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Category: Music & CD Reviews

CD Review: Norah Jones

Featuring Norah Jones cover The newest release from Norah Jones is anything but ordinary.  I honestly don’t know of any other album that brings together so many artists from different genres so seamlessly.  The common denominator, of course, being the incredibly talented Norah Jones.

...Featuring, released on November 16, 2010, is an amazing collection of cameos, duets, and collaborations with music legends such as Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, and Willie Nelson, as well as more contemporary artists such as Ryan Adams, Foo Fighters, and Outkast. The tracks on ...Featuring span Norah’s entire career and reveal her musical versatility, from jazz to country, hip-hop to rock.

“A lot of the people on this record are people I’ve worshiped since I was a kid, and some of them are younger and more my contemporaries,” says Norah. “Even though the musicians are so varied, the vibe of the songs makes sense when we put them all together.”

If you haven’t heard it yet, I recommend you give it a spin as soon as possible.  You can find it at all the usual places, including Amazon.  If you’d like to keep up with Norah and her future projects, you can also find her on Facebook.

A copy of …Featuring was provided by One2One Network for review purposes.  All opinions stated above are the opinions of the author.  For participating in this project, the author is eligible to be entered in a gift card drawing through the One2One Network.

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CD Review: KT Tunstall's Tiger Suit

September and October have bombarded me with new music from some of my favorite artists and KT Tunstall’s Tiger Suit (released October 5th, 2010) is no exception.  KT has gone a bit more in the dance/pop direction with this one, but she still retains some of her rock guitar-driven style that I’ve come to love.

I’ve been listening to this album pretty much non-stop since I got my hands on it and I have yet to pick out a favorite, although “Fade Like A Shadow” and “Come On, Get In” are the ones that keep getting stuck in my head.  The upbeat songs make me want to dance, while the the slower, heavier songs have me digging into the lyrics booklet for understanding.   Each time I listen I pick up on something I didn’t hear before.

If you haven’t had a chance to hear Tiger Suit yet, you can check out a preview of the album on KT Tunstall’s web site by tweeting or sending a link to facebook.  If you like what you hear, I suggest following KT Tunstall on Twitter or Facebook as well.  She’ll be touring this fall (10/31-12/1) and you don’t want to miss out if she comes near your town!

The not-so-fine print: I received a copy of KT Tunstall’s Tiger Suit in exchange for posting this review and was not compensated in any other way.

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CD Review: Sarah McLachlan – Laws of Illusion

Laws of IllusionBack in high school I had a friend who always had the best music.  He was the kid who always had a cd player and headphones in his backpack ready to pull out when there was a lull in the day.  He introduced me to a lot of music during the two years of high school that we shared, but the most lasting impression was the time he had me listen to Sarah McLachlan‘s Fumbling Towards Ecstacy.

I don’t remember what song he first played for me, but I know that I soon owned the album and listening to “Elsewhere” on repeat quickly became my outlet for teen angst.  I doubt there is any album in my collection that has been played more.

Since that initial purchase,  I have bought every album that Sarah (we’re on a first name basis here) has put out.  Her voice has carried me through half of my lifetime now, so you can imagine how excited I was when I found out Laws of Illusion was set to release.  I was even more thrilled when I found out that One2One Network was covering her release and I jumped on the opportunity to get my hands on a review copy.

Laws of Illusion is everything you would expect from a Sarah McLachlan album.  Her soothing, melodic vocals stand out over the instruments in the background as she pours her soul into each song.  In this album she brings a sense of maturity as she explores love, heartbreak, renewal, and the weight of the world around us.  Some songs, like “Out of Tune” hold a heaviness that you can feel as you listen to the lyrics:

It isn’t my heart that’s grown cold
The same mistakes are getting old
I’m lost for words, I don’t know what to do

But when I’m lying here with you
And the whole world’s out of tune
You’re the one and only voice that makes things right
So stay with me tonight

It is apparent that McLachlan has done a lot of soul searching in the years since her last album release.  Overall, the album was not as upbeat as I would have expected it to be, but that certainly hasn’t kept it from being on a nearly constant rotation since the day I received it.

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CD Review: One eskimO

One eskimO cd cover I recently received a copy of One eskimO’s debut album to review from One2One Network.  One eskimO is a critically-acclaimed English band fronted by singer-songwriter Kristian Leontiou and includes musicians Pete Rinaldi (guitar), Jamie Sefton (bass, horns) and Adam Falkner (drums).

If you listen to pop or adult alternative radio stations, you’ve probably already heard the song “Kandi” since it has hit #1 on adult rock radio.  If not, you can check out the video on YouTube and give it a listen.  I think it is my favorite song on the album, although “Chocolate” and “Amazing” are both close seconds.  “Kandi” just tends to get stuck in my head a little more.

