Wednesday, July 1, 2015

CD Review: Joy Williams Leaves The Civil Wars Behind And Heads For "Venus"

Singer/songwriter Joy Williams just released her latest studio album "Venus" on June 29th through Columbia Records. It is her first solo album since the breakup of The Civil Wars and it showcases a more modern pop flair than her past adventures.
 
Beginning with the dance beats of "Before I Sleep," Williams uses her voice to control the song's meaning by expressing her power during the chorus. She gets a smooth R&B groove flowing through "Sweet Love Of Mine," before heading into the dance/pop gold of the album's lead single "Woman (Oh Mama)." She does not forget her years with The Civil Wars as she gently delivers "One Day I Will" and "What A Good Woman Does" as her voice soars. The highlight of the album is "Until The Levee" as Williams pours all her emotions into her performance of the song's lyrics. The album closes with the gentle touch of "Welcome Home" as you find yourself pressing repeat, in order experience her "Venus" album once again. To find out more about Joy Williams, please visit her website at joywilliams.com.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

CD Review: Pianist Heidi Breyer Brings Us The Grace And Elegance Of "Letters From Far Away"

British born pianist Heidi Breyer recently released her latest album "Letters From Far Away." She presents her new album in two forms with two discs, one is a solo piano instrumental and the second is with full orchestration. The theme of this new release is a tribute to the lives of two people who fell in love in a Post World War II Europe. The album title, "Letters From Far Away" becomes the subject of these wonderful instrumental pieces.
 
The mood of the solo piano disc draws more meaning and passion to the songs as you reflect on the simplicity of one single instrument. Heidi had this original idea for the album as her talents and musicianship is enough to carry the songs. The piano instrumental disc has a more complete feel to the storied songs as heard in "Small Cafe" and "Old Photograph." The addition of strings and brass showcases a different perspective to the music as more of a movie soundtrack, while the piano solo disc feels like a first person perspective of the meaning behind the songs. The gentle touch of "Starry Pond" displays the delicate touch Heidi puts into her complete performance. To find out more about Heidi Breyer and her latest release "Letters From Far Away," please visit her website at heidibreyer.com.

Monday, June 29, 2015

CD Review: British Band Quill Has A "Brush With The Moon" On Latest Release

From the U.K. comes the latest release from the country/folk band Quill entitled "Brush With The Moon." It is their first album to be released worldwide and the last album to features the words and lyrics of founding member Ben Brain. The new Quill album was inspired by ELO's Jeff Lynne using the demo recordings of John Lennon to create "Free As A Bird," that Quill took the same concept on this release, by using the demos recorded by Ben Brain prior to his passing.
 
The new ten song release begins with the warming acoustic touch of "Quicksilver" as singer Joy Strachan-Brain mixes vocals with her late-husband on this feel-good song. The folk-style of "Tumbling Years" and the smooth contemporary rock of "Poppy Fields" showcases why Quill is one of the top bands in the U.K. The storytelling of "Nine Mile Camp" and the acoustic, slow-tempo rocker "Hollywood Blues" showcase their use of Brain's recordings as if he was in the studio with the band recording these wonderful songs. To find out more about Quill and their latest album "Brush With The Moon," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com

Sunday, June 28, 2015

CD/DVD Review: Blessed Union Of Souls Relive The Past With "Live At Never On Sunday"

American rock band Blessed Union of Souls is celebrating twenty-five years together with their first live album entitled "Live At Never On Sunday." It was released on June 23rd through Goldenlane Records in CD/DVD format capturing the show with multiple cameras in exceptional quality. Blessed Union Of Souls hit it big with their debut album "Home," which featured the top ten single "I Believe." Since then, many of their singles cracked the "Top 40" and this new release gathers many of them together in a live setting.

The show begins with the slow build-up of the song "Home," before diving into the mid-tempo acoustic rock of "I Wanna Be There." They showcase a couple of their soundtrack singles, beginning with their ballad "Standing At The Edge Of The Earth," which was featured in the movie "Armageddon" and "Brother My Brother" from "Pok√©mon: The First Movie." The pinnacle of the show is the ten-minute performance of "Forever For Tonight/Let Me Be The One" that is sure to win you over as a fan of Blessed Union of Souls. The live album/show finishes up with some of their biggest hits, including "I Believe" and "Hey Leonard (She Likes Me For Me)." The DVD also tacks on one extra song, "A Thousand And One" from their 2005 album "Perception." To find out more about Blessed Union Of Souls latest release "Live At Never On Sunday," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/blessidunion.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

CD Review: Leon Bridges Soul Music Feels Right At "Home" On Debut Album

From Fort Worth, TX comes the debut album from Leon Bridges, whose voice has been compared to Sam Cooke and style to the legendary soul artists of the 50's and 60's. The new album entitled "Coming Home" was released on June 23rd through Columbia Records. Bridges' song "Smooth Sailing" has been featured in the television show "Hawaii 5-0" and his song "River" was the feature of one of the latest Beats by Dre commercials featuring NFL rookie Marcus Mariota. Bridges performed at this year's Newport Folk Festival and is scheduled to appear at the Outside Lands Festival in August.

Now, lets get to his album. From the moment you hit "play," the music and his voice transport you back to a simpler time when pure talent was the main focus of songs. Beginning with "Coming Home," the soul-vibe in Bridges' vocals instantly take over and you can't help but focus on his amazing voice. His latest single "Better Man" is an up-tempo, R&B groove that will get your hips shakin', while "Shine" brings on the blues and mixes it with a gospel-like delivery of true feelings from the heart. His song "Flowers" is what Sam Cooke and Smokey Robinson would sound like if they debuted their music five decades later and "Twistin' & Groovin'" is what Leon Bridges would have produced if he made this album in the sixties. To find out more about Leon Bridges and his new album "Coming Home," please visit leonbridges.com.