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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

#556 - Twentysomething, Jamie Cullum

"A massive hit in the U.K., Cullum's debut comes stateside in an expanded edition. Twentysomething recalls the 1970s piano pop heyday of Randy Newman, Elton John, and especially Billy Joel, but with a breezy, Connick-style jazz base. Cullum puts his own spin on standards, rock covers, and cheeky originals." (real music guide)

#555 - Sail Away, Randy Newman

"Newman's third album, which came out in 1972, explores religion, racism and sarcasm with a mixture of intelligence and candor. The big, twisted laments are marked by his rolling New Orleans piano and Ry Cooder's guitar. Newman's lyrics are brilliantly written, melodic enough for an oblivious sing-along and smart enough to cause smirks. " (real music guide)

#554 - Seven, Zap Mama

"7 is Zap Mama's attempt to reach a wider, mainstream audience. Working with a full band, Zap Mama makes a number of concessions to R&B and pop conventions, including covering Pheobe Snow and recording with guest vocalists like U-Roy and Michael Franti. While the changes might be initially disconcerting, the record works suprisingly well, demonstrating the group's exceptional vocal skills and making their music more accessible." (allmusic guide)

#553 - In Search Of The Lost Chord, The Moody Blues

"They dumped the orchestra this time out in favor of Mike Pinder's Mellotron, which was a more than adequate substitute, and the rest of the band joined in with flutes, sitar, tablas, and cellos, the playing of which was mostly learned on the spot. The whole album was one big experiment to see how far the group could go with any instruments they could find, thus making this album a rather close cousin to the Beatles' records of the same era." (allmusic guide)

#552 - World Without Tears, Lucinda Williams

"World Without Tears is the most immediate, unpolished album she's done since Sweet Old World. In addition, it is simply the bravest, most emotionally wrenching record she's ever issued. It offers unflinching honesty regarding the paradoxes inherent in love as both a necessary force for fulfillment and a destructive one when embraced unconsciously." (allmusic guide)


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