New Releases

One Day Like This

Rhydian

Billy's Back On Broadway

Billy Porter

Pardon My French

Marc Thomas

House Candy - I'm In Lounge

Various Artists

Latin

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet

Piano Recital 1988

Jorge Bolet

Something to Turn To

Jim Chappell

Filmatica

Steen Thottrup

The Legacy Continues Phase II

Swanee Quintet

Ferradini: Al santo sepolcro

Roberta Invernizzi

Bartók: Piano Pieces, Vol. 7

Jeno Jando

House Candy - Sweet Lounge

Various Artists

Swing Driven Thing

Fiona Pears

Bossa Nova Tunes

Deboa de Bahia, Coco Briaval

Back to the Eighties, Vol. 1

Christoph Spendel

Back to the Eighties, Vol. 3

Christoph Spendel

Top Albums

Sinatra: Best Of The Best

Frank Sinatra
Finally, a disc that combines Sinatra’s hits for Capitol and his hits for Reprise! Of course, since Capitol is the label releasing Sinatra: Best of the Best, the collection leans heavily on his Capitol sides, but the addition of such ‘60s staples as “It Was a Very Good Year,” “Strangers in the Night,” “Summer Wind,” “That’s Life,” “My Way,” and “Theme from New York, New York” to “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” “Come Fly with Me,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” and “Fly Me to the Moon” makes this 23-track collection a superb sampling of Frank songs everybody knows by heart. Initial pressings in the fall of 2011 included the then out of print '57 - In Concert, a heavily circulated (and quite good) concert performed with Quincy Jones’ band in Seattle during 1957.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Serenity (Sleep Music)

Deep Sleep Band

Come Away With Me

Norah Jones
Norah Jones' debut on Blue Note is a mellow, acoustic pop affair with soul and country overtones, immaculately produced by the great Arif Mardin. (It's pretty much an open secret that the 22-year-old vocalist and pianist is the daughter of Ravi Shankar.) Jones is not quite a jazz singer, but she is joined by some highly regarded jazz talent: guitarists Adam Levy, Adam Rogers, Tony Scherr, Bill Frisell, and Kevin Breit; drummers Brian Blade, Dan Rieser, and Kenny Wollesen; organist Sam Yahel; accordionist Rob Burger; and violinist Jenny Scheinman. Her regular guitarist and bassist, Jesse Harris and Lee Alexander, respectively, play on every track and also serve as the chief songwriters. Both have a gift for melody, simple yet elegant progressions, and evocative lyrics. (Harris made an intriguing guest appearance on Seamus Blake's Stranger Things Have Happened.) Jones, for her part, wrote the title track and the pretty but slightly restless "Nightingale." She also includes convincing readings of Hank Williams' "Cold Cold Heart," J.D. Loudermilk's "Turn Me On," and Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You." There's a touch of Rickie Lee Jones in Jones' voice, a touch of Bonnie Raitt in the arrangements; her youth and her piano skills could lead one to call her an Alicia Keys for grown-ups. While the mood of this record stagnates after a few songs, it does give a strong indication of Jones' alluring talents.

David R. Adler, Rovi

Crazy Love

Michael Bublé
Buoyed by the popularity of the hit contemporary pop ballad "Home," singer Michael Bublé's 2005 album, It's Time, clearly positioned the vocalist as the preeminent neo-crooner of his generation. Bublé's 2007 follow-up, Call Me Irresponsible, only further reinforced this notion. Not only had he come into his own as a lithe, swaggering stage performer with a knack for jazzing a crowd, but he had also grown into a virtuoso singer. Sure, he'd never drop nor deny the Sinatra comparisons, but now Bublé's voice -- breezy, tender, and controlled -- was his own. It didn't hurt, either, that he and his producers found the perfect balance of old-school popular song standards and more modern pop covers and originals that at once grounded his talent in tradition and pushed him toward the pop horizon. All of this is brought to bear on Bublé's 2009 effort, Crazy Love. Easily the singer's most stylistically wide-ranging album, it is also one of his brightest, poppiest, and most fun. Bublé kicks things off with the theatrical, epic ballad "Cry Me a River" and proceeds to milk the tune with burnished breath, eking out the drama line by line. It's over the top for sure, but Bublé takes you to the edge of the cliff, prepares to jump, and then gives you a knowing wink that says, not quite yet -- there's more fun to be had. And what fun it is with Bublé swinging through "All of Me," and killin' Van Morrison's classic "Crazy Love" with a light and yearning touch. And just as "Home" worked to showcase Bublé's own writing abilities, here we get the sunshine pop of "Haven't Met You Yet" -- a skippy, jaunty little song that brings to mind a mix of the Carpenters and Chicago. Throw in a rollicking and soulful duet with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings on "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)," and a fabulously old-school close-harmony version of "Stardust" with Bublé backed by the vocal ensemble Naturally 7, and Crazy Love really starts to come together. All of this would be enough to fall in love with the album, but then Bublé goes and throws in a last minute overture by duetting with fellow Canadian singer/songwriter Ron Sexsmith on Sexsmith's ballad "Whatever It Takes." A devastating, afterglow-ready paean for romance, the song is a modern-day classic that pairs one of the most underrated and ignored songwriters of his generation next to one of the most ballyhooed in Bublé -- a classy move for sure. The result, like the rest of Crazy Love, is pure magic.

