Thievery Corporation's new album, Saudade, comes out April 1.
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March 23, 2014 In contrast to what often grabs attention in electronic dance music, the duo's seventh album is calm, serene, uncluttered and defiantly warm.
Kevin Drew's new album, Darlings, comes out March 18.
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March 9, 2014 A member of Toronto's baroque-pop collective Broken Social Scene, Drew can't help but write music that sprawls in satisfying, sometimes bone-rattling ways.
Sitting around what looks like a conference table with a small group of musicians, guitarist Moacyr Luz (center) leads his samba group.
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March 4, 2014 In Brazil, samba isn't just the music of Carnival. With throngs headed to the country for this summer's World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, samba de rota has become an act of cultural resistance.
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February 25, 2014 It's been six years since singer-songwriter Beck released his last album. Music critic Tom Moon says that Beck's new record, Morning Phase, is purposely out of step with the pop trends of the moment.
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Beck's new album, Morning Phase, is out Feb. 25.
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February 16, 2014 Beck's latest creation is more than a mere sequel to 2002's brooding masterpiece, Sea Change. It provides a glimpse of new frontiers in letting go and moving on.
February 12, 2014 Listening to Temples, a four-piece band from England, one might be reminded of another British iconic band — The Beatles. But on their debut album, Sun Structures, the group does not create copycat music. Critic Tom Moon says the Fab Four's inspiration lives on in surprisingly creative ways in the music of Temples.
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Temples' new album, Sunstructures, is out Feb. 11.
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February 2, 2014 It makes cosmic sense that Temples' debut album arrives at the height of the current nostalgia wave associated with the 50th anniversary of Beatlemania and the British Invasion. The young English band weaves its classic inspirations into crazy-beautiful, richly idiosyncratic music.
Tom Brosseau's Grass Punks comes out Jan. 21.
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January 12, 2014 Many of the North Dakota singer-songwriter's new songs have trapdoors and switchbacks and meta moments, but they're never there for show: It's in the shadows where the sly Brosseau does his best work, transforming earthbound images into intimations of wonder.
Live at the Cellar Door, the new album from Neil Young, was recorded in 1970.
Gary Burden/Courtesy of the artist
December 13, 2013 NPR's Melissa Block talks with music critic Tom Moon about three recently released live recordings, all from around 1970, that each capture an artist at a distinct point of change in his career.
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Lady Gaga's new album, ARTPOP, is out now.
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November 11, 2013 Lady Gaga has been building anticipation for her third studio album in ways that only she can manage. But perhaps the forte of ARTPOP lies in its marketing — not the actual music.
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From left: pianist Ethan Iverson, drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath and bassist Ben Street.
John Rogers/Courtesy of the artist
October 1, 2013 At 78, jazz drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath is still displaying his aptitude for making songs swing while keeping them firmly in time. Critic Tom Moon reviews Tootie's Tempo, Heath's collaboration with two younger jazz players.
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Long Way Home is British singer Tom Odell's debut.
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September 17, 2013 The British musician is a fast-rising newcomer who's drawn both high praise and vicious pans in his home country. His debut album, Long Way Down, will likely draw similar reactions in the U.S., but the 22-year-old has considerable potential.
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Buddy Guy's new two-disc set is titled Rhythm & Blues.
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August 6, 2013 The 77-year-old guitarist and vocalist's new two-disc set features cameos from Kid Rock, Keith Urban and members of Aerosmith. But the lyrics merely set the scene, and the jolts come after the verses — when the profound legend begins to play.
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Sigur Ros' new album is titled Kveikur.
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June 24, 2013 Sigur Ros delights in shifting the listener's perspective — even its anthems elude the conventional rock plod. With Kveikur, the band's majestic (if usually mellow) vistas and naturescapes acquire a distinctly harsh edge.
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Best known for bright, accessible modern jazz, Pat Metheny takes on an experimental composer's work with the new Tap: John Zorn's Book of Angels, Vol. 20.
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May 21, 2013 The two artists are known opposites in the world of instrumental music. On Metheny's latest, the jazz guitarist wrings an unexpectedly visual listening experience from Zorn's knotty compositions.
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