gauzy, teal-toned throwback aesthetic that Mayer extends to the album's visuals, including a dusky blue LP cover photo (some released replete with vintage-appropriate "The Nice Price" sticker in bubbly Cooper font). Given the warm, analog-sounding synths of "The Last Train Home" and the Fleetwood Mac-isms of "New Light," one could easily listen to Sob Rock and imagine Mayer fitting into a group like the Traveling Wilburys or showing up at Live Aid 1985 to sit in with Dire Straits. There are several stand-out tracks here, including the aforementioned "The Last Train Home" and the Bruce Hornsby-esque "Shot in the Dark" that stick in your head in the way the best of Mayer's work often does. ~ Matt Collar (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View Sob Rock
  • Now That's What I Call A Decade: 1980s

    Now That's What I Call A Decade: 1980s

    An iconic 18-track lineup of memorable eighties hits, including Rick Springfield's Jessie's Girl; A-Ha's Take on Me; Journey's Separate Ways; Duran Duran's Rio; and many more! (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View Now That's What I Call A Decade: 1980s
  • Mettal/jazz EP

    Mettal/jazz EP

    Rodrigo y Gabriela

    Two Rodrigo y Gabriela EPs collected in one place. Previously available only on limited edition vinyl, it features covers of Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Kamasi Washington, Snarky Puppy, and Astor Piazzola. (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View Mettal/jazz EP
  • Mr. Luck: A Tribute to Jimmy Reed : Live at the Royal Albert Hall

    Mr. Luck: A Tribute to Jimmy Reed : Live at the Royal Albert Hall

    Ronnie Wood Band

    The second part of a trilogy of live albums paying tribute to Ronnie Wood's early musical inspirations, Mr. Luck: A Tribute to Jimmy Reed -- Live at Royal Albert Hall captures a November 1, 2013 concert at Royal Albert Hall. Mick Taylor sits in with the Ronnie Wood Band, while Bobby Womack, Paul Weller, and Mick Hucknall all take a turn in the spotlight -- enough guests to grab the attention of the curious but not enough to overwhelm the proceedings. What happened on the stage was a spirited, loving tribute to the great bluesman Jimmy Reed, whose boogies and shuffles are easy to play and tricky to master. Wood and Taylor have long since absorbed the intricacies of the interplay of Reed and Eddie Taylor, staying faithful to the spirit and opening up the blues to a wealth of solos, including some appropriately greasy harp. There are no reinventions here, but there didn't need to be: saluting Jimmy Reed with just the right amount of heart and humor makes Mr. Luck a rocking good time. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View Mr. Luck: A Tribute to Jimmy Reed : Live at the Royal Albert Hall
  • Dark in Here

    Dark in Here

    Mountain Goats (Musical group)

    Quieter, smokier, but more deeply textured and intense. (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View Dark in Here
  • Long Lost

    Long Lost

    Lord Huron (Musical group)

    In answer to the shutdowns during the pandemic, Lord Huron created a four-part streaming show called Alive from Whispering Pines that included live virtual performances and introduced a fictitious multiverse which is referenced in the new tracks of their fourth studio album. Featured tracks include Not Dead Yet; Mine Forever; and Love Me Like You Used To. (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View Long Lost
  • In the Heights: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

    In the Heights: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

    Miranda, Lin-Manuel

    Before Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda made his mark on Broadway with In the Heights, which is coming to the big screen. The film's soundtrack includes performances from Miranda as well as cast members Leslie Grace, Anthony Ramos, and more. (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View In the Heights: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  • Soberish

    Soberish

    Phair, Liz

    Soberish is a suitable title for an album that hangs suspended between a variety of states of mind. It's not just the netherworld of navigating sobriety with a slight buzz: Soberish exists in a space between the mainstream and the fringe, a place where the boundaries separating the past and present blur. Fittingly, it's a homecoming of sorts for Liz Phair, marking a reunion with Brad Wood, the collaborator who co-produced her early indie albums. Anybody expecting Soberish to be a return to Phair's nervy, lo-fi '90s will be sorely disappointed by its subdued vibe or how the album often flirts with the mellow melodicism of Somebody's Miracle, the album that closed out her run at the AAA charts back in 2005. This soft hangover is surprising yet logical. Phair only released one album, the deliberately off-the-cuff 2010 LP Funstyle, between Somebody's Miracle and 2021's Soberish, an extended period of quiet that encompassed a project designed as an answer to the Beatles' White Album that was abandoned due to a falling out with producer Ryan Adams. This makes Soberish her first full album in 16 years, yet the striking thing about the record is that it doesn't feel high-stakes. Songs fade in and drift off, melodies come into focus then float away, there isn't a sense of urgency even to the rockers, of which there are a handful. This aesthetic isn't far removed from the magpie collage of Exile in Guyville or Whip-Smart, but Phair isn't attempting to re-create the spare, evocative guitar-rock of those indie records. The mixes are soft and lush, with vocal harmonies, keyboards, and effects plastered over the submerged guitars, a sound that's painterly yet pop. It suits Phair's songs, which are pointed and poignant, alternating sketches with stories. She finds time to slip in a bawdy joke -- "Bad Kitty," which smashes the nail upon the head -- that may be broader than the rest of the album, yet it fits Soberish, as it rhymes with the erotically charged "Ba Ba Ba" and the knowing wit of "Dosage." "Bad Kitty" is followed by the soundscape coda "Rain Scene," a sequence that emphasizes how Soberish isn't exactly tidy. The appealing thing about Soberish is how it holds two thoughts (and sounds) simultaneously, a record that revives the spirit of Phair's earliest albums while casually leaning into her middle age. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD

    Availability: All copies in use

    View Soberish