Editors' Choice

Selections for

May 2017

Shake the Shudder
!!!
Warp
AllMusic
Avg User
The band's seventh album was tough to make, with a few stops and starts, but surprisingly easy to listen to.
- Tim Sendra
Rocket
Domino
AllMusic
Avg User
After a Billboard debut and guesting on Frank Ocean albums, Alex Giannascoli sticks to the distinctive, home-recorded sound that made his reputation.
- Marcy Donelson
Tigran Mansurian: Requiem
ECM / ECM New Series
AllMusic
Avg User
This performance of Mansurian's Requiem makes a fine place to start with ECM's series of the composer's music.
- James Manheim
World Spirituality Classics 1: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda
Jowcol Music / Luaka Bop
AllMusic
Avg User
Luaka Bop delivers a treasure trove of rare recordings from the artist's non-jazz period and sheds new light on the importance of her contributions.
- Thom Jurek
Cross My Palm With Silver
ECM
AllMusic
Avg User
The Israeli-born trumpeter's second ECM album of atmospheric, classically influenced jazz.
- Matt Collar
Hello, Dolly! [2017 Broadway Cast Recording]
Masterworks / Masterworks Broadway
AllMusic
Avg User
In a role she was born to play, Bette Midler stars as matchmaker Dolly Levi in this 2017 Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly!
- Blair Sanderson
BMX Bandits Forever
Elefant
AllMusic
Avg User
The long-running indie pop band's tenth album is a meditation on love lost and found, delivered in sweetly honest and true fashion as usual.
- Tim Sendra
Best Troubador
Drag City
AllMusic
Avg User
Will Oldham delivers a casual but committed and deeply moving tribute to one of his heroes, Merle Haggard.
- Mark Deming
All the Beauty in This Whole Life
Rhymesayers Entertainment
AllMusic
Avg User
After a five-year break, the prophetic, socially conscious rapper returns with a message that hits with the hammer of compassion.
- Thom Jurek
Battlefields
Solina
AllMusic
Avg User
The Finnish duo's third album is a(nother) perfect blend of warm indie pop and icy synth pop that's quietly melodic and completely moving.
- Tim Sendra
Jei Beibi
Café Tacuba / Café Tacvba
AllMusic
Avg User
After a five-year wait, one of the best bands on the planet delivers a woozy, dizzying exercise in 21st century pop.
- Thom Jurek
Claudio Monteverdi: Vespro della Beata Vergine
Glossa
AllMusic
Avg User
Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine receives an ecstatic performance from Giuseppe Maletto and three early music ensembles.
- Blair Sanderson
Versus
Infine
AllMusic
Avg User
Stemming from a 2008 live performance, Carl Craig reworks selections from his catalog along with pianist Francesco Tristano and orchestra Les Siècles.
- Paul Simpson
#1 Hit Single
Double Double Whammy
AllMusic
Avg User
Invigorating power pop with heart from a debut by members of LVL UP, Porches, and Normal Person.
- Marcy Donelson
Silhouette of Sirens
Red House
AllMusic
Avg User
The Minneapolis roots-pop artist delivers her most fully realized work to date.
- Timothy Monger
From a Room, Vol. 1
Mercury / Now!
AllMusic
Avg User
Chris Stapleton keeps things modest and soulful on the sequel to his unexpected smash Traveller.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Kate Whitley: I Am I Say
NMC
AllMusic
Avg User
Whitley's music is both accessible and rigorous; a promising new voice on the British scene.
- James Manheim
Konzerte 1972/1977
Bureau B
AllMusic
Avg User
Two 20-minute excerpts of fearless space explorations recorded during the '70s by Dieter Moebius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius.
- Paul Simpson
Monteverdi: Night. Stories of Lovers and Warriors
Naïve
AllMusic
Avg User
This album by Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano demonstrates the expressive power and theatricality of Monteverdi's madrigals.
- Blair Sanderson
Beethoven: Missa Solemnis
Glossa
AllMusic
Avg User
Beethoven's Missa Solemnis receives a period interpretation by Daniel Reuss and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century.
