It's a stunning battle of the old vs. new! In this corner we have today's hottest hitmakers--the exciting Souljaboy and Trey Songz, dictionaries in hand--and in this corner, cultural icons Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, even Ike & Tina Turner! All of them have new releases this week, battling for top sales at the cash registers, but only one generation can win!
Will it be today's best and brightest? Or will it be yesterday's superstars, back yet again for another grab at the brass ring?
Or will it be all of us, enriched by this golden opportunity to hear some of the finest music ever made?
Let's find out!
Soulja Boy: Souljaboytellum.Com (ColliPark Music/Interscope) The mastermind behind the charming summer opus "Crank That (Soulja Boy)"--not to be confused with "Crank That (Sheryl Crow)"--makes an especially strong, slightly surrealistic debut here, most notably with "Let Me Get 'Em." The track begins with a spoken admonition that it's "a dance, not intended to incite any violent behavior" and continues with alternating chants of "let me get 'em" and "shoot." Even more appealing is the deliberately minimalist "Yahhh!," which with its sporadic requests to "get outta ma face" in many ways recalls Paul Simon at his finest. I'd be inclined to call this the best album ever!
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Magic (Columbia) Now that the Boss has stopped declaring that this land is both his and ours, his natural rockin' side has returned and it's been long overdue. We've already heard "Radio Nowhere" on the internet everywhere, and its hard-chargin', guitar-crankin' call to arms--backed by the much-missed E Street Band--is a dandy reminder that Mr. Springsteen's early days were not altogether removed from what would now be called "garage rock." Throw in some new songs that reveal a warmth and still-evolving writing sophistication, and there you have it: His new CD! I would buy it if I came across it in a retail environment!
J. Holiday: Back Of My 'Lac (Music Line Group/Capitol) Despite his name, J. Holiday would never be confused with singers Judy Holiday or Jennifer Holiday, largely because he is a male--and furthermore, the lyrical concerns of his current smash "Bed" would be rather inappropriate coming from a woman! That said, he's quite talented, as you'll likely be telling everyone once you watch this. Additionally, the title of his new album implies he may indeed own a Cadillac, a very impressive feat in these troubled times, and certainly the mark of a fine singer. All told, he deserves all his success and more!
Brooks & Dunn: Cowboy Town (Arista Nashville) It's long been said that good things come in threes, which must be mildly frustrating for Brooks & Dunn, who by nature are country music stars and--sadly--a duo! Nonetheless, their entirely captivating new release Cowboy Town features a fine set of boots on its front cover, and a gripping picture of the pair in deep thought in the rear of a limousine on its back cover. Perhaps they're wondering if the irony of new track "The Ballad Of Jerry Jeff Walker" actually featuring Jerry Jeff Walker will be lost on their many fervid fans! On the other hand, they may just be looking for a neighborhood 7-Eleven! I know I've done that!
Trey Songz: Trey Day (Songbook/Atlantic) With superstar guests like Rihanna, R. Kelly, and T.I. on hand, there's every indication Trey Day will be a top-selling release guaranteed to soar to the top of the charts! One can only hope a significant number of consumers won't be as disappointed as I was to learn that despite the CD's cover sticker proclaiming "Album Includes: Wonder Woman," the latter is in fact a song rather than the well-known superhero. That kind of guest appearance would really be something!
Bob Dylan: Dylan (Columbia/Legacy) A 3-CD greatest hits anthology literally programmed by fans--consumers around the world offered up their suggestions via votes on the dylan07 site--this collection is a fine encapsulation of the legendary performer's rich legacy, and one that would make a zesty gift for any budding Dylanophile! Perhaps coincidentally, the holiday season is approaching!
Annie Lennox: Songs Of Mass Destruction (Arista) Former Eurythmics vocalist Lennox has long been out of action, but this new album will hopefully signal her full-time return to the spotlight! Take a gander at the artists making a guest appearance on new track "Sing": Madonna, Dido, Celine Dion, Shakira, Bonnie Raitt, Sarah McLachlan, Gladys Knight, Fergie, Pink, Melissa Etheridge and KT Tunstall among others! Notably absent: long-rumored tracks "Dance," "Bark Like A Dog," and "Put That In Your Pipe And Smoke It!" Hey, imagine those guest lists!
John Fogerty: Revival (Fantasy/Concord) An excellent comeback effort for the former leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, this album is Fogerty's first studio recording for Fantasy Records--his former band's label--since his Blue Ridge Rangers album of 1973. Special gift hint: Buy it for Puddle Of Mudd fans and tell them you got "confused!"
The Pipettes: We Are The Pipettes (Cherrytree/Interscope) An all-new "girl group" from the UK, this fun-loving and attractive trio are--as their album title suggests--the Pipettes! If you like upbeat and cheery music that recalls the past yet still sounds thoroughly contemporary, you'll absolutely enjoy this! On the other hand, if you like fantasizing about albums called The Pipettes Vs. The Noisettes: Similarly Named Brit Trios Battle To The Death!, you'll probably still enjoy this, but you ought to get outside more!
Ike & Tina Turner: The Ike & Tina Turner Story: 1960-1975 (Time-Life) Ever notice that sometimes records you've listened to all your life sound better as you get older? That's been the case with me and this great box set, which features the illustrious couple in their rockin' prime! So what's the deal? I'd like to think that as my tastes get more sophisticated, I can now hear things I never noticed before--but knowing me, I probably just had a headache or something back then! Yeah, that's got to be it!
- Bruce Springsteen
- John Fogerty