Features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format (compatible with standard CD player) and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. An excellent album by this lusty tenor player – and one of the rarest Blue Notes ever! Brother Don plays lean and mean, in a nice tight group that features Grant Green on guitar, Sonny Clark on piano, and Billy Higgins on drums – all of whom give Wilkerson a freer setting than he ever got working with his more famous bandleader, Ray Charles! The groove has a freer edge than on some of Wilkerson's other albums, with touches that almost reach a Latin sound at times – an influence most likely from Green's exotic work on guitar, and Higgins' wonderfully free rhythms. Titles include "Pigeon Peas", "Camp Meetin", "Jeanie Weanie", and "Dem Tamborines".
Returning to solo status after the 2012 Matchbox 20 reunion – this time, the group didn't go on hiatus; they merely took a break while their singer pursued other projects – Rob Thomas decided to broaden his horizons on 2015's The Great Unknown by working with a variety of different producers and collaborators this time around. Still on board in an executive producer role is Matt Serletic (the producer who's worked with Thomas for nearly 20 years), and the singer/songwriter also enlists OneRepublic mastermind Ryan Tedder and Jason Derulo/Jessie J producer Ricky Reed to give him a modern pop life. This new blood is notable on The Great Unknown, which is considerably livelier than 2009's contemplative Cradlesong. He hasn't entirely abandoned power ballads – it's in his blood and it's something he does well, as evidenced by "Paper Dolls" and the spare, piano-anchored closer "Pieces" – and he retains a fondness for surging, insistent anthems, the kind that fill arenas and airwaves with equal ease.
From the fanfare of the opening crawl to the abrupt cutaway zing of the closing credits, John Williams' soundtrack to The Force Awakens does not disappoint. Williams has always been an integral part of the Star Wars experience, as familiar as the movies themselves, comforting and nostalgic. The fan anticipation and legacy baggage that came with the seventh film in this iconic series was overwhelming, being the first new film since 2005's Revenge of the Sith and the direct sequel to 1983's Return of the Jedi, yet the results are not crushed by outlandish pressure. For The Force Awakens, Williams began work in late 2014, before recording began in Los Angeles in June 2015 (the first time a Star Wars film score was not recorded at Abbey Road). He enlisted a freelance orchestra and, with the help of William Ross and Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel, produced a 23-song journey connecting the past and the future of the Star Wars universe. Here, Williams combines the old and the new with expert subtlety, creating a lush experience that rewards repeat listens. Those familiar with his work on other big-budget sagas (Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones) will instantly recognize the blaring horns that propel the action, the stirring strings that intensify the tension, and the bombast that contribute to the excitement as much as the scenes portrayed on the screen.
Released just a year after East India Youth's distinctive indie electronic debut, the Mercury Prize-nominated Total Strife Forever, Culture of Volume presents another blend of Eno-inspired synth compositions and thoughtful electropop songs. However, where the former was mostly instrumentals with a few songs, Culture of Volume offers the reverse for a poppier and more melodic, but equally hypnotic and well-crafted sophomore LP. While East India Youth had been essentially a solitary project for multi-instrumentalist William Doyle, he brought in Graham Sutton to mix this time, George Hider recorded Doyle's vocals, and Hannah Peel provided acoustic strings. Their work polishes an adventurous landscape where, without changing the record's pensive tone, tempos, complexity, and pitch range shift regularly. This variability begins right from the contrasting opening two tracks. "The Juddering" serves as an instrumental takeoff, both as the album's opener and in the sense of sound; its slow-building, mechanical, turbine effect mingles pitches and noise until a simple melody coalesces. It's followed by the sparse song "End Result" ("The end result is not what was in mind"), melodic and vocal-led with welcoming, blunt bell tones. The record never settles into a full-on catchy, Pet Shop Boys-type affair, or settles in at all, though moments are remindful of '80s British dance-pop, such as the trance-infused "Beaming White" with a far-reaching, Erasure-like melody.