Thursday, February 1, 2007

A cure for the blues and other short stories...

Some interesting new releases have been brought to my attention. I fell in love with that old Motown sound all over again, discovered one of the most highly acclaimed electronica releases of the past months and... some nice indie too.

Amy Winehouse - Back To Black (2006 - soul)
Winehouse's single 'Rehab' currently airs on every radio station in the land. It's one of the great collection of songs on the album 'Back to Black'.
The album owes a great deal to the Motown sound of the 60's. In fact, it really sounds as if it was produced during that era. 'Back to Black' has got all the right ingredients for that: a hint of Phil Spector in the production and the arrangements and heartfelt vocals that remind us of legendary vocalists like Etta James, Shirley Bassey and Billie Holliday. An impressing effort indeed, especially compared to het debut album 'Frank' (2003), which was a bit too much on the contemporary R&B side for my taste.
Back to black, that's vintage soul from 2006. A cure for the blues.

The Knife - Silent Shout (2006 - synth pop)
This one has been an office favourite for quite a while now. The Knife is an enigmatic Swedish duo (brother and sister) that produces electro-pop with heavy eastern and tribal (dare I say folk) influences. The vocals are very prominent: Karin Dreijer Andersson's voice sounds a lot like Bjork's.

The Good, The Bad and The Queen (2007 - indie)
Blur and Gorillaz member Damon Albarn's
new project balances between indie rock and electronic music. The album produced by Danger Mouse is surprisingly diverse. Some of the stuff reminded me of Blur and The Beatles, while the single 'Herculaneum' - my personal favourite - seems to be influenced by the music of Air and Lemon Jelly. Although some of the accoustic songs seem a bit out of place on this album (well, that's just my opinion), it still comes highly recommended!

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