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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King [original motion picture soundtrack] (2003)

Another great soundtrack by Howard Shore! The music is very suspenseful and I am usually able to imagine what scenes are playing during each song. I enjoyed listening to this CD when I was in the middle of writing my short story. It gives me a lot of energy and it's very entertaining.

My favorite song from The Return of the King is probably "The Grey Havens." It's the last song during the film, and I think it was a great way to end it.

If you missed last month's review of The Two Towers soundtrack, read it now.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers [original motion picture soundtrack] (2002)

I love listening to soundtracks from different films, and The Lord of the Rings movies have some of the best soundtracks. My favorite from The Two Towers is probably "Evenstar." I can listen to it all the time.

Check back next month for my thoughts on The Return of the King soundtrack.

Did you know? You can see what soundtracks we've added to the collection recently.

httpv://youtu.be/im5CIpMFo4Q

Sorry for Party Rocking by LMFAO (2011)

Redfoo & Sky Blu are no doubt very talented entertainers! Sorry For Party Rocking gets the party started and the party never ends as long you keep this CD in! LMFAO spawned very successful singles from this album including "Party Rock Anthem" and "Sexy and I Know it." The band is touring this summer -- check them out!

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Boys & Girls by Alabama Shakes (2012)

One of the most talked about the albums of the year, the debut Boys and Girls by the Alabama Shakes does not disappoint. On this powerful soul record, Brittany Howard's vocals are reminiscent of Janis Joplin and Otis Redding.

After hearing the band interviewed on the radio program Sound Opinions, I was struck by the band’s story and how they struggled to get this record made. The song “Hold On” has an infectious rhythm and will get you dancing no matter where you are.
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Adele: Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2011)

The worldwide phenomenon dazzles in this live concert at the Royal Albert Hall in her hometown of London, England. Recorded on September 22, 2011, Adele shares stories of her childhood and recent life, discusses the origins of her songs, and flat out entertains the crowd.

You’ll also see behind-the-scenes footage of Adele throughout the day leading up to the concert. Adele has an amazing voice and it is apparent here during the concert as she sings the best of her two albums plus covers a few songs. I especially enjoyed “Rumour Has It,” “Someone Like You,” and “Rolling in the Deep.” And her tribute to Amy Winehouse with Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love" was beautiful.

Find the DVD Adele: Live at the Royal Albert Hall at the library (it includes a CD of her live performances). You can also check out her CDs at the library.

Want more Adele? Tune into NBC on June 5 for an hour-long interview and concert special with Adele and Matt Lauer. Billboard.com previews the event.

Seasons of My Soul by Rumer (2010)

Rumer has been compared to Karen Carpenter, and I understand why. Her voice is clear, strong, and soulful. She touches your emotional being and moves into your heart.

“Aretha,” “Come to Me High,” and “Take Me As I Am” are favorites, but all the songs provide a mellow, gentle, feel good experience for the listener.

Check out Seasons of the Soul by Rumer from the library today.

Also watch her recent performance at the White House.
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Thompson Square by Thompson Square (2010)

This husband-and-wife duo’s debut album features catchy country rock songs. You may have heard their hit single “Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not” on the radio. Fun lyrics, great music, and complementary voices make Thompson Square a great album to listen to for summer.

They’ve drawn comparisons to Sugarland (and even beat them out for the 2012 Academy of Country Music's Vocal Duo of the Year), but they have a sound all their own.

Check out a review of the album from The Washington Post. Visit their website for more on Thompson Square.

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Making Mirrors by Gotye (2012)

The Australian singer Gotye covers a lot of ground from psych-rock to soul in his latest album Making Mirrors. However, the songs that stand out are reminiscent of ‘80s pop, especially the hit “Somebody That I Used to Know.” This is a fun and different album that everyone should listen to this year.

Check out reviews from NPR and Pitchfork.

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The Entertainer by Donny Osmond

The Entertainer by Donny Osmond (2010)
He still has a great voice. I liked him best in Joseph. Find out more about Donny by visiting his website.

Did you know Donny & Marie will be in town during December for Christmas in Chicago? It's part of Broadway in Chicago.
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Hard Rock Treasures

Hard Rock Treasures (2005)
Hard Rock Treasures is the history of Hard Rock Cafes and how they obtain memorabilia of rock groups. Entertaining and educational! Showed lots of old rockers! Fun!

Don Bernstine hosts the documentary. Learn more at the Hard Rock blog. Visit Hard Rock's YouTube Channel for glimpses of treasures and so much more.

Light and Gold by Eric Whitacre

Light and Gold by Eric Whitacre (2010)
A very complex collection of choral compositions. Modern in style, yet traditional in voice.

Check out reviews from British newspapers The Guardian and The Independent. Read an interview with the YouTube sensation and artist in The Telegraph. For more on Eric Whitacre and the Virtual Choir, visit his website.

Costello Music by The Fratellis

Costello Music by The Fratellis (2007)
Hockey fans will recognize “Chelsea Dagger” (every time the Blackhawks score a goal, the opening strains of the song blast through the United Center -- which is why the Canucks don't like it). That’s how I discovered this album.

This entertaining debut album from a British rock group is a bit goofy and mildly addictive. AllMusic.com describes the mood of Costello Music as boisterous, exuberant, and witty, among others. If you’re looking for some music to put you in a good mood (and to celebrate the start of another hockey season), give this one a shot.

And for a review that explains the music in better terms than I can, check out IGN Entertainment.

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Whokill by tUnE-yArDs

Whokill by tUnE-yArDs (2011)
A funky blend of Afro-Pop, R&B, and acoustic come together in this album by the percussionist and singer Merrill Garbus. This offbeat record where Garbus layers and loops her voice is a feel good album that will have you dancing for hours. For those of you who love Afro-pop artists like Zap Mama, this album is a must listen!

Check out an interview with Garbus and a review of the album in Pitchfork. For more about the group, visit their record label 4AD.

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21 by Adele

21 by Adele (2011)
IMHO, this young British singer/songwriter outdoes her debut album with this new effort. Powerful yet nuanced, hard-hearted yet tender, raw yet refined, "in-your-face" yet intimate, she blows me away with her evocative vocals.

I have heard her studio as well as unplugged versions of a couple of these tunes, and she gets air play on alternative, contemporary, and soft rock stations. This woman's talent has wide-ranging appeal; I can't avoid a clichéd comment: a-ma-zing.

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Lungs by Florence + the Machine

Lungs by Florence + the Machine (2009)
This debut album from the eccentric British pop singer Florence Welch is not only mesmerizing but it is also a lot of fun.  Welsh’s elegant voice stands out on this record amid the building crescendos of frenzied percussion. With tracks like “You’ve Got the Love” and the “Dog Days are Over,” you won’t be able to resist dancing. This is a perfect album for the summer.

Check out a review of the album.

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