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Posts Tagged ‘Adele’

The Music’s Over’s Favorite New Music Albums of 2011

Posted by themusicsover on December 19, 2011

You can click on any album cover to find on amazon.com

1. Dropkick Murphys / Going Out In Style / Born & Bred
Sure, I’m a sucker for Celtic punk, but DKM out-drinks and out-fights the rest with this hoppy gem. It’s the life and death of an Irish immigrant told in 46 minutes.  A vocal visit from Bruce Springsteen doesn’t hurt either.

2. Social Distortion / Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes / Epitaph
Social D may be 25 years into it, but Hard Times shows Mike Ness still gives a shit. The songs continue to be about escaping a dreary day with a hot dame in your cool car, but the punk has been buffed out with some twangy melodies and a touch of blues and rockabilly.  It’s high octane, it’s go!

3. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings / Soul Time!  / Daptone
Released as a Black Vinyl Friday exclusive, I expected this to be a non-cohesive slap-together of b-sides, etc, but damn if this isn’t the funkiest album they’ve come out with yet!  As much as I love SJ+DK albums, they tend to leave me longing for a live show.  Soul Time! does a better job at capturing that vibe.

4. HeadCat / Walk The Walk…Talk The Talk / Niji
It’s Lemmy, it’s Slim Jim Phantom, it’s Rockats guitarist, Danny B. Harvey reviving Lemmy’s retro-rock combo.  Much better than their first outing, Walk The Walk has the muscle you’d expect from a Motorhead side project.  A nice surprise is hearing Lemmy actually carry a tune on the softer rave-up, “I Ain’t Never.”

5. Big Harp / White Hat / Saddle Creek
Wow!  This one snuck out of nowhere and bit me in the ass. Equal parts hipster lounge and honky-tonk saloon converge behind a voice that can only be described as chocolate dipped in whiskey.  The ghosts of Nick Cave and Townes swim through the soft melodies and yarn-spinning lyrics that populate White Heat.

6. The Civil Wars / Barton Hollow / Sensibility
I was lucky enough to catch their first TV appearance on Leno back in January and have been hooked ever since.  They share harmonies in that eerie way when identical twins share pain.

7. Imelda May / Mayhem! / Decca
Fun retro-swing / rockabilly pop from Dublin.  If this style of music experiences a renaissance like blue-eyed soul has over the past couple of years, Imelda May will be its Adele.

8. Hanni el Khatib / Will The Guns Come Out / Innovative Leisure
An amalgamation of dirty blues, R&B, garage, punk and doo wop, blast out of Hanni el Khatib’s vintage Silvertone guitar and Nicky Fleming-Yaryan’s drum kit that sounds like one of those kid sets taken over by a Keith Moon-type pounder. Fans of the Wolfmother or the Black Keys take note!

9. Glen Campbell / Ghost On The Canvas / Surf Dog
A beautifully heart-breaking final album from a musical genius who knows his days (or at least mental agility) are numbered.  Unlike Johnny Cash’s swan song releases, Ghost On The Canvas is a more subtle goodbye as he walks deeper into the challenges of Alzheimer’s.

10. Charles Bradley / No Time For Dreaming / Daptone
Don’t be fooled, No Time For Dreaming was not recorded in 1968.  Like label mate, Sharon Jones, Bradley offers up a retro soul vibe that sounds so authentic, you can almost feel the sweat.  My SXSW highlight this year was watching Bradley turn an audience of indie rock hipsters who were only there early for the headlining act into believers.

11. Garland Jeffreys / The King Of The In Between / Luna Park
New York City’s other great ’70s rock poet returns with his first album in thirteen years and proves once again that more people need to know who he is.

 

 

 

 


12. Wild Flag
/ Wild Flag / Merge
An indie rock all-star girl group delivers a debut album that rocks harder than most of their male counterparts.

