Follow along with me as I delve into this week’s new music releases, sharing a song from what’s new in music and give each album a mini-review of three sentences in length. Please share your own thoughts on this week’s new music in the comments, and, as always, if you hear something you like, buy an album or a few songs, and support the artist and the art of music.
Calvin Harris :: 18 Months
Sweet Nothing :: Calvin Harris, featuring Florence and the Machine
Music meant for inclusion on my work out playlist, most especially the track Feel So Close, Calvin Harris gets by, and gets his dance groove on, with a little help from his friends. My favorite collaborations are with Rihanna, on We Found Love, Sweet Nothing featuring the incomparable Florence Welch and her “machine” (editor’s note: incredible video, too, see above), and his pairing with Example on We’ll Be Coming Back. Sometimes collaborative albums such as this one lack cohesion and flow to me, but this is a fun collection despite the occasional hop, skin and a jump in fluidity.
Lulu Gainsbourg :: From Gainsbourg to Lulu
Bonnie and Clyde :: Lulu Gainsbourg featuring Scarlett Johansson
Another collection of songs with much help from the artist’s friends, From Gainsbourg to Lulu is also a tribute album to Lulu’s father, Serge Gainsbourg. I am in love with this album, especially the featured above song, Bonnie and Clyde, featuring Scarlett Johansson whose voice I have been enjoying since her version of Summertime. I am also quite fond of Je Suis Venu Te Dire Que Je M’en Vais, with Rufus Wainwright, and Lulu’s duet with Iggy Pop, Initials BB.
Velvet Underground and Nico :: 45th Anniversary
I’ll Be Your Mirror :: Velvet Underground and Nico
For Velvet Underground and Nico’s 45th anniversary, a multiple disc extravaganza celebrates this birthday to my delight. It is impossible for me to pick a favorite as I grew up loving so many of their songs, though I’ll Be Your Mirror does hold some special memories to me. This is quite an amazing collection, with alternate and live versions, definitely worth having as part of my music collection; happy birthday, Velvet Underground and Nico.
Mick Hucknall :: American Soul
That’s How Strong My Love Is :: Mick Hucknall
Best known for his work with Simply Red, Mick Hucknall marks his return to music with an album of American Soul classics. This is most certainly a personal preference, or bias, however one might label it, but I am not a fan of Mick’s voice, so these songs really fall flat in comparison to the original for me. I am usually a sucker for a tribute cover album, but this one I will pass on listening to again.
Andrew Bird :: Hands of Glory
Three White Horses :: Andrew Bird
A slow grower of an album, this one is definitely starting to get under my skin. The lull of his voice and the utter magic he makes with a violin, well it is nothing short of brilliant. A double disc of songs, my favorites, so far, are Three White Horses, Polynation and the Thomas Van Zandt cover, If I Needed You.
The Twang :: 10:20
Mainline :: The Twang
Sleepy at some points, poppy at others, The Twang’s new album has yet to really capture me. They have a familiar sound, perhaps too familiar, though I do find Mainline quite catchy. Guapa is another on the album that I have played more than once, though still not bowled over by it; the album, on a whole, seems very mediocre.
Tracey Thorn :: Tinsel and Lights
In the Cold, Cold Night :: Tracey Thorn
I forget sometimes how much I love Tracey Thorn’s voice, and have for some time now, from back when she was part of the Marine Girls, to her time with her husband, Ben Watt, with Everything But the Girl. Also, I have a huge soft spot for holiday music, a somewhat best kept secret about me. This is a fantastic winter/holiday album, and one that I am excited to start spinning, especially the song In the Cold, Cold Night (see above).
Roosevelt :: Sea
Sea :: Roosevelt
Just a single, for now, but promising enough that I wanted to share. Ethereal and indie pop in the best way, this is one of those songs that will end up on playlists and mixes in the near future, I can already tell. This song reminds me of road trips up PCH, the ocean outside the rolled down window, salt water in the air, and on my tongue.
Redwire :: Playing with Fire
Playing with Fire :: Redwire
Another single to share, Redwire’s Playing with Fire reminds me of a melding of the Editors and Elbow, with a little Strokes shaken in for flavor; a rather tasty combination of sound. This is another band to watch, for me, and another song that will feature on upcoming playlists. This is a different kind of road trip song, more for the road to Vegas, or a late night coffee run, when most of the city has gone to sleep, but the insomniacs still roam.