Elliott MurphySelling The Gold
THIS ALBUM SHINES brighter and is worth more than the metal in the title. On the opening track "Love To America," Murphy captures his subjects with the same mid-motion of a Frank photograph, freezing a moment from the fluidity of life to reveal the unmanufactured romance of it all, sounding like a cross between Lou Reed and The Stranglers. Although he's joined on different tracks by friends Bruce Springsteen, Sonny Landreth and The Violent Femmes, this is clearly Murphy's party. Stunning guitar work, beautiful harmonies and intricate rhythms back up themes ranging from relationships to Fellini. Anyone who thinks singer/songwriter albums don't rock should check out Selling The Gold. For fans of the genre, it's a must.
Possession & African DubOff World One
WHILE THE INCREASING popularity of dub and ambient has led to a landfill of uninspired music (everyone with an auto-pilot switch on a synthesizer seems to be putting out albums), Off World One is a welcome hybrid of the styles. Produced by the prolific Bill Laswell, the album joins traditional African instruments with deep Jamaican bass and studio-generated atmosphere. Like Brian Eno, Laswell can create electronic landscapes that sound wholly natural and acoustic, playing off the other instruments beautifully. By no means musical colonialism, this truly collaborative effort between Fousseny Kouyate (gony), Foday Musa Suso (baliphone) and Aiyb Dieng (percussion) sounds completely African and otherworldly at the same time. Highly recommended.
SEE SPOT GROOVEGreatest Hits
Melted Cheese Music
THEY HAVEN'T ACTUALLY had any hits yet, but if the wheel of karma is in true, this pop-funk-thrash trio will be racking up radio airplay, if not a stadium show, sometime soon. Guitarist Roger Lahr, an alumnus of San Diego cult-fave Ugly Kid Joe, teams up with bassist Keith Bartels and drummer Shane Casad to produce a righteous din that lurches around in the no-man's-land between Funkadelic and the Beastie Boys, with a leavening of Zep for good measure. Get grooving.
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