13. Girl In A Coma / Exits & All The Rest / Blackheart
All-female punk trio proves why Joan Jett signed them to her Blackheart label.  With influences firmly planted on their sleeves, GIAC share their love for the Smiths, punk, new wave, and of course, the Runaways.

14. Lykke Li / Wounded Rhymes / Atlantic
Good Lord, this album swaggers!  Drum ‘n bass plays nice with garage-psych organs. “Get Some” is one of the best, if not most tribal songs of the year.

15. The Beach Boys / The Smile Sessions / Capitol
Yes it’s technically a “new” album.  And it remarkably feels brand new even though we’ve heard most of these songs before.

16. The Kills / Blood Pressures / Domino
Indie rock’s sexiest duo oozes back with their best album yet.   It’s dark, raw, rhythmic and now.

17. Noah And The Whale / Last Night On Earth / Mercury
While contemporaries like Arcade Fire draw inspiration from ’70s rock, this one feels fueled more by New Wave with its synths and drum machine.  But then “Tonight’s The Kind Of Night” busts out with a Roy Bittan by way of Bob Seger piano backdrop.

18. Stephen Brower & The Silent Majority / SB/SM / Pioneers Of The New West
SB/SM has a sound so raw and immediate, you can’t help but draw a dotted line to pre-Geffen Guns ‘n Roses by way of Tom Waits.  Equal parts fuzz, metal, punk, folk and outlaw country make up this tasty stew.  The live-in-studio vibe is punctuated by the cough that kicks off “Ajax Mountain.”

19. R.E.M / Collapse Into Now / Warner Bros.
I love when R.E.M. lets it rock, and Collapse Into Now does it better than any of their albums in recent memory. Accelerate was a decent attempt, but it appears to have only set the stage for this one.  I probably wouldn’t have said this 7 or 8 years ago, but I’m sorry to see them go.

20. The Horrible Crows / Elsie / Side One Dummy
A short folky detour for Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon finds him tapping into his inner-Nick Cave.  The E-Street anthem blast might be in the back seat for this one, but the heart is still there.

21. Megadeth / Th1rt3en / Roadrunner
I haven’t cared about Megadeth since 1992’s Countdown To Distinction, but Th1rt3en came out of nowhere and floored me like those albums when Metallica gets it right.

22. Christian McBride Big Band / The Good Feeling / Mack Avenue
I don’t know why, but 2011 will go down as the year that I figured out jazz.  And a huge part of that is The Good Feeling.  Sure it’s big band, but I’ll be damned if Christian McBride isn’t a rock star!

23. Black Country Communion / 2 / J&R Adventures
BCC is Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham, and Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater).  With apologies to Plant, Page and Jones, this is likely to be the most authentic sounding “Zeppelin” reunion album we’ll ever get.

24. The Vaccines / What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? / Columbia
I am such a sucker for simple sing-along pop melodies, but these beauties are drenched in so much noise that the Jesus and Mary Chain instantly comes to mind.  And that’s a good thing.

25. The Jayhawks / Mockingbird Time / Rounder
I’m kind of embarrassed to say, but it took me nearly 25 years, to finally understand all the hubbub about the Jayhawks!  Simply put, this album is beautiful.

26. John Hiatt / Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Dreams / New West
This is easily John Hiatt’s best album since 2000’s Crossing Muddy Waters.  It feels thicker and more sonic than I can remember a Hiatt album sounding.  It’s nice that his personal reflection of 9/11, “When New York Had Her Heart Broke,” – written immediately after he personally witnessed the attack while in NYC – has found a home on this album.

27. White Denim / D / Downtown
I’m not sure I’d go as far as calling White Denim a jam band, particularly since not one song here clocks in at more than five minutes, but all the classic elements of the genre shine through on D.  Plenty of psych-guitar noodling, frenetic drum slapping, and chord changes, but compacted for those of us on a tight schedule.

28. Gang Of Four / Content / Yep Roc
With Content, Gang Of Four prove they still matter 35 years later.  It might not be Entertainment!, but you just can’t deny Andy Gill’s angular guitar attack, which is as strong as ever.  I hope it’s not another 15 years until their next.

