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CD Reviews:
The Listening Room: Shady XV, Iggy Azalea, Beyonce, Pitbull and more...

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Monday, November 24, 2014

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Various Artists

"Shady XV"


Grade: B

Eminem laments that "something ain't right with me, dawg" at the start of this two-disc compilation, but the Detroit rapper has been largely right throughout his career -- a fact that's celebrated on "Shady XV." Commemorating the label's 15th anniversary, Eminem gathers the Shady tribes to both reprise highlights by himself, D12, 50 Cent, Yelawolf and more, while the disc of all new songs is most definitely the Eminem show. He performs on nine and produces six of the 12 tracks re-teaming with Royce da 5'9" on the gleefully profane, Iggy Azalea-dissing "Vegas," tag-teaming with Skylar Grey and Yelawolf on "Twisted" and joining Yelawolf for features on Slaughterhouse's "Psychopath Killer." He's in chest-thumping berserk mode on "Shady XV's" rapid-fire, Billy Squier-sampling title track, up to and including slapping Linda Ronstadt with a lobster, though "Guts Over Fear" (with Sia) and "Fine Line" offer more of the personal kind of stock-taking he does so well, lamenting the dark side of fame in the latter and wondering in the former how he would be able to create without the rage that's his stock in trade. All of those are actually more compelling than the star-stacked "Detroit Vs. Everybody," an inconsistent tag-team affair (Eminem, Royce, Big Sean, Danny Brown, Trick Trick, Dej Loaf) that never quite achieves the anthemic power it should. But when the crew declares "This is just part one/Wait for the sequel," we'll surely be listening when it comes around.

New & Noteworthy:

Iggy Azalea, "Reclassified" (Virgin EMI): The Australian rap-pop diva reissues her debut album, "The New Classic," with five newly recorded songs, including the single "Beg For It" with M0 and a collaboration with Ellie Goulding.

Beyonce, "Beyonce (Platinum Edition)" (Parkwood/Columbia): The Queen B adds another half-dozen songs to her 2013 surprise album, featuring remixes of "Blow" and "Drunk in Love" and cameos by husband Jay Z, Kanye West, Nick Minaj, Pharrell and others.

Selena Gomez, "For You" (Hollywood): A hits set from the singer-actress and Justin Bieber's on-again, off-again girlfriend that features three new songs, including the single "The Heart Wants What It Wants."

Pitbull, "Globalization" (RCA): The Florida rapper sends a "Fireball" with his eighth album, which features collaborations with Jennifer Lopez, Jason Derulo, Sean Paul, Chris Brown and others.

Rick Ross, "Hood Billionaire" (Maybach/Slip-n-Slide/Def Jam): The Florida MC's second album of the year with help from Jay Z, Snoop Dogg, R. Kelly, K. Michelle and more.

Soundgarden, "Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path" (A&M): The Seattle rockers load up three CDs with an archival treasure trove of B-sides, outtakes, soundtrack contributions and live tracks, which should keep fans exploring until the group's next album surfaces.

Also Out: Bjork, "Biophilia Live" (Megaforce); Coldplay, "Ghost Stories Live 2014" (Atlantic); Elevation Worship, "Wake Up the Wonder" (Essential); Full of Hell, "Merzbow" (Profound Lore); The Griswolds, "Be Impressive" (Wind-Up); David Guetta, "Listen" (Atlantic); JMoss, "Grown Folks Gospel" (PaJam); Knife Party, "Abandon Ship" (Big Beat); Maiki Namekawa, "Philip Glass: The Complete Piano Etudes" (Orange Mountain); Willie Nile, "If I Was a River" (self-released); Old Man Gloom, "Ape of God I," "Ape of God II" (Profound Lore); Prince Royce, "Stuck on a Feeling" (RCA): Sarah Lou Richards, "The Woman Behind the Curtain" (self-released); Sienna Root, "Pioneers" (Cleopatra); Skyharbor, "Guiding Lights" (Basick); Andy Stott, "Faith in Strangers" (Modern Love)

From The Vaults: Bryan Adams, "Reckless" (A&M/UMe); Judy Collins, "Both Sides Now -- The Very Best of" (Cleopatra); Jethro Tull, "Warchild: The 40th Anniversary Theatre Edition" (Parlophone/Rhino); Joni Mitchell, "Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced" (Elektra); Public Enemy, "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" and "Fear of a Black Planet" (both Def Jam/Ume); Simon & Garfunkel, "The Complete Albums Collection" (Columbia/Legacy); Soundgarden, "Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path" (A&M/UMe); The Velvet Underground, "The Velvet Underground -- 45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition" (UMe)

Soundtracks: Various Artists, "Annie" (RCA)

New Holiday Albums: Gaby Moreno, "Posada" (Meta Mortosis/Cosmica)

New Music DVDs: Jeff Beck, "Live in Tokyo" (Eagle Rock); Bob Marley, "Uprising Live!" (Eagle Rock); Metallica, "Some Kind of Monster" (We're Metallica); R.E.M., "REMTV" (Rhino)

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