May 26

Harry Belafonte – ‘Mark Twain’ and Other Folk Favorites (1954/2016)
FLAC 2.0 Mono (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 00:33:43 minutes | 368 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © RCA/Legacy
Recorded: RCA Victor’s Manhattan Center and 24th Street Studios, April 9, 22 & 29 and May 13, 1954

Harry Belafonte’s first album features a solid variety of songs from American folk tradition, learned during his studies of folk music at the Library of Congress in the early 1950s. He had signed with RCA Victor in 1952, recording a series of well-received singles. Belafonte’s new-found love for music of the West Indies can be found in songs such as “Man Piaba” (which he wrote) along with songs from English and Scottish tradition such as “Lord Randall” and “The Drummer & the Cook.” Songs from African-American tradition include the chain gang song “Tol’ My Captain” and the ubiquitous “John Henry.” Mark Twain was a good initial effort, but Belafonte’s repertoire and delivery would get stronger with the next album. ~~ AllMusic Review by Cary Ginell

1. Mark Twain 03:43
2. Man Piaba 03:30
3. John Henry 03:30
4. Tol’ My Captain 02:47
5. Kalenda Rock (Mourning Song) 03:24
6. The Drummer and the Cook 02:05
7. The Fox 02:44
8. Soldier, Soldier 01:38
9. The Next Big River 00:21
10. Delia 03:00
11. Mo Mary 02:16
12. Lord Randall 04:11

Harry Belafonte – vocals
Millard Thomas – guitar
Orchestra and chorus supervised by Hugo Winterhalter

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May 20

Various Artists – Poor Boy: Songs Of Nick Drake (2004)
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 Stereo > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 77:50 minutes | Scans included | 3,15 GB
or FLAC 2.0 Stereo (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,36 GB
Genre: Jazz, Rock, Folk, Pop

British folkster Nick Drake’s gorgeous, melancholy, tantalizingly ambiguous songs have been covered often, but not perhaps with the range of interpretive powers & depth of emotional commitment that these (mostly) Vancouver & Seattle artists bring to bear in re-imagining his music…

Nick Drake’s songs have attracted a large number of admirers for their beauty and melancholy, but few can have approached those compositions with the stylistic imagination found on Songlines Recordings’ Poor Boy: Songs of Nick Drake. Songlines owner Tony Reif organized a tribute concert to Drake in Vancouver, Canada, in 1999 featuring many of the artists heard here, and he added to them with many musicians based in Seattle. While the result is many different interpretations of Drake’s work, the lengthy CD breaks down for the most part into two halves. In the first seven songs, the artists basically take Drake’s simple folk melodies and sad lyrics as the basis for jazz performances, much as if they were the work of Rodgers & Hart. Kate Hammett-Vaughan begins “Clothes of Sand,” the second track, a cappella before being joined by Chris Gestrin’s piano, Ron Samworth’s guitar, and Simon Fisk’s bass in an arrangement that recalls Billie Holiday singing “Strange Fruit.” Then Gestrin and Fisk return for “One of These Things First,” which they treat as a jazzy piano instrumental in the style of Art Tatum or Oscar Peterson. In “Three Hours,” Jason Michas gives the lyrics a forthright, declarative reading that suggests Nina Simone or Sarah Vaughan. The François Houle 6, led by Houle, a clarinetist, spends 14 minutes working its way through an original atonal instrumental called “For Nick” and into a medley of Drake’s “Horn” and “Know.” And Hammett-Vaughan returns for a bluesy version of “Poor Boy” that would fit into any good set in a jazz club. By this halfway mark in the album, the listener may be forgetting the elegant, becalmed folk arrangements found on Drake’s own albums, but Mike Dumovich returns to familiar ground on “Fly,” and most of the rest of the album is given over to versions of Drake songs performed more in the spirit of the original versions, although Veda Hille and Robin Holcomb mix things up in a four-handed piano treatment of “Road,” and Ian Moore and Eyvind Kang turn “Black Eyed Dog” into something of an Indian raga, complete with sitar. Drake fans ultimately may prefer the songwriter’s own recordings, but this album demonstrates that his songs can be interpreted differently, which speaks well for their long-term appeal.

