October 2016 Archives

Review: Norah Jones - Day Breaks

Jones' latest LP is a return without sounding like a repeat...
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Norah Jones returns to the piano jazz-tinged pop that introduced her to the world in 2002, showing a versatility her debut record did little to suggest. It's not a knock on subsequent work to say her return to those earlier sounds is a welcome one. I like Little Broken Hearts, her collaboration with noted producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton, but the warm familiarity in the opening bars of "Burn" quickly remind us of why so many listeners were enchanted by her in the first place. The multi-platinum, Grammy-winning Come Away With Me was a nocturnal record with spare arrangements

DeepSoul: The Cadillacs - "Gloria"

This 1950s doo-wop group pioneered combining soul and pop to reach mass audiences.
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Soul music has produced so many subgenres including doo-wop, its close harmonies still impacting acts such as Manhattan Transfer and Pentatonix. The 1950s act The Cadillacs were pioneers of the tradition, introducing soul to wider audiences with their smooth harmonies and heartfelt delivery. While best known for their 1955 hit "Speedo," the gorgeous ballad "Gloria" perfectly represents the doo-wop genre's unique blend of lush vocal arrangements, soul, and just a touch of jazz. The Cadillacs began in New York's Harlem in the early 1950s under a different name: The Carnations. Teenagers Earl "Speedy" Carroll, LaVerne Drake, Robert Phillips, and "Cub"

DeepSoul: The Spellbinders - "For You"

The vocal quintet may have released only one album, but the 1965 single remains an underrated soul gem.
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What do the 1960s R&B group the Spellbinders and disco have in common? "For You," the Spellbinders' biggest hit, boasts a producer/songwriter who is today best known for the 1975 dance classic "The Hustle": Van McCoy. "For You" was a modest hit, and the Spellbinders released only one LP before splitting in the late 1960s. This 1965 soul confection, however, is an unfairly negelcted track that merits more attention. Founded circa the early 1960s in New Jersey, the Spellbinders consisted of Robert Shivers, James Wright, Ben Grant, McArthur Munford, and Elouise Pennington. Little is known about the Spellbinders except that