- Blair Sanderson
Thankful Villages, Vol. 2
Rivertones
AllMusic
Avg User
The singer/songwriter's second volume chronicling rural U.K. villages is a warmly captured and richly envisioned endeavor.
- Timothy Monger
Horse Follows Darkness
DFA
AllMusic
Avg User
Blending minimalism with cosmic disco, Delia Gonzalez's second solo album was inspired by Western films and her return to America after a stint in Berlin.
- Paul Simpson
Kickin Child: Lost Columbia Album 1965
Norton
AllMusic
Avg User
Complete with proper sequencing and remastered sound, this Tom Wilson-produced album is among the greatest folk-rock albums of the 1960s.
- Thom Jurek
Reaching Into Infinity
Metal Blade
AllMusic
Avg User
These British power metallers push their music out in all directions and make the argument that they should be one of the world's biggest bands.
- Thom Jurek
DREAMCAR
Columbia / Sony Music
AllMusic
Avg User
AFI-singer Davey Havok and No Doubt's Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont, and Adrian Young collaborated on this hooky, '80s new wave-tinged debut.
- Matt Collar
Elgar: Symphony No. 1; Introduction and Allegro
Chandos
AllMusic
Avg User
Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony present two Elgar classics, the Introduction and Allegro for strings and the Symphony No. 1.
- Blair Sanderson
Twitching in Time
Orange Twin
AllMusic
Avg User
A dozen albums into their career, the Athens, Georgia lo-fi mavens deliver a satisfying set of catchy but anxious psych-pop.
- Marcy Donelson
Fresh Air
Bureau B
AllMusic
Avg User
Krautrock legends faUSt document their 2016 American tour with a collaboration-heavy yet focused full-length.
- Paul Simpson
Compassion
Ninja Tune
AllMusic
Avg User
The producer returns from several years of scoring projects with some of his boldest music.
- Heather Phares
Cornell 5/8/77
Grateful Dead / Rhino
AllMusic
Avg User
One of the legendary Grateful Dead shows, which was inducted into the National Recording Registry in 2012, gets an official release.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Long Strange Trip: The Untold Story of the Grateful Dead [Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Rhino
AllMusic
Avg User
The soundtrack to the four-hour documentary provides a good introduction to the Grateful Dead.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Routines
Fat Possum
AllMusic
Avg User
The dreamy lo-fi outfit lock into a consistent, distinctive, and alluring sound for their full-length debut.
- Marcy Donelson
Truth, Liberty & Soul: Live in NYC: The Complete 1982 NPR Jazz Alive! Recording
Resonance
AllMusic
Avg User
Originally excerpted for an NPR broadcast, this concert by the legendary jazz bassist's big band appears complete with 40 additional minutes of music.
- Thom Jurek
Modern Kosmology
Fire Records
AllMusic
Avg User
After embracing synths on her 2014 album, The Silver Globe, Weaver delivers a psychedelic gem coated in vintage keys, jangling guitars, and sonic exploration.
- Tim Sendra
Social Call
Fantasy / Prestige
AllMusic
Avg User
A virtuoso debut from the 2015 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Jazz Competition winner.
- Matt Collar
Black Origami [LP]
Planet Mu
AllMusic
Avg User
Gary, Indiana-based producer Jlin expands beyond the footwork genre on her highly anticipated second full-length.
- Paul Simpson
Joan Shelley
No Quarter
AllMusic
Avg User
A warm breeze of a record that unfolds like a curl of smoke from a damp bonfire.
- James Christopher Monger
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde
Sony Classical
AllMusic
Avg User
Employing his wide vocal range, Jonas Kaufmann sings the tenor and baritone songs in Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde.
- Blair Sanderson
Halo
Crammed Discs
AllMusic
Avg User
Another enchanting and pleasantly disorienting release from Argentina's inventive pop auteur.
- Timothy Monger
Mis Planes Son Amarte
Universal
AllMusic
Avg User
The Colombian rock star delivers what may be his finest moment: A sense-altering audio-visual album about the nature and necessity of love.
- Thom Jurek
Kids in the Street
New West
AllMusic
Avg User
The singer and songwriter rocks a bit more this time out, while showing how much he's grown as a tunesmith and vocalist.
