Out of the Grey – A Little Light Left: Let the music span the distance.

2015_OutoftheGrey_ALittleLightLeftArtist: Out of the Grey
Album: A Little Light Left
Year: 2015
Grade: B

In Brief: While it’s quite different from the glossy, catchy and quirky pop tunes of their 90s heyday, Out of the Grey has created a mellow and mostly acoustic record that feels authentic to who they are now. It’s not so much a comeback as it is a welcome visit from old friends you haven’t seen in ages.

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Flint Eastwood – Small Victories EP: Who needs psychotherapy when the Internet will listen?

2015_flinteastwood_smallvictoriesepArtist: Flint Eastwood
Album: Small Victories EP
Year: 2015
Grade: A-

In Brief: Flint Eastwood fits nicely among some of the other female-fronted dance-pop and electronica artists that I listen to, who emphasize wit and songcraft above mere sex appeal in their quest to get their music heard.

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Obsessive Year-End List Fest 2016: EPs and Last Year’s Leftovers

I don’t like a lot of hodgepodge in my year-end lists of favorite albums. But sometimes the good songs don’t end up on full-length LPs, or else they do and I just don’t discover them in time to put them on that year’s list. This is where all of that stuff goes.

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Timbre – Sun & Moon: There is nothing light can’t touch.

2015_Timbre_SunMoonArtist: Timbre
Album: Sun & Moon
Year: 2015
Grade: B

In Brief: A double album with intricate, harp-driven baroque pop compositions on one side and several lengthy classical pieces on the other certainly asks a lot of the listener, but Timbre has a foot firmly planted in both worlds and she clearly had no shortage of inspiration when exploring the relationship between the two. I may never fully understand this album, but I really appreciate the inherent beauty and interconnectedness of it all.

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Lauryn Peacock – Euphonia: It takes a lifetime to be a gentle man.

2015_LaurynPeacock_EuphoniaArtist: Lauryn Peacock
Album: Euphonia
Year: 2015
Grade: B-

In Brief: Lauryn is an intriguing singer/songwriter with a gift for sprawling, thoughtful, and slightly whimsical baroque pop arrangements. This album’s only real flaw is a few excessively bloated tracks that create the illusion of the album having more content than it actually does.

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Andrew Peterson – The Burning Edge of Dawn: It’s only when the straight line breaks and heals a little crooked that you ever see the grace.

2015_AndrewPeterson_TheBurningEdgeofDawnArtist: Andrew Peterson
Album: The Burning Edge of Dawn
Year: 2015
Grade: B

In Brief: While not as bold of a musical statement as Light For the Lost Boy, it’s one of Peterson’s most honest and transparent records yet, a confessional and comforting work to help you get through those “dark nights of the soul”.

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Guy Garvey – Courting the Squall: Harder (and Softer) Edges

2015_GuyGarvey_CourtingtheSquallArtist: Guy Garvey
Album: Courting the Squall
Year: 2015
Grade: B

In Brief: At times it may as well just be a new Elbow record, but since Elbow paints a little bit outside of their previously established lines with every album, I don’t consider it to be a bad thing for their lead singer to do some more of that on his own. The combination of loud, brash, up-tempo numbers and velvety ballads makes the flow a bit choppier than it would be on an Elbow record, but there’s a lot of strength in the diversity as well.

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