Category Archives: Album Reviews

NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of April 28, 2017

There’s something about Mary…

When the Queen Of Hip-Hop Soul faces off against other chart royalty in the battle for the week’s highest debut, you know it is going to be a good fight. Get your downloads and streams ready, because here comes the latest new releases update:

MARY J. BLIGE – Strength Of A Woman (iTunes)
Blige should show some notable Strength in the marketplace with her latest studio album, which comes after a pair of #1 songs at the Urban AC format: “Thick Of It” and “U + Me (Love Lesson)”. It also includes “Love Yourself”, featuring Kanye West, which is on its way up the Urban chart. A dozen of her previous studio albums, dating back to 1992, have hit the top ten on the Billboard 200, and a top five debut is certainly possible for her latest effort.

WALE – Shine (iTunes)
Pushed up a week from its initial release date, perhaps due to a battle brewing between new sets from Chris Stapleton and Logic, this popular rapper’s fifth studio album is his first in two years. The lead single from it, “Fashion Week” (featuring G-Eazy), ranks in the top 30 at Urban radio, and sits just outside the top 40 at the Rhythmic format. The album will likely debut in the top five.

GORILLAZ – Humanz (iTunes)
The animated band is back with their first album in six years. Single “We Got The Power”, featuring Jehnny Beth, quickly reached its top 40 peak on the Alternative chart, though it’s not so powerful now, as it tumbles down the survey. Will this release return them to the top ten for the first time since 2010? We’ll see soon.

CASHMERE CAT – 9 (iTunes)
He’s one cool Cat. This album features collaborations with a number of popular acts, including Ariana Grande and The Weeknd. One single from it, the Selena Gomez and Tory Lanez-assisted “Trust Nobody”, received some minor pop airplay last year.

More albums out this week: All That Remains‘s Madness (iTunes), Feist‘s Pleasure (iTunes), John Mellencamp‘s Sad Clowns & Hillbillies (iTunes), Lea Michele‘s Places (iTunes), New Found Glory‘s Makes Me Sick (iTunes), Old Crow Medicine Show‘s 50 Years Of Blonde On Blonde (iTunes), Sylvan Esso‘s What Now (iTunes), The Cranberries‘s Something Else (iTunes), Trombone Shorty‘s Parking Lot Symphony (iTunes), Willie Nelson‘s God’s Problem Child (iTunes)

More EPs out this week: Foster The People‘s III (iTunes), JP Cooper‘s Passport Home (iTunes), Take That‘s Giants (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:
“1995”, Emmit Fenn (iTunes)
“Always Been U”, PHANGS featuring R.Lum.R (iTunes)
“Another Life”, Afrojack & David Guetta featuring Ester Dean (iTunes)
“Bend Or Break (Acoustic)”, Hannah Jane Lewis (iTunes)
“Belong”, gnash featuring DENM (iTunes)
“Blessings”, Tom Walker (iTunes)
“Body”, Sean Paul featuring Migos (iTunes)
“Bon Appétit”, Katy Perry featuring Migos (iTunes)
“Calm Down”, Skip Marley (iTunes)
“Dandelions”, Ruth B. (iTunes)
“Deep Water”, Alisan Porter (iTunes)
“Electric Intercourse”, Prince (iTunes)
“First Time”, Kygo x Ellie Goulding (iTunes)
“Friday Night”, Vigiland (iTunes)
“I Hear Your Song, Sweetness”, George Taylor (iTunes)
“I Know A Place (Remix)”, MUNA x MNEK (iTunes)
“I’ll Give You Love”, Clear Six (iTunes)
“I’m The One”, DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance The Rapper and Lil Wayne (iTunes)
“It’s You”, Molly Kate Kestner (iTunes)
“J-Boy”, Phoenix (iTunes)
“Land Of The Living”, Plain White T’s (iTunes)
“Let You Go”, Machine Gun Kelly (iTunes)
“Maxine”, Benny Cassette (iTunes)
“Middle Of The Night”, The Vamps & Martin Jensen (iTunes)
“Most Girls”, Hailee Steinfeld (iTunes)
“My Friends”, Oh Wonder (iTunes)
“No Vacancy”, OneRepublic (iTunes)
“Now (Acoustic)”, Grace Mitchell (iTunes)
“Old Friends”, Jasmine Thompson (iTunes)
“Sandcastle State Of Mind”, Peter Wise (iTunes)
“Saw You In A Dream”, The Japanese House (iTunes)
“Say My Name”, Tove Stryke (iTunes)
“Song On Fire”, Nickelback (iTunes)
“Take On The World (AlunaGeorge Remix)”, You Me At Six (iTunes)
“The One That Got Away”, Skinny Days featuring Emilie Adams (iTunes)
“Thinking Of A Place”, The War On Drugs (iTunes)
“Thinking Of You”, Elias (iTunes)
“Torches”, X Ambassadors (iTunes)
“Without U”, Steve Aoki & DVBBS featuring 2 Chainz (iTunes)
“Young And Menace”, Fall Out Boy (iTunes)

We’ll see you next week for new albums from Chris Stapleton, Logic and more. Listen to the PGTC Friday Faves list on Spotify!

