You can count on Second Inversion for Album Reviews of the latest and greatest new releases. These are the top 5 most popular reviews of 2016!
#5: Jessie Montgomery: Strum (Azica)
The album combines classical chamber music with elements of folk music, spirituals, improvisation, poetry, and politics, crafting a unique and insightful new–music perspective on the cross-cultural intersections of American history. And while this album may just be the beginning for Montgomery, “Strum” certainly echoes with possibility. – Maggie Molloy
#4: Northwestern University Cello Ensemble: Shadow, Echo, Memory (Sono Luminus)
As the album continues onward from the Rachmaninov through the Mahler, it becomes clear that the Ensemble has achieved their purported goal of using the cello to express textures of dark and light, bring to life sounds and images from another time, and finally to aid listeners in revisiting their own histories. It does indeed provide a fascinating, haunting individual experience to those who are up for a little soul-searching. – Brendan Howe
#3: Contact: Discreet Music by Brian Eno (Cantaloupe Music)
As performers, Contact makes the music their own—and as listeners, so do we. With precision, patience, and the utmost reverence, Contact recreates Eno’s ambient masterwork as an echo chamber of circling motives and mismatched musical textures. Each ripple of the repetitious melody is a perfectly crafted piece of the larger pattern, a discreet but unique little gem in and of itself. – Maggie Molloy
#2: Boston Modern Orchestra Project: Mason Bates’ Mothership (BMOP/Sound)
Part of what makes this music great is its versatility: it’s at home in so many different settings, from the venerated orchestral concert hall, to the sweaty dance club, to your living room on a Tuesday night. – Geoffrey Larson
#1: Pink Floyd: “Wish You Were Here” Symphonic featuring Alice Cooper with the London Orion Orchestra (Decca)
Fans of Pink Floyd will definitely enjoy the musical fantasia of Wish You Were Here Symphonic. Those who are less familiar with Pink Floyd will also find a lot to love in this recording. You listen to this album for the symphonic arrangements and in every way they deliver.
This was Smith’s first go at producing an album by himself and I’d call it a great success. I hope to hear symphonic versions of Pink Floyd’s other classics in the future. Hint hint, Pete Smith. Tell us, where will you go from Here? – Rachele Hales