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JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

Take Back the Night (RCA/Sony)

We went seven years without a new Justin Timberlake album. This year, he's planning on giving us two in the span of about seven months. Teasing this fall's The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2, this first single is all about that beautifully catchy new-school disco-soul sound that has made Daft Punk's Get Lucky and Bruno Mars' Treasure all the rage, while also giving a serious nod to Off the Wall/Thriller-era Michael Jackson. Wanna Be Startin' Something might actually want to get its lawyer on the phone. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2

JAY SEAN FEAT. RICK ROSS

Mars (Cash Money)

Leading up to his forthcoming Neon album, Jay Sean is sounding a lot more mature here than he did on fairly disposable past pop tracks like Down. Mars is a sexy, slow-burning, interplanetary love affair that showcases his impressive falsetto. Rick Ross' guest rap seems slightly out of place, but overall, everything gels nicely. Dim the lights and prepare for takeoff. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2

SNOOP DOGG

Passenger Seat (LA Leakers)

After dabbling in reggae under his Snoop Lion alias, Snoop Dogg returns to his rap roots with this (very) laid-back track from the upcoming LA Leakers mixtape, Mental $tates. The vibe is smooth and the rhymes are decent, but it never really goes anywhere terribly interesting. A solid soundtrack, one would imagine, for a long day of smoking up and napping. 'Ö'Ö1/2

-- reviewed by Steve Adams

Roots

Dustin Bentall & the Smokes

You Are an Island (Aporia)

AFTER releasing two albums and last year's Orion EP since 2007, Dustin (son of Barney) Bentall has finally released a third full length.

Working with producer Ryan Dahle (Age of Electric, Limblifter) and the Smokes (fiddler Kendal Carson of Belle Star, Del Cowsill, Adam Dobres and Rich Knox), together they've crafted a lively and satisfying collection of roots rock with a hint of pop sensibility. Every Chord That Rings rings true. The bass drives Just Be My Friend (and sounds like a pumped up and rockin' You Can't Hurry Love) while Shine is an edgy driving swatch of alt-country. Oxford Street owes its soul to Gram Parsons. Meanwhile, the title track and Shalala incorporate elements of the Beach Boys, while Dreaming of a Nightmare is, well... dreamy.

Bentall is still rootsy but he's rockin' harder than ever. You Are an Island is his most focused and accomplished work yet. HHHH

DOWNLOAD THIS: Shine

-- Bruce Leperre

The Treasures

Bring the Night Home (Two Cohls/Universal)

POSED inside a period railway dining car with vintage suitcases hanging overhead and purposefully placed tambourines, guitar and washboard around the hirsute quintet, the inner sleeve photo of Bring the Night Home from Toronto's the Treasures suggests a simpler musical time. The band teeters on the edge of something good on these 10 tracks; yet only really end up sounding like a millennial Blue Rodeo.

Four fifths of the band sing -- some better than others -- and the earnestly challenging, heaven bound, high and lonesome harmonies sometimes just sound like four guys trying. They are on the right road, though. Crossed the Wrong Woman nails down a slightly tighter groove and shakes the dust from the album's mostly placid shuffles. Turning mentions drinking whisky and wine. Maybe the Treasures drank too much and it has affected their oomph level. If these guys drilled deeper into their influences and could ruminate on a more distinctive sound, the lazy behind-the-beat, snare-y drumming and rather wayward pedal steel guitar wails could come in to sharper focus and define their desired sound. Maybe adding a southern U.S. gospel chorus behind their Canuck sincerity would build them some grace with God. As it stands, on this night, they are just short of righteous. HH 1/2

Check out: Crossed The Wrong Woman

-- Jeff Monk

Jazz

Marc Carey

For The Love of Abbey (Mot©ma Music)

Abbey Lincoln was an extraordinary singer and songwriter, known for her ferocious delivery.

Pianist Marc Cary, who performed with Lincoln for a dozen years before her 2010 death, pays tribute to his mentor and friend with a 14-track solo album putting the focus on her compositions.

The soulful pianist plays 11 Lincoln songs, two of his own -- For Moseka and Transmutate -- and Duke Ellington's Melancholia, which the singer liked to hear Cary play.

Lincoln's Another World sounds almost orchestral and Cary plays it with such passion. You can feel the gospel fervor on When I'm Called Home, and Down Here Below the Horizon is a tour de force.

Lincoln's singing was well documented, and Cary gives us an honest, heart-felt look at her composing. HHHH

Download this: When I'm Called Home

-- Chris Smith

The Treasures

Bring the Night Home (Two Cohls/Universal)

Posed inside a period railway dining car with vintage suitcases hanging overhead and purposefully placed tambourines, guitar and washboard around the hirsute quintet, the inner sleeve photo of Bring the Night Home from Toronto's the Treasures suggests a simpler musical time. The band teeters on the edge of something good on these 10 tracks; yet only really end up sounding like a millennial Blue Rodeo.

Four fifths of the band sing -- some better than others -- and the earnestly challenging, heaven bound, high and lonesome harmonies sometimes just sound like four guys trying. They are on the right road, though. Crossed the Wrong Woman nails down a slightly tighter groove and shakes the dust from the album's mostly placid shuffles. Turning mentions drinking whisky and wine. Maybe the Treasures drank too much and it has affected their oomph level. If these guys drilled deeper into their influences and could ruminate on a more distinctive sound, the lazy behind-the-beat, snare-y drumming and rather wayward pedal steel guitar wails could come in to sharper focus and define their desired sound. Maybe adding a southern U.S. gospel chorus behind their Canuck sincerity would build them some grace with God. As it stands, on this night, they are just short of righteous. HH 1/2

Check out: Crossed The Wrong Woman

-- Jeff Monk

Rock

Dr. Feelgood

Taking No Prisoners (with Gypie 1977-1981) (EMI)

Canvey Island, Essex was lovingly labelled the "Thames Delta" by former Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson, and as the premier guitarist for the band, he solidified the pub rock sound that was a direct influence on the first wave of punk rock in the U.K.

This expansive four disc plus DVD set is a followup to last year's exceptional All Through The City (with Wilko 1974-1977) release. If Wilko delivered a monochrome blast of hard rhythm and blues during his tenure, then the music on this set featuring untamed, next-in-line lead guitarist John "Gypie Mayo" Cawthra adds a full canvas of colour to the combo's already pounding power.

Lead singer/harmonica player Lee Brilleaux, bassist John Sparks and drummer the Big Figure literally take no prisoners here -- it's a fat collection tailor-made for collectors. Two discs cover the studio work, while the other two feature live concerts from the time, and track for track (with only a few exceptions) this set blows the lid off the sound that influenced a generation tired of corporate rock and all it represented in England at the time.

There is no political message here, thank you very much, only driving, re-worked cover versions (and a scant few originals) of classic R&B of the highest pedigree performed with pluck and passion. Ninety-six blazing tracks should be justification enough. No prisoners indeed. HHHH1/2

Check out: She's A Windup

-- Jeff Monk

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 18, 2013 ??65532

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