So I got some new CDs from the Reckless in the Loop as well as the FYE in the Loop. There were some new releases I was excited about – Yoko Ono with Kim Gordon put out some new music, and Barbra Streisand came out with a compilation of songs that she had hidden in her vaults in Malibu and Tori Amos had reworked her catalogue with an orchestra (Kylie Minogue’s putting out a record of her hits redone by a symphony as well).
It’s always fun to get a find when looking through the racks of a used CD store and you can get some really interesting, somewhat obscure moments.
Survivin’ in the 80’s by Andre Cymone. Andre Cymone is another peripheral Prince performer (alliteration), who became more famous for his production than for his music; his biggest hits were producing and writing for Jody Watley. A bunch of 80s R&B records were re-released lately with remixes, including Cymone’s catalogue.
Yokokimthurston by Yoko Ono, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore. I’m a huge fan of Yoko Ono’s, so I was excited with any new music from her. I’m not terribly familiar with Gordon’s and Moore’swork – they’re famous for Sonic Youth, and I love the band’s cover of the Carpenters’ “Superstar” but other than that, I never really got into the band, so I find it keen that two members of Sonic Youth, working with an avant-garde pop musician like Ono.
Martine McCutcheon: The Collection by Martine McCutcheon. McCutcheon’s famous for being an actress in the UK – she was a soap star as well as starring in Love Actually. She had a pretty good side career as a pop star – her big hit being the stately ballad “Perfect Moment” that topped the UK charts. She’s got a good voice – very pretty. Unfortunately, she’s also famous for her reported unprofessionalism and diva attitude. After her initial rush of fame for pop music, she moved onto theater music that reflected her West End career.
Sticks and Stones by Cher Lloyd. Because I’m such an Anglophone, I listen to a lot British pop music – especially dance or soul music. Lloyd is famous for being on X-Factor, not winning the competition, but coming in fourth. She has a huge US hit with “Want U Back.” This is good dance-pop with shades of urban-pop.
Released Me by Barbra Streisand. I’m a huge Streisand fan, and was excited that she decided to release some of her unreleased music – I’ve listened some of these tracks already, and most are really good, though I’m not a huge fan of her version of “Home” from The Wiz – she performs it well, but it doesn’t really suit her phrasing (it could be because of the song’s pop-soul background). I would’ve loved this to come with a second CD with remixes of her songs as a companion piece, but I’m excited. I’ll review it fully once I get a chance.
In the Air by Morgan Price. I love dance music, and I’m a fan of Tegan and Sara – an indie folk-pop duo, and so I saw when Tegan and Sara were on this CD, I bought it – it was only $2.
Everything Bad & Beautiful by Sandra Bernhard. I think Sandra Bernhard is queen – she’s mean, funny, touching. She looks at politics and pop culture; I also love her musical numbers. She sings a wonderful rendition of “The Flame” by Cheap Trick as well as “Like a Rolling Stone” from Bob Dylan. She’s a great song stylist (if not a powerful vocalist).
Gold Dust by Tori Amos. I’m a late-blooming Amos fan – I used to find her music a bit annoying, but have a new appreciation for her work – she reminds me of Kate Bush. For her this record, she reviews her back catalogue and performs them with a symphony – this is similar to her last album that she performed with an orchestra as well. My favorite Tori Amos song is “Jackie’s Strength,” which sounds great with a full orchestral backing. I will include a full review when I get a chance to listen to all of it.
Romance by David Cassidy. Yeah, it’s that David Cassidy, from The Partridge Family TV show. Cassidy was also a talented musician in real life, with a pretty voice. This was his sole album from the 1980s, so I got Romance because he had help with George Michael, and thought it would be neat to hear him sing over synthesized 80s pop.
Crush by Abe Vigoda. I like Reckless Records because sometimes they’ll include little reviews and notes on the sleeves – the notes for Crush read that if I’d like the Cure, Depesche Mode and other synth bands, I’ll like Abe Vigoda, so I picked it up – it was only a couple bucks. I’ll review some of the tracks later.
Greatest Hits by 2Pac. I’m a fan of 2Pac – he’s done some incredible work – I bought this album mainly for the big hits – “Changes,” “California Love” and “Dear Mama.” His lyrics are known for their poetry and beauty, so it’ll be great to hear some of his other work and explore how his sound evolved throughout his career.