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Deja Vu

Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young released Déjà Vu about 50 years ago. It was the second studio album by Crosby, Stills & Nash, and their first with Neil Young. It was released in March 1970 by Atlantic Records and generated three Top 40 singles: "Teach Your Children", "Our House", and the Joni Mitchell song, "Woodstock". I especially enjoyed "Carry On", written by Stephen Stills.

Two of the songs represented the group as a whole and the others showcased individual members. Each musician had been founding members of bands that were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: David Crosby, The Byrds; Graham Nash, The Hollies; and Stephen Stills and Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield.

Listen to Deja Vu (1970) on Hoopla today.



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Spotlight: Lady Gaga

lady_gaga_-_joanne_official_album_coverOnce you’ve listened to Lady Gaga’s album Joanne, you won’t be able to stop. You’ll listen to it during your morning shower, in the car on your way to and from work, and before it’s time to sleep at night. Joanne may be a clear departure from the usual Gaga style of her previous albums, but it’s no less powerful. Songs such as the titular “Joanne” and “Come to Mama” will keep you coming back again and again.

The stylistic change also especially makes far more sense and has far more meaning after watching the Netflix documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two. Experience a year in the life of not Lady Gaga, but Stefani Germonatta. It follows the year in which she was releasing Joanne up until her performance at the 2017 Super Bowl halftime show. You will live, love, laugh, and cry with her up until the very end. Don't have a Netflix subscription? Watch for free using our roku.

Reputation by Taylor Swift (2017)

Taylor Swift is back with her sixth studio album Reputation. It’s been three years since her smash album 1989 (check out my review) and Taylor has a lot to say. Packed with 15 tracks, Reputation has Swift’s signature style of sound yet brings something different. Much like any Taylor Swift album, you expect songs about lovers and backstabbers—and this album is no different lyrically. This time, however, Taylor puts an electropop-synthesized sound to all her songs. She does a great job with this album, but if you are expecting something similar to her last album, you are in for a surprise.

As usual, I like to note my favorite songs from an album. Here are my top four songs from Reputation: “…Ready for It?,” “Call It What You Want,” “Dress,” and “I Did Something Bad.”
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1989 by Taylor Swift (2014)

It is almost impossible not to like Taylor Swift’s album 1989. This album is so well polished and well written with almost every song managing to sneak up in your head (“Shake it off” anyone?). I enjoyed Taylor’s previous albums, with Fearless being one of my secret pleasures. This album will be in the history books for her: 1989 finally categorizes what Taylor Swift has evolved into…pop (finally!). With almost the whole album being turned into singles, listing them would be silly. Instead, I’ll share my favorite tracks: “Style,” “Out of the Woods,” and “I Wish You Would” all earn spots in my playlists.

Her new album Reputation will be out November 10--place your hold now!
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Rainbow by Kesha (2017)

It’s been five years since Kesha released an album, and a lot has happen between then and now. If you’ve been following Kesha, you’re probably well aware of her legal battles. Rainbow is one of those albums that highlights how amazing an artist Kesha really is and how much she has grown. A departure from her club pop songs, each song on Rainbow is heartfelt, catchy, and relatable. It also shows her audience a side of Kesha we haven’t seen before.

Did I mention she collaborated with Dolly Parton? Yes, you read that right—Kesha and Dolly! Refreshing, empowering, and fearless, Rainbow earned a space in my CD collection. Highlight songs from this album include singles: “Praying,” “Woman,” “Learn to Let Go,” and “Rainbow.” My personal favorite tracks are “Let ’em Talk” and “Boogie Feet.”
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Push and Shove by No Doubt (2012)

No Doubt’s latest studio album Push and Shove was a much anticipated follow up to their 2001 album Rock Steady. Sadly, this album didn’t get as much commercial promotion that it truly deserved. Push and Shove dives deep into Gwen Stefani’s life, revealing her breaking points and reflecting on her life with then-husband Gavin Rossdale.

Lead single “Settle Down” is a fun summer song that will have you dancing and singing along with it. This album is truly underrated, and my recommended tops songs are “Push and Shove,” “Undone,” and “Dreaming the Same Dream.”
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Joanne by Lady Gaga (2016)

joanneI have not been able to stop listening to Lady Gaga’s newest album Joanne. The album is named in tribute to her long-deceased Aunt Joanne, who passed away at the age of 19 and Gaga never had a chance to meet.

Gaga’s previous albums are much more glam/dance/pop and Joanne is a refreshingly stripped-down showcase of Gaga’s incredible vocal and musical talents.  There is a lot of variety on Joanne – it’s a little bit country, a whole lot of rock, and at times has Latin and Motown influences.

A few of my favorite tracks include: “A-YO” (a party tune that’s just plain fun);  “Joanne” (a heartbreaking acoustic ballad written to her late aunt);  “Hey Girl” (a funky duet with Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine); “John Wayne” (a crowd-pleasing guitar-heavy anthem); “Just Another Day” (perhaps a tribute to the late David Bowie or the Beatles); and “Million Reasons” (a beautiful catchy ballad that you won’t want to stop playing on repeat).  All the songs on this album truly showcase Lady Gaga’s absolutely stunning vocals and her incredible range as an artist.

If you don’t want to wait for the CD, stream it instantly via Hoopla!
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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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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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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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We Started Nothing by The Ting Tings

We Started Nothing by The Ting Tings (2008)We Started Nothing is the debut album from the English rock duo The Ting Tings. The album dance/pop style catch songs have you shaking your booty and singing along for countless hours. Popular songs on this album include “Shut Up and Let Me Go” and “That’s Not My Name” -- both singles charted very well on Billboard charts.

We Started Nothing spawned four singles: Fruit Machine, Great DJ, Shut Up and Let Me Go, and That’s Not My Name. The Ting Tings are currently working on there next studio album, which will hopefully be released in 2010.

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U.S.A.-U.K. by 7th Heaven

U.S.A.-U.K. by 7th Heaven (2008)
7th Heaven is a local rock band known for their 30 songs in 30 minute pop/rock medleys, fun and energetic stage presence, and variety of music for all audiences. Their latest CD titled U.S.A.-U.K. includes “Better This Way,” “Gravity,” and the song heard during the Chicago Cubs commercials “This Summers Gonna Last for Ever.” My favorites are what I call the rock ballads: “Gave You My Word” and “Still Be Here."

If you get a chance to see them live at a local fest this summer, you’ll hear a few of their songs, a 30-minute medley and other classic rock and recent hit songs from Metro Station to Journey and sometimes Neil Diamond. Look for them at the Concert in the Park in Darien on Wednesday, July 8 at 7:00 -- also check out a list of their other local appearances (including one tonight at 6:00 in Downers Grove).
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Still Unforgettable

Still Unforgettable by Natalie Cole (2008)
Eight-time Grammy winner Natalie Cole continues her exploration of American pop standards in this sequel to her 1991 Grammy LP of the Year Unforgettable: With Love. I found it to be a nice blend of smooth jazz and big band sounds, but I don't think she needs to do any more duets with her dead father!