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Jennifer

Costello Music by The Fratellis

Costello Music by The Fratellis (2007)
Hockey fans will recognize “Chelsea Dagger” (every time the Blackhawks score a goal, the opening strains of the song blast through the United Center -- which is why the Canucks don't like it). That’s how I discovered this album.

This entertaining debut album from a British rock group is a bit goofy and mildly addictive. AllMusic.com describes the mood of Costello Music as boisterous, exuberant, and witty, among others. If you’re looking for some music to put you in a good mood (and to celebrate the start of another hockey season), give this one a shot.

And for a review that explains the music in better terms than I can, check out IGN Entertainment.

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Shirley

21 by Adele

21 by Adele (2011)
IMHO, this young British singer/songwriter outdoes her debut album with this new effort. Powerful yet nuanced, hard-hearted yet tender, raw yet refined, "in-your-face" yet intimate, she blows me away with her evocative vocals.

I have heard her studio as well as unplugged versions of a couple of these tunes, and she gets air play on alternative, contemporary, and soft rock stations. This woman's talent has wide-ranging appeal; I can't avoid a clichéd comment: a-ma-zing.

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IPPL Staff

Lungs by Florence + the Machine

Lungs by Florence + the Machine (2009)
This debut album from the eccentric British pop singer Florence Welch is not only mesmerizing but it is also a lot of fun.  Welsh’s elegant voice stands out on this record amid the building crescendos of frenzied percussion. With tracks like “You’ve Got the Love” and the “Dog Days are Over,” you won’t be able to resist dancing. This is a perfect album for the summer.

Check out a review of the album.

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Dave

Brand New Eyes by Paramore

Brand New Eyes by Paramore (2009)
Great CD! Great beats, catchy songs, and Hayley’s voice rocks. Singles include “Ignorance,” “Brick by Boring Brick,” “The Only Exception,” and “Careful.”

Check out reviews from Spin and Billboard. Last week, Paramore won the People's Choice Award for favorite rock band. And after the group recently announced some personnel changes, they spoke with MTV about the subject of most of the songs on Brand New Eyes.
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Jennifer

Volume One by She & Him

Volume One by She & Him (2008)
The multidimensional Zooey Deschanel impresses once again at the “She” half of this duo (“Him” is M. Ward). Perhaps better known as an actress from films including (500) Days of Summer and Elf, Deschanel showcases her songwriting and singing abilities on Volume One. Likened to early 1960s pop, this indie rock album is a delight to listen to in the car or on a lazy afternoon. Check out “I was made for you,” “Black Hole,” “Sweet Darlin’,” and “Why do you let me stay here?” (see video below).

Check out the duo's website for news, music and more. Wait! There's more -- Volume Two was released earlier this year.

Ann

Fearless Love by Melissa Etheridge

Fearless Love by Melissa Etheridge (2010)
I have been a fan of Etheridge for a long time and with her 10th studio album, she returns to her rock and roll roots offering pounding rock out tunes to light ballads. Her music is all about the song and sharing her stories of personal and social experiences. The struggle between fear and love is a theme throughout each song. I think this is her hardest-rocking album yet and have my favorites including "Nervous," "Fearless Love," "The Wanting of You" and "Miss California."

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IPPL Staff

After Robots by BLK JKS

After Robots by BLK JKS (2009)
A South African band influenced by western rock/pop music, BLK JKS (pronounced Black Jacks) has tribal and modern influences and sings in four different languages (including English). The group has been compared to everyone from The Cure to Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Check out reviews in The Guardian, Pop Matters, and Billboard.com.
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Jennifer

Songs for You, Truths for Me by James Morrison

Songs for You, Truths for Me by James Morrison (2008)
After seeing Morrison in concert at Tivoli (in Copenhagen), I wanted to hear more from this talented British singer. Songs for You, Truths for Me follows his successful debut album Undiscovered. His sophomore album includes hit singles “Please Don’t Stop the Rain” and “Broken Strings” (featuring Nelly Furtado).

Great music to listen to on a CD in your car or live in the pouring rain (which I did).

Visit Morrison’s website to listen to his albums and read a review from Daily Music Guide.
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Dave

We Started Nothing by The Ting Tings

We Started Nothing by The Ting Tings (2008)We Started Nothing is the debut album from the English rock duo The Ting Tings. The album dance/pop style catch songs have you shaking your booty and singing along for countless hours. Popular songs on this album include “Shut Up and Let Me Go” and “That’s Not My Name” -- both singles charted very well on Billboard charts.

