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Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is a Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at where he visits every park in New York City. And by night he's a part-time working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.

Lovedrug: Pretend You’re Alive

Lovedrug’s “Pretend You’re Alive,” or as I started to think of the CD, “Pretend You’re Radiohead,” has a promising first minute, but the thin, snarly vocals aren’t my cup of tea – they come across as affected, rather than animalistic a la (say) Perry Farrell or Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie. But …

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Moco: Out To Go

Moco is a garage punk whirlwind. Their new CD hit American college radio this spring, but they ought to be marketed to the Nuggets crowd too, if such a thing is possible. Heat up some Animals, (including a Trogg or two), season with Jim Morrison, whip it into post-punk tempos, …

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Gail Ann Dorsey: I Used To Be…

Sung like Bacharach-Warwick collaborations filtered through the Stylistics, "Magical" and "Take Me To Your Love" go down like tea with honey. The latter in particular shows the artist's acknowledged debt to Philly soul.

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Katie Melua, “Call Off the Search”

Katie Melua’s debut rides the Norah Jones pop-jazz highway straight down the middle of the road, but it’s a road with awfully nice landscaping. The 12-song release is filled with warm-hearted and accomplished singing, tasteful arrangements, and enough variety to make the album a good listen all the way through. …

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Jason Didner: American Road

Jason Didner’s new CD is loaded with heartland rock plus a few modern touches, but the title cut is by itself worth the price of admission. A road anthem with a great catchy chorus, it could certainly be a radio hit with clearer production. Some of Didner’s melodies and guitar …

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John Taglieri, Half and Half

At the school of romantic heartland rock, John Taglieri probably graduated at the top of his class.

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Ben Ratliff, “Misplaced Desire”

Ben Ratliff’s EP “Misplaced Desire” is a double-barrelled blues shotgun, powered equally by Ratliff’s icy baritone vocals and his and Jeff Winter’s chunky guitar riffs, with support from a solid rhythm section and production that strikes a good balance between clean and moody. Ratliff’s raw, rootsy sound comes out of …

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Elisa Peimer, “Transparent”

Elisa Peimer has stuck by her muse and finally produced a CD that sounds as good as her talent deserves. Knowing what kind of music she wants to master – shimmering, straight-ahead pop-rock, heavy on the pop – and devoting all her energy to it has paid off. “Take the …

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George Gelish: Don’t Quit Your Day Job

It’s refreshing, perhaps paradoxically, to hear a full set of music as resolutely out of fashion as slide guitar specialist George Gelish’s new home-produced CD “Don’t Quit Your Day Job.” Combining many of the elements that formed what’s now called classic rock with a knack for catchy riffs and choruses, …

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