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  It wasn’t so long ago that Charles Bradley was a struggling James Brown impersonator, but after Daptone Records—Brooklyn’s answer to Motown—discovered him, the 64-year-old soul singer’s career finally achieved liftoff. On Victim of Love, the follow-up to his dazzling 2011 debut No Time for Dreaming, the R&B crooner sounds undeniably confident, trading his heartache for love and channeling Al Green more than the Godfather of ... Read More
  Lisa Germano’s albums always remind me of a car accident—her lyrical stories contain elements that both attract and repel, like she can’t stop picking at certain wounds, even if it hurts a little. Her newest album No Elephants is rife with similar dualities. Germano’s breathless voice is simultaneously ecstatic and on the verge of a meltdown, especially when she sings lyrics like, “All is not well outside.” A ... Read More
   Since its beginnings in 2002, Los Angeles band the Bronx has incorporated a sunny element within its version of hardcore. Maybe it’s a California thing, but it’s hard to describe their explosive, melodic, pump-your-fist music, other than to call it pizza-party punk. Their latest effort The Bronx (IV) is lacking any form of anger, which feels weird for a band of their ilk. Still, songs like “Along for the Ride” and “Ribcage” are loud, ... Read More
Wanda Jackson may be approaching her 75th birthday, but the Queen of Rockabilly shows no signs of slowing down. On her 31st album, Jackson goes back to her roots with the signature mix of rockabilly and country that made her famous in the late 1950s. Unfinished Business features five new tracks and five covers of tracks by artists from Etta James to Woody Guthrie to the Rolling Stones. Produced by established folk musician Justin Townes Earle (son of Steve Earle), ... Read More
 Known for its robotic vocals (courtesy of a vocoder), Black Moth Super Rainbow has always been difficult to understand, both literally and figuratively—see also the masks the band members wear onstage and their aversion to press. For their fifth album, though, they’ve learned to use their words, discussing the many facets of love on tracks like “Hairspray Heart” and “Like a Sundae.” Kickstarter donations from fans funded ... Read More
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