Music articles

Alan Jackson-Like Red on a Rose

Arista Nashville So melancholy and introspective as to be almost emotionally monochromatic, Alan Jackson’s brooding “Like Red on a Rose” is an impressive left turn for the neo-traditionalist Nashville veteran, dialing down the sunshine streaking hits like  “Chattahoochee” and infusing his evocative baritone with an almost palpable sense of pain. Jackson’s secret weapon? Placing himself

My Morning Jacket-Okonokos

RCA/ATO From the earliest days, shaggy, psychedelic-tinged indie rockers My Morning Jacket have been a band most comfortable in the live-wire environs of concert halls and theaters’ sprawling, dense and often stunningly powerful, front man Jim James and his Kentucky cohorts have staked a claim as one of the best live rock bands currently working

Scissor Sisters-Ta-Dah

Universal Smashing UK success notwithstanding, it was entirely possible that Scissor Sisters could’ve been nothing more than a pop musical footnote after the New York-based collective scored a pair of minor hits with its discofied cover of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” and “Take Your Mama.” Not that this cheeky lot reinvented the wheel: Jake Shears

Heartless Bastards-All This Time

Fat Possum Records I never thought I’d give a favorable review to an album with a little girl and pretty dragonflies on the cover, but I am. The Ohio-based Heartless Bastards shocked and awed last year with their debut, “Stairs and Elevators,” one of the best albums of 2005.   Lead singer and guitarist Erika

John Mayer-Continuum

Columbia . Those who continue to dismiss John Mayer as an acoustic heartthrob are missing the bigger picture’ he’s still capable of penning a wrenching ballad, but his scope of vision encompasses so much more than making high school girls cry. “Continuum,” Mayer’s third and most accomplished effort to date, is a superb artistic statement

Devo 2.0-Self Titled

Disney The signs were there when Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo began composing for children’s films like “The Rugrats Movie.” It should come as no surprise that something like “Devo 2.0″ would eventually arise. Devo 2.0, a group of 10- to 13-year-olds, sings the Devo classics and a couple of new tracks by Mothersbaugh and fellow

Thee Emergency-Can You Dig It?

Blue Disguise If high-octane garage rock mixed with R&B is your thing, Seattle’s Thee Emergency is a must-hear band.   Unlike many post-punk bands, Thee Emergency’s latest, “Can You Dig It?,” is not filled with lyrically lacking tripe set to crunching guitars and infectious hooks. To be certain, the band knows how to rock out,

Justin Timberlake-FutureSex/LoveSounds

Jive Few artists have invested more energy in freeing themselves from their past than Justin Timberlake; his fierce determination to demolish his pretty-boy pop image is, at times, awe-inspiring’ having successfully stepped out on his own with 2002’s “Justified,” Timberlake spent the intervening years jet-setting, holding court with Cameron Diaz and remaining one of the

OutKast-Idlewild

Jive “Hey Ya!” was probably the worst thing that could’ve happened to OutKast.The mega-enormo 2003 single catapulted the Atlanta duo’ Andre 3000 and Big Boi’ from avant hip-hopsters creating intense masterpieces to a mainstream pop act; in short, a pair of artists once comfortably under the radar were now undone by their own ambitious achievement.

Celia Cruz & Willie Colon-Only They Could Have Made This Album

Fania Brassy, sensual and incomparable, Cuban-born vocalist Celia Cruz boasts a set of pipes unequaled by any woman before or since’ sorry, Shakira. Her lively staccato delivery, reliably set against irresistibly hip-shaking grooves, can’t help but make you pine for tropical paradises.   “Only They Could Have Made This Album,” a smooth, effortlessly slick recording,

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