• When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

    When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

    Eilish, Billie

    On her big-league debut, Billie Eilish makes a bold entrance into the mainstream, leaving the fringes behind to embrace her role as an anti-pop star for the disaffected Gen Z masses. With a youthful, hybrid blend that incorporates elements of indie electronic, pop, and hip-hop (assisted by brother Finneas O'Connell), When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? captures the late-2010s zeitgeist by throwing conventional boundaries to the wind and fully committing to its genre-blurring self. Like Lorde's devilish little sister, Eilish delivers her confessional lyrics in hushed bursts of breath, at times dirge-like in their sedateness and otherwise intensely threatening in their creepiness. Beneath the calculated image, she's a highly relatable kid -- not yet of legal voting age at the time of the album's release -- and an avatar for an audience that deals with similar mental health struggles and growing pains. From the opening line of hilarious opener "!!!!!!!," Eilish makes it clear that she is just like you, the listener, goofing off in the studio with her brother while she's supposed to be recording her major-label debut. As endearing as it is obnoxious, the track sets the tone and, from there, the album is a thrill. Bouncing from infectious dance-pop highs to tender, restrained lows, Eilish manages effortless cohesion, even within the span of a single song. "Bad Guy" throbs like the cavernous echo heard outside the club, sparking to life with a K-pop brightness before descending with a bellowing trap drop, while "All the Good Girls Go to Hell" rides a playful bass strum that manages to pull some G-funk effects into its orbit. The meme-worthy "My Strange Addiction" makes the inspired choice to interpolate dialogue from the "Threat Level Midnight" episode of The Office (which had already wrapped its entire televised run before Eilish even turned 12), all while managing to be one of the sleekest standouts on the album. Other highlights include the hypnotic minimalist single "Bury a Friend," an unnerving nightmare that is as disturbing as it is addictive; the twisted funhouse electro-pop "Ilomilo"; and "You Should See Me in a Crown," a spiritual descendant of Lorde's "Royals" that finds Eilish making a power grab to rule the one-horse "nothing town" instead of simply complaining about it. While empowering and vulnerable messages bleed through every song, the quieter moments allow her introspection to take the spotlight, especially on the restrained trio that closes the album. She contemplates ending her life on the swelling, piano-centric "Listen Before I Go" and offers an uncomfortably uncertain conclusion with "Goodbye," but it's the swelling storm of "I Love You," a heartbreaking acoustic beauty, that pegs Eilish as something more than a spooky, scare-the-parents gimmick. Indeed, with When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, she demonstrates that she can do it all, hinting at a bright future that could truly go in any direction, as messy and hopeful as youth can get. ~ Neil Z. Yeung (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2019

    Holds: 123 on 21 copies

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  • The Slow Rush

    The Slow Rush

    Tame Impala (Musical group)

    In the years after the release of Currents, Tame Impala's mastermind Kevin Parker dedicated himself to the art of the collaboration, working his magic on tracks by artists like SZA, Travis Scott, and Lady Gaga and even co-writing with Kanye. All the while, Tame Impala's fan base kept growing to the point where they were able to headline big festivals and fill stadiums. One might assume that Parker would latch on to the mainstream-friendly elements that seeped into Currents, double down on them, and join his friends in the modern pop machine. Amazingly, that doesn't happen on The Slow Rush. Instead, Parker made an intensely personal album that deals with romantic disappointment, the death of his father, and questions about his place in the world, all set to a soundtrack of shimmering disco, trippy Madchester beats, gleaming synth pop, and epic neo-prog balladry. The album's first song, "One More Year," sets the template for the rest of the record with its vocoder harmonies, bubbling house pianos, echoing atmosphere, rubbery beats, and Parker's heart-felt falsetto. It's a mix of the Stone Roses, Daft Punk, Pharrell, and Washed Out made magical thanks to Parker's melodic gifts and production mastery. The bulk of the album treads similar ground, sometimes building the songs out to feel epically windswept ("Instant Destiny"), sometimes turning them inward like on "Tomorrow's Dust," one of the few tracks to feature prominent guitar. That same song showcases Parker's wizardry on various keyboards. Whether he's pounding out cheesy classical-meets-disco chords -- Silvetti's "Spring Rain" seems to be a major influence here -- or dialing up fat sounds from a vintage synth, he shows the same skill level here that he did on guitar in the band's early days. Guitar also shows up on "One More Hour," a powerful song that delves deep into Parker's fears and hopes while serving up majestic chords, soaring leads, and Zeppelin-sized wallop; it's one of the emotional pillars of the record. Another is "Posthumous Forgiveness," a heartbreaking ode to Parker's dad that sees him pouring out his soul and lamenting all the things his dad isn't around to experience, like a phone call with Mick Jagger for one. It's not all big emotions, though, as there are quite a few songs that either dip into a kind of languorous twilight groove ("Breathe Deeper"), bop hard as steel like the tightly wound "Is It True," which sees Parker at his most Pharrell-like, or lope along peacefully ("Borderline"). The Slow Rush is the final nail in the coffin as far as Tame Impala being a guitar rock band goes; the psychedelia is more diffuse now, softer and more likely to bring a tear with a lyrical turn or a synth wash instead of raising goose bumps with wild guitars. The change began on Currents, where it was handled inelegantly. Here it's brought about smoothly and with great skill, and the album's a comeback that once again makes Tame Impala an artistic force equal to their commercial appeal. ~ Tim Sendra (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2020

    Holds: 117 on 28 copies

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  • Come on up to the House: Women Sing Waits

