Thursday, August 14, 2008

Casual Listening: Inara George; Daddy Yankee; Extreme

Casual Listening

a review of cool new music

by Jeff Pinzino

August 15, 2008

* Inara George – An Invitation With Van Dyke Parks (easy listening)

Easy listening returns with a vengeance. Orchestrated strings support a beautifully sad female voice. The sound is shockingly retro, blowing off more than fifty years of dust in such a way to make one think that maybe the Nelson Riddle Orchestra records in your grandparents' collection aren't such a joke after all.

Listen to Inara George “Night Happens

* Bark, Hide, and Horn – National Road (rock)

You might call this style Baroque Americana - twangy rock heavily orchestrated with everything from vibraphone to trumpets to banjo. Depending on the track, the sound ranges from freaky to sublime, but is consistently inventive throughout.

Listen to Bark, Hide, and Horn “Wetherill Mesa

Paul Austerlitz – Journey (jazz)

Austerlitz is a jazz chameleon, equally convincing on a Cuban-inspired tune, "A Love Supreme"-era Coltrane, and a beat poetry jam. He plays a bass clarinet, which has a mellower tone than a tenor or baritone saxophone. Strong international influences, including Caribbean, Indian, and African all weave into a tapestry of American jazz.

Listen to Paul Austerlitz “Baro Suwa Yo

Daddy Yankee – Talento del Barrio (reggaeton)

Daddy Yankee is the godfather of reggaeton, combining rap in Spanish with a highly danceable Latin beat. This is the soundtrack to his film debut, and has more of an epic quality than his club tracks. If you haven't discovered reggaeton yet, this album will give you a strong flavor of the music.

Listen to Daddy Yankee “Temblor

Extreme – Saudades de Rock (rock)

Old metal never dies, even if the man-perms fade away. Heroic guitarists tapping on the fingerboard at 100+ decibels, these guys are still rocking like it's 1985.

Listen to Extreme – “Comfortably Dumb

* highly recommended

! highest recommendation

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