Friday, May 30, 2008

Casual Listening 5-30-08

Casual Listening

a review of cool new music

by Jeff Pinzino

Style Pandora contest winner at

May 30, 2008

* Fonseca - Gratitud (world)

Massive crossover pop appeal. Fonseca's roots are Vallenato - uptempo accordion dance music from Columbia. It's a barely noticeable backdrop to glistening pop melodies with global cache.

* Jenny Scheinman - Jenny Scheinman (folk)

If you've run the last Gillian Welch CD into the ground, here's your new soundtrack. Jenny Scheinman actually takes on a wider range of material, including some country-rock, blues, and even a hint of jazz along with the heartbreakers. I'm a sucker for sentimental folk, and Scheinman's album hits the sweet spot. A second release this week, Crossing the Field, showcases her award-winning violin skills.

* Al Green - Lay it Down (R&B)

One would be tempted to say they don't do "make-out" music like they used to, except that Al Green is still making great albums. If you've never spent time with his falsetto cry and string-enhanced band, it's time to treat yourself.

* J-Live - Then What Happened? (rap)

Smart lyrics and jazz-inspired production put this in the top tier of recent hip-hop releases. Vibes and muted trumpet back up rhymes alternately personal and political, but always thought-provoking.

In the blog this week: Style Pandora winner

* highly recommended

! highest recommendation

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