    Come on up to the House: Women Sing Waits

    Format: Music CD - 2019

    Holds: 106 on 17 copies

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  • Miss Anthropocene

    Miss Anthropocene

    Grimes

    Grimes' music has frequently sounded like pop music for the end of the world, so it makes sense that she leans into that mood on Miss Anthropocene. On her fifth album, she taps into mythology's power to make vast forces easier to comprehend by envisioning climate change as a demon-goddess pop star (as hinted at by the title's clever blend of "misanthrope" and "Anthropocene"). Humanizing the harm humans have caused to the environment by evoking deities of destruction and the singles chart is an intriguing concept that Grimes commits to completely. She trades the surreal, hi-def brightness of Art Angels for a murky mix of ethereal, nu-metal, and industrial-inspired sounds that call to mind a thoroughly polluted world: The tempos are sluggish, the atmosphere is thick, and guitar riffs struggle to emerge from processed sludge. At once breathy and weighty, the six-minute "So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth" begins the album by rolling in like a blanket of smog; on "Darkseid," Aristophanes' tweaked vocals float over the track's grinding menace like an oil slick. As doomy as Miss Anthropocene gets, Grimes always honors her talent for balancing contrasting elements within her music. She brings a subversive catchiness to the album's apocalyptic vibe with "Violence," which suggests a ghostly echo of her own "We Appreciate Power" as much as it does something that "Toxic"-era Britney Spears would sing. Similarly, "My Name Is Dark" builds from bleak hedonism into a pop song worthy of a dance number that becomes a fight scene -- a Grimes specialty, as Art Angels' "Kill V Maim" proved. She's just as skilled at cloaking heavy emotions in deceptively light sounds on the Charli XCX-reminiscent "You'll Miss Me When I'm Not Around," where death wishes and pitch-black humor go down easy thanks to its sugary melody. As the album begins to wind down with the narcotic ballad "Before the Fever," Miss Anthropocene seems to trace a slow arc that feels more deliberate than much of her previous work, but Grimes still offers some surprises along the way. "4ÆM," which samples the song "Deewani Mastani" from the Bollywood film Bajirao Mastani and oscillates between moody passages and revved-up ones, is one of the most dynamic tracks; "Delete Forever" is as startling (and successful) for its hushed confessions as it is for its use of banjo and brass. Likewise, when Grimes leaves listeners with "Idoru"'s unabashedly romantic reminder that there's still hope and love to protect in the world, it comes as something of a shock (though not an unpleasant one). Even if it's not always as vivid as some of her earlier albums, Miss Anthropocene is often fascinating and defies expectations in ways that still fit her always thought-provoking aesthetic. ~ Heather Phares (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2020

    Holds: 102 on 22 copies

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  • Dont Smile at Me

    Dont Smile at Me

    Eilish, Billie

    The debut EP from the fifteen-year-old electronic pop singer-songwriter arrived in August 2017 from the Interscope label. The nine-track release features the single Ocean Eyes, a song that brought her to the attention of Interscope. Eilish's sound is ethereal indie electro-pop with dark themes. (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2019

    Holds: 87 on 17 copies

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  • Kiwanuka

    Kiwanuka

    Kiwanuka, Michael

    London native Michael Kiwanuka has won over the hearts of many with his soulful voice & trademark 'modern vintage' sound. Drawing inspiration from Curtis Mayfield, Jimi Hendrix, Ron Isley & more, his 2016 album Love & Hate was received to mass critical acclaim with rave reviews from The New York Times, Pitchfork, NPR, Rolling Stone & more, debuted at number one on the UK chart, and earned him a Mercury Prize nomination. (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2019

    Holds: 85 on 25 copies

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  • Greatest Hits 1970-2002

    Greatest Hits 1970-2002

    John, Elton

    Greatest Hits 1970-2002 is a nearly flawless double-disc set commemorating Elton John's three-decade career. Disc one features what may arguably be John's most essential work: Seeing songs such as "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Candle in the Wind," and "Bennie and the Jets" -- not to mention "Your Song," "Rocket Man," and "Tiny Dancer" -- lined up back to back reaffirms just how diverse, and yet universal, his songwriting talent is. Disc two finds this talent maturing gracefully into the '80s, '90s, and beyond, touching on pop gems like "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," "I'm Still Standing," and "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" as well as his Lion King classic "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" and the Aida duet "Written in the Stars" with LeAnn Rimes. The collection also finds room for the highlights of his most recent albums, including Made in England's "Believe" and "Blessed," The Big Picture's "Something About the Way You Look Tonight," and Songs from the West Coast's "This Train Don't Stop Here Anymore." For most casual fans, Greatest Hits 1970-2002 will replace the need for collections such as Greatest Hits, Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, and Greatest Hits, Vol. 3, although these collections are still worthwhile as of-their-time retrospectives of John's work. ~ Heather Phares (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2002

    Holds: 78 on 1 copy

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  • Everyday Life

    Everyday Life

    Coldplay (Musical group)

    After posting some cryptic clues on social media and placing mysterious ads, Coldplay has announced their first new album in four years. It includes the singles Orphans and Arabesque. (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2019

    Holds: 70 on 22 copies

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  • Once Upon A Time in Hollywood: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

    Once Upon A Time in Hollywood: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

    Personally curated by Quentin Tarantino himself, this soundtrack is a love letter to the music of 1960s-era Hollywood. Featuring over 20 standout tracks from artists such as Paul Revere & The Raiders, Deep Purple and Neil Diamond, the album creates a true time capsule of a golden era of filmmaking. (syndetics)

    Format: Music CD - 2019

    Holds: 69 on 14 copies

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  • 2020 Grammy Nominees

    2020 Grammy Nominees

    Features some of the biggest Grammy-nominated tracks, including Lil Nas X's Old Town Road; Lizzo's Truth Hurts; and Billie Eilish's bad guy. (syndetics) (8/13/2020 7:51:25 AM)

    Format: Music CD - 2020

    Holds: 66 on 18 copies

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