Fergie, Q-Tip & Goonrock
A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got) (Interscope)
FROM the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby comes this frenzied dance track featuring The Black Eyed Peas' Fergie, A Tribe Called Quest veteran Q-Tip, and frequent LMFAO-collaborator Goonrock. The jazzy brass and cheeky scats of the Roaring '20s blend with modern-day club synths and over-the-top vocals. It's an intriguing musical anachronism, but because it's so all over the map, it's also a little confusing. 3 stars
Ke$ha feat. will.i.am Crazy Kids (Remix)
IN a truly shocking turn of events, two of pop music's most polarizing figures deliver yet another song about drinking and partying and being young. This time out, glitter-enthusiast Ke$ha rhymes Gucci with coochie (and then hoochie!) while will.i.am actually mumbles (as in, he purposely slurs his words incoherently) through his grating guest verse. Definitive lowest-common-denominator dance music. 1-1/2 stars
TLC / Macklemore
No Scrubs (Yum Yum Mashup) (Independent)
GERMAN DJ collective Yum Yum has rather cleverly taken Macklemore's Thrift Shop (a song about clothes shopping when you've only got $20 in your pocket) and mixed it with TLC's No Scrubs (a song about not wanting anything to do with broke-ass busters hanging out the passenger side of their best friend's ride). A smart and satisfying multigenerational mashup. 3-1/2 stars
-- Reviewed by Steve Adams
POP & ROCK
Sound City Real to Reel (Roswell/RCA)
LEAVE it to Nirvana/Foo Fighters dude Dave Grohl to make a big statement about an inanimate object. When Grohl heard that the studio was closing where his former band, grunge rock figureheads Nirvana, recorded their breakthrough album Nevermind, he did what any other affluent rock star would do -- he bought the recording console and made a documentary film about the history and output of the studio.
In aid of making a statement of sorts for the ages, Grohl enlisted former Sound City clients to record with his house band -- and everyone from Stevie Nicks and Paul McCartney to Rick Springfield is on board. For the most part, the album works. The tracks are sonically tight, even on compact disc. The warmth of the Rupert Neve-designed mixing console comes through, but you need to be a fan of what Dave Grohl creates musically to truly adore this soundtrack. If you aren't in love with the drummer/guitarists' blend of grunge, classic hard rock and slow-burn heavy metal, this album will offer only bring moderate happiness. Sure, it's cool to hear Nicks, Springfield and even McCartney backed by edgy, flesh-and-bones players for a change, but even their star power is eclipsed by Grohl's sonic vision for their music.
Former Fear frontman Lee Ving gets top marks for hitting it out of the proverbial park with his incendiary Your Wife Is Calling, reminding anyone within earshot that California punk rock still kicked more serious musical butt than grunge ever did. 3 stars
DOWNLOAD THIS: Your Wife Is Calling
-- Jeff Monk
Fitz & the Tantrums
More Than Just A Dream" (Elektra)
FROM Sharon Jones to J.C. Brooks to Mayer Hawthorne to Charles Bradley to Eli "Paperboy" Reed, indie labels and rock clubs are chock-full of retro-soul and R&B acts these days, offering varying degrees of stylish nostalgia and earnest emotionalism in an age when both can seem lacking.
Until now, you would have counted Fitz & the Tantrums, the L.A. sextet fronted by Michael Fitzpatrick with the assistance of singer Noelle Scaggs, among them. But on its second release, the band has chosen to leave the past behind. Or rather, it has chosen to exchange its former obsession, the Motown 1960s, for an '80s template that incorporates synth-pop and Hall & Oates-style blue-eyed soul.
The impulse to separate themselves from the pack is a good one, and F&TT's songs are still catchy, but for every experiment that works, like the opener, Out of My League, there's another, such as Breaking the Walls, in which the human element is swallowed up in a blaring wall of production. 3 stars
DOWNLOAD THIS: Out of My League
-- Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer
Solo Guitar (keithprice.com)
WINNIPEG guitarist Keith Price, more often seen wielding an electric guitar onstage, performs 11 acoustic tunes on his new solo CD.
And as any good Winnipegger should, he admits a debt to Lenny Breau's style and covers Neil Young's Old Man.
Price has proven himself as an electric jazz player on mainstream and more avant garde material.
Now, he demonstrates more delicate and laid-back chops on his own compositions and covers of Radiohead, The Weakerthans and Bob Dylan.
Price has a deft, soft touch on acoustic guitar honed, in part, from years of playing for hospital and CancerCare patients.
While it is not jazz, per se, Price's jazz sensibilities permeate the disc. It's a craftsman's recording 4 stars
DOWNLOAD THIS: The Swan
-- Chris Smith
Golden (Capitol Nashville/Universal)
LADY Antebellum has come a long way since debuting in 2006. Seven-time Grammy winners Hilary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood have sold 11 million albums worldwide and scored almost enough gold and platinum singles to choke Faith Hill.
On its fourth album, the trio claims to have reinvented itself. When the first single was unleashed, that claim was believable. Downtown was an outright slinky and playful come-on featuring Scott's seductive vocal. However, the rest of the disc rarely strays too far from the successful formula that has made the group household names to both country and pop fans. Golden is more of what they've always done, but it's well executed, as always, and is guaranteed to go Golden several times. Kelley and Scott still share an undeniable chemistry but come last call, Golden is that girl who teases you all night only to leave you alone and disappointed. 3-1/2 stars
DOWNLOAD THIS: Generation Away
-- Bruce Leperre