On ‘Shake It Off’ and ‘All About That Bass”

Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” will probably be close to the top of the year-end Top 40 charts; together the singles have sold more than 6.5 million copies, according to Wikipedia, and that number will only get higher every time a teen or tween downloads another mp3 of …

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A Second Listen: ‘High Dive,’ Maria McKee

My all-time favorite album is Maria McKee’s Life Is Sweet.  Bold and cutting with an overdramatic, almost manic flair, this CD brought to mind David Bowie’s music during his Ziggy Stardust phase. It was a complete departure from her alt-country sound, and it also marked the end of her relationship with Geffen Records. I waited impatiently …

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Desert Island Discs – Green, R.E.M.

Beginning to end, R.E.M.’s Green is arguably the band’s most accessible album.  That’s probably why it’s my favorite.  It was their debut with mega-record label Warner Brothers after being with indie label I.R.S. for years, and it seemed as if the band wanted to expand on the commercial success that “The One I Love” had …

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Where to Find Pure Pop Music Online

I get a lot of emails from people asking, “Where do you find this music that you review? It’s not on my radio station?” It is a mystery why melodic pop/power pop/pure pop is not more popular on today’s radio. And I won’t turn this into a diatribe against corporate radio, although it would be …

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Album Review: The Both

Aimee Mann has been caught in a bit of a rut. Her first three albums dazzled critics, with her debut album, Whatever, topping my all-time favorite album list. But without her collaborator, the amazingly talented Jon Brion, her songs lacked the power, quirkiness and melody that was so apparent in her first three albums. She showed some …

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Guilty Pleasures: ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’

Everything about the Captain and Tennille screams ’70s, from the Daryl Dragon captain’s hat to Toni Tennille’s strapless tops and Breck Girl hairstyle. They were also ridiculed: The term “Yacht Rock,” referring to the soft, soothing pop music of the late 70s and early 80s, was inspired partly by the “Captain.” (Christopher Cross’s “Sailing” also …

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