Acoustic

Artist: 
Daniel Caesar
Label: 
Golden Child Recordings

Fresh new sophomore album following Pilgrim's Paradise released in 2015. The debut album pictured Daniel Caeser falling. He rises in the new release. 

Refreshing to see an r&b male singer songwriter that doesn't bluntly sing about sex and getting high. Some lyrics are about those things but it's poetic and tasteful.

Sounds Like: 
H.E.R.
Sounds Like: 
Frank Ocean
Sounds Like: 
John Legend
Name: 
Brieana Sealy
Date Reviewed: 
09/13/2017
Artist: 
Alison Krauss
Label: 
Hokker, Inc.

This record was a good listen, but at times the easy-listening feel of the record got boring. Not that it's bad by any means--however, the album did not have much variation and I don't think it did a good job of highlighting Krauss's versatility. It's still a classic country record though. If I found this album in my grandparents' records in between Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline I wouldn't be surprised. Krauss's voice is also flawless. She has one of the best voices in all of country music, and this didn't change on Windy City.

Sounds Like: 
Patty Griffin
Sounds Like: 
Dolly Parton
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
03/08/2017
Artist: 
Ryan Adams
Label: 
Blue Note Records

This was insanely good. After listening to it in its entirety, I immediately listened to it two more times. I might stay up late and listen to it again. The album is classic Ryan Adams, and he bears his alt-country troubador soul over the course of the twelve tracks. The album is his breakup album after his divorce with Mandy Moore. The songs have a lonely, alienated feel and this record would be good to listen to while driving at night.

Sounds Like: 
Jason Isbell
Sounds Like: 
Jeff Tweedy
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
03/07/2017
Artist: 
Tony Molina
Label: 
Slumberland Records

Tony Molina is well known for his previous release, the 12-songs-in-as-many-minutes Dissed and Dismissed, which was stuffed to the gills with fuzz, hooks, and Thin Lizzy riffs. His new release, the 10-minute long Confront the Truth, is an EP of 7 acoustic guitar based songs followed by an electric Thin Lizzy cover. If you like the Beatles or artists that they influenced (Guided by Voices and Elliott Smith for example), you'll dig these bite-sized tunes. This EP is short, and so is this review.

Sounds Like: 
Guided by Voices
Sounds Like: 
The Beatles
Sounds Like: 
Elliott Smith
Name: 
Andrew Boring
Date Reviewed: 
02/09/2017

Raw

Artist: 
Keller Williams
Label: 
Freeky Disc

Keller Williams is a jam-band phenomena, known for using wild effects to make his one-man sound come off as imposing and grandiose. However, on Raw, he drops all of that for a solo, acoustic record that truly shows off his musical talent. In his sets with String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Umphrey's, you can see a wide variety of music styles manifest themselves in different forms. Raw is aptly named because that is what the record is. Most of the record is really good.

Sounds Like: 
Greensky Bluegrass
Sounds Like: 
Yonder Mountain String Band
Name: 
Will Fotter
Date Reviewed: 
01/26/2017
Artist: 
Shovels & Rope
Label: 
New West Coast Records LLC

Carry Ann and Micheal are shovels and rope.If I had one word only to describe this band and their music, it would be Duende. Both singer song writers preforming solo and releasing their own albums before coming together, forming their own band together as well as getting married and forming one of the most unique, soul-wrenching, and narratively genius band of lyricists.

Sounds Like: 
DriftWood
Sounds Like: 
Jenny Lewis, Bob Dylan
Name: 
Ellery Page
Date Reviewed: 
11/02/2016
Artist: 
Conor Oberst
Label: 
Nonesuch

Connor Oberst’s new album Ruminations is one of the better albums that I have heard this year. The reason why I like it so much is that it feels very raw and emotional.  The way that I would describe this album is if you decided wanted to find yourself so you decide to lock yourself in a house with a piano, harmonica, and a guitar and not leave until you wrote an album. If you don’t get that description, it has a similar vibe to Bon Iver’s album For Emma Forever Ago. If you still don’t get the sound just give this album a listen.

Sounds Like: 
It Reminds me of Bon Iver's ablum For Emma Forever Ago
Sounds Like: 
A.A. Bondy but more bright sounding
Name: 
Kyle Morris
Date Reviewed: 
11/01/2016
Artist: 
Handsome Ghost
Label: 
Photo Finish Records LLC

I first heard of Handsome Ghost when they did a mash-up of Misterwives’ “Reflections” and BØRNS’ “10,000 Emerald Pools”, and was immediately impressed. I am currently really enjoying their latest EP “The Brilliant Glow”, which they describe as a collection of songs about “growing up, going out, find love and losing love, and then losing love again”. “Graduate” starts off slow but builds to one catchy chorus. Starting off with a groovy synth beat, I immediately loved “Eyes Wide”.

Sounds Like: 
Local Natives
Sounds Like: 
Passion Pit
Name: 
Amanda Chesin
Date Reviewed: 
10/01/2016
Artist: 
Blind Pilot
Label: 
ATO

Blind Pilot’s newest album, And Then Like Lions is a good album. Yeah that first sentence is a lame way to start a review but that is the best way to describe the album because it isn’t mind blowing by any means but it is still a really solid album. The reason why I think this album is just good, is that I was hoping for some evolution in their sound, and this album sounded suuuuupppppeeeerrrrr similar to their old stuff.

Sounds Like: 
Lumineers
Sounds Like: 
Family and Friends
Name: 
Kyle Morris
Date Reviewed: 
09/07/2016
Artist: 
Into It. Over It.