Stuart Derdeyn music reviews

Adaline: Aquatic (Cadence Music)

On her follow up to her well-received Modern Romance, singer Adaline has further developed her orchestral pop in a more heavily electronic direction which proves to be a good move. Awash in big synth loops and massive echoing drums, her plaintive vocals are far less yearning and more moving on songs such as the bubbling Entertainer. With a bass riff from Tino Zolfo not dissimilar to the Chemical Brothers Go, the tune is one of the finest on the album. If anything, it stands out by being quite different from the midtempo, atmospheric majority of the album. An artist still developing, it comes as no surprise that Adaline has found a lot of placement opportunities in TV and films. Her sound is right in line with contemporary pop trends.

Subhi: Shaitaan Dil (Naughty Heart)

Chicago-based Indian/American singer Subhi took inspiration from a trip to Mumbai to launch this engaging project pairing Hindi pop music with swinging jazz. On songs such as the standout Bachpan (Childhood), she achieves something so cool it’s completely addictive. In many ways, this is an easy listening album with some very accomplished playing and arrangements similar to the records Norah Jones has made. Subhi’s voice really pairs well with Rajiv Halim’s saxophone and arranger/pianist Joaquin Garcia deserves major props for his keeping the 10 tracks so fresh. You’ll think you’ve heard many of these tunes before because songs such as Hum Hain Kahan manage an almost early rock ‘n’ roll vibe with big band blasts. Even if you may not have the slightest idea what she’s singing about, this is finger-snapping stuff.

The Four Bags: Waltz (thefourbags.com)

This Brooklyn quartet combining the sounds of trombone (Brian Drye), accordion (Jacob Garchik), guitar (Sean Moran) and woodwinds (Mike McGinnis) has been wowing listeners and players alike for almost two decades with its unwavering bravery in doing whatever it feels like. While many…

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