I can’t tell if Nelly Furtado is some horrid Jennifer Lopez wanna-be or an almost Patti Rothberg. Anyone listening to the first song on her album might say the latter, but past that all bets are off. The disc honestly isn’t too good, but i think that’s mostly the fault of her producers. He writing is fine and could develop into something great, and her voice is incredible. Oh well… her original influences aren’t exactly singer-songwriters, but as she grew older she picked up some great artists like Portishead, who are a personal favourite. Nelly does achieve some great pop moments on the disc, but they’re too muddled with stylistic confusion on the other tracks to make a difference. I look forward to a second effort.
On the other hand, Nina Gordon’s Tonight and the Rest of My Life is a mostly banal pop effort, even when viewed without Veruca-tinted glasses on. You can see my review of the record later this weekend when my new section, Just Like Assholes goes up. Everybody’s got them, ya know…
Veruca Salt’s Resolver is, if not the best album released this year, then by far the album with the best low-to-high volume contrast. With two out of my favourite three songs on the disc being quiet not-even-rock songs, the rest of the incredibly loud album makes a perfect balance. I hate when a band can’t do “loud” (or “soft”) despite being good at the other end of the spectrum, but Louise Post does not disappoint. Ultra-Highly recommended.
*riotHERO was so nice that he went and found a bad review of Radiohead’s totally unbearable new album for me. I realize that everyone but me loves them to death, but over 90% of the album is utter worthless crap. But, the critics seem to enjoy it, so maybe they’ll get another shot at getting it right. Or maybe they’ll write some more “art” ,… yeah, sure…
(Almost) All masochism aside, I should be whipped and flogged for every day that i went by not buying Aimee Mann albums. I know now to put blind faith in everything Furia tells me. May Aimee deliver us all from boring and illiterate music. The great thing about most of her songs is that they’re so incredibly simple; not one of them has been a challenge for me to learn to play on guitar or bass. Their simplicity is so very complete that they become marvellous capsules of perfect genius, with no over-important production or performance to discredit. My four-tiered pyramid of musical preference is getting a bit rearranged tonight. More, later.
What i truly love about this Madonna album is that it feels musically organic. First of all, whoever finally convinced Madonna to let guitars shine through in many of her songs deserves a pat on the back. Perhaps the country-gal album art is a nod to the overwhelming acoustic force on this album, but the simplicity of tunes like “Gone” that are just guitar, beatbox, and a few tracks of Madonna’s voice (with some electronic toys showing up as the song progresses) exemplify the newfound strength of her voice as well as the simple but heartfelt lyrics she’s come up with (and i still would love to know exactly how the writing process for a Madonna album occurs, but i fear that we’ll never know). “Music” at once doesn’t fit into the album at all and is perfect to kick it off… a bridge from “Beautiful Stranger” & “American Pie” to the present, showcasing all of her recent influences. “Impressive Instant takes us further in that direction, but by “I Deserve” it we see where the album’s true center is. I am left wondering what the next single might be… Ray of Light started off subtle with “Frozen” and then slammed us with the title track. “Music” is by far the best possible clubland single, so will Madonna try to top it with pop (“Amazing”) or grace (“I Deserve It”)?
Well, i’m off to Philosophy, so MadonnaBlog will be back later :P