Music and album reviews from the staff of 89.3 The Current.

Album Review: Dessa - Parts of Speech

At this point in her career, Dessa has little left to prove. In Minnesota, she's achieved total media saturation. Nationally, her profile has steadily risen with vocal support from flagship critics like Robert Christgau and media outlets like Elle Magazine and MTV. And all signs point to Parts of Speech serving as her biggest push toward a mainstream audience yet.

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Album Review: Mavis Staples - One True Vine

Like 2010's You Are Not Alone, Mavis Staples' latest album One True Vine was produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. Recorded in his Chicago loft, Tweedy and his son Spencer back Staples' signature vocals by performing nearly every instrument heard on the album, but One True Vine has sparse instrumentation---her voice is the real showcase.

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Album Review: Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle

Laura Marling's fourth album, Once I Was An Eagle, was expertly produced by Ethan Johns, who is best known for his work with Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams and Ray LaMontagne. It's a wonderful-sounding album, spare and earthy.

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Album Review: Fitz and the Tantrums - More Than Just a Dream

Being the best in a resurgent genre is a difficult position for any artist. Should they continue to make music in the same vein because that's what people want? Or do they try to change everything up and risk alienating the audience they've spent the past few years developing?

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Album Review: Iron and Wine - Ghost on Ghost

When last we checked in on Iron and Wine, Sam Beam was demonstrating just how far he'd come from his early lo-fi days with 'Kiss Each Other Clean,' a record that I described at the time as Beam's grown-up answer to Brian Wilson's desire to sculpt "teenage symphonies to God." Beam's follow-up brings that process full circle and turn the tricks back around in the service of "the song" -- and I'm pretty much ready to proclaim 'Ghost On Ghost' one of the best records of the year

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Album Review: Phoenix - Bankrupt!

Over four albums prior and nearly fifteen years together, Phoenix have locked into what seems to be their signature sound: a fusing of synthpop and arena rock into one highly caffeinated hit after another, geared for maximum catchiness.

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