01. Bill Horist & Aiko Shimada – Cello Song
02. Kate Hammett-Vaughan – Clothes Of Sand
03. Chris Gestrin & Simon Fisk – One Of These Things First
04. Jason Michas & Chris Gestrin – Three Hours
05. Robin Holcomb & Veda Hille – Hanging On A Star
06. Danielle Hebert – For Nick/Horn/Know
07. Kate Hammett-Vaughan – Poor Boy
08. Mike Dumovich – Fly
09. Friendly Science Orchestra – Parasite
10. Veda Hille, Robin Holcomb & Francois Houle – Road
11. Bill Horist & Sam Mickens – Things Behind The Sun
12. Mount Analog with Jesse Sykes – River Man
13. Ian Moore & Eyvind Kang – Black Eyed Dog
14. Mike Dumovich – From The Morning

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May 18

Maeve O’Boyle – All My Sins (2009) [2.0 & 5.1]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DST64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 39:02 min | Scans included | 2,39 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 785 MB
Features Stereo & Multichannel Surround sound | Linn Records # AKD 318 | Genre: Rock, Pop

All My Sins, the debut album from Glasgow’s rising star Maeve O’Boyle, is a master class in melodic, folktinged pop and showcases Maeve’s poignant, personal and deeply meaningful self-penned songs. Produced by Calum Malcolm (The Blue Nile), ‘All My Sins’ is a master class in melodic, folk-tinged pop and features co-writes with, among others, Ricky Ross (Deacon Blue) and Francis Macdonald (Teenage Fanclub). Her unique blend of melodic pop, folk and rock won the acclaim of many established musicians and the press upon its release.

It has been a fruitful few years for local singer songwriter Maeve O’Boyle as she prepares for the release of her debut album. She has planned a show with the guys from Intimate Gigs at The Georgian Hotel in Coatbridge. Maeve has been writing songs since the age of 13 and the 21-year-old has now matured into one of the finest talents to emerge in Scotland in many a year. Her debut album titled All My Sins is a culmination of years of hard work and a steady recognition in the industry of her burgeoning talent. She first started to attract attention when she won the Danny Award at the Celtic Connections festival and winning the Daily Record’s Search for a Star competition. The album has taken several years to record and is an outstanding piece of work, with producers Calum Malcolm (The Blue Nile) and Stuart McCredie (The Fratellis) bringing out the best in Maeve’s voice. The album also features a host of well known Scottish talent including legendary fiddler John McCusker and Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub. Writing the album also afforded Maeve the opportunity to write with some of Scotland’s most respected songwriters including Ricky Ross from Deacon Blue who commented: “When Maeve sang for me I thought she was fantastic. I could listen to her voice all day. She’s up there with anyone”.

01. Old Greenwich Time
02. The Place You Became
03. Facing Home
04. Taxi
05. Swimming Upstream
06. Butterfly
07. Carnival Attraction
08. All My Sins
09. Romeo
10. Pray It Never Happens

Produced by Calum Malcolm and Stuart McCredie.

Maeve O’Boyle – vocals
Stuart McCredie – guitars
Calum Malcolm – keyboards
Laurence Cottle – bass
John McCusker – fiddle
Liam Bradley – drums

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May 15

The Cars – Heartbeat City (1984) [MFSL 2016]
PS3 Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 38:57 minutes | Scans included | 1,58 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Full Scans included | 788 MB
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab # 2163 | Genre: Synth-pop

MTV had become a major marketing tool by 1984, and the Cars were one of the first bands to use the new video medium to their advantage. The band’s fifth album, Heartbeat City (Elektra), spawned several imaginative and memorable videos, which translated into massive chart and commercial success, making it one of the biggest releases of the year. Produced by hitmaker John “Mutt” Lange (AC/DC, Def Leppard), the album included two Top Ten singles — the ballad “Drive” and the charismatic “You Might Think” — plus an additional two that landed in the Top 20: the summer anthem “Magic” and the eccentric “Hello Again”. But it didn’t just stop there, plenty of other tracks could have been hits as well, such as the sparse rocker “It’s Not the Night” and the breezy pop of “Looking for Love”. Other highlights included the ethereal title track, the melodic rocker “Stranger Eyes”, and the moderately paced love song “Why Can’t I Have You”. Although the Cars experienced their greatest success yet with Heartbeat City, it would unfortunately not last for long — after just one more studio album (1987’s spotty Door to Door), the band split up.