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RECORD REWIND: PGTC Picks, 4/16 – 4/22/17

Sunday afternoon means it’s time for the Record Rewind, highlighting the top new tracks that you might’ve missed during the work week, all from my favorite independent acts out there. If it’s on the site, it’s something that you need to check out!

Across the PGTC SoundCloud page and my playlists on Spotify, these stuck out as my favorite independent songs of the week…
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BIYO – “Moments” (iTunes) (Spotify)
Nashville musician Grayson Proctor got a brief mention on the Rewind back in February with the release of “Focus”, and now we’re focused on his latest tune. Proctor blends dramatic pop and raw R&B elements into a cool song that’s sure to please the blog world.

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SARAH SOLOVAY – “Trick Me” (iTunes) (Spotify)
Singer/songwriter Solovay had us jamming out to her previous single, “Rough Draft”, back in February, and her new track is just as awesome. Matching an edgier and sensual lyric with some good production, Solovay proves that she’s versatile and ready for more.

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For more great new music, these tunes are worth a listen…
Anya Marina – “Cut You Loose” (SoundCloud)
Northern National – “MoneyBlind” (SoundCloud)

Want to be featured on this weekly wrap-up? Submit your music to adamfsoybel@gmail.com and I’ll check our your tunes. Thanks!

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NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of April 21, 2017

Take the good with the Brad.

It may be the end of 420, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some smokin’ releases on this week’s schedule. (I tried, I really did.) If you’re ready for all that new music, let’s check out all the action right here:

BRAD PAISLEY – Love And War (iTunes)
Last month, this Country star’s “Today” topped that radio format, while follow-up single “Last Time For Everything” is set to rise up the charts in the coming weeks. His eleventh studio album features guests like John FogertyMick Jagger and Timbaland, but a duet with Demi Lovato from last year didn’t make the cut. Paisley’s past four studio releases have debuted and peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200, while topping the Country survey.

COIN – How Will You Know If You Never Try (iTunes)
Nashville’s quirky pop/rockers opened their musical mouths and produced a top ten Alternative hit called “Talk Too Much” recently, but will tongues be wagging about their second studio album? Well, I sure hope so! It’s their first set in two years, and there’s a solid buzz headed into their first week. We’ll see if this release can bounce off of the Heatseekers survey and onto the Billboard 200.

INCUBUS – 8 (iTunes)
This California group has been reaching the Active Rock and Alternative charts for nearly two decades now, with their current single,  “Nimble Bastard”, becoming their latest top ten entry on the former. Their past four studio albums have debuted in the top two, but a heavy streaming presence for acts like Drake and Kendrick Lamar will probably deny any chance of that for this set.

More albums out this week: Barry Manilow‘s This Is My Town: Songs Of New York (iTunes), Jessie Reyez‘s Kiddo (iTunes), Sheryl Crow‘s Be Myself (iTunes), Guardians Of The Galaxy: Awesome Mix, Vol. 2 (iTunes)

