a review of cool new music
by Jeff Pinzino
! Ellis Paul – The Dragonfly Races (folk)
If you’ve got a young friend in your life, do yourselves both a favor and buy this album. These are imaginative acoustic tunes that go beyond the usual bathtime/playtime/bedtime fare to sing about road trips, chameleon protest marches, and the dragonfly races mentioned in the title. Brimming with hope for a better world, this is one of the best new folk recordings for any age that I’ve heard in a while. My son’s going to get a strong dose of this, and I hope yours enjoy it too.
* Cat Power – Jukebox (rock)
Fine and mellow renditions of familiar songs in unfamiliar settings. Cat Power’s Chan Marshall is a capable crooner who has rewritten classics such as “
* Drive-By Truckers – Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (country)
Epic country-rock that drives deep into the psyche of
Matt Costa – Unfamiliar Faces (rock)
Wry pop songcraft. Costa’s ear for a good tune is well-calibrated. The spotlight is on the vocals and acoustic guitar, held against a variety of instrumental backdrops, some sunny, some cloudy, all satisfying.
Get Set Go – Sunshine, Joy, & Happiness: A Tragic Tale of Death, Despair, and Other Silly Nonsense (rock)
If music were breakfast cereal, Get Set Go would be Sugar Corn Pops. Sounding instantly delicious and energizing, the grim lyrics represent the misgivings of questionable nutrition and an impending sugar crash. They’re fun! Eat them anyway!
Note: next week Jeff will be out of town, and you’ll be in the capable hands of special guest Listener, Yesh Pavlik.
* highly recommended
! highest recommendation