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Feel This Moment (RCA)

Mr. Worldwide puts A-ha's 80s classic Take On Me through the new millennial ringer, complete with some very over-the-top vocals from Ms. Aguilera. An utterly shameless drunk girl anthem that also happens to be a lot of fun. 'Ö'Ö'Ö


Follow Me (Warner)

While Coldplay and U2 generally wait around to have their songs remixed, Muse appear to have remixed themselves right off the bat. This third single from The 2nd Law begins as a shimmering ballad, including a recording of lead singer Matthew Bellamy's baby's heartbeat, before morphing into a disco-y dubstep experiment. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö


Rum & Raybans (Epic)

Even if you ignore the egregious product placement for Bacardi and the titular sunglasses, it's tough to get past the atrocious computerized vocals and obnoxious synth line that could be easily interchanged with any one of about a dozen other songs released in the past year. 'Ö'Ö


We Got the World (Atlantic)

The Swedish duo's follow-up to the gloriously sleazy I Love It lacks the in-your-face aggression that made its predecessor such a guilty pleasure. This is passable electro-pop, but sounds a bit too much like a lost t.A.T.u. track. 'Ö'Ö1/2

-- Reviewed by Steve Adams



Unapologetic (Island Def Jam Music Group)

There's something about Rihanna. And her producers.

The singer's new album -- her seventh in seven years -- is like many of her other releases, full of songs that are catchy, fun and addictive. Her albums are almost like listening to a NOW compilation disc.

Unapologetic is no different. It's full of future hits, and not a single miss.

Phresh Out the Runaway, which kicks off the album, does so with a bang. And there are more: Pour It Up, which has Rihanna sounding like a female version of The-Dream, is appealing; Jump samples Ginuwine's Pony -- and it's surprisingly good; and the David Guetta-helmed Right Now is European-flavoured and upbeat.

Even Rihanna's duet with her ex(?) Chris Brown on Nobody's Business, which samples Michael Jackson's The Way You Make Me Feel, will make you move your feet. Lyrically though, the song is somewhat dismissive. "Ain't nobody's business," she sings. OK, then stop tweeting one another.

When Rihanna slows it down, she's still on point: Her duet with singer Mikky Ekko on the piano-tune Stay is touching; the mid-tempo first single, the Sia-penned Diamonds, is enjoyable; and What Now builds nicely from its calming verse to its electrified hook.****


Pour It Up

-- Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press


Black Moth Super Rainbow

Cobra Juicy (Rad Cult)

ON Black Moth Super Rainbow's fifth album, Cobra Juicy, the Pittsburgh-bred ensemble revisits ground they first broke in 2003, when they first began to create an unsettling, endearing blend of psychedelic pop, BBC-esque library music, and freak-folk. Under the leadership of sometime solo artist Tobacco, Cobra Juicy sees the band retaining its electronic and psych influences, but with more focus on pop melodies. Ganges in the Garden is an electroclash/disco bit in the vein of Scissor Sisters, while the closing track, Spraypaint, is a wistful, radio-ready love song Air Supply would have recorded had expletives been a part of their vocabulary. While BMSR's past albums had their fair share of apocalyptic and creepy melodies, Cobra Juicy sees the band a bit more aggressive, demonstrated in the compelling and animalistic Hairspray Heart. This uneasy balance of wistful ballads and Nine Inch Nails leaves Cobra Juicy lacking cohesion, even as many tunes are individually strong. ***

-- Katherine Silkaitis, Philadelphia Inquirer


Colin Linden

Still Live (File Under Music)

MOSTLY known for his current work as one third of popular folk rockers Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, guitarist/songwriter Colin Linden has had the kind of career in music that makes others green with envy. This is Linden's second live set, his first being way back in 1980, and in between he's worked extensively on both sides of the border with the likes of Bruce Cockburn, The Band, Emmylou Harris and Mavis Staples. First and foremost, Linden is a guitar star and Still Live rolls out like a primer on his remarkable talent. Whether he's finger-picking acoustic six-string (Smoke 'Em All, From The Water), sliding with abandon (Sugar Mine, Sinking Down Slow) or just plain making his songs work with his band, Linden delivers. While his hands never stop delivering here, Linden's voice cracks into a froggy gurgle here and there, but it's hardly a bother when he peels off those tight riffs again and again, track after track. ***1/2 stars


Who's Been Talking

-- Jeff Monk


Matt Herskowitz

Upstairs (Justin Time)

MONTREAL pianist Matt Herskowitz mixes it up on this solo recording made at the Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill with a couple of originals, some jazzed-up Bach and Schumann and a couple of Gershwin pieces.

This isn't a hard swinging date; more reflective, more of a classical and jazz blend performed by a skilful pianist.

His own tune, Bella's Lament, is an intricate, delicate piece, while Bach la Jazz (his arrangement of Bach's Prelude in C Minor from the film Les Triplettes de Bellville) is a jazzed up bit of fun. Herskowitz does the Gershwins proud with But Not For Me and the great disc closer I've Got Rhythm. ***1/2



-- Chris Smith

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 29, 2012 ??65532

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