a review of cool new music
by Jeff Pinzino
* West Indian Girl – 4th & Wall (Rock)
Sparkling pop music with choral vocals, slinky synths, and the occasional handclap or tambourine. It’s all the rage these days to pay tribute to the retro pop sound, but West Indian Girl brings the sunshine far stronger than its acclaimed bretheren. Your face will hurt from smiling.
* Robert Plant & Allison Krauss – Raising Sand (rock)
The year’s most unusual collaboration: the frontman from Led Zeppelin, the queen of modern bluegrass, and the producer of “O Brother, Where Art Thou.” Sweet harmonies over folk-rock hidden treasures from the Everly Brothers to the Byrds to Townes Van Zandt. Not every track hits, but those that do are drop-dead gorgeous.
The Family Elan – Stare of Dawn (folk)
Trance folk string band. The group’s sound centers around a lute with a mesmerizing drone that’s halfway between a dulcimer and a sitar. Violin and Mandolin add to a set of extended spiritual jams.
Dwight Yoakam – Dwight sings Buck (country)
One of today’s maverick stars pays tribute to the 60’s country hitmaker. Buck Owens sang catchy songs in an uptempo honky-tonk style which Yoakam ratchets up a notch.
Deep Blue Organ Trio – Folk Songs (jazz)
Yea Big and Kid Static – Yea Big and Kid Static (rap)
A reminder of all the reasons you started loving hip hop in the first place – crazy beats, clever lyrics, and mischief based on wits, not warfare. The sci-fi motif adds an additional level of nerd-cool.
In the blog this week: American Idol Contestants Make Good Music, Neil Young, Ween.
* highly recommended
! highest recommendation