More EPs out this week: Amy Shark‘s Night Thinker (iTunes), Christina Grimmie‘s Side B (iTunes), Greta Van Fleet‘s Black Smoke Rising (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:
“All The Best”, Zac Brown Band (iTunes)
“Attention”, Charlie Puth (iTunes)
“BDY ON ME”, Omarion (iTunes)
“Beautiful Ones”, Hurts (iTunes)
“Breathe (Shura Remix)”, Astrid S (iTunes)
“Dear Ana”, Matthew Koma featuring Jai Wolf (iTunes)
“Despacito (Remix)”, Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber (iTunes)
“Drummer Boy”, MisterWives (iTunes)
“Feel Something”, Jaymes Young (iTunes)
“Hard Times”, Paramore (iTunes)
“I Don’t Know Why (Acoustic)”, Gavin James (iTunes)
“Lost In Your Light”, Dua Lipa featuring Miguel (iTunes)
“Lottery”, Kid Ink (iTunes)
“Lust For Life”, Lana Del Rey featuring The Weeknd (iTunes)
“Monsters”, Youngr (iTunes)
“Murder To The Mind”, Tash Sultana (iTunes)
“New Religion”, The Heydaze (iTunes)
“Nights With You”, (iTunes)
“Oh Man Oh Woman”, London Grammer (iTunes)
“Plot Twist”, Sigrid (iTunes)
“Problems Problems”, FRANKIE featuring Marc E. Bassy (iTunes)
“Question”, Alex Aiono (iTunes)
“Reminding Me”, Shawn Hook featuring Vanessa Hudgens (iTunes)
“The Cure”, Lady Gaga (iTunes)
“There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back”, Shawn Mendes (iTunes)
“Together”, Ardyn (iTunes)
“Trick Me”, Sarah Solovay (iTunes)
“Wind Up”, Keke Palmer featuring Quavo (iTunes)
“Wonderland (Intro)”, Jasmine Thompson (iTunes)

We’ll see you next week for new albums from Gorillaz, Mary J. Blige and more. Listen to the PGTC Friday Faves list on Spotify!

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RECORD REWIND: PGTC Picks, 4/9 – 4/15/17

Sunday afternoon means it’s time for the Record Rewind, highlighting the top new tracks that you might’ve missed during the work week, all from my favorite independent acts out there. If it’s on the site, it’s something that you need to check out!

Across the PGTC SoundCloud page and my playlists on Spotify, these stuck out as my favorite independent songs of the week…
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JEFFREY JAMES – “Unsaid” (iTunes) (Spotify)
Fresh off the release of his EP on Friday, Nashville singer James throws it back to the earlier part of the 00’s with this smooth R&B and gospel tune. It’s understated, but really shines when he and a backing choir dive into a powerful hook. Check out the whole set!

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LOSTBOYCROW – “Real Name” (iTunes) (Spotify)
You’ve seen this guy all over PGTC and my playlists for some time, so it’s not a surprise that his new song is one of the independent highlights of this week. The electronic-pop song has a nice tropical influence in it, making it a solid choice for your summer playlist.

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MAGDALENA BAY – “Set Me Off” (iTunes) (Spotify)
This duo was last featured on the Rewind in January with the single “Neon”, though member Matthew Lewin also plays with a band that was featured last week, Tipling Rock. Future pop meets early 90’s R&B on this energetic release, another hot track for the two.

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THE NIGHT GAME – “The Outfield” (iTunes) (Spotify)
When we think of outfields, we usually think of the English group that gave us bops like “Your Love” and “Voices Of Babylon”. That being said, this track called “The Outfield” is a home run, especially if it’s already achieving New Music Friday list adds. Great work!

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For more great new music, these tunes are worth a listen…
Leo Kalyan – “Versailles” (SoundCloud)
Lovespeake featuring Max Frost – “Novocaine” (SoundCloud)
LPX – “Tremble” (SoundCloud)
RKCB – “Bloom” (SoundCloud)
Superwalkers – “I Got You” (SoundCloud)

Want to be featured on this weekly wrap-up? Submit your music to adamfsoybel@gmail.com and I’ll check our your tunes. Thanks!

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NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of April 14, 2017

Lamar goes far.

A bit of K-Dot and J-May is just the right combination for this week’s New Music Friday report, featuring those big releases and a lot of fresh singles you need to know about! Let’s check out all the action right here:

KENDRICK LAMAR – Damn. (iTunes)
Aiming for his third #1 album in a row on the Billboard 200, Lamar’s latest set is led by “Humble.”, which is soaring up the Rhythmic and Urban radio charts. Even the competition is really excited about it! The album features collaborations with Rihanna and U2. A big Apple Music and Spotify presence is likely with this one, driving consumption units up, but it should also have a nice sales debut.

JOHN MAYER – The Search For Everything (iTunes)
Mayer’s latest studio album, which comes after two EPs from earlier this year, should have a solid top five debut next week. The new single from it is “Still Feel Like Your Man”, and it’s currently approaching the top ten on my own personal chart. (You’ll also find it in the top 50 on the Hot AC chart.) Just how high will it be searching for its first-week unit total? Stay tuned.

VARIOUS ARTISTS – The Fate Of The Furious (Soundtrack) (iTunes)
No, there’s no “See You Again” on here, but you’ll find many top latin and rap acts on this compilation from the upcoming movie. On the pop radio chart, “Good Life” by G-Eazy and Kehlani recently hit the top 40 and continues to rise. We’ll see how the movie does in its first weekend, and how it affects the soundtrack’s entry on the album chart.

