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|The Tree of Forgiveness
Lowest new price: $10.93
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Brand: Oh Boy
The highly-anticipated album, The Tree of Forgiveness, is Prine's first collection of new material since 2005's Grammy-winning Fair and Square. Rather than going out on a limb, Prine cultivated the themes that have brought international acclaim since the 1970s. For example, he can take a topic like loneliness and make it funny or heartbreaking.
Prine teamed with Grammy-winning producer Dave Cobb to record in Nashville's historic Studio A, enlisting friends like Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell, and Amanda Shires to sing along. The songs are new, although some had waited to be finished for decades, like a co-write with Phil Spectro called "God Only Knows." Another incomplete song, "I Have Met My Love Today," now celebrates the unexpected spark that leads to lifelong romance -- with a dash of youthful innocence. The musical arrangements may be simpler than on past efforts, yet his unique ability to distill complex emotions into everyday language remains fully intact.
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Home and the people who make it have captivated Lori McKenna for years. Over the last three decades, as she became a wife and mother of five, she has also emerged as one of the most respected, prolific singer-songwriters in popular music. Her 2016 release The Bird and the Rifle netted three Grammy nominations, along with Americana Music Association nods all firsts for McKenna as an artist. Then, she made history: In 2016, she became the first woman ever to win the Country Music Association s Song of the Year two years in a row thanks to co-writing Little Big Town s Girl Crush and penning Tim McGraw s no. 1 Humble and Kind solo. Both songs also clinched back-to-back Grammy wins for Best Country Song. In 2017, she became the Academy of Country Music s first female Songwriter of the Year. The Tree is her much-anticipated eleventh studio album. Produced by Dave Cobb, The Tree takes one of McKenna s signature themes family and builds a tapestry of experiences she has lived and overheard, been told and dreamed up, to create a stunning ode to life s defining relationships.
|To The Sunset
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'It's all rock & roll -- no golf!' is how acclaimed singer/songwriter/violinist Amanda Shires describes her electrifying firth album, To The Sunset. She's borrowed a lyric from the effervescent track 'Break Out the Champagne,' one of ten deftly crafted songs that comprise her powerful new recording. The Texas-born road warrior, new mom, and recently minted MFA in creative writing has mined a range of musical influences to revel an Amanda Shires many didn't know existed. 'Isn't it refreshing?' Shires asks. Indeed. Distorted electric guitars, effects pedals, swirling keys and synths, and rockin' rhythms certainly suit Shire's visceral songcraft and lilting soprano.
|The Ultimate Collection
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Lowest used price: $4.29
2011 collection from the late Folk/Pop superstar. This collection features all his great hits and ends with Denver's biggest songwriting success, 'Leaving on a Jet Plane', which now seems inseparable from Peter, Paul & Mary. But to hear Denver sing it, it's not a sunny, hopeful radio single. There's a real weight in his voice, as if he genuinely doesn't "know when I'll be back again," and the thought of being separated from his love is terrible and crushing. John Denver's got a way of feeling everything that seems almost alien in the cold environs of the 21st century, and - unabashedly earnest and easy listening as it is - the Ultimate Collection is a fine reminder of a gentle voice from another time and place. Includes 'Annie's Song', 'Rocky Mountain High', 'Take Me Home, Country Roads', 'My Sweet Lady' and many more. Sony.
|Gordon Lightfoot - Complete Greatest Hits
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The most comprehensive single-CD collection by this treasured troubadour. These 1965-1987 United Artists, Reprise and Warner Bros. tracks include his Top 10 hits Sundown; If You Could Read My Mind; The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald; Carefree Highway , and 14 more!
Though he rose from the ranks of journeyman '60s folksinger to become a potent and consistent '70s hit maker, Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot's stock in trade was as much hard-eyed, dispassionate observation as romance or poetic whimsy. Perhaps that's why his songs have been covered by everyone from Elvis (this set's "Early Morning Rain") to Dylan. If there's such a thing as an alpha-male folkie, Lightfoot certainly fits the bill. Spanning the tongue-in-cheek chauvinism of 1965's "For Lovin' Me" and the cheatin' ways of "Sundown" to more introspective fare like "If You Could Read My Mind" and "Beautiful," this 20-track collection presents a concise primer on Lightfoot's career and craft. After his career peaked with one of the most unlikely top five hits ever, the gloom-laden 1976 narrative "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," Lightfoot's production tailed off sharply, though this anthology's "Stay Loose" ('86) and "Restless" ('93) are testament to his enduring skills as a songwriter and performer. --Jerry McCulley
|The Best of Simon & Garfunkel
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Brand: SIMON & GARFUNKEL
Includes the A-sides of all 16 S&G singles to make the Billboard charts, as well as three B-sides and one album cut.
