Thursday, June 12, 2008

New music

We've just put a bunch of new CDs on the shelf, and there are a couple of them that have made a particular splash amongst the critics and 'those in the know'.
Back to Black is the US debut of British singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse. If your sole familiarity with Ms. Winehouse is from seeing the covers of the supermarket tabloids, then you should give this album a chance. She has a truly amazing voice, and when I was listening to this album I kept thinking "What year is this?". The sound is pure Motown, although the lyrics are definitely 21st century. (There is actually a parental advisory label on this for explicit lyrics, but I've heard worse.) The songs are mostly about the tragic realities of relationships and affairs, and she doesn't pull any punches. With its retro sound and modern themes, this album would appeal to a broad range of ages.
Radiohead created quite the buzz last fall when they allowed fans to pay what they wanted to download the band's newest release In Rainbows, creating an album that was technically free of charge. Since everyone on the Internet has an opinion, and is not shy about sharing it, there was a flurry of comments about innovation, sabotaging the record industry, download quality and caving to pressure. That's all in the past now, and listeners can sit down with the CD and focus on what should really matter: the music itself. It has received very good reviews and fans of Radiohead will be happy with this latest effort from a solid alternative rock band.

No comments: