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New releases from Pink Floyd, Code Red and Maria Taylor

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Pink Floyd
  • Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

The Early Years 1967-1972Cre/ation

Legacy

File next to: Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Yes

Unless one is both the hardest of hardcore Pink Floyd fans and wealthy, The Early Years Box Set probably isn't under consideration (it retails for more than $500). But for less-advantaged individuals whose interest in the band still goes beyond their best-selling albums, this new 2-CD set is an essential purchase. The Early Years, 1967-1972, Cre/ation includes brighter and cleaner remastered versions of some of the group's early material, but that's not where the real interest lies. Pink Floyd did some of its best work live on BBC Radio, and six of the set's 27 tracks are from BBC sessions. A live version of "Atom Heart Mother Suite" sans orchestra is another highlight. Until Legacy releases some of the box set's individual titles, Floyd fanatics will have to hang on to their bootlegs. Meanwhile,Cre/ation will more than whet their appetites. — BK

Code Red: An International Compilation to Benefit the ACLU
  • Code Red: An International Compilation to Benefit the ACLU

Various Artists

Code Red: An International Compilation to Benefit the ACLU

Verses Records

File next to: Silver Apples, The Residents

For those who value civil liberties, the statements candidate Donald Trump made raised serious alarms, while his cabinet picks have only caused more concern. Washington, D.C.-based Verses Records has responded by reaching out to its connections in the experimental, ambient and/or avant-garde music world. The result is Code Red, a digital-only compilation featuring 40 tracks from as many artists. Providing their tracks without compensation, most of the underground acts here are American, so they have a real stake in what happens politically in the coming years. But the presence of a half-dozen international artists makes it plain that concerns extend well beyond our shores. All proceeds from the sale of Code Red (which costs a mere $5) go directly to the ACLU; Verses Records plans the first of several donations on Inauguration Day. — BK

Maria Taylor
  • Maria Taylor

Maria Taylor

In the Next Life

Flower Moon Records

File next to: Natalie Prass, Jenny Lewis, Laura Veirs

While Maria Taylor still tours on occasion with Orenda Fink in their duo Azure Ray, her most inspired work can be found on her recordings as a solo artist. The Birmingham, Alabama, native's vocals are as haunting as ever on her sixth album In the Next Life. On its opening track "Home," the artist invokes her new life of marital bliss and motherhood with the line, "We crossed the Mississippi with the devil's walking stick," and the imagery takes off from that point onward. There are several songs that address multiple lives and reincarnation, the flawed nature of human beings, and the jobs left undone when we leave. The prayer for her children, "A Good Life," serves to summarize the wisdom in the 10 songs of the album, while her duet with Conor Oberst, "If Only," is one of the most beautiful singles to be found this year. — LW

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