• Sanctuary Road

    Sanctuary Road

    Moravec, Paul

    After the success of his opera The Shining, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec has once again collaborated with librettist Mark Campbell to create the second of his 'American historical oratorios.' This piece draws on the astonishing stories to be found in William Still's book The Underground Railroad, which documents the network of secret routes and safe houses used by African American slaves to escape into free states and Canada during the early to mid-1800s. (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2020

    Holds: 0 on 3 copies

    View this item
  • Heavy Rain

    Heavy Rain

    Perry, Lee

    Rainford, Lee "Scratch" Perry's 2019 full-length co-produced by Adrian Sherwood, found the Jamaican legend as playful and mystical as ever, and was easily one of his most well-received 21st century releases. Heavy Rain is the album's dub companion, and it pushes the original's sound to the furthest limits while maintaining its character and enlightening spirit. Here, more of a spotlight is shone on the backing players and guest musicians, including the woozy horns of Dave Fulwood, Richard Doswell, Chris Petter, and guest trombonist Vin Gordon, as well as Gaudi's keyboards and melodica. Rainford highlight "Makumba Rock" is further warped by Brian Eno (in the right channel) and transformed into, what else, "Here Come the Warm Dreads." Gaudi's stylophone and whooshing, bubbling keyboards transport "Mind Worker" into deep space, as Perry rises out of the ether as a spiritual guide, declaring himself a soldier and a soul collector. "Crickets in Moonlight" and "Space Craft" take two of Rainford's sludgiest, trippiest cuts and mutate them further, with all the dub trickery helping to elevate the feel-good vibes. Two songs are entirely new compositions rather than versions of Rainford tracks. "Dreams Come True" is sweet and mellow, with encouraging lyrics as well as a lighthearted non sequitur about Mick Jagger, while "Above and Beyond" is a stirring duet between Samy Bishai's cascading violin and Paul Booth's harmonious saxophone. More than just a remix album, Heavy Rain stands out on its own merit, demonstrating that Perry's inspiration and creative drive haven't dulled in his advanced age. ~ Paul Simpson (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2019

    Holds: 19 on 4 copies

    View this item
  • Portrait

    Portrait

    Tiersen, Yann

    On Portrait, Yann Tiersen celebrates his multi-decade, multi-genre career by bringing it full circle. Instead of just gathering the best-known songs from his discography, he emphasizes the classical training that he rebelled against as a youth and the French folk and chanson roots of his music by reinterpreting pieces from albums spanning 1995's Valse des Monstres to 2019's ALL. If Portrait's somber mood, grand scope, and numerous collaborations bear a close resemblance to the latter album, there's a good reason: Tiersen came up with the idea to reimagine his entire body of work with this collection during the rehearsals for the ALL tour. The hushed but majestic atmosphere of that album is especially prominent on "Grønjørd," originally from 2014's ∞ (Infinity), a major influence on his subsequent work. The delicately urgent, piano-based instrumentals of 2016's Eusa also cast a long shadow over Portrait, and "Porz Goret"'s darkly winding melody is just as lovely here as it was before. The way Tiersen strips away the whimsical touches of his early albums might be jarring to fans who fell in love with his sound via the Amélie soundtrack, but it helps unify his music as a whole. "La Dispute," one of the songs immortalized and romanticized by the film, is reimagined as a duel/duet between accordion and piano that underscores its theme of conflict. On the other hand, Portrait's version of "Comptine d'un Autre Été (L'Après-Midi)" adds more warmth and melancholy to one of the composer's most famous melodies. Fortunately, Tiersen doesn't strip his music down too much. The musical saw on "Pell" is a ghostly acknowledgment of his love of unexpected instrumentation, while the toy piano that was a staple of his earliest work makes a charming, if slightly sinister, return on "Waltz of the Monsters" and stands in for a carillon on "Prayer No. 2." The bracing harpsichord on "The Jetty" makes it impressive and a little imposing, a feeling that's reinforced by the heavy guitar textures (courtesy of Sunn O)))'s Stephen O'Malley) on "Prad" and "Introductory Movement." Here and on the tracks with vocals, Tiersen tempers Portrait's frequently contemplative tone. Super Furry Animals' Gruff Rhys helps reinvent "Monochrome," Tiersen's first hit in his native France, by giving it a weary heft reflecting all the years since it originally appeared. Two of the retrospective's brand-new pieces are among its finest: "Closer" unites Tiersen's fluttering piano with Blonde Redhead's breathy vocals in a collaboration that balances the deeply romantic sides of both artists' work perfectly. On the striking final track, "Thinking Like a Mountain," Tiersen meditates on the natural harmony between danger and safety with the help of O'Malley, Melanie Knott, and John Grant, who recite excerpts of ecologist Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac over soaring strings and feral, panting backing vocals. It's a fitting end to Portrait, which balances the adventurous and traditional sides of Tiersen's music in a way that honors the sense of wonder and beauty in his work since the beginning. ~ Heather Phares (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2019

    Holds: 14 on 3 copies

    View this item
  • So Far

    So Far

    Ego Ella May

    Format: Music CD - 2019

    Holds: 2 on 3 copies

    View this item
  • Junior

    Junior

    Corridor (Musical Group)

