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Cirque Du Soleil
(Cirque Du Soleil)
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Patricia Barber
(Blue Note)
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Cirque Du Soleil
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Jim Pearce
“Why I Haven't Got You”
Prairie Dog Ballet
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Andy Timmons Band
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Ralph Towner
Time Line
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Anoushka Shankar

Amos Lee
"Arms Of A Woman"
Amos Lee
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Julius Curcio
"American Pie"
Alligator Shoes
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"Come Alive"
Changing Into Me
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Launchpad [Issue #16]
World Leader Pretend:
By Mandana Beigi
Punches (CD Warner Bros.)

“This is my world… And I am the world leader pretend… This is my life… And this is my time” -- that was R.E.M.’s subtle and mysterious tune of the late 80s (and one of my all time favorites). Whether it was an inner monologue in self-reflection and self-hatred, or a typical experience of internal conflict, or a political shout about one man’s power and stupidity, the song remains as oblique as it did 20 years ago.

But then again that was R.E.M.’s “World Leader Pretend” and this is New Orlean’s newest sound of pop rock; a young and trendy bunch who picked their name while going through a stack of records one night.

Coming from the home of jazz, blues, zydeco, and funk, World Leader Pretend does a fantastic job in having no immediate hint of Southern flavor, although it’s the influence of soul music that makes the aesthetic of this record so honest and tangible at times. “Soul music is a sly and wonderful sort of invention that’s full of fantasy,” says Hutchinson, the pianist. The band sounds like indie rockers playing soul music inspired by Muscle Shoals, Stax, and Memphis.

World Leader Pretend is quaint and quirky in bringing out the sound of indie pop rock in their debut record, Punches. The album is immediately likeable. Ranging from simple pop rock ballads and experimental Radiohead-like tunes to radio-friendly alternative songs, Punches could easily be mistaken for a mix-tape. But, somehow Ferguson’s strange hodge-podge voice and the raw yet powerful delivery of the instruments and arrangements mesh together seamlessly -leaving it all up to you to interpret this beautiful analogue record.

Warner Bros.

World Leader Pretend Punches

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