2011: Highlights of the First Quarter

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15. Apr. 2011, 1:43

The Best Albums of the Year so far by Groovemine

Generally speaking, we write about what we like and what we would recommend whether it be artists, albums, websites, record stores, etc. We don’t have enough resources to devote to report on music and music providers that we think are ‘bad’ even if it's what everyone is talking about. Among the several album reviews we've posted over the last two years, rarely and sporadically have five stars been awarded to an album (the max in our five-star rating scale) and it’s easy to argue that that's the way it should be. Now, three months into 2011, we’re pleasantly surprised to have discovered five top-rated albums while four other releases have garnered four-and-a-half stars, making a great start to the year — musically, anyway. Here, we present a recap of these nine albums, special pleasures to hear and write about. Follow the links to find MP3 streams and downloads for most of them.

Five out of Five
Perfect of near-perfect — five-star reviewed albums.

Anna Calvi(self-titled)

Anna Calvi is an English singer-songwriter who gained an unbelievable amount of attention in 2010. Her band was featured as a nominee on BBC’s Sound of 2011 poll — a poll designed to bring attention to up-and-coming artists. Anna Calvi’s nomination is well deserved, and with the release of her band’s debut, Anna Calvi, she is in position to become an absolute force...
Entire review on Groovemine, PLUS FREE MP3: “Blackout” - HERE

Live by Rafael Anton Irisarri
While it may seem an odd statement regarding an artist whose very nature is in improvisation, there has always been a stark contrast between Rafael Anton Irisarri’s studio work and what he’s able to conjure live. Reverie was a profound (if also restrained) indication of this, and now Irisarri has offered a rich gift to his audience with Live, a collection of four...
Entire review on Groovemine HERE

New History Warfare Vol. 2: Judges by Colin Stetson
Colin Stetson is a saxophonist that is clearly out of his mind. Sax players, in my experience, are a divided lot. They usually either stay on the side of jazz or classical and never the twain shall meet. More accurately, they will stick with party lines and immediately show their loyalty to their chosen side by hating the other group with every ounce of expendable...
Entire review on Grovemine, PLUS FREE MP3s: “The Stars In His Head (Dark Lights Remix)” & “Judges” - HERE

Ravedeath, 1972 by Tim Hecker

It so happened that I received my eagerly awaited press copy of Tim Hecker’s latest album, the obscurely labeled Ravedeath, 1972 during a particularly grey and dismal week here in Seattle (and considering how grey and dismal winters are here, there’s a certain extreme implied in that statement). It went into my laptop and never seemed to stop through...
Entire review on Groovemine, PLUS FREE MP3: “Hatred of Music I” - HERE

Tre3s by Chikita Violenta
Though Chikita Violenta is a band from Mexico and Tre3s is an album recorded in Canada, there is very little on this release that feels particularly foreign. In fact, listening to Tre3s is like plunging headfirst in to the indie rock biography of the past few years. There are many moments on the album, for instance, where it ’s difficult to not think of Los Campesinos!...
Entire review on Groovemine, PLUS FREE MP3: “Roni" - HERE

Four at Four and a Half
Awesome albums that have received four-and-a-half stars..

Funeral Mariachi by Sun City Girls
Encapsulating any Sun City Girls release is a daunting task, somewhat akin to trying to catch a falling box of foam peanuts as they scatter down four flights of stairs. To then try...
Entire review on Groovemine - HERE

Lifeboats and Follies by Tommy Guerrero
To everyone who has ever groaned audibly at the word ‘throwback’ being used in an artistic context, while at the same time, waiting around for someone to brush some of the...
Entire review on Groovemine, PLUS FREE MP3: “Que S'est-il Passe” - HERE

Rare Forms by Woodsman
When I first started writing for Groovemine over a year ago, one of the first records I was sent to review was a title by Grave With No Name. I recall, distinctly, sitting in front of myl...
Entire review on Groovemine, PLUS FREE MP3: “Insects” - HERE

The People’s Key by Bright Eyes
Say it ain’t so, Conor. Say it ain’t so. The said-to-be final album of Bright Eyes has finally knocked on the door, and if you’re a devoted follower of the band like I am, you are probably...
Entire Review on Groovemine, PLUS FREE MP3: “Shell Games" - HERE

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