Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Music : September 21, 2010 - September 27, 2010

Maroon 5 "Hands All Over"
Adam Levine of Maroon 5 cited that "Pour Some Sugar on Me" was one of his childhood faves. The opportunity work with super producer Mutt Lange did not have to be voted by the band. They were thrilled to be working with the legend, who not only worked on Def Leppard's "Hysteria" and "Pyromania," but also huge hits for AC/DC, Foreigner and Shania Twain, when he offered to produce their new album. This latest release from the group puts together their smart mix of pop and R&B hooks with production so polished. Cuts like lead single "Misery" and the catchy "Stutter" will garner raves from fans of classic M5 fare like "This Love," but there are surprises, too. "Out of Goodbyes," a collaboration with Lady Antebellum, sounds more like vintage Fleetwood Mac than modern-day Music Row, while the title tune boasts enough hard-hitting swagger to make it as popular with exotic dancers as the aforementioned "Pour Some Sugar."

Gin Blossoms "No Chocolate Cake"  
The Gin Blossoms were victims of having to coexist with the early '90s mania for Seattle grunge groups like Nirvana and bubbling up in the wake of that groundbreaking band's demise. Their post-grunge jangle and lovelorn alt-rock angstdid a lot to get them noticed as it was easy to separate their sound. Now they're suddenly back and in the blink of an eye they're offering listeners a refreshing time-travel experience beginning with "I Don't Want to Lose You Now" and the new single "Miss Disarray." These guys have been in the industry long enough that they can perform this melodic stuff in their sleep. Their songs are accompanied with an electric 12-string guitar or jangling chorused guitar on almost every track, adding bounce to the sadness of songs such as "Somewhere Tonight."

Carlos Santana "The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time"
Carlos Santana has enjoyed a huge career resurgence with star-studded albums like "Supernatural" and its sequels. He adds on to those successes but puts a twist in the formula for his latest album. Collaborating with Chris Cornell, Rob Thomas, Scott Weiland, Chris Daughtry, Gavin Rossdale, Ray Manzarek and others, he sets out to put his interpretations of his generation's awesome guitar solos. Conceived while collaborating with Clive Davis, the twist this time is the song selection, which eschews originals for classic rock favorites by Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Cream, T. Rex and Deep Purple. Personally, we would have preferred the legendary axe man to take on Van Halen's "Eruption" instead of the pop-laden "Dance the Night Away."  His interpretation of AC/DC's "Back in Black," which features hip-hop oddballs Nas and Janelle MonĂ¡e should be interesting.

John Legend & The Roots "Wake Up!"
Philadelphia's music family has been so large and still growing that most were wondering when such a team up effort could ever come up on an album. Well, one composed of John Legend and the Roots has just occurred. The two have joined forces for a different kind of covers set. Conceived during the tumult and excitement of the 2008 presidential election, "Wake Up!" is a bracing mix of socially conscious and soulful protest songs, ranging from the familiar ("Compared to What," the 1970 jazz-funk hit by Les McCann and Eddie Harris, and "I Wish How I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free," popularized by Nina Simone) to esoteric fare from the back catalogs of Mike James Kirkland and Baby Huey and the Babysitters. Throw spirited readings of Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway into the mix, and you've got an ideal soundtrack.

Billy Currington "Enjoy Yourself"
 Georgia native Billy Currington  recently racked up his sixth No. 1 country hit with the laid-back "Pretty Good at Drinkin' Beer." Working with top-notch Nashville songwriters like Troy Jones, Shawn Camp and Dave Barnes, Currington delivers a disc that makes him seem like the kind of guy who'd truly be fun to toss a few back with, full of good-natured ruminations like "Bad Day of Fishin'"—which beats a good day of anything else—and his paean to man's best friend, "Like My Dog."

Matt Costa "Mobile Chateau" 
 Singer/songwriter Matt Costa isn't shy about emulating the classic songwriting of the Byrds and Donovan, but on his new album, Costa also draws from the catalog of Bob Lind who was his favorite songwriter. Costa thought so highly of the Lind song 'Ask Your Man,' he actually took the lyrics and reworked them into a new song called "Drive." It's a piano-driven pop track that sounds like it could be a long-lost Beach Boys tune with its shimmering summery feel.

Selena Gomez "A Year Without Rain"
Disney star Selena Gomez, who turned 18 this year, says her sound has matured as well. The sophomore set from Selena Gomez and the Scene builds on the success of her techno-tinged No. 1 club hit, "Naturally." "There's a feeling when I perform that song that I love, so when I was going back in the studio, I had a better understanding of where I wanted to be musically," says Gomez. The successor to her Gold-certified "Kiss & Tell" also features some ballads, including English and Spanish renditions of the title track, and "Ghost of You." And another Teen Choice favorite, Katy Perry, co-wrote "Rock God" and contributes backing vocals. 

Other New Releases Worth Checking Out:
(Have not listened to, but please feel free to post a review)
  • Michael Franti & Spearhead "The Sound of Sunshine"
  • Walker Hayes Walker Hayes (EP)"

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