Quarters for the Jukebox

In the Jukebox — June 10

In the Jukebox for this week (based off what’s new to me and listed alphabetically by artist; lots to check out):

  • Adele—19: The second coming (and soberer?) version of Amy Winehouse?
  • Alanis Morissette—Flavors of Entanglement: Alanis goes back to a harder sound with pounding rock and heavy electronic sounds topped off with appropriately placed curse words.
  • Bangkok Five—We Love What Kills Us: Album of growling, manic rock with just enough of a dose of music sensibility to keep it cleverly all together—mucho potential to shine.
  • Ben Sollee—Learning to Bend: Earnest and beautiful music that touches into folk, soul, blues and pop.
  • Dr. John—City That Care Forgot: Big band blues rock with guest appearances by Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Ani DiFranco and Terence Blanchard.
  • Emmylou Harris—All I Intended to Be: A little country, a little folk, a little adult contemporary pop … .
  • The Fratellis: Melodic indie rock from across the pond, this trio has been on the cusp of making it in the U.S. for awhile but haven’t quite taken root. This sophomore album only strengthens their case.
  • Jakob Dylan—Seeing Things: The Wallflowers’ front man debuts his solo career with an offering of simply arranged, yet moving songs.
  • Continue reading


In the Jukebox — May 29

In the jukebox for this week (based off what’s new; arranged alphabetically by artist name):

  • Adele—Chasing Pavements: Admittedly, this came out in January, but it’s new to me. She’s been labeled “the next Amy Winehouse” and BBC tagged her as the top new music talent for 2008. Her voice is good and smoky, but the song is a slow burner.
  • Al Green—Lay it Down: Celebration of Al Green’s music produced by The Roots’ ?uestlove and James Poyser, imposed with duets by breathing artists such as John Legend, Anthony Hamilton and Corinne Bailey Rae.
  • Band of Heathens—The Band of Heathens: Americana rock out of Austin. The group is the joining of three former solo acts: Ed Jurdi, Colin Brooks and Gordy Quist.
  • Chris Sligh—Running Back to You: The portly guy with a bushel of hair from American Idol’s sixth season releases his first solo album, an offering of Christian pop-rock. His voice sounds waaaaay better (with professional production) than I remembered it.
  • Cyndi Lauper—Bring Ya to the Brink: Cyndi pretends she’s Madonna.
  • Death Cab for Cutie—Narrow Stairs: Poetic “nerd rock,” and a pretty solid album.
  • Ice Cube—It Takes a Nation: After listening to this single, it’s hard to picture him in a third rendition of “Are We There Yet?”
  • Continue reading

Out this week — April 15

In the jukebox for this week (note: no way I’m reviewing all of these, but here’s what caught my eye … for reasons of appreciation or amusement):

  • The Constantines (album): Kensington Heights. I’ll review this later.
  • The Weepies (album): Hideaway. I don’t know this band, but there’s a cartoon whale on the cover.
  • Annea Lockwood (album): A Sound Map of the Danube. No lie, this is an album of just what it sounds like to ride down a river … no music (other than some distant church bells) … just water … and goats … .
  • The Duke Spirit (album): Neptune. I’ll review this later.
  • Jakob Dylan (single): Something Good This Way Comes. I’m a sucker for Wallflowers and will listen to this later in the week. Continue reading

Album — Spirit by Leona Lewis

She's a looker ...

Leona Lewis has been a relative unknown to the American market, but that’s sure to change quickly. If you haven’t heard her first American single “Bleeding Love” yet, don’t worry, you will. It’s arguably the best R&B-pop song so far this year, and projects Leona in discussion with Alicia and Mariah (too early to say Jordin?) for 2008 female pop radio dominance. What makes this even odder for me to say, is the fact Leona is essentially an American Idol winner from Britain (winning the reality talent show “The X-Factor,” which was begat by the British “Pop Idol,” which begat “American Idol”). Prior to auditioning for the show, she was a receptionist and pizza waitress. Now she stands at the forefront of being an international superstar.

As for the music, “Bleeding Love” is already the most downloaded song in America, and the album provides more of the same–with a couple of early duds and more ballads (might want to just download “Bleeding Love” and sample the rest–the album picks back up from the middle to the end). Check for yourself.

Quarters for the songs: Bleeding Love; Better in Time; Yesterday; Whatever it Takes; Take a Bow; The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.

Worth listening, if you like: Alicia Keys; Kelly Clarkson; Mary J. Blige; Mariah Carey; Nelly Furtado; Whitney Houston; Toni Braxton.