The former Pussycat Doll's solo career has been plagued with problems, but she's back to take another swing at it with this synthsationally upbeat dance track that comes across like a modern day I Will Survive. Fair warning: the chorus will absolutely burrow itself in your head. 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2
FABOLOUS FEATURING CHRIS BROWN
Ready (Def Jam)
Taken from his upcoming (and long-delayed) Loso's Way 2: Rise to Power album, this smooth R&B jam sees Fab and Breezy looking to put the ladies in the mood and features some steamy production from the Runners, the Florida duo responsible for Rihanna's Cheers (Drink to That). 'Ö'Ö'Ö
Loneliness 2K13 (Tommy Boy)
Hard to believe it's already been 10 years since Loneliness first decimated dance floors and sent shivers down our spines with its iconic vocal. While the original has aged nicely, this ferocious anniversary remix kicks like a veritable mule with its amped up, gear-grinding electro gymnastics. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö
-- reviewed by
-- POP & ROCK
'Til Your River Runs Dry (ABKCO Records)
FORMER Animal and 1960s psychedelic blues rock icon Eric Burdon has had something of a hit-and-miss career since leaving the famed The House of the Rising Sun-ers way back in 1969. With his latest set, the excellent 'Til Your River Runs Dry Burdon makes a case for renewed strength via longevity. This album will likely be touted as a "blues" set but there is much, much more here than any tired retread of 12-bar shoulder shrugging and posturing. For one Burdon's voice hasn't left him. His thick Geordie-leather pipes are still intact but with noticeably warm shadings around the edges. On Devil and Jesus he swoops up into an unbelievably sweet and true falsetto that belies his 70-year-plus age. The band is uniformly excellent offering studio player meticulousness while staying true to Burdon's coarser foundations. Lyrically Burdon lets loose on some hot-button issues that place him in the same club as contemporaries Ry Cooder and Mavis Staples. It's a solid listen that may get this legendary singer/songwriter some well-deserved notice after too long a dry spell. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö
DOWNLOAD THIS: Old Habits Die Hard
-- Jeff Monk
Tegan and Sara
Heartthrob (Vapor/ Warner Bros.)
TEGAN and Sara Quin were once the darlings of the indie-rock set, charming Canadian twins known for their raw, guitar-driven confessionals packed with emotion.
On Heartthrob, the Quins' seventh album, they let their inner dance-pop divas loose. Instead of Cat Power teamed with Ani DiFranco, they now sound like Kelly Clarkson paired with Gwen Stefani. And, in a bigger surprise, they sound pretty great doing it.
Tegan and Sara teamed with producer Greg Kurstin, best known for his work with Clarkson and Ke$ha, to build a shiny dance pop album that still includes their personal lyrics and memorable melodies.
The single Closer announces the change of direction and their broader commercial ambitions -- a catchy, stomping dance number that would be at home on a Katy Perry album and, more important, at the top of the pop charts. The synthy Drove Me Wild has slightly more of an edge, moving into Ellie Goulding territory.
Where Tegan and Sara really shine on Heartthrob, though, is when they reimagine songs that would previously have worked on their own albums and add some pop gloss. I'm Not Your Hero could have been on The Con, but it has received a Clarkson-esque makeover with Since U Been Gone-ish guitar and the synth-pop swoosh of Stronger.
How Come You Don't Want Me, which they wrote with longtime friend Jack Antonoff of fun., shows how Tegan and Sara can keep their history of deep feelings and weave it into their bright, poppier future. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2
DOWNLOAD THIS: How Come You Don't Want Me
-- Glenn Gamboa, Newsday
Smash (Concord Jazz)
A new Patricia Barber recording is a musical and linguistic adventure. The jazz singer, pianist and composer (song poet, really) has done it again with this 12-tune disc, her 12th and first for Concord.
The theme is lost love and Barber's lyrics and voice make it real in the title track when she sings "this is the sound / of a heart breaking" over tender piano and bass, you know it's true. But just to be sure, it's followed by a screaming guitar solo that approximates a heart rending.
There is no one in jazz like Barber: no one matches her lyrics, the melodies she writes to match those lyrics, or her musical inventiveness.
The only concession here to the standard jazz format might be the instrumental number, Bashful, which gives the pianist, guitarist John Kregor, bassist Larry Kohut and drummer Jon Deitemyer each a chance to shine as a soloist.
On the songs, this sparse lineup is the perfect showcase for Barber's voice and lyrics.
Smash is another great Barber recording and another sign that jazz singing doesn't have to encompass Broadway show tunes. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö
DOWNLOAD THIS: Smash
-- Chris Smith