Idir: Ici et Ailleurs

How many goals can one album achieve? Idir, the soft but steadfast voice of Berber/Kabyle culture, may not have posed that question when he conceived Ici et Ailleurs (Here and Elsewhere), but a partial list would include putting his native language—which has long struggled for official status in Algeria—on a bigger stage; expressing his love for the French soundtrack of his 40-year exile; and, not least, adding a new chapter to Charles Aznavour’s storied career … More Idir: Ici et Ailleurs

Prince Royce: Five

Most of Prince Royce’s career as a singer and songwriter has been dedicated to bachata, but with an open window letting in subtle flavors from outside. The Bronx-born son of Dominican parents, Royce has released albums in Spanish and English, switching back and forth with a dexterity undoubtedly fueled by the mental proximity of parallel vocabularies. On his fifth studio album, a collection of solo and duet love songs (mostly in Spanish), his … More Prince Royce: Five

Annett Louisan: Zu viel Information

Listening Post 12. Annett Louisan is Marlene Dietrich redesigned: Shorter in stature, higher in voice, she takes her own route to the same seductive ends. Innocent or naughty, funny or critical, perky or melancholy, she adroitly juggles modern vocabulary and retro style, often crossing the boundaries of pop/chanson into other musical realms. The theme of Louisan’s sixth album, Zu viel Information (Too Much Information), is—in the words … More Annett Louisan: Zu viel Information