More albums out this week: Tinie Tempah‘s Youth (iTunes), Will Joseph Cook‘s Sweet Dreamer (iTunes)

More EPs out this week: Bishop Briggs‘s Bishop Briggs (iTunes), Jeffrey James‘s Unsaid (iTunes), The Score‘s Myths & Legends (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:
“All Of The Dead Girls”, DREAMCAR (iTunes)
“All Night”, The Vamps & Matoma featuring Astrid S (iTunes)
“Be Myself”, Sheryl Crow (iTunes)
“Breathe (Lauv Remix)”, Astrid S (iTunes)
“Broken”, Lovely.The.Band (iTunes)
“Can I Be Him (Sjur Remix)”, James Arthur (iTunes)
“Cold (Ashworth Remix)”, Maroon 5 featuring Future (iTunes)
“Don’t Cry, 2020”, COIN (iTunes)
“Electric Love”, Serena Ryder (iTunes)
“Electric Touch”, A R I Z O N A (iTunes)
“Gold All Over The Ground”, Brad Paisley (iTunes)
“In My World”, Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie (iTunes)
“Kissing Strangers”, DNCE featuring Nicki Minaj (iTunes)
“Lights Out”, Royal Blood (iTunes)
“Lost On You”, Lena (iTunes)
“Praying (Acoustic)”, Tom Grennan (iTunes)
“P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”, John Gibbons (iTunes)
“Real Name”, Lostboycrow (iTunes)
“Ride”, ZZ Ward featuring Gary Clark Jr. (iTunes)
“See It So Clear (Acoustic)”, Tom Chaplin (iTunes)
“Show You Love (Acoustic)”, Kato & Sigala featuring Hailee Steinfeld (iTunes)
“Stay Together”, Noah Cyrus (iTunes)
“Swalla (Wideboys Remix)”, Jason Derulo featuring Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign (iTunes)
“Sweet Disaster (Acoustic)”, DREAMERS (iTunes)
“Thankful”, New Kids On The Block (iTunes)
“The Other Side”, Alessia Cara (iTunes)
“Trap Paris”, Machine Gun Kelly featuring Quavo & Ty Dolla $ign (iTunes)
“Versailles”, Leo Kalyan (iTunes)
“Way Back”, TLC featuring Snoop Dogg (iTunes)
“Whippin”, Kiiara featuring Felix Snow (iTunes)
“You Make Me Whole”, Steps (iTunes)

We’ll see you next week for new albums from Brad Paisley, Incubus and more. Listen to the PGTC Friday Faves list on Spotify!

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RECORD REWIND: PGTC Picks, 4/2 – 4/8/17

Sunday afternoon means it’s time for the Record Rewind, highlighting the top new tracks that you might’ve missed during the work week, all from my favorite independent acts out there. If it’s on the site, it’s something that you need to check out!

Across the PGTC SoundCloud page and my playlists on Spotify, these stuck out as my favorite independent songs of the week…
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JUKEBOX THE GHOST – “Stay The Night” (iTunes) (Spotify)
What happens when this Brooklyn-based trio, responsible for the #1 song (“Postcard”) on my Top 100 of 2015, returns with one of the brightest and most radio-friendly singles of their career? You put that jam on repeat, that’s what you do. It’s great for summer!

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PAPERWHITE – “Wash Us Away” (iTunes) (Spotify)
Just under two months after siblings Ben and Katie Marshall last appeared on the Rewind with “Human Nature”, the Brooklyn duo adds one more bop to their collection. It starts out smoothly, then explodes with a powerful chorus. I hope it doesn’t go “away” yet.

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TIPLING ROCK – “A Side / B Side” (iTunes) (Spotify)
It’s been a moment since these Boston college kids put out a new song, and if this was their final exam, I’d give them high marks. It’s probably not a surprise, however, since I’ve written about the guys several times before. Dig into their psychedelic pop power now!

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For more great new music, these tunes are worth a listen…
Ben Hobbs – “Shame (Acoustic)” (SoundCloud)
Benji Lewis – “For You” (SoundCloud)
Denny White – “Whatcha Thinking About” (SoundCloud)
Red Rosamond – “Don’t Let Our Love Go Cold” (SoundCloud)
Rows – “New Heart” (SoundCloud)
Violet Skies – “Burn” (SoundCloud)

Want to be featured on this weekly wrap-up? Submit your music to adamfsoybel@gmail.com and I’ll check our your tunes. Thanks!

