Wow! Don't take this the wrong way, but you're lucky you have me this week!
I've just spent the past day repeatedly listening to my brand new, 99-cent copy of the new Lady Gaga album, and I've been trying to get my money's worth!
Between that and my making sure my television is all lubed up and ready go for this weeks' coming American Idol finale--who the heck will win?--I can barely stay focused on this blog's major premise: That the best music ever is being released week after week!
To prove my point? This week I'll ignore Glee: The Music, Volume 6--suffice to say it's the best album ever made--and other hot chart contenders, purely to cover the "little people" I'm afraid might got overlooked during this very special time!
Plus, I think I left my pants in my car!
Lady Gaga: Born This Way (Streamline/Kon Live) I have been and remain a big fan of Lady Gaga, and I doff my cap to her for the size and scope of her ambition, her still valuable ability to create a million-selling album featuring her babbling nonsense in German, and her admirable urge to "shake things up" just for the heck of it! That said, three or four of the songs here have hooks that borrow significantly from her masterpiece, "Bad Romance," and as wild and crazy as much of this intends to be, I'm hearing less and less Madonna and a lot more 21st century Bonnie Tyler here--and whether the world is sorely lacking a female Meatloaf at this very moment is debatable indeed! I have no doubt that the Germanotta household of years past must've spun the Fiddler On the Roof soundtrack more than once, I admire any album that so brazenly features prime lyrics like "Doo Doo Doo," and I am more than glad that people like Ms. Gaga feel the need to push the boundaries as far as she apparently feels she must! Were she only to show complete contempt for her audience--rather than patronize them as her "Little Monsters"--I would think her nearly perfect! In all: She's quite a bit like Juice Newton! Alabama, Carrie Underwood, Don Henley, Clint Eastwood, Blake Shelton, Marty Stuart, Sheryl Crow, Carl Jackson, and the Entire State Of Idaho, Paisley runs through future hits-to-be like "Working On A Tan," "Toothbrush," and "Can Machines Think?"--well, not really, but that would be cool!--and clearly retains the same air of class and talent that has earned him his nomination for the Academy of Country Music's Entertainer Of The Year nomination! Not to be confused with his earlier, aberrational This Is Polka! New Kids On The Block & Backstreet Boys: NKOTBSB (Sony Legacy) I don't think I'll be the first to compare this joyous union of best-selling boy bands New Kids On The Block and the Backstreet Boys to that wonderful moment many years ago when children the world over were treated to a television screen featuring both Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear at the very same instant! Or when Iron Man, the Hulk, Ant Man and Thor joined forces to create the Avengers! Be that as it may, those were all fictional, two-dimensional characters, and these guys are...are...no, wait a minute! Did you ever see that 1976 special edition where Superman fought Spider-Man? I'm only asking! Special bonus: This album features songs! James Taylor as being mankind's ultimate savior, but right around now, his classic "Shower The People" has taken on an entirely new meaning! Beck--another guy with a fab record collection--Demolished Thoughts features quiet and well-played instrumental accompaniment including a harp, violin, and probably lots of other stuff I could tell you more about if I weren't reviewing a batch of wave files and a cover picture! "Orchard Street" is a particularly sexy squiggle! Prodigy return here with a great CD/DVD set featuring the band live at the Warriors Dance Festival--hey, were you there, too?--running though all their hits and so very much more! Loud, intense, pulsating, disturbingly sexual, and not exactly the sort of band you'd expect to cover the opening track from the Strawberry Alarm Clock's Incense And Peppermints album, the Prodigy are back with a vengeance! And they're aiming to take your mom to the Salvation Army store to check out some toasters! Between them and Foster The People, I'd say it's time to head to the North Pole! Bink!--clearly the most boldly-named musical figure of the era--and a bunch of the usual suspects, and their contributions are incalculable! Literally! Perhaps most pioneering here is Jadakiss's assertive dedication to his many fans, most of which apparently are heavily used during the summer, when temperatures--as both Prodigy and Foster The People have now made abundantly clear--soar to record-setting heights! If I had another kid, I'd probably name him Jadakiss because, as names go, it's pretty cool! Ray Manzarek / Roy Rogers: Translucent Blues (Blind Pig) A nifty showing from two respected musicians with admirable pedigrees: Manzarek, keyboardist with the Doors, and Rogers, guitarist and producer of considerable repute. A well-played, musically sophisticated romp that borrows lyrics from Jim Carroll and Warren Zevon, Translucent Blues depicts two artists whose commitment to music has long since passed the fickle world of pop and, via a fine blues label like Blind Pig, will likely continue into the ether. And Doors fans will like what they hear. Good show! Bee Gees' Spirits Having Flown was an influence when this much-admired Brit outfit came around to record this new album--which combines dance, punk, and aspirin in new and creative ways! Similarly, I was listening to the first three Les Dudek albums while I was writing this! Once again: We all win!