Archive for the ‘POP’ Category

Love – The Beatles | CD/Audio DVD review

 (Apple/EMI) 3.5 stars For better or worse, sampling and cut-and-paste techniques are a recording fixture: e.g. the recent posthumous “teaming’’ of Ray Charles with the current Count Basie Band on `Ray Sings, Basie Swings’. So the clever makeover by producer George Martin and son Giles of pop archetypes the Beatles should come as no surprise [...]

The Captain & the Kid – Elton John | CD review

(Mercury) 3.5 stars Piano man Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin first collaborated in 1967, as teenage staff songwriters in London, eventually emerging with 1969’s `Empty Sky’ album. Elton’s eponymous 1970 LP, containing the hit `Your Song’, finally brought pop stardom and a succession of hit albums quickly followed, including 1975’s autobiographical `Captain Fantastic and [...]

I’m Your Man – Leonard Cohen/Various artists (soundtrack CD)

(Verve Forecast) 4.5 stars Leonard Cohen’s songs get under your skin. Although he’s no great singer – Cohen freely admits it – and his melodies often tread well-worn paths, those lyrics are wickedly seductive and drolly self-deprecating.

Time Being – Ron Sexsmith | CD review

 (Warner) 5 stars That Ron Sexsmith is a consummate tunesmith has been freely acknowledged by artists as diverse as Lucinda Williams, Elvis Costello and k d lang. But the Canadian balladeer’s own interpretations hold the strongest appeal, allowing words and melody to breathe.

Sail Away: Songs of Randy Newman | CD review

(Sugar Hill/Shock) 4.5 stars Randy Newman is a great American songwriter, in part because he has never underestimated his audience’s intelligence, although the satirical edge to his lyrics has escaped some people. Take the title song (covered by Tim O’Brien) of this terrific tribute CD.

Separate Ways – Teddy Thompson | CD review

(Verve Forecast/Universal) 4.5 stars Singer-guitarist Teddy Thompson, son of Richard and Linda, has an enviable musical pedigree to live up to and on Separate Ways he doesn’t disappoint. Probably his most notable achievement up to now has been writing and performing on mum’s transcendent 2002 comeback CD, `Fashionably Late’ (Rounder/Shock), and singing on several of [...]

The Body Acoustic – Cyndi Lauper | CD review

(Sony&BMG) 4 stars Ho-hum … or so I thought. Reworking old hits with the help of guest artists may have become a familiar, safe option for performers past their prime, but Cyndi Lauper succeeds in imparting a fresh spin to her music with spare, exhilarating arrangements, strong on acoustic guitars, organ, dulcimer and harmonium.

Watershed – k d lang | CD Review

(Nonesuch/WEA) 5 stars It took k d lang four years to follow-up her extraordinary covers tribute to fellow Canadian songsmiths, `Hymns of the 49th Parallel’, which quickly earned a niche in many people’s top 100 albums lists. However, instead of an anticipated `Hymns’ volume two, the mellow-voiced singer now turns on a polished set of [...]

The Sleeper – The Leisure Society | CD review

(Inertia) 5 stars It’s easy to understand why The Leisure Society’s debut album has been gathering rave reviews from the group’s UK peers and music press since it was released there a year ago. Now available in Australia, along with a bonus, eight-track disc labelled `A Product of the Ego Drain’.

American VI: Ain’t No Grave – Johnny Cash | CD review

(American/Universal) 3 stars I approached this CD with misgivings. The `American’ series started out in 1993 as an unlikely partnership between Johnny Cash and producer Rick Rubin. Their five albums, recorded over the decade up to Cash’s death in 2003, aged 71, contained some of the veteran singer’s finest performances.

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