December, 2000




And Another Thing...

Listen to RealAudio sample: Heart Full Of Soul 

It’s taken 35 years to release his second solo album, but legendary U.K. pop singer-songwriter and musician Graham Gouldman more than fills the bill with a great new solo album that spans his many musical accomplishments. And Another Thing... takes various cues from Gouldman’s days as the trendsetting songwriter who wrote hit after hit for groups like The Hollies ("Bus Stop"), Herman’s Hermits ("No Milk Today") and The Yardbirds ("For Your Love") all the way to his fabulous ‘70s albums with 10cc and Wax. The pop world ain’t what it used to be yet, on his new CD, Gouldman manages to revive quite a few of his innovative trademark pop sounds. Among the many highlights here include the lead off track "You Stole My Love", a song written way back in 1966 and Gouldman’s new cover of his self-penned ‘65 Yardbirds classic "Heart Full Of Soul". Recorded in in London, L.A., Nashville and Italy, And Another Thing... sees Gouldman joining forces with notable players like Wax band mate Andrew Gold, Chris Difford of Squeeze and Madness vocalist Suggs. Between the two of them Gouldman and Gold excel on a wide array of instruments and the album’s sumptuous pop sound fills the soundstage. A must for his many fans, And Another Thing... is topped off with lyric sheet and new track by track liner notes by Graham. 


You Know Me
(Varese Sarabande / JAG)

Listen to RealAudio sample: Steal The Thunder 

The first album in nearly two decades from singer-songwriter and pop legend Jackie DeShannon is a solid comeback worthy of her best efforts from years past. Of course, it was Ms. DeShannon who penned the great, "What The World Needs Now", "Put A Little Love In Your Heart", "Needles And Pins" and countless other ‘60s pop anthems. It’s clear that DeShannon’s songwriting skills and vocals are still very much in top form on You Know Me, which finds the pop superstar supported by a cast of fine supporting musicians. A list of notable female singers and groups - from Marti Jones to The Bangles - have been carrying on the spirit of Ms. DeShannon’s earthy blend of ‘60s style pop for years, but it’s a real treat to once again hear it straight from the heart of one of the great pop originals. In addition to 13 new DeShannon tunes, there’s also a heartfelt cover of a rarely heard song called "Trader", written by the late, great Carl Wilson, which first appeared on the ‘73 Beach Boys album Holland. A welcome treat indeed, "Trader" is revived once again here with Ms. DeShannon’s inspiring rendition. You Know Me is the album DeShannon’s fans have long waited for. 

Righteous Love

Following the success of her 1995 album smash Relish, singer-songwriter Joan Osborne strangely found herself without a record label. "I guess the record company got tired of waiting", says Osborne although she’s quick to reply that "I was pretty confident that if I make a good record I’d have a place to go." And what a superb follow-up the Kentucky native has come back with. Following the wild success of Relish, which spawned the top hit "One Of Us, Osborne took to the east immersing herself in Indian classical music. That sense of wild musical adventure is quite apparent on Righteous Love, a most eclectic album ranging from pure American pop and rock to bluesy R&B flavored pop and Beatles-inspired, Eastern flavored rock. Whatever pop genre gets you high, Osborne has it covered on Righteous Love. Part of the credit in making the album such a listenable pop effort comes through the hand of producer Mitchell Froom, who adds his skillful studio touches to the sessions. Osborne’s first for Interscope is her best to date and from start to finish it’s also one of the best of 2000.

(Word Artisan)

In addition to releasing Phil Keaggy’s new instrumental effort Lights Of Madrid, Word Artisan has simultaneously issued the guitar great’s new pop effort Inseparable. Keaggy’s reputation as a top singer-songwriter comes to the fore on Inseparable, which blends contemplative folk-pop revelations with a harder pop-rock flair. Keaggy performs all the vocals and instruments himself with a bit of assistance on a couple tracks from drummer Steve Grossman. A great starting point on Inseparable is clearly the catchy title track, which merges a great melody and arrangement seasoned by Keaggy’s obvious affinity for Beatles-inspired pop. Inseparable draws light from Keaggy’s inspirational and religious convictions and in total the album an all-around winner for his many fans.  / 