- Mark Deming
Watch Our Planet Circle
One Little Indian
AllMusic
Avg User
Lavishly packaged six-disc compilation of the poetic dream pop band's 1988-1994 studio recordings and BBC sessions.
- Andy Kellman
Amar y Vivir
Rebelon Entertainment / Universal
AllMusic
Avg User
The Los Angeles band creates a stunning live-to-tape audio-visual album playing classic boleros, rancheras, and more in the plazas, bars, and theaters of Mexico City.
- Thom Jurek
The Italian Job
Avie
AllMusic
Avg User
Each work -- from cities that became cultural centers as they declined in political power -- has something to recommend it.
- James Manheim
Lab Coast
Faux Discx
AllMusic
Avg User
Faux Discx presents a self-titled compilation by Lab Coast, summing up the Canadian lo-fi indie pop group's output to date.
- Paul Simpson
Salon, Lagrimas y Deseo
Sony Music
AllMusic
Avg User
From mariachi to danzon, cumbia to ranchera, son to blues and rock, and covers to originals, the artist delivers a new kind of feminist manifesto.
- Thom Jurek
What's So Funny About Peace Love and Los Straitjackets
Yep Roc
AllMusic
Avg User
The masked instrumental combo pays cool and convincing tribute to occasional collaborator Nick Lowe.
- Mark Deming
Dirty Pictures, Pt. 1
Contender / Contender Records
AllMusic
Avg User
Low Cut Connie explore their dark side while still rocking up a storm.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Lost on You [U.K. Bonus Tracks]
LP
Vagrant
AllMusic
Avg User
The much anticipated fourth studio long-player from the L.A.-based singer/songwriter delivers a lethal blend of vulnerability, swagger, and hooks.
- James Christopher Monger
This Old Dog
Captured Tracks
AllMusic
Avg User
An emphasis on self-reflection signifies a tonal shift on the singer/songwriter's third strong full-length.
- Timothy Monger
Play What They Want
Thrill Jockey
AllMusic
Avg User
Kid Millions' drum-heavy Man Forever expand their vision, creating an avant pop album featuring guests Laurie Anderson and Yo La Tengo.
- Paul Simpson
Lovely Creatures: The Best of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, 1984-2014 [Limited Edition Super Deluxe] [w/Book]
Mute
AllMusic
Avg User
A splendid box set -- three CDs, one DVD -- that sums up the first 30 years of Cave's music with his singular backing band.
- Mark Deming
Green Twins
ATO
AllMusic
Avg User
Spaced-out sonics and soul-searching lyrics from a genre-blurring singer/songwriter who has opened for Maxwell and King.
- Andy Kellman
Stravinsky: The Soldier's Tale
Linn Records
AllMusic
Avg User
This performance of Stravinsky's L'Histoire du soldat features Sir Harrison Birtwistle and George Benjamin with Downton Abbey's Dame Harriet Walter.
- Blair Sanderson
Fall
Bar / Bar/None Records / None
AllMusic
Avg User
Shoegaze revivalists from Jersey City construct towers of massive, thoughtful guitar on their second album.
- Mark Deming
Non-Stop: Mexico to Jamaica
Cleopatra
AllMusic
Avg User
This L.A. sextet explores the inseparable connection of Mexican music with Caribbean sounds with help from producers Sly & Robbie and many guests.
- Thom Jurek
Monteverdi: Madrigali, Vol. 3 - Venezia
Harmonia Mundi
AllMusic
Avg User
Paul Agnew and Les Arts Florissants conclude their cycle of Monteverdi's madrigals with this third volume, devoted to books seven and eight.
- Blair Sanderson
David Hackbridge Johnson: Orchestral Music, Vol. 1
Toccata Classics
AllMusic
Avg User
David Hackbridge Johnson's debut recording on Toccata Classics presents his extraordinary Symphony No. 9 and two shorter orchestral works.
- Blair Sanderson
Haydn: The Seasons, 1801
NFM / Signum UK
AllMusic
Avg User
Revelatory Haydn in the way the historical instruments combine with the large forces to produce a truly mighty sound.
- James Manheim
The Imperfect Sea
Erased Tapes Records
AllMusic
Avg User
Penguin Cafe return with their most fully realized and captivating collection yet.
