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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

29

Posted By on Wed, Dec 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Ryan Adams’ third release of 2005 — yes, third — is stuffed with atmospheric meanderings and often minimalist tunes. Though slightly removed from his alt-country roots, 29 sometimes recalls Adams’ previous Love is Hell. The opener, “Twenty Nine,” however, is a rehashing of Grateful Dead’s “Truckin’” and is the only...

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Beautifully Insane

Posted By on Wed, Dec 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

You might recognize Beautifully Insane’s “Visine” and “Good Dreams,” as they both appeared on Words for Living, PJ Olsson’s 1999 album for Columbia. He’s on the Atlanta indie Brash now, but his approach is still the same: Layer sugary vocals over strummed acoustic guitars and a patchwork of drum programs,...

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Gilles Peterson Digs America: Brownswood U.S.A.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

A few of us have at least one DJ friend with a colossal record collection that practically defines who they are and what they do. And raiding said DJ’s record collection would be a dream come true. And that’s basically what the folks at Luv N’ Haight records did to...

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Ghost Reveries

Posted By on Wed, Dec 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Ghost Reveries seizes the progressive rock gauntlet. Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt still periodically loses his black metal bleat — “Baying of the Hounds” begins with a fit of rage. But the album is actually pretty tame, with its animalistic, gloomy side, layers of acoustic guitar and cathedral organ, and stretches of...

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Formula = salaciousness and silk

Posted By on Wed, Dec 28, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Cocksure playa and sly trickster — Jamie Foxx’s dual personae derive from an unquenchable, but equally unassuming creative ambition. From Booty Call, to Steamin’ Willie Beamen, to Collateral, Ray, and choruses for Kanye? Of course; why not? And yet each project gets a particular wink and a smile, just to...

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Contact high

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Solid Gold Hits trims the fat from the Beastie Boys’ 1999 retrospective Sounds of Science and updates the hit list to include material from 2004’s To the 5 Boroughs. The result is entertaining — anything including “Shake Your Rump,” “Pass the Mic” and “Sure Shot” would have to be. But...

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Souls

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2005 at 12:00 AM

Matt Arbogast’s dry rasp really does suggest Tom Waits, as everyone seems to say. But he sounds as much or more like Dickey Barrett (Mighty Mighty Bosstones), which no one ever seems to mention. Maybe it’s because it’s cooler to conjure the Waits imagery — the cabarets, the broken-down bandstands,...

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Africa Unite: The Singles Collection

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2005 at 12:00 AM

What new trick could Island Records possibly have up its gilded sleeve when it comes to releasing yet another Bob Marley reissue? How about a recently discovered “brand-new song” from 1979 recorded in a Miami hotel room, plus two stellar remixes of quality Marley tunes. There’s radio-hit fare (“I Shot...

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Guerolito

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2005 at 12:00 AM

This remix version of Beck’s Guero tosses a few unexpected curveballs at the obvious similarities. Take Octet’s remix of “Girl.” While the original version is by no means harsh-sounding, Octet’s lilting and reverberated piano line and sparse instrumentation elevates the song to new heights. And that’s the pleasure of remixes;...

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S.P.I.T.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 21, 2005 at 12:00 AM

It’s strange how sometimes the most celebrated battle rappers from the streets get signed to record labels, then put out studio albums that aren’t worth two dead flies. From Jin to Craig G and beyond, countless emcees with blazing improv skills often cough up little more than phlegm on commercial...

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