Sinead O'Connor: Theology (Koch)
Major points for good intentions but O'Connor's latest is so leaden and preachy it's hard to imagine who's still listening from her "Nothing Compares 2 U" days. Split into two discs, Dublin Sessions – just O'Connor and guitarist Steve Cooney - and London Sessions – full band studio affair including Robbie Shakespeare, strings and brass – Theology lumbers like a particularly hectoring sermon where God looms large but rarely uplifts.
Pink Nasty: Mold The Gold (self-released)
I've got a thing for Pink Nasty. Like her name, that sounds wrong but feels so right, and her perfect, enveloping pop music follows suit. There's nothing overly groundbreaking about Mold but every aspect is right on. Nasty is kin to Tanya Donelly and old Liz Phair, an emotionally humming craftsperson of the first order whose work glows and warbles in a truly wondrous way. Guest duet partner Bonnie 'Prince' Billy digs her, too!
Mike Farris: Salvation In Lights (INO/Columbia)
The sophomore solo album from the Screamin' Cheetah Wheelies frontman praises the Almighty with a seductive second line fervor that bangs the heart's tambourine and wakes deadened souls. This is gospel rooted in Farris' messy rock past, and it careens with the bubbling jubilance of someone who's found a rock to pat his foot on after many years wandering.
Butterflies, Zebras, and Moonbeams (1 K Recordings)
Silky smooth but never sleepy, Nucultures have arrived to fill the gap left after Kruder and Dorfmeister failed to follow-up their landmark K & D Sessions. This is unabashed trip-hop, a descendent of Tricky, Morcheeba and, on the more bootilicious bangers, Deee-Lite. Where Nucultures expands on their ancestry is in the bedrock musicality and undeniable melodic grace of this ultra creamy double-disc offering, an endlessly shifting landscape spread over 21 tracks that never drags or falters. Nice.
Waters, Winter & Cotton:
Breakin' It Up, Breakin' It Down (Legacy)
Despite being called the blues, what harmonica wizard James Cotton, albino guitar demon Johnny Winter and mojo mayor Muddy Waters did together in the '70s sounds awfully goddamn fun. This recently unearthed live compilation from the 1977 Hard Again tour takes all the hopping energy of their studio releases and juices it like a dirty old man on moonshine. Electric blues have rarely been explored with more skill or passion, and the entire band, which includes piano great Pinetop Perkins, works it so hard you're sure some things fell off once the curtain dropped. Highly recommended.
JamBase | Diggin' In Crates
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