29. Adele / 21 / XL
What everyone else said.

30. The Mahones / The Black Irish / True North
Oh look, I’ve book-ended my Top 30 with Celtic punk.  Where Dropkick Murphys blow the roof off an Irish wake with fist-pumping anthems, the Mahones seem more a drunken pirate ship house-band.  Plenty of nods to the Pogues throughout.


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Died On This Date (July 23, 2011) Amy Winehouse / English Pop Singer, Member of 27 Club

Posted by themusicsover on July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse
September 14, 1983 – July 23, 2011

Member of the 27 Club

Amy Winehouse was an English singer-songwriter who burst on to the scene in 2006 and quickly built a legion of fans for her soulful and sultry songs that offered a mix of R&B, Jazz, Rock, Pop, and Soul.  During a relatively short and troubled life in front of the masses, Winehouse opened the door for such white neo-soul divas as Duffy and Adele.  Born in north London, Winehouse quickly took a shine to music and soon found herself being scolded by her teachers for constantly breaking out into a song during classes.  By 13, she had her first guitar, and within a year she was writing her own songs.  Shortly after that she was signed by Simon Fuller’s 19 Management.  Fuller of course, is of American Idol fame.  In October of 2003, Winehouse released her debut album, Frank, likely in a nod to one of her idols, Frank Sinatra.   The album was critically acclaimed and did well across the U.K., but it wasn’t until the release of 2006’s Back To Black and its instantly iconic first single, “Rehab,” that Winehouse’s popularity skyrocketed around the globe.  The album entered the U.S. charts at #7, and was the biggest selling album of the year in the U.K.  Back To Black and Winehouse won several Grammys that year, including Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist.  The album also sat in the Top 10 of most credible year-end best-of lists of 2006.  But the spotlight was harsh on Winehouse who was dealing with her own internal demons.  She admitted to struggling with eating disorders, depression and self harm, while abuse of illegal drugs contributing to a life that seemed to be quickly spiraling out of control.  There were also a handful of legal issues – drug related and otherwise, along with health problems that were keeping Winehouse’s often sadly frightening images in the media, no thanks to paparazzi who were documenting her fall from greatness.  On July 23, 2011, Amy Winehouse was found to be not breathing in her bed by her security guard who immediately called paramedics who were not able to revive her.  Cause of death was attributed to alcohol poisoning.  Like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and so many great 27 Clubbers before her, Winehouse was 27 when she passed away.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Back to Black - Amy Winehouse

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Died On This Date (May 27, 2011) Gil Scott-Heron / Poet & Musician; The Godfather Of Rap

Posted by themusicsover on May 27, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron
April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron was an American poet, musician, and author who has been called the “Godfather of Rap” due to the social and political commentary of his work as well as the vocal delivery with which he presented his songs.  Had there been such a word during the early ’70s, his spoken word over a jazz backdrop would have been called “rap.”  These early recordings were the foundation on which rap, hip-hop, and neo-soul were built.  In 1970, he released a song/poem entitled “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” which many consider the exact moment at which hip-hop was born even though we wouldn’t know it for at least another 10 years.   Throughout the late ’70s and ’80s, Scott-Heron lent his voice to political and social causes like the 1979 No Nukes Concert and 1985’s Artists United Against Apartheid’s Sun City benefit album.  Scott-Heron spent a good part of the 2000s in jail due to various drug related charges, but in 2010, his career experienced a renaissance when he was signed to hip independent label, XL Recordings, home to such artists as Adele, the XX, Vampire Weekend, and Sigur Ros.   His label debut, I’m New Here, which was his first album in 16 years, turned him on to a whole new generation of both hip-hop fans and hipsters alike.  On May 27, 2011, it was announced that Gil Scott-Heron, age 62, passed away in a New York City hospital earlier that day.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

I'm New Here (Bonus Track Version) - Gil Scott-Heron


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