Matt Collar, Rovi

Disney Songs The Satchmo Way

Louis Armstrong
This delightful set features Louis Armstrong in 1968 (not 1966 as it states in the liners) performing ten tunes associated with Disney films. One may not expect much from such songs as "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," "Whistle While You Work," and "The Ballad of Davy Crockett," but Armstrong's joyful vocals and occasional emotional trumpet really uplift the material. His rendition of "When You Wish Upon a Star" is touching, and few of the songs (including "The Bare Necessities" and "Heigh-Ho") have never sounded livelier and more fun.

Scott Yanow, Rovi

Phase II

Prince Royce
Having taken a few more cues from the R&B crowd -- like dropping his trademark "Royyyyyccce" at the beginning of tracks -- Prince Royce's mix of urban, bachata, and Latin pop felt especially fresh and exciting as this sophomore effort landed on shelves, but this ballad-driven release is far from gimmicky. From the massive "it's the little things" hit "Los Cosas Pequeñas," to the broad and uplifting dance-pop of "It's My Time," Prince Royce proves himself to be a talented, heartfelt singer, pulling a lot of soul out of a soft, amiable -- you could even call if featherweight -- voice. It's that light bit of his delivery that makes him approachable, and even if he's got the pedigree of a Dominican kid growing up in oh-so-cool N.Y.C., he's both hip and growing increasingly true to the music, delivering the album's more Bieber, Black Eyed Peas, and Selena moments in a style that's connectable over just crossover. With the genre-spanning and the man's delivery both more natural, the rewarding Phase II is a substantial step up from Royce's debut.

David Jeffries, Rovi

Billy's Back On Broadway

Billy Porter

My Love Essential Collection

Céline Dion

Jewel: Lullaby

Jewel
Clearly intended to appear at the end of Jewel's run on Dancing with the Stars -- a run that was pre-empted due to injury -- Lullaby finds her delivering her first children's album, appropriately appearing on Fisher Price Records. That label and title, along with versions of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and "Brahms Lullaby," are the strongest indication that Lullaby is intended for little ones; if it was taken as pure sound, it's almost indistinguishable from Jewel's earliest albums, particularly her crawling, portentous sophomore effort, Spirit. To her credit, Jewel never panders to kids, never creates something sickly sweet or cutesy, she merely delivers a collection of lullabies intended to relax and soothe. She succeeds so well in that regard that none of the individual songs stand out, they all blend together in a sweet, sometimes haughty sigh, something that will ease plenty of children into slumber.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Call Me Irresponsible

Michael Bublé
More than any of his contemporaries, vocalist Michael Bublé has bridged the gap between standards-oriented vocal pop and more contemporary pop vocals. Having perfected the mix on his superb 2003 effort, It's Time, which found the Frank Sinatra-influenced singer covering both "I've Got You Under My Skin" and Leon Russell's R&B ballad "A Song for You," Bublé wisely doesn't mess with a good thing on 2007's Call Me Irresponsible. Once again delving into a mix of swinging big-band numbers and classic pop hits such as the wickedly hip '60s standard "Comin' Home Baby" (featuring backing vocals from Boyz II Men), the album is a breezy, stylish good time. And while such cuts as "The Best Is Yet to Come" and the laid-back title track comfortably cast Bublé as a modern-day crooner consistent with his billing, the unexpected reworkings of contemporary pop songs often make the biggest impact. To these ends, his bossa nova duet with vocalist Ivan Lins on Eric Clapton's "Wonderful Tonight" and the reharmonized Willie Nelson perennial "Always on My Mind" work particularly well here, not as cheeky cabaret but as artfully crafted and devastatingly moving ballads. And it's not just the cover tunes that drive the album; on the contrary, much like the Bublé co-written ballad "Home" defined the mood of It's Time, his sparkling melodic pop original "Everything" helps make Call Me Irresponsible a truly welcome pop album by any standard. This CD was nominated for a Grammy award in 2007 as Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, and "Everything" was nominated for Best Male Pop Performance.