01. Hello Again
02. Looking For Love
03. Magic
04. Drive
05. Stranger Eyes
06. You Might Think
07. It’s Not The Night
08. Why Can’t I Have You
09. I Refuse
10. Heartbeat City

Mastered by Shawn R. Britton at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA.

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May 10

Hooverphonic – In Wonderland (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 34:16 minutes | 719 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Artwork: Front cover | Label Columbia

Belgian Pop/Ambient/Electronic group Hooverphonic release their latest album, In Wonderland. On this album you will hear multiple vocals, both male and female, with various timbres that give each song its own character. Yet another eclectic album from national pride Hooverphonic, with melancholy strings as common theme, that again succeeds in coming at us moody, innovative and creatively unfettered.

01 – In Wonderland
02 – I Like the Way I Dance
03 – Badaboum
04 – Cocaine Kids
05 – Deep Forest
06 – Thin Line
07 – Hiding in a Song
08 – Praise Be
09 – God’s Gift
10 – Moving

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May 07

Fairground Saints – Fairground Saints (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 47:04 minutes | 590 MB | Genre: Singer/Songwriter
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Digital booklet | © Verve Records

Los Angeles-based trio Fairground Saints create their warm and wistful sound by playing off the delicate contradictions at the heart of their music. Produced by Matthew Wilder (the songwriter/musician/producer/engineer known for his work with No Doubt, Christina Aguilera, and The Belle Brigade), Fairground Saints’ self-titled debut album is shot through with elegant melodies and lush three-part harmonies. Showing both an artful sophistication and a guileless passion born from what Van Valin describes as “almost a biological imperative to make music,” the album also captures Fairground Saints’ easy chemistry and a shared sensibility that feels beamed in from the golden era of singer-songwriters.

01 – Ain’t Much For Lyin’
02 – Can’t Control The Weather
03 – All For You
04 – Church
05 – Still
06 – Gossip Land
07 – I Wish I Was
08 – Until Then
09 – Sunday Lover
10 – Made To Be Forgotten
11 – Turn This Car Around
12 – Somethin’ From Nothin’

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Apr 28

Barry Gibb – In The Now (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 54:31 minutes | 710 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Artwork: Digital Booklet | © Columbia

“In the Now” is the second solo album by British singer-songwriter Barry Gibb, released on 7 October 2016 by Columbia Records. Although his second solo album (since 1984’s Now Voyager), it is the first of all new material since the Bee Gees’ final studio album This Is Where I Came In (2001). Gibb said of the album: “This is a dream come true for me. It’s a new chapter in my life. I always hoped one day that The Bee Gees would be with Columbia or indeed Sony so, it’s a great joy for me to start again this way with such great people.”

01. In The Now (04:52)
02. Grand Illusion (04:42)
03. Star Crossed Lovers (03:20)
04. Blowin’ A Fuse (04:44)
05. Home Truth Song (05:09)
06. Meaning Of The Word (04:34)
07. Cross To Bear (06:01)
08. Shadows (04:35)
09. Amy In Colour (04:27)
10. The Long Goodbye (02:41)
11. Diamonds (05:19)
12. End Of The Rainbow (04:07)


