Michael has so much more potential than what he put down on this record. The choices of songs, most of which have been done hundreds of times before, are here with no real novel arrangements on "Crazy Love." Worse, he sings these songs as if he had no real connection with the lyrics at all.
Happy songs and sad songs are given in precisely the same soulless croon that reminds me of countless other Las Vegas lounge singers. "Cry Me A River" and "Heartache Tonight" are two examples of how Buble doesn't seem to know what the songs are about, but sings them anyway and they seem merely like filler.
Who knew some of those old '80's dance songs were actually pretty good songs? This band from Quebec, Canada have taken a classic jazz style and applied it to some of the best 80s "classics." Guitars and voices are all the band uses, some songs are so different from the originals the lyrics is all you might recognize at first.
With the jazz style of Django Reinhardt from who they take their name (as he had lost fingers but became the jazz guitar legend we know) this CD is well recorded, and there are plenty of good moments as they go from a song to another. A definitely superior rendering of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," a song I always despised. We know them all, and I like the way they revisit them
Elvis was not only the king of Rock `n' Roll (Little Richard's claim on the crown notwithstanding), but in his afterlife he has also become the undisputed king of reissues and anthologies. This four-CD set spans from his earliest home recordings to his last major studio works.
The collection offers no new tracks for Presley's legions of collectors, but provides a superb introduction and deep overview for anyone who's heard about the King. Those who know a few hits or have sat through an Elvis movie or two will find the greatness of his musical catalog measures up to the hype and explains the dedication of his most ardent fans.
In an era with a seemingly endless sea of mediocre modern-alternative rock bands, Stardeath and White Dwarfs stands out from the crowd. It's a surreal CD... a genuine sonic smack in the face. "I Can't Get Away" is impossible to get away from... which is either irony or brilliant artistry.
They are more direct than, but quite obviously influenced by, frontman Dennis Coyne's Uncle Wayne's band. The time spent with The Flaming Lips is flowing all throughout the album. It's a little more fuzzed out, a little more straight forward, but just as trippy and diverse. It immediately leaves you longing for more.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Martina always delivers a set of neo-traditionalist country and county-inflected folk songs that showcase her ability to get to the heart of a song and turn it into something communicative and thought provoking. The "Independence Day" women with her incredible vocals and unmatched artistry reinforced her musical dominance with new songs.
It took Butterfly Boucher five years to follow up her wonderful debut disc with "Scary Fragile," but this album proves it was definitely worth the wait. A great album that is packed full of catchy choruses, great sing alongs and amazing harmonies. The album has a mix of both upbeat fun songs as well as beautiful ballads.
Butterfly Boucher's songwriting talent and great vocals are not to be ignored. This is a much more mature album from an awesome Australian artist who deserves to be heard. If you love fun and catchy pop music, you should definitely check out this album!
Bill Engvall, Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy and Ron White are back with this collection of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. I never really enjoyed these stand up comics all that much. It can take a lot for me to laugh at stand up comedy, and maybe I don't have the "Blue Collar" cultural frame of reference.
It's wonderful to see Terri Nunn and the reformed Berlin back in action. This set of live songs are different from their originals. The updated versions of all the Berlin classics come alive with fine musicianship, and the sound of the music is more rock/alternative than new wave/pop. There is more guitar than synthesizer.
Synth or no synth, these songs are sung beautifully and you will love your favorites sung with an energetic band and audience! In the song "No More Words", Terry interacts with the audience letting them sing part of the chorus. Every live track on here rivals the sound (if not exceeds) the original studio releases from the 80's.
Take one listen when Joe Nichols sings and one thing is apparent. He is a country singer. The music on the disc might very well remind one of another era. Without any reservation, the title track "Old Things New," is Nichols' mission statement in song. As Nichols sings about giving fresh spins to his old Haggard vinyl, he is tacitly describing his approach to country music. Over the years, Joe Nichols has carved for himself a niche. While many country artists think that traditional side of the genre is immiscible with the more polished modern sounds, Nichols has found a way to astride both. Classic country sound with mondern flair.
Two years after making a big impact on their scene with the sophomore release Not For You, San Diego-based act Mower are back with their third full-length release Make It A Double. Overall, if you like the band's two previous efforts, then you will at least enjoy half of Make It A Double.
But the generic chug riffs (intro of Wolves is a good example) sound like every other riff every common new metal band has written, and the semi-aggro vocals contrasted with high-pitched wailing just add insult to injury. The jazz/lounge remakes of older songs only add to the irritation a listener is exposed to when perusing this record.
Painted On Water is the project of Turkish pop star Sertab Erener and guitar player Demir Demirkan, who played with Turkey's greatest heavy metal band, Mezarkabul. Whatever the artists resume though, this is venture into totally different musical territory. It is neither pop nor rock music, but rather converging pieces of traditional Turkish folk music with modern jazz and blues.
This duo deftly handles these remakes of folk songs. The original lyrics were interpreted into English with utmost care and surrounded with the mesmerizing new music. A wonderful CD of world jazz that experiences the fusion of Middle Eastern music and Latin vibes.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mark Knopfler is more interested in satisfying himself than any audience, but when he played "The Sultan's of Swing" with Dire Straits and you don't get a multiple orgasm when you listen, you need help.
One more reminder that Tina Turner in concert is as good as it gets. Tina Turner turns 70 in November this year. Keep that in mind when you watch this show. To have energy like that, not to mention LOOK the way she looks at that age, truly speaks to the awesome power of her artistry.
