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CD Reviews:
The Listening Room: Mike Posner, Goo Goo Dolls, Cyndi Lauper, Keith Urban and more...

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

Posted: Sunday, May 8, 2016

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Mike Posner

"All Night, Alone"


Grade: A

It's been a long six years between studio albums for the Southfield-raised, Birmingham Groves High School grad -- and since he hit the charts with one of his own hits. But while he grappled with that brief brush with fame, something he addresses on throughout this sophomore album, Posner came up with tunes for the likes of Justin Bieber, Maroon5, Nick Jonas, Avicii and longtime Detroit pal Big Sean, among other, and established himself as a guy who could indeed write "One Hell of a Song," as he sings on "At Night, Alone." The new set benefits greatly from that experience and maturity; it's Posner at his most introspective and eclectic, from pop gems such as the cautionary "I Took a Pill in Ibiza," "Not That Simple," "In The Arms of a Stranger" and "Be Who You Are" to the a capella Celtic flavor of "Only God Knows," the country-western tinge of "One Hell of a Song," the bluesy whomp of "Silence" and the rich melodicism of "Iris." Remixes at the end of the album adapt six of the songs for the EDM world (Big Sean busts rhymes on a high 'n' lonesome-flavored remake of "Buried in Detroit), but the more sparsely arranged versions, produced by Posner himself, are the definitive treatments. He may fret about being "just a singer who already blew his shot," but Posner makes the most of his second chance on "At Night, Alone."

New & Noteworthy:

Ryan Adams, "Heartbreaker (Deluxe Edition)" (Pax Americana): The lauded troubadour's solo debut is still a classic, and the added live tracks and demos here make it even better.

Andy Black, "The Shadow Side" (Lava): Black (nee Biersack) steps out of Black Veil Brides for a solo set, collaborating with modern rock go-to producer John Feldmann.

Goo Goo Dolls, "Boxes" (Warner Bros): The Goos' 11th studio album is the group's first in more than two decades without drummer Mike Malinin.

Cyndi Lauper, "Detour" (Rhino): The girl just wants to have fun with country music this time out, taming with Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, Jewel and Alison Krauss.

The Rides, "Pierced Arrow" (Savoy): The second album by the all-star trio of Stephen Stills, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Barry Goldberg is even hotter than their 2013 debut.

Keith Urban, "Ripcord" (Capitol Nashville): The country superstar comes off his "American Idol" stint with his most extensive crossover effort yet, embracing loops and contemporary beats with guest appearances by Pitbull, Carrie Underwood and Chic's Nile Rodgers.

Also Out: Dru Barnes, "Silent Light" (Dither Down); Andy Black, "The Shadow Side" (Lava); Mary Chapin Carpenter, "The Things That We Are Made Of" (Lambent Light); "Cuong Vu Trio meets Pat Metheny" (Nonesuch); Jack DeJohnette and Ravi Coltrane, "In Movement" (ECM); Jared Hard, "10,000 Hydrogen Bombs" (self-released); Jimbo Mathus, "Storms" (Big Legal Mess); James McCartney, "The Blackberry Train" (Maybenot); Mike Eldred Trio, "Baptist Town" (Great Western); Gregory Potter, "Take Me To the Alley" (Blue Note); Darryl PUrpose, "Still The Birds" (Gamblers Grace); Ritz, "Top of the Line" (Strange Music); Matt Van Roderick, "Hero's Journey" (Bandcamp); Cole Swindell, "You Should Be Here" (Warner Music Nashville)

From The Vaults: Ryan Adams, "Heartbreaker (Deluxe Edition)" (Pax Americana); The Beach Boys, "Live at the Fillmore East 1971" (Iconography); The Cars, "Moving in Stereo: The Best of the Cars" (Elektra/Rhino); Dan Fogelberg, "The Definitive Anthology" (Real Gone); John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, "Live in 1967, Volume 2" (Forty Below)

Soundtracks: "Captain America: Civil War" (Hollywood)

New Music DVDs: Melody Gardot, "Live at the Olympia Paris" (Eagle Rock); Alan Jackson, "Keepin' It Country: Live at Red Rocks" (Eagle Rock); "Janis: Little Girl Blue (Special Director's Edition)" (Filmfuse); Michael Schenker's Temple of Rock, "On a Mission: Live in Madrid" (MVD)

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