Sam Bohl, Assistant Engineer
Femio Hernandez, Assistant Engineer
Ed Maina, Baritone Saxophone
Julio Hernández, Bass
Claudio Jaffe, Cello
David Cole, Cello
Stephen Gibb, Composer, Guitar, Lyricist
Doug Emery, Composer, Horn, Keyboards, Lyricist, Other, Strings
Ashley Gibb, Composer, Lyricist
Lee Levin, Drums, Percussion
Eric Kerley, French Horn
Dan Warner, Guitar
Barry Gibb, Guitar, Vocal
Ben Stivers, Keyboards
Bob Ludwig, Mastering Engineer
Mick Guzauski, Mixing Engineer
Richard Bravo, Percussion
John Paterno, Recording Engineer
John Merchant, Recording Engineer
Ed Calle, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Greg Leisz, Steel Guitar
John Kricker, Trombone
Jim Hacker, Trumpet
Doug Michels, Trumpet
Anthony Parce, Viola
Chauncey Patterson, Viola
Scott O’Donnell, Viola
Carol Cole, Violin
Alfredo Olivia, Violin
Tomas Cotik, Violin
Huifang Chen, Violin
Monica Cheveresan, Violin
Valentin Mansurov, Violin
Scott Flavin, Violin
Evija Ozolins, Violin
Mark Schuppener, Violin

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Apr 15

Whitney Houston – One Wish: The Holiday Album (2003/2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 43:22 minutes | 503 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Label: Arista

One Wish: The Holiday Album is the sixth studio album by American singer Whitney Houston, released in November 2003. The album is a Christmas album, and featured the single “One Wish (for Christmas)”, which reached the top twenty on Billboard‍ ’​s U.S. Adult Contemporary chart. The album spent six weeks on the Billboard 200 and as of January 2013 it had sold over 546,000 copies to date. The album also features a duet with Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina on “The Little Drummer Boy.” The album also re-uses “Joy to the World” and “Who Would Imagine a King” from 1996’s The Preacher’s Wife: Original Soundtrack Album.

Whitney Houston delivered One Wish: The Holiday Album, her first Christmas record, a year after her 2002 comeback, Just Whitney. If it seemed like that record played it safe, that’s nothing compared to One Wish, which is the straightest adult contemporary record Houston had released in years. Of course, holiday records are the last place anybody would want to take a risk, since they’re designed to be nice, pleasant mood music and, apart from a rather horrid version of “Little Drummer Boy” — which features her daughter Bobbie Kristina Brown on vocals, but that’s not what sinks it: it’s Whitney’s bewildering scat on “rump-pum-pum” that ruins the cut — this suits the bill nicely. The clean, pristine production, heavy on synths, sounds as if it was cut in the late ’80s, yet it’s also strangely spare, often being no more than a synth and a drum machine. Still, it’s a sound that’s well suited for Whitney and her thoroughly predictable set of material (the title track is the only new song, then the final two songs are recycled from the soundtrack of The Preacher’s Wife). Ultimately, One Wish is the kind of album that may only appeal to a fan of Whitney who has already yearned for her holiday album, but for those fans, it will be satisfactory. –AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

1 The First Nöel 3:14
2 The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) 3:12
3 Little Drummer Boy (Featuring Bobbi Kristina Brown) 4:29
4 One Wish (For Christmas) 4:12
5 Cantique De Nöel (O Holy Night) 3:48
6 I’ll Be Home For Christmas 3:45
7 Deck The Halls / Silent Night 4:30
8 Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 4:49
9 O Come O Come Emanuel 3:06
10 Who Would Imagine A King 3:30
11 Joy To The World 4:42

Whitney Houston – vocals
Barry Eastmond – conductor, keyboard
Bernard Davis – drums
Troy Taylor – bass, drums, keyboard, background vocals
Gerald Tarack – violin, concert master
Mervyn Warren – percussion, piano, conductor, keyboard, electric piano, vocals, background vocals
& more

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Apr 15

Savage Garden – The Singles (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:08:35 minutes | 785 MB | Genre: Pop
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | © Columbia Records

In mid 1995, two young Brisbane men joined forces to create what would become Australia’s biggest and most successful musical duo, Savage Garden, breaking records and winning awards and acclaim along the way.
Darren Hayes and Daniel Jones became among the most successful Australian recording artists of all time with sales in excess of 20 million albums. They are the reigning record-holders for the longest number of weeks on the Monitor/Billboard Adult Contemporary Airplay charts in the US for their singles I Knew I Loved You (124 weeks) and Truly, Madly, Deeply (123 weeks). Savage Garden is one of only two Australian bands to have ever had two #1 singles in the US.

