Author Archives: Coprinus

Ammar 808 – Maghreb United

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Genre: Electronica/North African
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 9.5/10
Commentary: This album is a full-on sensory assault of deep bass, electronic beats and traditional North African instruments. It is so intense it is hard to listen to in the background; it demands that you stop and give it your full attention. It ends up sounds both traditional and futuristic in the best possible way. Best album of the year so far.
More info: here.
Listen: here.

Jaroussky/Forsythe/Baráth/Fasolis – Orfeo ed Euridice (1774)

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Genre: Opera
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 7.5/10
Commentary: “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” is core material in Flute II, which I suffered through in a methodical and unmusical way. But that left me with a great nostalgia for this opera, but I haven’t really enjoyed most of the recordings. This one is great, nicely mixed so that the orchestra is not overpowering, and with singing that is more expressive than precise, my preference. This is the 1774 version of the opera, not the more commonly heard 1762 version.
More info: here.
Listen: here.

Parkway Drive – Reverence

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Genre: Metalcore
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 7/10
Commentary: So I guess this will be my metalcore album for the year. Not my favorite genre, as I’ve made very clear. I kinda like this album though. It has all these swooping choruses and feel very arena-ready. Not that I would ever go to an arena show. But I bet this would be cool…maybe. I don’t know. I’m not sure why I like this so much, but I do. Enjoy.
More info: here.
Listen: here.

Chip Taylor – Fix Your Words

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Genre: Country/Folk
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 6.5/10
Commentary: So Chip Taylor is this guy who wrote “Wild Things” — yes that Wild Things– then chugged out some kinda dreary Nashville records and then spend a few decades as a professional gambler. Now, for at least a decade or so, he’s been back churning out soft country-flavored acoustic albums, all thoughtful and interesting, and some quite good. This one, Fix your Words, is sort if in the middle of the pack. I enjoyed it a lot, but those who aren’t into long mostly-pointless voice-overs about Hank Williams as well as an excessive amount of throat-clearing and tooth-sucking between whispered musical phrases might feel differently.
More info: here.
Listen: here.

Ghost – Prequelle

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Genre: Stadium Metal
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 7.5/10
Commentary: So then there is this moment where you here thischeesy metal shtick… and you think this is the best thing ever. Ghost is basically the heir apparent to cheese-coated stadium metal, and this is the album that solidifies that status. They’ve shed enough of their occultism to have popular appeal, while still staying strong and weird. Of course, the album is hit or miss. There are some really terrible songs. We don’t care.
More info: here.
Listen: here.

Organectomy – Domain of the Wretched

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Genre: Death Metal
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 6.5/10
Commentary: There is this genre of death metal that is, according to the Encyclopedia “brutal” and focused on “gore” “sickness”. What is interesting is that most of that actually ends up being pretty monotonous and boring. This is the best “gore” album I’ve heard in a while, and it makes me happy to have a pick from this genre which I otherwise think is mostly just blah. What is it about, lyrically? Who knows, I think maybe alien infestation? “There’s got to be another way… Maybe we could freeze him… Whats inside me!!!!” It’s pretty awesome.
More info: here.
Listen: here.

Gretchen Peters – Dancing with the Beast

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Genre: Country/Folk
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 6/10
Commentary: Gretchen Peters’ new album is more political than her last, with several dark reflections on our country’s current evil fascist mood. It also feels more scattered, and it doesn’t hold up quite as well when inevitably compared to her last album Blackbirds, which was an almost perfect folk album. It is a solid album, however, and worth a listen-through.
More info: here.
Listen: here.

John Adams/Leila Josefowicz/St. Louis Symphony – Violin Concerto

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Genre: Classical
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 7.5/10
Commentary: John Adams is not a composer that I’ve ever really gotten into… but this recording of by violinist Leila Josefowicz is just magnificent. Apparently there is also a significant backstory, with Josefowicz and Adams have a strong mutual longstanding attraction to each others’ compositions and playing style, which was also interesting to read about.
More info: here.
Listen: here.

Gabrieli Consort/Paul McCreesh – A Rose Magnificat

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Genre: Choral
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 8/10
Commentary: Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort have been producing wonderful choral recordings for a long time, including my favorite choral recording ever. This album is also wonderful, a collection of Mary-themed pieced both contemporary and traditional (blended in just the right way). One of my favorite albums of the year so far.
More info: here.
Listen: here.

Belly – Dove

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Genre: Rock
Format Reviewed: Spotify 320 kbps
Rating: 6.5/10
Commentary: This is a very enjoyable rock album that sounds a lot like the band’s last release 20 years ago, but fresh enough to be not just indulgent nostalgia. The first half of the album in particular is strong, with “Shiny One” and “Human Child” being the stand-out tracks. A guilt-free alt-rock fix, although hard to imagine that anyone younger than 35 years will find it relevant.
More info: here.
Listen: here.