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NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: Releases For The Week of April 7, 2017

Open for business.

Make some musical memories with all the new releases in this week’s report, including chart-topping electronic and rock acts, and so much more. Let’s check out all the action right here:

THE CHAINSMOKERS – Memories…Do Not Open (iTunes)
Whether you love them or hate them, the duo of Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart is essentially unavoidable at this point, with many hit songs and plenty of fans. The two are putting in overtime on the pop radio chart, with two concurrent top ten singles at the moment: “Paris” and “Something Just Like This”, a collaboration with Coldplay. The race for #1 between the duo and Drake, with all the big streaming support behind both acts, should be an interesting one to watch. So, bro, you should like, totally check this one out, bro.

COLD WAR KIDS – LA DIVINE (iTunes)
These Kids are taking over the Alternative chart, per usual, with the top ten hit “Love Is Mystical”. It’s currently at #6. The group has just missed reaching the top 20 on the Billboard 200 on two occasions, and no, they’re not day and night. However, I’m sure it’ll be a a good day next week if their new set does officially reach that goal. We’ll see soon!

K.FLAY – Every Where Is Some Where (iTunes)
The Illinois performer has done very well on the Alternative radio chart in the past few months with two songs, including the top five hit “Blood In The Cut”. After her independent album missed the top 100 just about three years ago, this set will definitely be in there (and much higher!)

More albums out this week: Father John Misty‘s Pure Comedy (iTunes), Future Islands‘s The Far Field (iTunes), Joey Bada$$‘s ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$ (iTunes), Michelle Branch‘s Hopeless Romantic (iTunes), The New Pornographers‘s Whiteout Conditions (iTunes)

More EPs out this week: Alicia Keys‘s Vault Playlist Vol. 1 (iTunes), Pentatonix‘s PTX, Vol. IV – Classics (iTunes), Ryan Hurd‘s Ryan Hurd (iTunes)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:
“A-Side / B-Side”, Tipling Rock (iTunes)
“Battle Cry”, Jack White (iTunes)
“Bloodstream”, Astrid S (iTunes)
“Byte”, Martin Garrix & Brooks (iTunes)
“Call Me”, Kate Nash (iTunes)
“Crowded Places”, BANKS (iTunes)
“Don’t Kill My Vibe (Gryffin Remix)”, Sigrid (iTunes)
“Don’t Let Our Love Grow Cold”, Red Rosamond (iTunes)
“Dream”, Diana Krall (iTunes)
“Everything Everything”, American Authors (iTunes)
“Find Me”, Tinie Tempah featuring Jake Bugg (iTunes)
“Fire”, Beth Ditto (iTunes)
“For You”, Benji Lewis (iTunes)
“Galway Girl (Martin Jensen Remix)”, Ed Sheeran (iTunes)
“Gravity”, Leo Stannard featuring Frances (iTunes)
“Grow (Stories)”, Frances (iTunes)
“Honor”, DJ Cassidy featuring Grace and Lil Yachty (iTunes)
“If This Is Love”, Ruth B (iTunes)
“It Ain’t Me (Tiësto’s AFTR:HRS Remix)”, Kygo & Selena Gomez (iTunes)
“It Was Love”, LANY (iTunes)
“Kryptonite”, George Maple (iTunes)
“Lifetimes”, Oh Wonder (iTunes)
“No Pressure”, French Montana featuring Future (iTunes)
“Now”, Grace Mitchell (iTunes)
“Now Or Never”, Halsey (iTunes)
“Passport Home”, JP Cooper (iTunes)
“Physical”, The Aces (iTunes)
“Promises”, Day Wave (iTunes)
“Scared To Be Lonely (Acoustic)”, Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa (iTunes)
“Sign Of The Times”, Harry Styles (iTunes)
“Stay The Night”, Jukebox The Ghost (iTunes)
“Stoned On You”, Jaymes Young (iTunes)
“Testify (Beast Remix)”, Citizen Four (iTunes)
“Undefeated”, Incubus (iTunes)
“Unforgettable”, French Montana featuring Swae Lee (iTunes)
“Warm On A Cold Night”, HONNE featuring Aminé (iTunes)
“Wash Us Away”, Paperwhite (iTunes)
“Waterfall (Seeb Remix)”, Stargate featuring P!nk and Sia (iTunes)
“Whatcha Thinking About”, Denny White (iTunes)

We’ll see you next week for new albums from John Mayer, The Fate Of The Furious and more. Listen to the PGTC Friday Faves list on Spotify!

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