a review of cool new music
by Jeff Pinzino
Jay-Z – The Blueprint 3 (rap)
An inventive album from a megastar who largely delivers on his promise “I don’t run rap no more, I run the map.” Thanks to Kanye West’s production, you’ll hear overtones of classic soul, rock, and jazz, shout-outs to Frank Sinatra, and even a klezmer clarinet riff. Jay-Z’s rhymes promise a peek at the secret to his success, both financial and musical, as well as tributes to neighborhood
Listen to Jay-Z “Empire State of Mind”
Rodrigo y Gabriela – (world)
Punk flamenco? Fiery acoustic guitar propels this set of funky instrumentals. For sheer kinetic energy, this duo is in the same caffeinated neighborhood as Ani Difranco.
Listen to Rodrigo y Gabriela – “Hanuman”
Come O Spirit!: Anthology of Hymns and Spiritual Songs Vol. 1 (folk)
Folklorists of the last century scoured the mountain villages of
Listen to “Hard Times” from Come O Spirit!
Les Triaboliques – rivermudtwilight (world)
The combination of guitar, saz, and bouzouki roll across the open landscapes of the world:
Listen to Les Triaboliques “afasundi (I have been corrupted)”
A Fine Frenzy – Bomb in a Birdcage (rock)
Sweet vocals cruise along an understated pulse with intricate pop production. Place this one in the Feist/Jem galaxy.
Listen to A Fine Frenzy “Electric Twist”
* highly recommended
! highest recommendation
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