The Odyssey by Florence + The Machine

How Big How Beautiful How Blue
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Florence + The Machine’s third album, How Big How Beautiful How Blue, has been ringing in my ears since the day it was released. Today I received an email from Florence (of course I am a subscriber) featuring their newest music video for Queen of Peace.

A month or so ago I had seen the video for What Kind of Man and St. Jude, but it wasn’t until today that I realized the subtitle, “The Odyssey,” and chapter numbers. After the first few times I listened to the album, I kept thinking, “What’s the story behind this? What’s the meaning?” Well folks, here it is in sequential order.

Sound & Color

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I’ve been long awaiting Alabama Shakes’ new sophomore album, Sound & Color, and it has finally arrived! I wanted to listen to the album a few times before I said anything about it and I can’t stop listening! Listen for yourself so you won’t be disappointed that you missed out on what everyone is talking about.

I think this album really showcases Brittany’s vocal talent and the band’s wide range of musical ability. You can hear inspirations of Bowie, Jazz and Blues, and even punk rock. Sit back and put on Don’t Wanna Fight – then skip forward Future People and then to Miss You. Holy emotional rollercoaster, Batman! Someone had quite the relationship this year…all of the best albums are about relationships.

The New Basement Tapes

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The New Basement Tapes is a collaborative project that began with Bob Dylan 47 years ago. Today it has flourished into a full-length album recorded with many voices to Dylan’s lyrics.

I stumbled across their song Kansas City on WXRT Radio one afternoon on my way home from work. The song features the lead singer from Mumford and Sons. It struck me because I knew Mumford had split and thought maybe they reconciled and were putting out new music. I Shazammed it and saw that it was The New Basement Tapes. So I looked them up on Spotify to see and listen to some of their other material. Come to find that the band also features Elvis Costello, and Jim James from My Morning Jacket! Take a listen, you might recognize some other voices:

Flaming Lips Tribute to the Beatles

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You thought the Beatles were trippy in the 70s? The Flaming Lips’ With a Little Help From My Fwends is like the Beatles on acid. The best part is their friends featured on the album: Grace Potter, Miley Cyrus, My Morning Jacket, Tegan & Sara, Moby, and many more. I must say, I am a fan of this release. I know some people who would say The Beatles’ music is untouchable, but I think it was tastefully done and will leave you speechless, it’s so good. I hope you agree.

Queen of the Clouds by Tove Lo

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Tove Lo’s premiere song Habits caught my attention on the radio about a month or so ago. I liked it. Then one morning I caught a short interview about the music video for Habits on VH1 and proceeded to watch the video. I thought it was a little sad and kind of depressing, but the song grew on me.

Her album, Queen of the Clouds dropped last week and I picked a few songs I thought I would like. Silly me, I should start from the beginning and listen to the entire album start to finish. This 19-track album had me on an emotional roller coaster right along with her. She is so genuine and relate-able to any woman in her 20’s. From the initial feeling of falling in love to the uncontrollable love-hate when you are mad at the one you love, to the inevitable break-up/realization that nothing lasts forever, but to enjoy the present moments you share.

I think the songs I love the most are My Gun, Talking Body, Time Bomb, Moments (my most fav), Got Love, Not on Drugs, and Habits.

This Is All Yours – Alt J

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I’ve been eagerly waiting for this day to come for months now – the day that Alt-J released their second album, This Is All Yours.

If you thought their first album was strange and liked it, then you’re in for a treat because the second album is even more strange. It starts slow and calm, then progresses with more upbeat harmonies and intricate beats. The music tells a story, although I need to listen to the album a few more times before I understand the entire story. I can tell you that my favorite songs are Every Other Freckle, Left Hand Free, Hunger of the Pine, The Gospel of John Hurt, Leaving Nara (Getting to Nara wasn’t as exciting), and the bonus track Lovely Day.