23 December 2016

Real Enemies Reviews

If you are a member of the Recording Academy, I hope you will consider giving Real Enemies your vote. You can listen to the album here:

Here’s a roundup of critical praise for Real Enemies:

“The most culturally resonant jazz album of 2016.” — Nate Chinen, The New York Times

“The music scintillates… one of the best jazz albums of 2016.” — Fred Kaplan, Slate

“A work of harrowing prescience by a great young composer who gets greater every year.” — David Hadju, The Nation

“Real Enemies is Argue’s most varied album yet, and his most thematically ambitious. 8.3/10” — Seth Colter Walls, Pitchfork

“No less than Argue’s attempt to convey, musically, ‘a social history of paranoia in the United States since World War I.’ Influenced by the 12-tone sounds of ’70s Hollywood cinema, he crafted a piece that was chilling, funny, and rollicking with varied grooves, strong solos, and the occasional drop-in spoken-word. Top 10 Jazz album of 2016.” — Jon Garelick, The Boston Globe

“Argue’s Real Enemies is a mind-blowing example of truly great, era-defining jazz composition, and a contender for album of the year.” — John L. Walters, London Jazz News

“Few jazz orchestras still exist these days, but Secret Society is one of the best and most probing. Argue has written and arranged 13 pieces that stand up to the conceptual underpinnings he’s chosen. One of the 10 best jazz records of 2016.” — Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

“A sonic incarnation of our strange and dangerous times… slides in and around numerous styles with cloak-and-dagger stealth.” — Milo Miles, The Village Voice

“Glows with subtleties and resounds with punch. ★★★★” — Jim Macnie, DownBeat

“Best heard from start to finish without interruption, Argue’s suite has a long arc and overlays of different emotion. But with its austere closing track, ‘You Are Here,’ it is above all a grim reality check and call to socio-political awareness.” — Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

“Argue has a gift for attracting committed, remarkable players and feeding them a stream of witty and sophisticated material, a potent mix that excites the audience’s ears as well as their toes. 2016 Staff Pick.” — Molly Sheridan, NewMusicBox

“It’s a crime documentary score about the last 70 years.” — Dan Lehner, Wits United

“It’s a record that makes you nod along in feeling and in recognition, but it also grabs your collar and reminds you to look deeper, to question those impulses, and it makes you love it more for having done so.” — Richard Sanford, Agit Reader