Modern singer-songwriters like John Mayer, Dave Mathews and Jason Mraz (and there are many others) elevated the art of guitar accompaniment to a whole new level. You hear fresh chord voicings, exciting rhythm patterns, bass lines, percussive elements, riffs and other melodic elements supporting their vocals — and they do it all with just six strings and a pick. That’s “acoustic groove” at its very best.
Nearly unrecognizable as the work of the one-time punk rock outfit, Night Drive is effectively Chromatics' third debut album in a row, following a wholesale transformation in sound and style and yet another lineup change: Adam Miller is again the sole constant member; vocalist Ruth Radelet is a new addition even since the 2006 teaser Nite, replacing Lena Okazaki, while Glass Candy's Johnny Jewel, who produced that single, is now a full-fledged member. Actually, this seems to be Jewel's record more than anyone's – in the silver-screen conceit of the liner notes he's listed as director to Miller's screenwriter, though he also has a writing credit on all the record's originals, only four of which (the vocal songs) Miller co-wrote – indeed, Jewel is emerging as the primary musical force behind much of the Italians Do It Better label. Among that camp of synthesizer-disco revivalists, Chromatics stand out as the most lush and cinematic, drawing on the more languorous, atmospheric aspects of '80s electronica to fashion a hazy imaginary soundtrack to a stylish, decadent noir film (as the album's visual presentation suggests) or just a lonely late-night drive (as per the opening "Telephone Call").
High-profile games aren’t exactly innovative these days. Because of that, Warhorse Studios’ Kingdom Come: Deliverance comes as a revelation. Originally conceived as a crowd-funded project, Deliverance seeks to reinvent the RPG genre in a number of ways. Its adherence to historical accuracy and overall attention to detail is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Folks looking for something exceptional will find a lot to appreciate here.