Wednesday, December 21, 2016

CD Review: New Releases From John Legend, The Chainsmokers, Grace Vanderwaal & James Arthur

Rhythm & blues singer/songwriter/musician John Legend returns with his new studio album "Darkness & Light." It it his fifth studio album and his first in three years. It features guest appearances from Chance The Rapper on the funky bass line of "Penthouse Floor" and Brittany Howard on explosive blues of "Darkness And Light." Then Miguel joins Legend on the quiet duet of "Overload" as the beats just float on by in the background. The album's first single "Love Me Now" is an addictive, pop-infused gospel sing-along, while "Right By You (For Luna)" is a lullaby for his newly-born daughter. The new 12-track release closes with the emotional ballad "Same Old Story" as Legend's vocals take the spotlight along with the dance beats of "Marching Into The Dark." John Legend's new album "Darkness & Light" was released on December 2nd through Columbia Records. To find out more, please visit johnlegend.com.


The American DJ duo of Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall came onto the music scene in 2014 as The Chainsmokers. They have released two EPs in two years, their most recent "Collage" hit #6 on the Billboard album chart. It was released back in November and all five of the album's songs have been released as singles, the most popular being "Closer," which features Halsey on vocals and topped the singles chart. The album mixes together dance beats with addictive melodies to create pop gold as in "All We Know" and "Don't Let Me Down." To find out more about The Chainsmokers and their latest release "Collage," please visit thechainsmokers.com.

Twelve-year-old Grace VanderWaal recently released her first album titled "Perfectly Imperfect." Grace was the season 11 winner of NBC's "America's Got Talent" and four of the album's five songs were performed during the competition. The innocence in her voice and the strumming of a simple ukulele is all that is needed in the opener "I Don't Know My Name" to fall in love with this new artist. Her vocals soar during "Clay" and she is having fun with the more upbeat rhythm of "Light The Sky." Her short new release closes with the pop tones of "Gossip Girl." To find out more about Grace VanderWaal and her latest release "Perfectly Imperfect," please visit her Facebook page at facebook.com/GraceVanderWaalMusic.

British singer/songwriter James Arthur recently released his second album titled "Back From The Edge." Arthur was the season nine winner of the British singing talent show "The X Factor." His self-titled debut album reached #2 on the U.K. charts and his new Columbia Records release topped the U.K. charts and broke into the U.S. album charts. His new thirteen-song release begins with the title-song that showcases Arthur's R&B/pop vibe. The album's latest single "Say You Won't Let Go" has a modern-crooner feel as Arthur's vocals grab hold your heart. The music builds in "I Am" as James Arthur pours all his energy into his delivery of the song's chorus. He delivers the seventies, dance-funk of "Sober," before finishing with the gospel-like ballad "Let Me Love The Lonely" and the up-lifting build-up of "Finally." To find out more about James Arthur and his latest release "Back From The Edge," please visit jamesarthurofficial.com.

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