We Started Nothing spawned four singles: Fruit Machine, Great DJ, Shut Up and Let Me Go, and That’s Not My Name. The Ting Tings are currently working on there next studio album, which will hopefully be released in 2010.

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IPPL Staff

Offend Maggie

Offend Maggie by Deerhoof (2008)
Deerhoof is a weird, challenging, and passionate band with a real knack for catchy melodies. They sound like jazz/punk fusion with a toddler on lead vocals.

Offend Maggie is their newest and best album. Read other reviews of the CD.
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Dave

Riot! by Paramore

Riot! by Paramore (2007)
Paramore’s second studio album Riot is a breath of fresh air to today’s music scene. Lead singer Hayley Williams gets you pumped up, making you wanting more after each song. Paramore became increasing popular with the release of “Misery Business” – the song reached #3 on U.S. Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks. Songs from Riot! are featured on Guitar Hero and Rock Band. The album was certified Platinum in the U.S. & the U.K. 
Paramore will release their third studio album – Brand New Eyes – before the end of the year.

Check out this acoustic performance of Paramore's hit single "Hallelujah."

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Dave

Return of Saturn by No Doubt

Return of Saturn by No Doubt (2000)
Return of Saturn is No Doubt's fourth studio and follow up album to their massive breakthrough hit Tragic Kingdom. The album sound is a bit of a departure, though it does keep the band’s ska & reggae influences. There are many great songs that invite you into Stefani's world of love, distrust, and wanting children. Return of Saturn spawned four singles: “New,” “Ex-Girlfriend,” “Simple Kind of Life,” and “Bathwater.” Visit No Doubt's site for music and videos.
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Ann

U.S.A.-U.K. by 7th Heaven

U.S.A.-U.K. by 7th Heaven (2008)
7th Heaven is a local rock band known for their 30 songs in 30 minute pop/rock medleys, fun and energetic stage presence, and variety of music for all audiences. Their latest CD titled U.S.A.-U.K. includes “Better This Way,” “Gravity,” and the song heard during the Chicago Cubs commercials “This Summers Gonna Last for Ever.” My favorites are what I call the rock ballads: “Gave You My Word” and “Still Be Here."

If you get a chance to see them live at a local fest this summer, you’ll hear a few of their songs, a 30-minute medley and other classic rock and recent hit songs from Metro Station to Journey and sometimes Neil Diamond. Look for them at the Concert in the Park in Darien on Wednesday, July 8 at 7:00 -- also check out a list of their other local appearances (including one tonight at 6:00 in Downers Grove).
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Dave

Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt

Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt (1995)
Tragic Kingdom is No Doubt's third studio album and the most popular album of the band’s career. This album dished many massive hits including the band’s most popular song “Don't Speak.” No Doubt appeared on the scene with the song “Just a Girl” empowering ladies everywhere. “Spiderwebs” was released shortly after, increasing the bands popularity and introducing a ska/pop mix to the music scene. Their massive hit “Don't Speak” introduces the growing tension of the band and of Gwen and Tony's failed relationship.

Tragic Kingdom spawned an incredible seven singles! Some didn't chart as well, but the band made music videos for six out the seven singles. The singles include the songs mentioned earlier, plus “Excuse Me Mr.,” “Happy Now?,” “Sunday Morning,” and “Hey You!” Listen to songs and find out more about the album on the official website.

No Doubt will be touring this summer. Catch them in Chicago on July 11! If you want to catch their first concert in 5 years, tune into The Today Show on Friday, May 1.
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Dave

Rock Steady by No Doubt

Rock Steady by No Doubt (2001)
No Doubt’s fifth studio album is absolutely one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time. Many agree that Rock Steady was a smash from their previous album Return of Saturn (2000). As a result of much collaboration, Rock Steady touches on many musical styles. Grammy-winning hits “Hey Baby” and “Underneath it All” can still be heard on most radio stations today. Every track on this album is superb; Gwen and the boys really did an excellent job. No Doubt will be touring in 2009 as well as releasing their next highly anticipated album (check their website for updates).

Rock Steady had four singles: “Hey Baby,” “Hella Good,” “Underneath It All,” and “Running.” Sly & Robbie, The Neptunes, Prince, and William Orbit were among the many artists No Doubt collaborated with on the album.

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