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CD Reviews:
The Listening Room: Luke Bryan, Dr. Dre, Gregg Allman, Simon & Garfunkel and more...

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2015

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Luke Bryan

"Kill The Lights"

(Capitol Nashville)

Grade: B

"I'm not lookin' for anything but a good time," Luke Bryan sings early on his fifth studio album, and the guy has certainly had that during the past eight years -- to the tune of four albums that hit either No. 1 or 2, 12 No. 1 country hits (including this album's "Kick The Dust Up"), a kegload of awards and stature as the founding father of Bro Country. Bryan has found his lane, and he doesn't mess with it on "Kill The Lights," a characteristically likable collection of friendly come-ons, lost love laments and sentimental odes to gravel roads and car rides to the nearest big town. Bryan, who co-wrote six of the album's 13 tracks, delivers it all with deceptively offhanded ease, breezing through the soulful balladry of "Strip It Down" and the airy wistfulness of "Fast," "Just Over" and "Scarecrows." "Huntin', Fishin', and Lovin' Every Day," meanwhile, is a country anthem for the ages, while "Home Alone Tonight," Bryan's duet with Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild, is a hit waiting to happen and the title track is a groove-pop nod to the dance floor. It's solid from start to finish, refining what fans know and, mostly, love about Bryan's music and insuring that his career lights will continue to shine for the foreseeable future.

New & Noteworthy:

Greg Allman, "Live: Back to Macon" (Rounder): The legendary rocker's CD and DVD set features a guest appearance by his son Devon Allman as well as plenty of Allman Brothers Band favorites.

Terri Lynne Carrington, "The Mosiac Music Project: Love and Soul" (Concord): The jazz drummer and bandleader continues to bring together vibrant collectives of fellow female musicians, including Chaka Khan, Paula Cole, Lala Hathaway, Meshell Ndegoecello, Detroit's Geri Allen and others on her latest venture.

Dr. Dre, "Compton: A Soundtrack By Dr. Dre" (Aftermath/Interscope): The producing legend's long-awaited third solo set accompanies the N.W.A. biopic "Straight Outta Compton," with new tracks that feature Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, N.W.A. bandmate Ice Cube and more.

Langhorne Slim, "The Spirit Moves" (Dualtone): The Americana singer-songwriter's sixth full album is his best and most fully realized yet, recorded with Alabama Shakes producer Andrija Tokic.

Simon & Garfunkel, "The Concert in Central Park" (Columbia/Legacy): It's hard to believe, but this 1982 set has been out of print for years. It returns fully remastered and refurbished, capturing the reunion magic more than 500,000 fans saw the year before.

Various Artists, "Ricki and the Flash: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" (Republic): Meryl Streep and her all-star band, which includes Rick Springfield, rock their way through convincingly through songs by Tom Petty, Edgar Winter, Dobie Gray, Lady Gaga, P!nk and more.

Also Out: Robert Cray, "Bad Influence: Live" (Provogue); Delta Saints, "Bones" (Loud & Proud); The Flatliners, "Division of Spoils" (Fat Wreck Chords); Goat, "It's Time For Fun" (Rocket); Vivian Green, "Vivid" (Make Noise); Amos Lee, "Live at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony" (ATO); Bobby Long, "Ode to Thinking" (Compass); Malpas, "Rain, River, Sea" (Killing Moon); The Mynabirds, "Lovers Know" (Saddle Creek); Linda Ortega, "Faded Gloryville" (Last Gang); New West Guitar Group, "Send One Your Love" (Summit); Maggie O'Connor and Mark O'Connor, "Duo" (Omac); Red Sun Rising, "Polyester Zeal" (Razor & Tie); Lindsey Stirling, "Live From London" (Lindseystomp); Obie Trice, "The Hangover" (Black Market); Jonathan Tyler, "Holy Smokes" (Timeless Echo); Various Artists, "NOW That's What I Call Music Vol. 55" and "NOW That's What I Call New Wave 80s!)" (both UMe/SME); We Banjo 3, "Live in Galway" (WB#)

From The Vaults: Billy Talent, "Hits" (The End); Sammy Hagar, "Live From the Motor City" (FM Concert Broadcasts); Pavement, "The Secret History, Vol. 1" (Matador); John Prine, "Bottom Line" (All Access); Simon & Garfunkel, "The Complete Columbia Album Collection" (vinyl) (Columbia/Legacy)

Soundtracks: "Mission: Impossible -- Rogue Nation" (La-La Land)

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