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New Album Releases Project 2020-12-14

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And then there were … Liner Notes

Christian Löffler’s – Parallels – Shellac Reworks of Beethoven is the answer. The question: Where is the intersection of EDM and Classical Music? This past weekend Deutsche Grammophon presented Löffler’sParallels in its entirety as an EP. There will be a full-length album including tracks from other composers. I am very much looking forward to his effort with Bedrich Smetana’s revered Moldau. If the bridging of genres can bring new listeners to Classical Music, then I say BRING IT ON!

This makes for a great segue to Ólafur Arnalds’ album entitled some kind of peace. For lack of a better term, this is Soft-EDM. There is no familiar back-beat and the albums’ theme is one of acceptance – accepting and dealing with that which we have no control. From Olafur himself: “All we can do is control how we react to what life gives us.” And “This album is very much about letting go.”  The recording was made under lockdown in Iceland in Olafur’s home studio. For those interested here’s a list of the gear he used:  Korg PS-3100, Roland SRE-555, AKG C12a, Studer 962, and Nagra IV-S.

Guilty as charged, I had no idea as to Peter Bernstein’s background and I found myself captivated by his guitar mastery on What Comes Next, as I was getting settled into the album’s groove, this other recording of Peter’s with the Guido Di Leone quartet where they pay Tribute to Jim Hall drops. Both albums deserve attention and focused listening sessions.

Taylor Swift’s evermore, yes THAT Taylor Swift. First, she released Folklore and that was the first album of hers that I could listen to all the way through, and then having written/co-written so much material for that album, she drops evermore on us. Honestly, I prefer it to Folklore and wonder what folks would say who NEVER heard her sing before, having these two albums as their basis for forming their preference, their opinion of her as a singer, musician, composer, and artist. For me, it was/is the storytelling aspect.

Here are some albums that I kept on repeat late in the evening and into the early morning hours:

  • Mark Fell & Will Guthrie – Infoldings ∕ Diffractions
  • Stephan Meidell & Øyvind Hegg-Lunde – Voice & Strings & Timpani
  • Susan Alcorn Quintet – Pedernal
  • Sverre Gjørvad – Elegy of Skies
  • Vincent – Vincent’s Synthetic Pleasure

2020 was/is a crap year. There’s just no other way of looking at it. No matter the quality and quantity of music released; however, there is an upside. It would appear that the labels are big on re-releasing, re-issuing, and/or re-mastering/mixing 50th Anniversary celebrations of albums and while 1970 was an OK year, 1971 was off the charts. I refer you all to this link:

If this list is any indication, we have so much with which to look forward. 1971 was a banner year for album releases and in my personal estimation, it is challenged only by the releases of 1977.

With that being said, the 50th Anniversary of Neil Young’s After The Gold Rush and the Kink’s Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround, Pt. 1 make for great end-of-the-year wake-up calls.

And then there’s Spandau Ballet’s Greatest Hits, hard to believe they’re celebrating their 40th Anniversary, that does make me feel old, hoary even.   Ace of Base’s Hidden Gems, Vol. 2 reaffirms the band if they need such. They’re just a really fun listen, a real blast from the past.


New Releases

Belle and Sebastian – What to Look for in Summer

Christian Löffler – Parallels – Shellac Reworks

David Goode – Bach – Complete Organ Works

Kaja Draksler Octet – Out for Stars

Khatia Buniatishvili – Labyrinth

Lewis Wright, Matt Brewer, Marcus Gilmore – The Colour of Intention

Mark Fell & Will Guthrie – Infoldings ∕ Diffractions

Mark Simpson – Simpson – Geysir & Mozart – Gran Partita

Martin Kohlstedt – FLUR

Mike Rud – Salome’s Dance

ÓlafurArnalds – some kind of peace

Peter Bernstein & Guido Di Leone quartet – Tribute to Jim Hall

Peter Bernstein – What Comes Next

Ramon Moro – Offering

Robin Trower, Maxi Priest, Livingstone Brown – United State of Mind

Stephan Meidell & Øyvind Hegg-Lunde – Voice & Strings & Timpani

Susan Alcorn Quintet – Pedernal

Sverre Gjørvad – Elegy of Skies

Taylor Swift – evermore

Vincent – Vincent’s Synthetic Pleasure


Re-Issues, Re-Masters & Miscellany

Ace of Base – Hidden Gems, Vol. 2

Johnny Hammond – Gears

Neil Young – After The Gold Rush (50th Anniversary)

Ray Barretto – Barretto Power

Sadik Hakim – A Bit of Monk

Spandau Ballet – 40 Years – The Greatest Hits

The Everly Brothers – The Cadence Recordings

The Kinks – 1970 – Lola Versus Powerman & the Moneygoround, Pt. 1

Thin Lizzy – Rock Legends


Share NARP with your friends, family, colleagues, and everyone in your respective extended networks.


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