Billboard Magazine calls One eskimO’s self-titled debut album “…catchy, ambient pop.”  I call it perfect rainy day music.  Overall, it is pretty mellow with a nice pop feel to it.  It’s great to listen to in the office while I’m working, but I probably wouldn’t put it on when I need an energy boost.

If you want to catch One eskimO live, they are touring throughout May, June, and July supporting Michael Franti in addition to some festivals and headlining shows.  They’ll be at the Crossroads in Kansas City on June 13th if any local people want to check them out.

One eskimO photo

Want more One eskimO?  Get a free download of “Astronauts” by tweeting, visit the One eskimO  web site, connect on Facebook, or check out their YouTube channel!

Have you heard One eskimO yet?  I’d love to hear what you think of them in the comments!

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CD Review: Butterflyfish

ladybugA few weeks ago I received a copy of Ladybug from Butterflyfish.  When I put it in the cd player on the way to preschool/day care one morning, the kids fussed at me.  It wasn’t their usual Laurie Berkner that they were used to listening to during the morning ride.  Fortunately, it didn’t take long for them to adjust. After just a couple of listens they were singing along!

Matthew Myer Boulton, Elizabeth Myer Boulton, and Zoë Krohne formed Butterflyfish after chatting at a picnic about how to explore the spiritual side of life with their children in new ways. Agreeing that most spiritually themed music made for families were “pretty thin broth, both musically and spiritually,” they set out to create what they had been searching for.  Their first cd, Ladybug,  has gotten great reviews, even being called “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” for kids!

Ladybug is a great collection of folk/bluegrass style songs with a spiritual message.  Mixed in with a collection of Boulton’s originals, are new takes on some of the old classics such as “Jesus Loves Me” and “Deep Down In My Heart.”  The music is light-hearted and fun, while also introducing biblical stories and context. My 4-year-old’s favorite song is “What Jonah Learned Inside the Whale,” and I keep catching him singing it even when the cd isn’t on.  The best part though, is that it has him asking questions and wanting to know more.  After listening to “When the Spirit Sings In Me,” we had a long discussion about what “the Spirit” means and how it relates to our lives.

Don’t think this music is only for kids though.  I’ll admit to playing it (and singing along) even when I’m in the car by myself!  I can’t resist the harmony on “Music.”  Even my husband, who is not at all fond of Folk music, likes it and it’s rare that he’ll admit to liking anything that isn’t hard rock or metal.

For my family, this cd came at a perfect time.  We’ve been trying to re-commit ourselves to going to church and just started attending a brand new church in our area.  I love that the music is helping my son become more interested in God and to be quite honest, it really puts me in the mood to worship on Sunday mornings!

I was actually quite surprised at how much my family loves this cd.  We have all been singing the songs for a couple of weeks now and haven’t tired of it yet. Because we love it so much, I e-mailed Elizabeth and asked if she would be willing to provide another copy of Ladybug for me to give away to my readers.  She graciously said yes!

How to enter:
All you have to do to enter the contest is leave a comment below.  I’d love it if you would tell me what your favorite song (spiritual or otherwise) was when you were a kid.  Are there memories attached to it or did you just like the song?

Contest will close Tuesday, December 15th, 2009, at 11:59 p.m. CST.  One winner will be chosen from all eligible comments via and notified by e-mail.

To find out more about Butterflyfish, go to  You can sample and purchase Ladybug in the store, or check out some of the other fun stuff, such as the yummy Strawberry Lemonade recipe!

Disclosure: I received a copy of Butterflyfish’s cd, Ladybug, for the purposes of this review.

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CD Review – Michael Bublé

1_mb_crazy_coverIt’s time for yet another music review (this has been a fun week!)!  This time it’s Michael Bublé’s latest release, Crazy Love.  All about the crazy rollercoaster ride that is love, Crazy Love is filled with new originals like the fun single, “Haven’t Met You Yet,” as well as covers of classics like “Georgia On My Mind” and the title track “Crazy Love.”

To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect when I cracked open this cd.  Despite his irresistible good looks, I somehow have not paid much attention to Michael Bublé.  I’ve heard his name thrown around a lot over the last few years bus still managed to somehow pass him by.

Thanks to the One2One Network, I finally got a chance to discover what Mr. Bublé is all about and let me tell you, I now understand the craze!  While I’m not a huge fan of jazz music, I found myself really enjoying his smooth voice.  He conveys so much emotion with his voice that you can almost hear him smiling through the lyrics at times.  I’ve actually found it to be a perfect cd to listen to at work over the last week. For some reason it seems just perfect for a cold winter day when all you want to do snuggle up in a warm sweater. I really enjoyed the cover songs, but I also found myself tapping along to his originals.  “Haven’t Met You Yet” has quickly become a new favorite.  If you haven’t heard it yet, check out the video below!

Crazy Love, released earlier than originally planned due to fan demand, is in stores now. For more information on Michael Buble, check out or become a fan on Facebook.

An advance copy of Crazy Love was provided by One2One Network for review purposes.

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