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Quickspins + Retroview

by The Concordian November 29, 2011
Quickspins + Retroview
Tegan and Sara – Get Along (Warner Bros; 2011)Get along, a DVD/CD combo, is Vancouver sister act Tegan & Sara’s latest effort. The set is packed with three films chronicling the sisters’ latest tour and a recording of a live and intimate show played at The Warehouse Studios in Vancouver, in front of 75 lucky fans. The full-length album is made up of live versions of 15 of their catalogue’s hits, including fan favourites like 1999’s “Divided” and 2004’s “I Know I Know I Know.”
Fans of the Canadian twins, including those who leaned more toward the band’s infectious pop songs like 2009’s “Alligator,” won’t be disappointed with the new arrangements and acoustic transformations on Get Along.
Sampling songs from each of their previous recordings, Tegan and Sara present us with an album that has something for every single one of their fans; a fond retrospective of more than 10 years of their soul-barring songs.

Trial track: “Call It Off (Live)”

8.5/10

– Chloe Deneumoustier

Mary J. Blige – My Life II… The Journey Continues (Geffen; 2011)

“My Life is a classic,” Diddy (who produced the 1994 classic back when he was Puff Daddy), warns Mary J. Blige on the intro to My Life II… The Journey Continues. “So if you wanna do it, you gotta come with it, girl.”
MJB definitely brings it, but My Life II doesn’t hold a candle to its predecessor; My Life is just too good. Blige is still crooning about life, loss, love and pain in her signature hip hop/soul style. With guest appearances by Drake and Rick Ross, among others, Blige proves she has longevity by making a modern album and staying true to her sound on ballads like “Love a Woman,” a duet with Beyoncé, and up-tempo tracks like “25/8.” Still, no track comes close to making the listener feel the same pain they felt on 1994’s My Life’s “Be With You,” “I’m Going Down,” or “Be Happy.”

Trial track: “Mr. Wrong” feat. Drake

8.0/10

– Chris Hanna

Rihanna – Talk That Talk (Def Jam; 2011)

Does it seem like Rihanna is always on the radio and television? If so, it’s because she is. Since 2005, Rihanna has released one album per year and she’s back with her sixth, entitled Talk That Talk. It’s interesting when an artist like Rihanna who just landed her eleventh No. 1 single with “We Found Love” seems so adamant to prove something when she has nothing to prove. With this album, things get messy and overexposed. She incorporates dubstep elements throughout the album, mixed with electro and rave inspired beats, and a nasally icy cool tone that compromises her Barbadian enunciation (except on “We Found Love”). She sounds neither bored nor engaged. The exception to that is when the topic revolves around sex, which it does for 70 per cent of the album.  “You shouldn’t have hit it like that” and “Suck my cockiness, eat my persuasion” are just some of her tamer lyrics.

Trial track: “We Found Love”

Rating: 5.0/10

– Jamie Floyd

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours (Warner Bros; 1977)

Recorded during the summer of 1976 in California, Fleetwood Mac was hoping to cash in on the commercial success of their previous self-titled album Fleetwood Mac in 1975. However, Rumours surpasses that as it reflects the broken state that Fleetwood Mac was in. The tension and fights between the members of the band inspired an album that is both cheerful and anguished. The harmonies are blissful, but the lyrics give way to anger, resentment and heartbreak. This made Rumours not only beautiful, but one of the most personable and popular albums of the 1970s. “The Chain” and “Go Your Own Way” are powerful in a mellow way that not only speaks to listeners but pulls them right in. The blend of acoustic and electric instruments and emotional songwriting highlighted by passionate vocals is what makes Rumours something never to be forgotten.

Trial track: “Go Your Own Way”

– Kalina Laframboise

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