The quality of the music from the accompanying CD is superb. The Queen of Rock still lets it wail. Although the song selection is different, it is still a top-notch album that rivals her "Live in Europe" album.
EDITOR'S NOTE: It has been many years since I saw Ike and Tina in the Bronx in the late fifties. "What's love got to do with it", which logged three weeks at Number One, said it all about a decade, the 90s, in which romance took a major hit. She'll always be a superstar.
The spiritual healing is on with "Calling In," the latest from Santa Cruz based Just Love. The laid back acoustic folk sounds and positive life affirming lyrics dive deep into the soul, and the power of loving one another is in the forefront.
This CD may be a little simple and some would say naive in today's busy, transcontinental military industrial complex world, but it's good to hear straight-forward music that harks back to the best of our ideals. Whether this can get through to the most hardened of folks may be another story.
The New Lost City Ramblers "Where Do You Come From? Where Do You Go? (3 CD SET)," Smithsonian Folkways
The NLCR were a premier group of old time musicians. Fans of the alt-country movement should go back to the roots to see where the folk-country scene came from. "Where Do You Come From, Where Do You Go" is a three-part collection from the classic pioneers in southern mountain music.
There's not a weak link on this collection, which captures everything from traditional ballads to Piedmont blues and everything in between. So much variety, so much joy, so much dedication to the traditions, to the sounds that c ame from back porches and parlors, the barbeques and barn raisings, Movie Theater stages and school houses all across Appalachia.
Their sophomore, self-titled album The Sojourners comes three-years after the release of their debut Hold On. This freshly recorded collection of gospel standards and lesser-known contemporary covers blends traditional gospel sounds with blues & R & B influences.
Coming from the collective minds of members from 3 Doors Down, Muzik Mafia and Kid Rock's band, is the rock stylings of 7dayBinge. As a band, they offer a no-nonsense, no-excuses brand of rock that is often lost in today's world of corporate music. Their sound feels unburdened by over-production or record executive influence, and has the same feel as albums by rock pioneers Led Zeppelin.
The only thing which may keep the CD from getting the type of commercial airplay exposure it deserves is the extended length of the songs. With the last song clocking in at over 10 minutes, these tracks are not catered toward radio play, but are excellent; no strings attached rock and roll songs that deserve a listen.
Vanessa Brown is the burgeoning 6" tall model and UK soul-stress VV Brown, and "Traveling like the light" is her debut CD. VV Brown is an artist that refuses to be pigeonholed. Her fun and energetic groove has many shades and it's hard to finger her down to one specific style. All over this album her soulful sound comes crushing down on us with warped genres coming together to create utter perfection.
Much of the lyrics are about falling in love, or out of love, and every song is superb. Mostly the verses have meaningful lyrics, and the choruses contain strong musical hooks. For ballads, there's the melodramatic "Back in time" and the piano driven, jazzy number "I love you," both of which stand out on the album. Then the very strong House track "Everybody" near the end rounds out a strong debut from a promising artist.
The `80s live again (and again, and again) on Datarock's second proper album, the ominously titled "Red". Datarock's latest is one that has all the parts to a great, if not classic, electro-rock tribute to its idols, but one that is somehow missing that distinctive ingredient that separates it from the rest of the pack.
"Red" has less Devo-esque synth pop rock, and more post punk crooning. The cyber-punk vibe of album opener "The Blog" is interspersed with found sound recordings and dystopian themes, which give the album a vibe as a whole. Unfortunately, Datarock's preference for nonstop partying tends to drag the album down over the course of an overly long thirteen tracks. In the end, we've heard all those eighties sounds time and time again.
After such a long sabbatical between her last album and "Keep On Loving You, Reba shines with radio-friendly selections and solid album cuts - each of which reinforces her rightful place in the country music landscape.
Though not what I expected after so long not putting out a new album, there are solid songs here that keep your heart in the right place. Strong female protagonists in "Consider Me Gone" and the haunting "Maggie Creek Road" remind us that Reba is not to be laid on the floor as a doormat. Reba's been singing for over 30 years, and she still remains at the top of her game.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Reba is one of the great, if not the greatest, women of country music, who has sold millions of albums. Her lyrics always come from the heart, and she has created another great Reba album for old fans as well as new ones.
The voice of Queen Ifrica is inspiring Reggae fans around the world. Queen Ifrica gives very `funky' and addictive tunes about the Motherland of earth. For what it is, Queen Ifrica's Montego Bay is MASSIVE.
EDITOR'S NOTE: His political wordplay anticipated rap. As a novelist, poet, and pianist, Scott-Heron achieved an incredible synthesis of laid-back soul music long -- with jazz-fusion, embellishment borrowed from Bitches-Brew - period.
From Fred Astaire singing "Cheek to Cheek" to the adoring lulls of Doris Day crooning "The Way You Look Tonight." A pretty good collection of all the easy listening tunes now regulated to lounges in Las Vegas. Sublime songs paired with the finest vocal stylists of the time, equally suited to New Year's gatherings and nights by the fire.
Songstress Razia is a rising star, in the World Music realm, and the sky is truly the limit for this rare talent. "Zebu Nation" is a hypnotic mix of natural and sophisticated sounds. Every track on the album is well produced and performed incorporating a wide range of acoustic instruments and styles.
This groovy, cosmopolitan album also doubles as an environmentalist manifesto. Prompted by ecological devastation witnessed on a visit home to Madagascar, Zebu Nation simmers with transubstantiated grief and rage. This fiery and defiant album shakes your body with persistent grooves and gives you something to think about at the same time.