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Staff Reviews - Books, Movies and Music

Music
Reviewed by Diane on Friday, April 03
  If you like Bon Jovi, you will love this compilation of all their greatest hits. Bon Jovi's style of music is very energetic with great soulful lyrics.  Bon Jovi is a glam rock band from New Jersey that came out in the early 1980's. They have sold more than 100 million records worldwide. Over the years they have put out 14 studio albums and 3 live albums. Their most popular songs were Living on...
Music
The Velvet Underground and Nico
Reviewed by Lou on Friday, April 03
A line from a Robert Christgau review of The Velvet Underground and Nico also summarizes their brief but immeasurable impact on the history of rock music: "It sounds intermittently crude, thin, and pretentious at first, but it never stops getting better."   Lou Reed, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Maureen Tucker, and Doug Yule recorded four albums between 1967 and 1970, and the repercussions are...
Music
Reviewed by Lou on Thursday, April 02
The coronavirus is taking its toll on the arts world. In the last 10 days, the disease has claimed the lives of jazz trumpeter Walace Roney and pianist Ellis Marsalis Jr. (father of Wynton and Bradford), country singer Joe Diffie, playwright Terrence McNally (Ragtime, Kiss of the Spider Woman), and many others. On April 1, my feeds were flooded with tributes to Adam Schlesinger, who died at 52...
Music
Ella Fitzgerald
Reviewed by Lou on Wednesday, April 01
The Great American Songbook is the umbrella term for the most significant—and truly timeless—popular works from the 1920s through the '50s. And a case can be made that Ella Fitzgerald left the most indelible stamp on those classics on her seminal Song Book sessions, which were released on Verve Records between 1956 and 1964.   The eight volumes include 244 songs by the unparalleled craftsmen of...
Music
Reviewed by Diane on Tuesday, March 31
    If you like listening to or dancing to Salsa music this is a great choice. It is full of energy. This whole CD is sung in Spanish. Even though I don't speak Spanish, the music is so much fun to listen to and ESPECIALLY dance to with its great instrumentals. I felt like I was on a cruise ship or on an island while listening to this enjoyable authentic salsa music.       Hot Latin Salsa Mix is...
Music
Reviewed by Diane on Tuesday, March 31
    The production in this album is fantastic. Everything sounds very clear, loud, and drenched in echo and reverb effects that was so common in the 80's era. This whole album is a musical story with a very theatrical style.  Even if you don't understand the story behind the album, you will still love the clear vocal style (Geoff Tate lead singer) and great guitar playing. This is Heavy Rock...
Music
Talking Heads
Reviewed by Lou on Tuesday, March 31
Art-rockers? Intellectual pop band? New wavers? Experimental funkateers? World-music popularizers? The music of Talking Heads delightfully encompasses those and many other hybrid categorizations.   From their formation in NYC in 1975 to their fractious dissolution in 1991 (three years after the release of their final album, Naked), the band's music was always evolving, bookended by the early...
Music
Patsy Cline
Reviewed by Lou on Monday, March 30
Patsy Cline's star burned brightly for a very few years, but it's a testament to her extraordinarily expressive voice—and a trio of indelible songs—that she is an essential artist 57 years after her death at the age of 30.
   But hers was not an overnight success. After a decade or so working her way up the circuit and a few singles that went nowhere, in 1957 Cline broke through with the...
Music
Beastie Boys
Reviewed by Lou on Friday, March 27
Who knew that a trio with a self-proclaimed knack for rhymin' and stealin' would make a lasting impression on pop culture? The Beastie Boys—Mike D (Michael Diamond), Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz), and MCA (Adam Yauch)—started in New York City in 1981 as a hardcore punk band, but shifted gears after they recorded the hip-hoppy "Cooky Puss" in 1983.   They soon hooked up with producer/Def Jam honcho Rick...
Music
Reviewed by Diane on Friday, March 27
A collection of Van Halen's first 6 albums, these are their best songs at the beginning of their career that are so good. "Ice Cream Man" is such a fun song, "Unchained" with Eddie Van Halen's incredible guitar playing is always one of my favorite songs. The songs from that era just take me back to the 80's driving around in my car blasting the tunes. Those were the days listening to this great...
Music
A Woman Listening to Music
Reviewed by Lou on Wednesday, March 25
To maximize your Hoopla borrowing power, we've compiled a list of super-sized musical collections.   This genre-jumping sampler includes career-spanning anthologies and jam-packed greatest hits sets. You can take a deep dive into the catalogs of your favorite artists, or get adventurous and experience some exciting new sounds.   This mountain of music—and hundreds of other high-quality...
Music
Chuck Berry
Reviewed by Lou on Wednesday, March 25
Chuck Berry is as essential as rock and roll itself. Here are some of his monumental contributions to the popular music pantheon: "Roll Over Beethoven." "Sweet Little Sixteen." "Johnny B. Goode." "Memphis." "Back In the U.S.A." "No Particular Place To Go" — and "Rock and Roll Music.”   Berry's songs hot-wired R&B with C&W, bursting with his signature double-string riffs and propulsive...
Music
Joni Mitchell
Reviewed by Lou on Tuesday, March 24
Joni Mitchell has described herself as "a painter who writes songs" and "a woman of heart and mind." Those quotes get to the essence of her artistic expression: imagistic, evocative, passionate, thoughtful.   Joni's early career arc brought her from her native Canada to Michigan to New York; the folky songs she wrote along the way — "Urge For Going," "The Circle Game," "Both Sides Now," "Chelsea...
Music
Mandy Moore
Reviewed by Jen on Tuesday, March 24
Mandy Moore, currently making audiences cry with her heartbreaking performance as Rebecca Pearson on NBC's "This Is Us," has released her long awaited album of new material. After an 11-year hiatus, Moore delivers a collection of California-inspired tunes that showcase her sweet and yearning vocals. Silver Landings explores her introspective side, featuring songs that wistfully reminisce about...
Music
James Taylor
Reviewed by Colleen on Tuesday, March 24
Some artists are so unique and have created a musical DNA that is so deeply embedded in our culture, that the sonic fingerprint is impossible to obscure.  That is certainly the case with James Taylor, and his latest release “American Standard.” Taylor says in his liner notes, “These are songs I have always known.  Most of them were part of my family’s record collection, the first music I heard as...
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