    Corridor are a group from Montreal with their Sub Pop debut album. The rock'n'roll band had barely inked their record deal when they surfed into the studio, racing against time to make the most dazzling, immediate and inventive album of their young career: 39 minutes of darting and dodging guitars, spiraling vocal harmonies, and the complicated, goldenrod nostalgia of a Sunday mid-afternoon. (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2019

    Holds: 11 on 3 copies

    View this item
  • All the Hits

    All the Hits

    Dave Clark Five (Musical group)

    (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2020

    Holds: 25 on 4 copies

    View this item
  • Silver Tongue

    Silver Tongue

    Torres

    To say that Torres' Mackenzie Scott had a rough 2018 is a bit of an understatement. Six months after she released her 4AD debut, Three Futures, the label released her from her contract; despite its considerable critical acclaim, it didn't meet their commercial expectations. Coupled with the end of a relationship and a family health scare, it's no wonder that Scott contemplated giving up music entirely during this period of time. Fortunately for her and her listeners, she didn't. If Silver Tongue is anything to go by, coping with these changes and losses has opened her art and given it new purpose: As she digs into feeling knocked sideways for reasons good and bad, Scott reveals the big heart behind her music like never before. Silver Tongue is her first album for the stalwart indie label Merge, and it's also the first album she's produced completely by herself. It's no surprise, then, that its sound balances the rawness of Torres and Sprinter and the abstract atmospheres of Three Futures with a light yet confident touch. On "Last Forest," electronic textures hover and rotate like sound sculptures while charging guitars add a heroic quality, heightening the feeling that the love Torres is singing about is so rare and true that it stands the test of time -- and maybe even defies time itself. On some of Silver Tongue's most affecting moments, she embraces the cowboy romance of her Southern roots and reinvents it to reflect her truth as a lesbian. "I tend to sleep with my boots on/Should I need to gallop over dark water/To you/On short notice," Scott sings on "Dressing America," challenging her partner to be as brave as she is. On "Good Scare," she flirts with a twang: "You make me want to write the country song folks here in New York get a kick out of." She's an even sharper observer and songwriter than she was on Three Futures, whether she's addressing a rival with a compelling mix of tenderness and pain on the luminous "Two of Everything" or using the subtle shifts of meaning in a line like "I don't want you going home anymore/I want you coming home" to their fullest on the stunning "Gracious Day." Like Torres' previous album, Silver Tongue takes some time to unfold, but it's well worth it; by fluently expressing the resilience it takes to bounce back from hard times, she comes into her own. ~ Heather Phares (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2020

    Holds: 17 on 4 copies

    View this item
  • The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City

    The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City

    Beach Slang (Musical group)

    Beach Slang releases their most accomplished new album to date, featuring a very special guest, Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson. They continue to pay tribute to the past while lighting a new torch with their sound. (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2020

    Holds: 17 on 3 copies

    View this item
  • Making A New World

    Making A New World

    Field Music (Musical group)

    Set in the years following the First World War, Field Music's first concept album explores many of the consequential effects, events, and circumstances that shaped both Britain and the world at large. More a curious set of vignettes than an expansive narrative, Making a New World sees brothers David and Peter Brewis applying their dynamic art-rock to such concepts as town planning ("Best Kept Garden"), the birth of air-to-ground radio communications ("Do You Read Me?"), and the development of the modern sanitary napkin ("Only in a Man's World"). It's hardly the stuff on which rock & roll was built, but Field Music have a way of transmuting the dry and historical into surprisingly engaging pop songs full of supple musicality and a passion for the source. Growing out of a project originally commissioned by the Imperial War Museum, the band found a fertile creative muse in their research of post-war history. Notions of design, art, history, society, and technology are not necessarily new to Field Music's oeuvre, and the scholastic nature of this rather complex song cycle somehow makes sense in the Brewis Brothers' hands. Their distinctive brand of indie pop has been constantly refined over the years as they smartly thread between bits of clever guitar rock, synth pop, soul, disco, and chamber pop, this time adding in some light prog-rock sophistication and the sort of aerodynamic new wave that harkens back to Thomas Dolby's early work. Like each of their previous releases, Making a New World is an ambitious, original, and exquisitely crafted work, full of rich details and compelling songs that translate the past into modern new shapes. ~ Timothy Monger (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2020

    Holds: 14 on 3 copies

    View this item
  • High School Musical: The Musical, the Series, the Soundtrack

    High School Musical: The Musical, the Series, the Soundtrack

    The soundtrack for the first season of the Disney+ original series High School Musical: The Musical: The Series showcases all of the songs featured in the show. A highly meta, docu-style series, the show centers on a group of students at the fictional East High (where the original High School Musical movies were filmed) staging their own musical based on the original movies. Featured are reworked versions of such beloved High School Musical songs as "Start of Something New," "What I've Been Looking For," "Breaking Free," and others. Also included are new songs like "Wondering" and "I Think I Kinda, You Know," as well as instrumental and acoustic versions of various songs. ~ Matt Collar (syndetics) (2/19/2020 2:51:37 AM)

    Format: Music CD - 2020

    Holds: 6 on 6 copies

    View this item