Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New Music

  • Print

JENNIFER LOPEZ FEAT. PITBULL

Live it Up (Capitol/Universal)

AFTER the absolute juggernaut that was On the Floor (and to a lesser extent, last year's Dance Again), J.Lo, Pitbull and super-producer Red One are back for a threepeat with this surefire club-ready neon monster. Everything here sounds more than a little familiar, and the "make love, don't fight" break is pretty hokey, but as a whole, it's so slickly put together it's easy to lose yourself in it and just dance. Three stars

 

MARIAH CAREY FEAT. MIGUEL

#Beautiful (Island Def Jam)

SUPERFLOUS #hashtags aside, Mariah delivers one of her best tracks in ages. Sounding a bit like a warmer, more relaxed, and more mature version of Honey, this is a fun and flirty mid-tempo summer shuffler featuring some genuine vocal chemistry between Mimi and R&B crooner Miguel. Three and a half stars

 

HOT NATURED FEAT. ANABEL ENGLUND

Reverse Skydiving (Benoit & Sergio Remix) (FFRR/Warner)

WASHINGTON, D.C. duo Benoit & Sergio give Hot Natured's already lovely, very LCD Soundsystem-like chill-out track the remix treatment by kicking up the beat, adding some synths, and dicing up Ms. Englund's sultry vocals. The result is sun-drenched love letter to the softer side of electro-house. Four stars

-- reviewed bySteve Adams

 

POP & ROCK

Vampire WeekendModern Vampires of the City (XL Recordings)

AFTER releasing two bouncy albums of reggae-flavoured pop laced with African rhythms, Vampire Weekend turns down the tempo and ups the indie-rock vibe on its third effort. Modern Vampires of the City, which the band characterizes as the culmination of a trilogy, puts singer-songwriters Ezra Koenig and Rostam Batmanglij's guitars and harmonies front and centre.

The New York quartet maintains the layered arrangements it established as its signature on its self-titled 2008 debut and 2010's Contra, with organs and strings in the musical mix. But the vocals are more in focus here, with a choir adding haunting depth to the two closing tracks, Hudson and Young Lion.

These 12 new songs are more coffee house than college party, but that's not a bad thing. There are enough upbeat entries -- including cleverly titled rockabilly single Diane Young -- to satisfy expectations, and the slower pace allows Vampire Weekend to show what else it can do. Three and a half stars

DOWNLOAD THIS: Young Lion

-- Sandy Cohen, The Associated Press

 

She & Him

Volume 3 (Merge Records)

IS there any limit to Zooey Deschanel's creativity?

With her comical hit show, New Girl, it's hard to work out when she would have the time to write music. And the new album Volume 3 from her duo, She & Him, with singer-songwriter M. Ward, definitely doesn't sound like an album that's been made on the side.

Their third record bursts to life with the bluesy I've Got Your Number, Son, and Deschanel's tone is dulcet. It's the kind of song you imagine being played on the jukebox in a 1950s diner.

The lyrics throughout the album are dreamy and full of unrequited love, but sung in an almost theatrical way. In Never Wanted Your Love, Deschanel adopts a Texan drawl. The addition of Ward's voice on Baby creates a beautiful harmony with Deschanel's tone, and an electric guitar riff adds a rock 'n' roll spin to the record.

The album's only weak moment is the cover of Blondie's Sunday Girl, which comes off flat. Otherwise, She & Him has a winner. Four stars

DOWNLOAD THIS: I've Got Your Number, Son

-- Sian Watson, The Associated Press

 

BLUES

James Cotton

Cotton Mouth Man (Alligator)

JAMES Cotton is one of the few remaining second-generation bluesmen in existence, and while he's pushing 80 years old, the harmonica ace and songwriter shows few signs of wanting to hang up the mouth harps. Cotton Mouth Man delivers enough scorching contemporary blues and blast-furnace harmonica licks to satisfy any fan of the form and maybe even pull in some new sets of ears.

Cotton doesn't sing anymore. All those smoky nights blowing and sucking on whisky-soaked harmonicas will do that to a man's vocal cords, so guest vocalists are the norm now on his recordings. Regular Cotton Band singer Darrell Nulisch shares duties with Gregg Allman, Keb Mo, Ruthie Foster, Warren Haynes and Delbert McClinton, so there's no shortage of star power to compensate for Cotton's lack of vocal muscle.

The album doesn't stray too far from the Alligator label template-contemporary blues, recorded well with a few surprises, but nothing that will cause anyone to re-evaluate the style. Cotton's harp hoots are still loud and proud and it's his rough tone that brings the tough edge to the title track and Bird Nest on the Ground. As a biographical soundtrack to Cotton's "funky life" it works, and if he never records again, Cotton Mouth Man is a wonderful coda to an incredible career serving the blues. Four stars

DOWNLOAD THIS: He Was There

-- Jeff Monk

 

COUNTRY

Trace Adkins

Love Will... (Show Dog/Universal)

TRACE Adkins works with five different producers on his 11th album, suggesting the country music veteran and reality TV star is searching for an infusion of fresh energy.

And Love Will... does find Adkins occasionally trying out new sounds. There's the soul-country vibe of So What If I Do, which features a saxophone to play up the pop-crossover possibilities. And there's a duet with pop singer Colbie Caillat on Watch the World End, a strange love song set during the apocalypse.

While the arrangements test new territory, the themes tend toward the middle-of-the-road romanticism he's stuck with for two decades. Eschewing any up-tempo rockers, the tall, muscular former oil rigger concentrates on romantic themes, some of which push at the steamier edges of conservative country music conventions -- as on his cover of the Exile pop hit Kiss You All Over.

For such a roughneck guy, he excels at tender ballads, as on Come See Me and the spiritually oriented title song, which features the Harlem Gospel Choir. But there's nothing here likely to lift him to the upper tier of country stars -- which seems like a missed opportunity, considering the high media profile his role on TV's Celebrity Apprentice has given him. Two and a half stars

DOWNLOAD THIS: Watch the World End

-- Michael McCall, The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 16, 2013 ??65532

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Drew Willy's pregame press conference - August 21

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • July 1, 2012 - 120701  -   Canada Day fireworks at The Forks from the Norwood Bridge Sunday, July 1, 2012.    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press
  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Did you suffer any damages from Thursday's storm?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google