Their other releases charted highly in territories around the world and became beloved by music lovers of all nations including To the Moon and Back, Break Me Shake Me, I Want You, The Animal Song, Affirmation, Hold Me and The Best Thing.

To celebrate this 20 year milestone, a new compilation album – Savage Garden: The Singles – is on sale in stores, online and via download alongside their two beloved, multi-platinum selling albums Savage Garden and Affirmation which feature Deluxe Edition bonus discs of previously unavailable live performances and rare remixes of key songs.

1. I Want You 03:48
2. To the Moon & Back 05:41
3. Truly Madly Deeply 04:33
4. Break Me Shake Me 03:23
5. Universe 04:20
6. All Around Me 04:09
7. Santa Monica 03:34
8. Tears of Pearls 03:47
9. The Animal Song 04:40
10. I Knew I Loved You 04:10
11. Crash and Burn 04:41
12. Affirmation 04:56
13. Chained to You 04:08
14. Hold Me 04:51
15. The Best Thing 04:19
16. She 02:58

Darren Hayes – lead and background vocals
Daniel Jones – keyboards, lead and rhythm guitars and vocals

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Apr 12

Michael Jackson – The Essential Michael Jackson (2005)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:37:25 minutes | 3,07 GB | Genre: Pop, R&B
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: Qobuz | Label: Epic/Legacy

There are several Michael Jackson greatest-hits compilations out there, each one its own take on what should be the definitive portrait of the gloved one’s career. The Ultimate Collection, The Essential Collection (different from the one here), and Number Ones have all surfaced in 2003 and 2004, and HIStory a few years prior. Each one of these collections, while commendable in its attempt to thoroughly document Jackson’s accomplishments, has fallen woefully short in one aspect or another. This has finally been rectified with this installment of Sony’s outstanding Essential collection. Starting with his campaign with his brothers in the Jackson 5, this two-disc set tours through every important single and every important fan favorite short of including his duet with Paul McCartney on “Say Say Say” (the Beatle does, however, make an appearance here on “The Girl Is Mine”). From Off the Wall to Dangerous, it’s all here in one concise package, making it the ideal reference point from which exploration into his deeper catalog can begin. While die-hard fans will already have every single song contained herein and may be weary to purchase another greatest-hits compilation short of a greatest-hits compilation including his backing vocals on Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me,” this may be the only one fans and casual listeners will ever have to purchase to get their fill of the King of Pop’s magic. –AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston

1-01 I Want You Back 2:58
1-02 ABC 2:57
1-03 The Love You Save 3:05
1-04 Got To Be There 3:25
1-05 Rockin’ Robin 2:32
1-06 Ben 2:46
1-07 Blame It On The Boogie 3:30
1-08 Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) 3:45
1-09 Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough 3:56
1-10 Off The Wall 3:46
1-11 Rock With You 3:23
1-12 She’s Out Of My Life 3:37
1-13 Can You Feel It 3:50
1-14 The Girl Is Mine 3:41
1-15 Billie Jean 4:53
1-16 Beat It 4:18
1-17 Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ 4:17
1-18 Human Nature 3:46
1-19 P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) 3:58
1-20 I Just Can’t Stop Loving You 4:11
1-21 Thriller 5:14

2-01 Bad 4:06
2-02 The Way You Make Me Feel 4:26
2-03 Man In The Mirror 5:19
2-04 Dirty Diana 4:40
2-05 Another Part Of Me 3:46
2-06 Smooth Criminal 4:17
2-07 Leave Me Alone 4:39
2-08 Black Or White 3:21
2-09 Remember The Time 3:59
2.10 In The Closet 4:48
2-11 Who Is It 3:59
2-12 Heal The World 6:25
2-13 You Are Not Alone 4:56
2-14 Will You Be There 3:40
2-15 Earth Song 5:02
2-16 They Don’t Care About Us 4:44
2-17 You Rock My World 5:08

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