- Bekki Bemrose
No Shape
Matador
AllMusic
Avg User
Mike Hadreas' fourth album moves past pain and toward acceptance, allowing his music to bloom in compulsively listenable ways.
- Heather Phares
Vision
Polyvinyl
AllMusic
Avg User
The Chicago power pop-punk trio deliver a robust sophomore set with quality songwriting and a satisfying heft.
- Timothy Monger
Manic Revelations
Rounder
AllMusic
Avg User
The old-timey Americana artist makes a bold venture into retro-soul.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Nightfall
ECM
AllMusic
Avg User
This folk-jazz trio delivers its sophomore recording from a studio, reinventing folk, pop, and jazz standards with depth and elegance.
- Thom Jurek
J.S. Bach: The Partitas
Harmonia Mundi
AllMusic
Avg User
Balancing lively dance rhythms with profound expressions, Richard Egarr explores the many layers of Bach's Partitas.
- Blair Sanderson
Cover Stories: Brandi Carlile Celebrates 10 Years of the Story (An Album to Benefit War Child)
Columbia / Constellation / Legacy / Sony Music
AllMusic
Avg User
A tribute album that doubles as a charity album for War Child, this reveals the depth and variety of Brandi Carlile's The Story.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Surreal Number
Sofa Burn Records
AllMusic
Avg User
The Ohio-based group's third album is oddball indie pop with glam rock and Joe Meek influences.
- Tim Sendra
Endless Summer
M.M. / Morr Music
AllMusic
Avg User
The Icelander's more whimsical, piano-centric third LP seems to embrace a palette of pastels instead of blues and silvers.
- Marcy Donelson
Heimat
Kompakt
AllMusic
Avg User
German abstract techno producer T.Raumschmiere (Marco Haas) unexpectedly returns to early home Kompakt with the lush, gorgeous Heimat.
- Paul Simpson
Move Upstairs
Daptone
AllMusic
Avg User
On their electrifying sophomore outing, the Panola County, Mississippi trio records at Daptone in Brooklyn backed by a bevy of label sidemen.
- Thom Jurek
A World of Masks [LP]
Soundway
AllMusic
Avg User
On its fourth full-length, the Malcolm Catto-led collective adds a vocalist and travels the space ways through psychedelic jazz and tripped-out spiritual funk.
- Thom Jurek
Goths
Merge
AllMusic
Avg User
John Darnielle and company share 12 stories about goths; witty, compassionate, literate, and musically inventive.
- Mark Deming
The Counterweight
Cooking Vinyl
AllMusic
Avg User
The English singer's 16th studio album is a compelling set inspired partly by the politics and violence of 2016.
- Marcy Donelson
Singles [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] [Bonus Tracks]
Various Artists
Epic / Epic Soundtrax / Legacy / Sony Music / Vinyl Films
AllMusic
Avg User
The soundtrack to Cameron Crowe's Seattle-set romantic comedy defined the grunge era.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 "Eroica"; Overture, Fidelio
LPO
AllMusic
Avg User
Beethoven's Eroica receives a brisk and energetic live performance from Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Blair Sanderson
You're Welcome
Ghost Ramp
AllMusic
Avg User
Using samples and production tricks, Nathan Williams has crafted a poppy alternative universe version of the usual Wavves sound.
- Tim Sendra
Rosewood Almanac
Bella Union
AllMusic
Avg User
Named in tribute to his acoustic guitar, the singer/songwriter masters elegance and authenticity on his sixth album.
- Marcy Donelson
Scott Joplin:The Complete Rags, Waltzes & Marches
William Appling Singers & Orchestra
AllMusic
Avg User
For this set of the complete rags, waltzes, and marches, William Appling observes the moderate tempos Scott Joplin required.
- Blair Sanderson
Bach Reimagines Bach
Linn Records
AllMusic
Avg User
For this 2017 Linn release, William Carter performs Bach's lute transcriptions as discrete "reimaginings" for the instrument.
- Blair Sanderson
Clipper Ship
Three Lobed
AllMusic
Avg User
After a wildly prolific phase of this ever-morphing project, James Toth returns with a beautifully restrained chapter of the Wooden Wand story.
- Fred Thomas