Brutal Planet

Anyone who remembers how great those early ‘70s Alice Cooper albums were is advised to hunt down Cooper’s recently released Brutal Planet. Kicking off with the truly brutal title track, the CD seques into "Wicked Young Man" a song of which Cooper says, "The only way to survive in the Brutal Planet is to be like this guy and there are a lot of them out there." The disc bears the classic Cooper touch and the sonic assault is a grim reminder of the ominous soundscapes so vividly painted on Cooper’s brilliant early ‘70s albums like Love It To Death and Killer. Essentially Cooper’s latest vision of a rock opera depicting the sordid, morbid side of society as it is today, Brutal Planet finds the rock legend assisted by top players like guitarists China, Phil X. and Ryan Roxie with further assistance from Eric Singer (drums) and Cooper’s co-composer Bob Marlette (rhythm guitar, bass). Thanks to Long Island-based Spitfire Records for bringing the spirit of classic Alice into the 2000’s with the ultra sardonic and nightmare visions of Brutal Planet. 

Heavy ConstruKction

Perhaps the first real classic outing by prog-rock icons King Crimson in the new millennium, Heavy ConstruKction provides a triple disc set comprised of sonic snapshots from KC’s 2000 European tour. It can’t be my imagination so it must be that this new, leaner and meaner Crimson packs an even more potent wallop then ever before. On Heavy ConstruKction the rock quartet of guitarists Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Trey Gunn and percussion ace Pat Mastelotto attain a rare chemistry together. With a sound that is truly larger than life, the well balanced, live soundboard recordings makes Heavy ConstruKction appear more like Crimson live in the studio. Spread over three CDs are some incredible instrumentals and vocal tracks recorded by the ‘90s Crim along with a sprinkling of all time KC favorites like "Larks’ Tongues In Aspic: Pt. 4". There’s even a KC cover of the Bowie hit "Heroes". Robert Fripp has never been a guitar innovator to rest on his laurels. Since ‘69 he has constantly evolved the progressive Crimson sound and vision and he takes the 2000 Crimson on to new heights on Heavy ConstruKction. The album features a CD booklet filled with mind-boggling artwork, while disc two of the three CD set features enhanced CD video footage. 

Space Revolver
(InsideOut America)

Making his mark early on with his now classic instrumental ‘79 solo album Fantasia, Swedish guitar great Roine Stoldt has been keeping the progressive rock flame alive for nearly four decades in addition to recording various albums with The Flower Kings since ‘93. Sweden has produced a number of musical masters and Stoldt takes the spirit of orchestral rock to the next level on the latest Flower Kings’ CD Space Revolver. On Space Revolver, The Flower Kings, now with two drummers, including the great Hasse Bruniusson, present a refined blend of progressive rock sounds that naturally develops into a complex brew of jazz-rock complete with symphonic overtures. Looking back on his early career, Roine professes, "I started listening to bands like Frank Zappa And The Mothers in the mid ‘60s. Vanilla Fudge, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix... that’s what I consider to be progressive rock. For most people today, progressive rock is ELP, Genesis, Yes and King Crimson. But for me, progressive rock includes jazz-rock and fusion (groups) like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and a lot of psychedelic bands from the late ‘60s." A prolific artist and always a European guitarist to watch, Stoldt purveys a new rock fusion of sounds on Space Revolver. Other classic Flower Kings CDs currently available on Inside Out Music include Retropolis (1996), Alive On Planet Earth (98/99), and Flower Power (1999). Fans should also check out Stoldt’s noteworthy performance on the debut album by the prog-rock supergroup Transatlantic. 

(Urban Productions)

Listen to RealAudio sample: The Waiting Song 

A rare find indeed, the music of NYC-based Robert Urban combines a knack for gifted pop melodies with a lyrically insightful blend of rock that’s hard to top. Urban scored with the ‘97 release of his critically acclaimed acoustic-rock debut entitled godless. Keeping up his ability to amaze with penetrating lyrics, Urban changes the setting a bit with the electric guitar-based rock vibe of his latest, Elegies. Guitar fans will note Urban’s wide array of guitar effects and styles ranging from electric and acoustic guitar to synthesized, bottlenecked and wah-wah’d guitar shadings. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Elegies is that the entire recording is almost entire performed by Urban himself. All of this would be meaningless unless the music within measured up and sure enough it does. Catchy pop layered with profound lyrics and a solid rock beat abounds on Elegies. From the hooks and stirring vocals on the set-opening "The Waiting Song" and the piercing, pro-environmental purpose of "J’Accuse" to the CD’s two guitar-based progressive instrumentals, Urban more than proves his caliber as a gifted guitarist and a singer-songwriter worth checking out. Urban will also please his fans with the new release of Who I Was, a recent nine track retrospective of music he originally recorded in the ‘80s. / 212-932-1044




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