Augmenting 1972's Greatest Hits with additional tracks, Best of... now stands as the preeminent one-disc introduction to the music of Simon & Garfunkel. Containing everything Greatest Hits offered except for the live version of "59th Street Bridge Song" (the original studio hit resurfaces here) and the incandescent "Kathy's Song," the updated retrospective boasts 20 tracks, in contrast to its predecessor's 14 selections. Added to the mix are the likes of "Hazy Shade of Winter," "The Only Living Boy in New York," "Song for the Asking," and "My Little Town," a one-off the twosome did five years after they ended their phenomenally successful partnership. Remastered from the original source tapes, Best of... also boasts far superior sound to the earlier hits collection. --Steven Stolder
|The Very Best of Jackson Browne
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Over the past three decades, Jackson Browne has created and voiced many of the most literate and emotionally resonant compositions in popular music and sold more than 15 million albums, including the seven-times platinum Running On Empty and the #1 Hold Out.
This year Browne's artistry is celebrated with his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and with this new retrospective from Rhino. Browne's first-ever double-disc set compiles hits, singles, and choice album cuts from his acclaimed catalog, spotlighting both insightful works of personal introspection and passionately delivered songs of social and political observation. The 2002 recipient of the prestigious John Steinbeck Award (honoring those exemplifying the famed writer's environmental and social ideals), Browne is a mature artist and world citizen whose work shines on this long-awaited collection.
Though Jackson Browne's albums are not plentiful--in a career that stretches 32 years, he's released just over a dozen--they're filled with songs that serve as resilient touchstones for millions who passed through those decades. Originally forging a way for himself as a songwriter, his debut, Saturate Before Using, placed him at the forefront of the southern California rock scene. His contemporaries and compatriots, the Eagles, even took his "Take It Easy" to the top of the charts. Even at his most anthemic, his songs resonate with small details that keep the proceedings human-scaled. The sympathetic accompaniment buoys a voice that's remarkable for its lack of idiosyncrasies. His unmannered singing voice is an essential component in making songs like "These Days," "Fountain of Sorrow," and "Running on Empty" flow with a casual ease that belies the high level of craftsmanship throughout. --David Greenberger
- BROWNE JACKSON THE VERY BEST OF
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Brand: Strong World Ent
As The War and Treaty, Michael and Tanya Trotter serve up healing and pain robbing with freewheeling joy on their new full-length album, Healing Tide. Funky bass lines, keys, lap steel, acoustic strings, and stripped-down percussion create a swampy Southern soul bed for the couple's transcendent vocals. A tour-de-force produced by Buddy Miller, the collection swaggers with confidence only gained by artists who are wholly, proudly, themselves. Michael is a wounded warrior who found his voice while serving in Iraq, when he was pulled from the frontlines to write songs for the fallen. Tanya is a lifelong artist, drawn to singing's power to take another's pain away. "You have to have a deep place of love within yourself to be vulnerable," Tanya says. "With The War and Treaty, we allow people to see two people that are not perfect. We get on stage. We sweat. We're overweight. We yell. We get ugly, we scream! My hair comes loose. We're vulnerable -- naked -- in front of people, and it's a chain reaction. It allows them to be vulnerable, too." The War and Treaty's music and stories bring tears and goosebumps, but ultimately, more is at work. "I want people to feel like we care," Michael says. "When you think about artists, you don't think about that." He pauses and grins broadly. "But that's the way I want the world to feel about The War and Treaty."
|The White Album
Lowest new price: $15.99
Lowest used price: $11.07
Brand: EMI Music
The classic original Beatles studio albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at Abbey Road Studios in London over a four year period utilising state of the art recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the Beatles catalogue has seen since its original release.
Within each CD's new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. The newly produced mini-documentaries on the making of each album, directed by Bob Smeaton, are included as QuickTime files on each album. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-heard studio chat from The Beatles, offering a unique and very personal insight into the studio atmosphere.
Lowest new price: $4.82
Lowest used price: $3.10
His first ever CD greatest-hits collection, Neil Young's Greatest Hits is a long-awaited retrospective from one of rock's most influential and enduring singer-songwriters. With 16 selections spanning his entire career since 1969, Greatest Hits features some of the greatest hits of rock'n'roll, period. Also available is a CD+DVD package that includes the original stereo master mixes (for highest resolutation listening) photo gallery and other bonuses.
One question would be: What took him so long? After all, a contemporary like Van Morrison has sold boatloads of his single-disc best-of set to buyers wary of diving into that deep catalog without a primer to get them started. So three and a half decades into his solo career, Neil Young finally delivers his version of that most modest of albums--the pre-holiday "hits" overview. What's surprising, coming from such a proud maverick, is its conventionality. Granted, the original master mixes are a boon for fans, but otherwise, there's not much here for loyalists who quite likely already possess the original "Like a Hurricane" on a couple of albums, as well as a handful of live interpretations scanning the years. Since Young cracked the Top 10 only once (1972's "Heart of Gold"), this set is built around concert staples as "Cinnamon Girl," "Rockin' in the Free World," and "Hey, Hey, My My" rather than chart favorites. Despite Young's honorable standing as a still-vital graybeard, the disc is skewed heavily toward his early work, shortchanging some mighty productive recent years. Peripheral fans may find this set of interest, but faithful followers are better advised to investigate the DVD version, which, at least, includes videos, photos, lyrics, and Web links. --Steven Stolder
- Neil Young - Greatest Hits Brazil Import
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