A blog about music from Canada and beyond.

Long reads, short reads and bite-size bits.

Music Review: Alicia Keys - Here

Music Review: Alicia Keys - Here
Her last album was called Girl on Fire and Alicia is still red hot. This summer, the 15-time Grammy winner made headlines by choosing not to wear makeup at an awards show. On her sixth studio album, Keys continues to boldly speak out, tackling topics from the human condition to global politics on tough hip-hop tracks and spare acoustic ballads alike. She’s also released a companion short film titled The Gospel that deals with police brutality. That outspokenness is the backbone of confessional numbers like the dancehall-flavored “Girl Can’t Be ...
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Music Review: Dolly Parton - Pure & Simple

Music Review: Dolly Parton - Pure & Simple
Now 70, Dolly is unstoppable. The country music icon, currently on a 60-date tour, is celebrating her 50th year in show business as well as her 50th wedding anniversary. She’s in the midst of a four-movie deal with NBC, working on a sequel to the acclaimed Dolly-inspired Coat of Many Colors TV movie. Dolly’s 43rd studio album is a testament to her marriage to retired businessman Carl Thomas Dean. “All the songs I’ve written [for it] are love songs because I’m celebrating 50 years with my husband this year,” says Dolly. “So I thought it would be...
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Music Review: The Tragically Hip - Man Machine Poem

Music Review: The Tragically Hip - Man Machine Poem
News that the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie has terminal brain cancer shocked a nation that has long embraced the band affectionately known as just “the Hip.” The May revelation also made tickets to its summer tour. There’s a deep love for the Hip, whose songs seem to define what it means to be Canadian. The band, which gave a command performance for the Queen in 2002, showcases the talents of poet-singer Downie throughout their latest album. On “In a World Possessed by the Human Mind,” his lyrics have a spooky foreshadowing: “Just give me the n...
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Music Review: Drake - Views

Music Review: Drake - Views
The Toronto rapper and singer has never been shy about his feelings his hometown or the women in his life. Both subjects dominate Drake’s eclectic fourth studio album, originally to be called Views from the Six in reference to his beloved Toronto. The cover shows him sitting atop the CN Tower. Then there’s “Weston Road Flows” and “9,” where he claims to have flipped Toronto on its head. While he’s unequivocal about his hometown, his relationships with women are less certain. On the island-flavored “Too Good,” his “he-said-she-said” collaboratio...
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Music Review: Various artists - I Saw the Light

Music Review: Various artists - I Saw the Light
British actor Tom Hiddleston shines as Hank Williams in the new biopic. Coached by country star Rodney Crowell, Tom sings convincing renditions of Hank’s classics, including “Jambalaya,” “Move It On Over” and “Hey Good Lookin’.” The soundtrack also features songs by such period stars as Eddy Arnold, Eartha Kitt and Jo Stafford.
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