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Sylvester: 'Mighty Real' Disco Star Deserves A Modern Spotlight.

A new collection of disco numbers, Mighty Real: Greatest Dance Hits, showcases the career of Sylvester. Music critic Milo Miles argues that Sylvester — an openly gay, superstar costume-wearer from the start — was not only a pioneer, but also someone with whom the times have finally caught up.


On 'Yeezus,' Kanye West Sounds Strikingly Self-Aware

West has been busy in both the music and gossip worlds: He's just released a new album, titled Yeezus, and fathered a child. Rock critic Ken Tucker says West's constant blending of his public life and his music makes his new record all the more striking -- and a t times problematic.


Arctic Records: Drafting A Blueprint For The Philly Sound

Ed Ward takes a look at Philadelphia's long and complex history of black pop music. Specifically, he looks at small labels like Arctic, where several famous artists got their start -- and which has just released a set of CDs covering all 60 of its single releases.


Daft Punk: Accessing Electronic Music's Humanity.

Random Access Memories finds the French duo changing its music-making process in an effort to make its songs sound more human. To that end, Daft Punk enlists guest stars such as Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers.


Bing Crosby: From The Vaults, Surprising Breadth.

Four albums of reissues and archival recordings from Crosby's own vaults are getting a high-profile release; they demonstrate that his influence on modern singing is so huge, we barely notice it anymore. He could sing anything from Latin to Hawaiian to The Great American Songbook.


Caitlin Rose: A Singer Grounded In The Details Of Yearning.

Dubbed a country singer by virtue of her Nashville base, Rose sounds more like a pop vocalist on The Stand-In. Drawing inspiration from Roy Orbison, Carlene Carter and countless others, Rose knows it takes an assured performer to sell the notion of vulnerability over the long haul.


Listening Back To An Interview With Phil Ramone

Ramone started out as a sound engineer for Lesley Gore, and went on to work with Simon and Garfunkel, Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra. He died Saturday at the age of 79. Fresh Air remembers him by listening back to a 1995 interview. He talks about losing old demos and being mistaken for a member of The Ramones.


You Can't Trust HBO's 'Phil Spector,' But You Can Enjoy It.

David Mamet, the writer and director of the new HBO movie Phil Spector starring Al Pacino and Helen Mirren, includes a disclaimer at the beginning of the film: While the movie might be based on the controversial music producer, "This is a work of fiction. It's not 'based on a true story.'


Tegan And Sara Reach Out To New Audiences With 'Heartthrob.'

The twin sisters from Canada depart from their indie singer-songwriter roots with their latest album. The music on Heartthrob is often loaded with a carefully articulated sense of doubt that Tegan and Sara suggest needs to be shaken off through a triumph of the pop-music will.


Paloma Faith's 'Fall To Grace' Is A Keeper.

A British singer with classic R&B and pop influences, Faith draws comparisons to Amy Winehouse and Adele. If she keeps doing what she's doing, she's going to have lots of fans following her every musical and social cue.


Ke$ha: A 'Warrior' In Search Of Legitimacy

On her new album, the pop star tries to show she's not just in the business for the money. As critic Ken tucker says, "Like pop stars ranging from Madonna to Chuck Berry, Ke$ha wants it both ways: mass-audience access and artistic acknowledgement."


Taylor Swift Leaps Into Pop With 'Red.'

Critic Ken Tucker says that, like all good pop artists, Swift continues to evolve in a manner which challenges her diehard fans while inviting naysayers to give it another listen.


'Gershwins And Me' Tells The Stories Behind 12 Songs

Musician Michael Feinstein chronicles his experience working as an archivist and cataloger for legendary songwriter Ira Gershwin. The book is presented through the stories of 12 of the Gershwin brothers' songs, including "Fascinating Rhythm," "The Man I Love" and "I Got Rhythm."


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