Matt Collar, Rovi

In2ition

2Cellos
Legendary rock producer Bob Ezrin is at the helm on In2ition, the second release by the Croatian classical crossover duo 2Cellos. Similar to their debut release, In2ition features a wide array of restructured cover versions including "We Found Love" (Rihanna), "Highway to Hell" (AC/DC), "Bang Bang" (Sonny & Cher), and "Orient Express" (Jean Michel Jarre). The guest appearances on this date are just as eclectic as the choice of material. Helping out are Steve Vai, Lang Lang, Naya Rivera, Karl Jenkins, Zucchero, and Elton John, who is such a fan he had the duo open for him on his 2011 summer tour.

Al Campbell, Rovi

Encore of Their Golden Hits

The Platters

To Be Loved

Michael Bublé
To Be Loved is the eighth studio album from Canadian crooner Michael Bublé. Featuring a mix of classic covers ("You Make Me Feel So Young," "Have I Told You Lately," "To Love Somebody") and special guest appearances from Reece Witherspoon, Bryan Adams, and the Puppini Sisters, this is a charming return to form for the popular singer and will surely delight his legions of fans. It also includes the original composition "It's a Beautiful Day."

Aneet Nijjar, Rovi

The Best of Andrea Bocelli: Vivere

Andrea Bocelli

Live: Barefoot At The Symphony

Idina Menzel
Stage, film, and television star Idina Menzel's Live: Barefoot at the Symphony, was recorded in Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music headquarters in Toronto. Backed by the 52-piece Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony conducted by the legendary Marvin Hamlish, the 16-track set features some of Broadway's biggest hits. Barefoot at the Symphony is also available on DVD. ! James Christopher Monger, Rovi

Running cadences of the US Armed Forces

Various Artists
Running Cadences of the U.S. Armed Forces is a collection of cadences taken from the U.S. military. The album serves as a soundtrack for exercising as well as a document of popular military chants, making it valuable to former members of the service as well as those who can use it for motivation.

Bradley Torreano, Rovi

Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs From The Stage

Susan Boyle
Standing Ovation: The Greatest Songs From The Stage is the fourth studio album from Susan Boyle. This album documents the singer’s love of musicals from the stage and screen. Packed with iconic songs, Boyle’s renditions of classics such as ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’, ‘Send In The Clowns’, ‘Memory’ are show-stoppers. With collaborations with Michael Crawford on ‘The Music Of The Night’ and with Donny Osmond on ‘All I Ask Of You’ and ‘This Is The Moment, Rovi

Minecraft World

Wildlife

Yoshiki Classical

Yoshiki

Greatest Hits

Eddie Fisher

I Dreamed A Dream

Susan Boyle
Amateur vocalist Susan Boyle became an overnight sensation after appearing on the first round of 2009's popular U.K. reality show "Britain's Got Talent". Boyle, who was born in Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland in 1961, caught the judges (and the world) off guard with her masterful rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical "Les Misérables", due in part to the unemployed and undeniably plain church volunteer's "salt of the earth" demeanor and country spinster back-story. Boyle attempted a singing career in 1999, recording a handful of demos that showcased her rich and expressive voice, but chose to look after her aging mother instead of pursuing the dream full-time. Within hours of her appearance on "Britain's Got Talent", Boyle was not only an Internet sensation, she was a world-wide phenomenon. Her debut album, I Dreamed a Dream, was released in 2009 and reached number one on both the U.S. and U.K. charts, setting a record in her homeland for first-week sales. I Dreamed a Dream was more than an instant success: it wound up as the second biggest seller of 2009 in the U.S. and topped charts throughout Europe. Boyle delivered a second album, the Christmas-themed The Gift, for the holiday season of 2010. Her third outing, 2011's Steve Mac-produced, Someone to Watch Over Me, featured a diverse set of hits, including takes on classics like "Both Sides Now" and "Unchained Melody," as well as more modern material from the likes of Tears for Fears ("Mad World") and Depeche Mode ("Enjoy the Silence").

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

My One And Only Thrill

Melody Gardot

Top Songs

You Raise Me Up

Josh Groban

Stand by Me

Prince Royce

Come Away With Me

Norah Jones

Don't Know Why

Norah Jones

Fly Me to the Moon (in Other Words)

Frank Sinatra

It's A Beautiful Day

Michael Bublé

Incondicional

Prince Royce

She's A Lady

Tom Jones

Feeling Good

Nina Simone

Home

Michael Bublé

The Power Of Love (Radio Edit)

Céline Dion

Your Great Name

Natalie Grant

Haven't Met You Yet

Michael Bublé

Theme From New York, New York

Frank Sinatra

Amazing Grace

Celtic Woman

You're Not Alone

Marie Miller

Held

Natalie Grant

RISE

Herb Alpert

Forever in Love

Kenny G

Beethoven - 5th Symphony

Beethoven