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James Hunter


  • Hendra

    When Everything But the Girl ended, Ben Watt turned DJ and opened a label. But the songwriter and singer's first solo album since 1983 doesn't parade beats: It unleashes Southern California, London and Nashville sounds played by a rotating studio band, with softly killer guitars by Bernard Butler and David Gilmour. The songs occupy their […]

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  • Rebel Soul

    Rebel Soul

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  • La Futura

    In the 1970s, ZZ Top broke through with a regional sound – simmering Texas blues – and then, in the next decade, reimagined their sound as global beer-joint pop. On their first album in nine years, the trio (along with producer Rick Rubin) place their bets on a sort of masterly skronk: sharp tunes ("Chartreuse," […]

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  • North

    Torn hearts, funk-fed beats and eloquent balladry – the first Matchbox Twenty album in more than a decade is a plush showcase for Rob Thomas' smooth-as-ever singing. On "She's So Mean," a droll look at addiction and a master class in snappiness, he gets sucked in by a Bacardi-guzzling, record-scratching, crazy-making girl; on "The Way," […]

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  • Driving Towards the Daylight

    Blues rock is no Twitter-style genre – decades after U.K. guitarists reimagined American plaints as expansive showpieces, it's still best when practitioners stretch out. A couple of tracks on Bonamassa's 13th LP nod to Howlin' Wolf and Robert Johnson. But he excels on longer pieces like the title song, where his exacting singing blends with […]

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  • AM/FM

    Sensuous U.S. radio hits from the Sixties and Seventies have a surprisingly able proponent in Rita Wilson, the L.A.-born actress and producer who debuts as a singer with this collection. Helped by Sheryl Crow ("Angel of the Morning," "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"), Chris Cornell ("All I Have to Do Is Dream"), Faith Hill ("Love […]

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  • Forever More: The Complete Motown Albums, Volume 2

    Classic Motown's glamorous chart punches aren't the whole story with the Marvelettes. After early-Sixties wonders like "Beechwood 4-5789," the girl group, fronted by Gladys Horton and later Wanda Rogers, released songs more often smart, frank and out-there than hit-bound. This 109-track comp peaks with "The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game," a 1966 smash where […]

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  • Flowers and Sea Creatures

    For Graham Baxter and Kosta Megalos, an Irishman and a Greek who work reclusively in Montreal, disco propulsion and rock melancholy ignite. On their debut – collaborating with producers Ewan Pearson, Fred Everything, and The Revenge – Baxter sings in a grand although occasionally snaky tenor, Megalos programs intricate moods and emotions, and both interject […]

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  • The Best of N.E.R.D

    In Neptunes productions, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo juice pop and hip-hop with nickel-plated hooks, but with N.E.R.D, the Virginia Beach natives go further, adding drummer Shae Haley and his often martial funk. Drawing mostly from their two Virgin albums, this set compiles hits, B sides and remixes for a demonstration of genre shakes, sonic […]

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  • Just Across the River

    Few singers blend grit and grandeur like Jimmy Webb. On this collection, Webb reinterprets his classics with help from friends like Billy Joel ("Wichita Lineman") and Lucinda Williams, who brings a mournful edge to "Galveston." Webb sings two tracks — "It Won't Bring Her Back" and "Do What You Gotta Do," a calm take on […]

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