Music: Recommended Music by Soloists in the Fourth Quarter of 2014

SOLO POWER. Here are a list of recommended music by soloists in the fourth quarter of 2014 to listen to

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DREAM YOUR LIFE AWAY

Vance Joy

There’s some magic in the opening lyrics of the songs by Australian artist Vance Joy, whose real name is James Keogh. The song “Riptide” begins with a candid confession: “I was scared of dentists and the dark/ I was scared of pretty girls and starting conversations.” Such a narration is cheerfully elevated in melody, provided by acoustic guitar and ukulele strumming. In a rather bittersweet track titled “Best that I can,” the 29-year-old crooner boldly offers, “Say I don’t look much like a lover/ doesn’t mean that I won’t try/ set your world on fire every once a while.” Overall, the album is a feel-good record packed with deliciously catchy tunes. Credit is partly due to the talent of producer Ryan Hadlock who oversaw the The Lumineers’ platinum-selling album.

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MY FAVOURITE FADED FANTASY

Damien Rice

As with Damien Rice’s other albums, “My Favourite Faded Fantasy” hinges on a poetic and melancholic charm. “I Don’t Want to Change You” is just one song delivered with great conviction, about a perfect “angel” the songwriter once met. But if you’re craving heart-wrenching words and melodies to help aid reflection on lost loves, the album’s eponymous single is, undeniably, the tune of choice.

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TOMORROW’S MODERN BOXES

Thom Yorke

The lead singer of legendary British band Radiohead is breaking new ground with the online launch of his second solo album via BitTorrent. Upon listening, the recording is unmistakably Thom Yorke’s, his haunting, high-pitched voice sung alongside the synthesizer-laden sounds. Opening single “A Brain in a Bottle” has a decent drum beat to it, but the rest of the album is a swirling and farfetched melancholic composition that is, at times, hard to stick with—a first listen yields hardly any lyrics to hum. Though perhaps not an album to remember, Yorke does reveal yet another new side.

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SWEET TALKER

Jessie J.

Her much talked-about collaboration with songstress Ariana Grande and rapper Nicky Minaj on chart-topping single “Bang Bang” has undoubtedly solidified Jessie J as Britain’s most bankable singer. This hip-hop style is infused into the new record, which she admits is her first her major attempt to break the American market. While the album certainly possesses commercial appeal, there is far less evidence of the singer’s celebrated British musicality.

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TOUGH LOVE

Jessie Ware

The British songstress’ deep timbre is an aural treat that sends chills to the spine. The lead single “Tough Love” from her second album epitomizes the strength and confidence of Ware’s vocal. Yet more refreshing is the track “Say You Love Me,” o‡ering a minimalistic approach to both music and video. “Tough Love” is, paradoxically, not at all hard to love.

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