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Editor's rating: 
 3.3
 
Sunday, 01 June 2008 |  Written by Matt Fink  | 
Scarlett Johansson - Anywhere I Lay My Head It says a lot that when New York Magazine attempted to compile their list of the 10 greatest albums made by actors, they were only able to come up with three. So when Scarlett Johansson announced her plans to release an album, the groans were understandably audible. If the music of Eddie Murphy, Billy Bob Thornton, and Bruce Willis has taught us anything, it’s that despite some overlapping in the areas of performance and theatricality, music and acting are entirely different disciplines. Sure, there have been some – like Juliette Lewis or Minnie Driver – who have proven that actors can recognize and recreate the rudimentary clichés of songwriting, but the days of legitimate double threats such as Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra are long gone. It seemed particularly odd for Johansson, an impeccably hip actress who has worked with ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.8
 
Sunday, 01 June 2008 |  Written by K L Poore  | 
John Lennon - Classic Albums: Plastic Ono Band I wasn’t deluding myself. There was absolutely nothing the makers of this DVD could have done that would have given this examination of John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band enough emotional depth to satisfy me. After all, Plastic Ono Band is the single most important release in the continuing story of my life. Plastic Ono Band has not only provided me with emotional comfort, and support, during the most difficult periods of my life but it has also presented me with the single most defining aspect of my outlook on life. I am not perfect and I get many things wrong, but I never stop trying to be better. What you get with Classic Album’s Plastic Ono Band are some great Ringo snippets, revelations from bass player (and Beatle Friend) Klaus Voormann, and some of the isolated track playback which has made the ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.5
 
Sunday, 01 June 2008 |  Written by Matt Fink  | 
Islands - Arm's Way Back when Nick Thorburn was a vocalist/guitarist/songwriter in the Unicorns, it was hard to imagine that he’d ever grow up. Barely in his 20s at the time, he seemed more interested in elaborate media pranks than performing and recording, with he and his bandmates getting into staged fistfights, hiring homeless people to join the band for a night, and starting press wars with other bands they knew. When they broke up in late 2004, it seemed like the logical conclusion for a band that was good enough to earn considerable indie buzz but probably not ingenious enough to outlast their reputations as notorious goofs. When Thorburn formed Islands with former Unicorns drummer Jamie Thompson with the stated intention of playing world music, his announcement was met with reasonable indignation and suspicion, dismissed as another likely ruse. But their debut, 2006’s ...
Editor's rating: 
 4.5
 
Sunday, 01 June 2008 |  Written by Matt Fink  | 
Portishead - Third Though the stereotype of musicians slaving away for years in isolation, perfecting their latest opus piece by piece, has firmly hardened into our collective consciousness by years of waiting for new Radiohead and Bob Dylan albums, some bands are starting to push it a bit too far. Take Portishead, the English trio who became the first trip-hop band to establish a significant commercial presence around the world, and the 11 years they took between their self-titled second release and this, their appropriately titled Third. An unlikely breakthrough band in the mid-‘90s with their icy cool mix of somberly wounded vocals, crackling samples and darkly mangled hip-hop beats creating a singularly penetrating sonic identity, they simply vanished after their last tour in 1998. After a decade in the wilderness, during which they started families, made side-project albums and produced other artists, ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.5
 
Thursday, 01 May 2008 |  Written by Matt Fink  | 
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! Despite the fact that nearly every great artist will reach a point where everything they do will be considered a “comeback” of sorts, the fact remains that very few songwriters seem to have much left to say after their 50th birthday. Stretching from Paul McCartney and Neil Young to Brian Wilson and David Bowie, the list of artists who have simply become lesser versions of their earlier selves is long, littered with onetime visionaries who are left to make warmly received but soon to be forgotten albums. But some songwriters do manage to find a second life, and the select few that have experienced a career renaissance have done so by moving away from what they have already proven they do best. Take Bob Dylan and his back-to-the-basics exploration of bedrock American music forms or Tom Waits and his willingness ...
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