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CD/DVD Reviews

Album Review: Attention Anyone - This Just In

By: Josh Parsons December 10, 2013

ThisJustIn

Admittedly, bands categorized under the pop-punk umbrella are not something I enjoy much anymore. Sure, Screeching Weasel and Green Day’s Dookie were an integral part of my preteen years, but I’ve outgrown my acne and eight hour Tony Hawk’s Underground marathons. Enter: Attention Anyone.

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Album Review: Brodie Dakin - An Audience w/ The Winter Wolves

By: Shannon Bryan December 6, 2013

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Toronto singer/songwriter Brodie Dakin offers his first solo full length album, An Audience w/ The Winter Wolves, a unique project that brings together a number of musicians to fill each track. Jazz bass, guitar, keys and trumpet all make appearances, lending a variety of different styles to the 10-song album.

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Album Review: The Cardinal Dream - The Universal Round

By: Shannon Bryan October 30, 2013

Cardinal

The Cardinal Dream does just that with their music, taking you away to a dream-state of consciousness. The refreshingly original seven-track album, The Universal Round, from this Toronto-based five-piece is an innovative work of art.

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Album Review: Basia Bulat - Tall Tall Shadow

By: Hilary Johnston October 11, 2013

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Basia Bulat’s third record, Tall Tall Shadow, had big big shoes to fill after the release of her gems Oh, My Darling and Heart of My Own in 2007 and 2010 respectively. She gathered the big guns to produce this record - Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury and The Suburbs producer Mark Lawson - ultimately breathing new life into her old soul. 
 
Bulat’s chops have never been more obvious – delving into complex time signatures and bright melodies. “Promise Not to Think About Love” features happy percussive handclaps in contrast with heartbreak-laden lyrics, the nod at the '60s girl group aesthetic balanced out by some of the more tender moments of the record. “It Can’t Be You” beautifully pairs Basia’s trembling vibrato with the pretty chirp of a plucked charango (a small stringed instrument in the lute family) while “Paris or Amsterdam” comes across as perfectly simplistic. At times distracting from the rustic bones of her songs, Bulat’s addition of electronic parts, particularly synth lines and the odd growling guitar, distance Tall Tall Shadow from the gentle strength of her earlier work. In the case of “The Wire,” for instance, I think less would have been more.
 
Tall Tall Shadow is perhaps Bulat’s most full-realized work and is likely to capture the ears of the unfamiliar while satisfying her veteran fans. She somehow managed to boldly step forward while remaining in her shadowy comfort zone.
 
 
Basia Bulat - Tall Tall Shadow
 
 
Be sure to follow Toronto Music Scene on Twitter @TorontoMusic and Hilary Johnston @hilary_johnston

Album Review: Rose Brokenshire - Seeds You Grow

By: Myles Herod October 3rd, 2013

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As summer fades to fall, the sounds of Rose Brokenshire's 4-track EP, Seeds You Grow, compliment the seasonal transition fittingly, unfurling into a warm blanket of pop for the imminent frost to come.
 
At the core of each track, Brokenshire's honey-sweet voice drips without any saccharine residue, peaking through a cloud of sadness as she searches for comfort and reflection. Despite the delicate arrangements and her natural, sleepy-eyed croon, Seeds You Grow never feels downtrodden - in fact, it's quite the contrary. 
 
Take for instance "Back Around", a send-off to a presumed past love that sees her assured, yet simple lyrics countered with a flicker of handclaps and spry guitar work, culminating nicely as she proclaims, "And I wish you well, and out of town!"  
 
Clocking in at under 15 minutes, the Toronto native has crafted a collection of charming vignettes, seemingly home-spun in size, but affecting in conviction and sunny musicianship. Neither overtly serious or sentimental, Seeds You Grow may very well leave a smile on your face, and Rose Brokenshire as an artist to watch out for.  
 
 
 
 
 
Be sure to follow Toronto Music Scene on Twitter @TorontoMusic and Myles Herod @MylesHerod

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