Get it or forget it – The Charlatans, MINKA, Gina Sicilia

Working our way through a massive hill of review requests and found these three new artists to share with you.  While we are familiar with one of them, the other two are brand new to us.  Grab your coffee and check out what we think of their new releases.

Artist NameThe Charlatans

Album NameDifferent Days

Label:  BMG/The End Records

Genre:  Brit Pop

Track Listing:  1.  Hey Sunrise; 2.  Solutions; 3.  Different Days; 4.  Future Tense; 5.  Plastic Machinery; 6.  The Forgotten One; 7.  Not Forgotten; 8.  There will be Chances; 9.  Over Again; 10.  The Same House; 11.  Let’s go Together; 12.  The Setting Sun; 13.  Spinning Out 

Publicist:  The End Records PR

Review:  It’s hard to believe that Different Days is the 13th album released by The Charlatans, and we have never heard of them before.   But thanks to our friends at BMG and The End, they are now on our radar and we are overjoyed for the chance to review their latest collaboration, featuring such a diverse list of special musical guests as Paul Weller, Johnny Marr, and Sharon Horgan, as well as writers Ian Rankin and Kurt Wagner, who provide spoken word tracks that complement the album (“Future Tense” and “The Forgotten One”).  The band has a core of Tim Burgess, Martin Blunt, Mark Collins and Tony Rogers, and has never been afraid to supplement that core with special guests, resulting in an auditory experience that warms the heart, stimulates the mind and keeps the toes tapping.  The album has a 90’s vibe that is refreshing yet familiar, and features such strong songs as “Solutions,” the title track,  “Plastic Machinery” (the first single), “Not Forgotten,” “There Will be Chances,” and “Spinning Out” (the masterful conclusion to an amazing work of art).

Recommendation:   Different Days will be released on May 26 on all digital platforms, as well as in hard copy CD and vinyl.  We highly suggest you pre-order it so that you will be sure to Get It as soon as it is available.  In the meantime, check out their Facebook page for more information.

Artist NameMINKA

Album NameBorn in the Viper Room

Label:  Self-released

Genre:  Jam/Dance

Track Listing:  1.  I Can’t Shake This Feeling; 2.  Josephine; 3.  Gravity; 4.  Company Man; 5.  Still Waiting 

Publicist:  Noisy Ghost PR

Review:  OMG!  We were not prepared for the magic that is MINKA, a jamming dance band out of Philadelphia.  Where have these guys been hiding?  Borrowing heavily from the 80’s with a healthy dose of Bowie and Prince, their music compels you to get up and dance.  It has a great beat and a feel good vibe that makes everything better.  It is easy to see why they have become one of the best dance bands on the East Coast.  We just wish there were more than five songs on the EP.  If the band intended to entice their listeners with just enough to make you want more, then they have succeeded.   While we seriously love the lead track, “I Can’t Shake This Feeling,” we also love “Josephine,” their first single.  You can’t go wrong with this EP.

Recommendation:  We sincerely recommend this EP and suggest you pre-order it to ensure you are first in line when it is released on May 26.  Do whatever you have to do but you simply must Get It.

Artist NameGina Sicilia

Album NameTug of War

Label:  Blue Élan Records

Genre:  Singer-Songwriter Blues/Soul

Track Listing:  1.  Don’t Want to be (in Love); 2.  Damaging Me; 3.  He Called me Baby; 4.  I’ll Stand Up; 5.  Never Gonna End; 6.  I Cried; 7.  They Never pay Me; 8.  Abandoned; 9.  Tell Him; 10.  All my Lovin’; 11.  Heaven 

Publicist:  MAD Ink PR

Review:  Already a rising voice in the blues community, Gina Sicilia shows her songwriting chops on Tug of War, her seventh album in the last 10 years.  Her voice is unique, with a strong soulful sound, and the depth of her lyrics shine through every track on the album.  From the first notes of “I Don’t Want to be (in Love),” it quickly becomes obvious that this young woman is a force to be reckoned with, and someone who most definitely will have a long career ahead.  Her vocals are soothing while delivering honest and personal lyrics with universal themes that instantly connect with her listeners, especially the second track, “Damaging Me.”   The production efforts of Grammy-winner Glenn Barratt and Grammy-nominated Dave Darling bring out all the warmth of her voice, combined with a can’t-miss musical accompaniment that should cement Sicilia’s place on the musical landscape.  We dig every track on the album, which should be in the library of every serious audiophile.  There’s also a couple of hidden gems in her covers of the 60’s songs “Tell Her” and “All my Loving.”

Recommendation:  Surely a candidate for best album of 2017, Tug of War has everything a true music lover wants and needs in an album.  We are proud to offer our highest recommendation for this album, which will be released on June 2, and urge you to pre-order it so that you will be sure to Get It before it’s gone.