|Saturday, May 31, 2003||
IT’S been a long time since the former Genesis frontman delivered his commercial album Us, but that did not keep him away from the music circuit. After the emotionally charged Us, Up isn’t as upbeat an album as you might expect. Musically the textures are amazingly rich with subtle beats with the usual team of Richard Chappell (programming) and David Rhodes on guitar. The album begins with Darkness, a sombre introspection, displaying a dynamic range with dramatic instrumentation. My Head Sounds Like That is a classic edgy Gabriel track that features both the album’s most intriguing lyrics and contagious melody. Overall, Up is a fine addition to the illustrious Peter Gabriel catalogue.
Counting Crows —
Despite holding his
crown as master of the melancholy, Adam Duritz and his crows have
finally delivered an album that actually meets all the expectations
the band had failed to meet since the 1993’s biggie August &
Everything Else. This makes the album a pleasure to listen to on a
purely sonic level. Leading the band with the lovesick first single, American
Girls, Duritz hits the right note and dares his ensemble to keep
up. Drummer Ben Mize is game for challenge, matching the boogie with a
wood-block beat. The quirky ballad Butterfly In Reverse is a
very fitting addition to this Counting Crows outing, as is Miami,
a colourful tune built on uplifting chord progressions. What’s worth
appreciating about the record is the consistency. The album is also a
gathering ground for a collection of prominent guest musicians such as
Sheryl Crow, Matthew Sweet, Ryan Adams, Leona Naess and David Gibbs.
An energising treat.
After three highly successful albums, it is clear that Dave Grohl and his Fighters no longer need the Nirvana label to see records. Unlike the debut album, Dave is continuing to make Foo Fighters a group effort; his voice and guitars are no longer the most obvious part of the sound anymore. This time around, the Foos remind more of their earlier alternative rock sound, though the guitars are more jagged and unpredictable. The album opener All My Life is a dynamic sound that features screaming guitars. Foo’s famous pop sensibility is retained, but applied in new ways. If you are in the mood for some pure and catchy alternative rock then One On One should take care of your needs.
Celine Dion — One
One Heart is Celine’s last album before she committed herself to a three-year-long Las Vegas show stint. The same material that she needed for her gig which started at Caesar’s Palace, can be found on this disc. The only new song that made it to the show was I Drove All Night, a remake of song previously recorded by Cyndi Lauper and Roy Orbison. One Heart provides strong evidence that the singer does not consider pop radio a closed door. Overall, the album is average.
Album of the month
Home, the Chick’s third album and first in three years, is by far their best effort to date. Recording away from the disturbances of Nashville and without the label input, the band smoothly dives into its first love, bluegrass. From the driving force of the first single, Long Time Gone, to the tender reading of Foster’s heartfelt Godspeed (Sweet Dreams), Home is a powerful collection. White Trash Wedding and Truth #2 sound honest and pure. Adam Steffey smokes out on the mandolin keeping up with Emily’s splendid vocals. Banjo and Fiddle are often heard throughout the disc, right from the opening strains of Long Time Gone to the strong cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide. Quite clearly, the Chicks are going away from the mainstream. One of the highlights of the album is Travelin’ Soldier, a ballad that examines the love between a waitress and a soldier who gets sent to Vietnam. For our limited music-buying budget, Home is worth every penny.
— Saurabh & Gaurav