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Thursday, 01 November 2007 |  Written by Matt Fink  | 
Bruce Springsteen - Magic format:    16-bit CD performance:    7 sound:    6.5 released:    2007 label:    Interscope reviewer:    Matt Fink It was a strange moment in the history of rock and roll when John Fogerty was taken to court for making music that sounded too much like his previous work. The case hinged on the hook of 1985’s “The Old Man Down the Road,” a track that Fogerty’s old record label Fantasy said sounded too much like a song he wrote for Creedence Clearwater Revival called “Run Through the Jungle.” And while the lawsuit was essentially frivolous, the end result of a decade of contentious relationships between old associates, it brought up an interesting question. Can an artist sound too much like himself? At which point does he simply become a caricature of his previous career highlights? With all the work that goes into developing a personal style, is it fair to ...
Thursday, 01 November 2007 |  Written by John Sutton-Smith  | 
Annie Lennox - Songs of Mass Destruction format:    16-bit CD performance:    9 sound:    9 released:    2007 label:    Arista reviewer:    John Sutton-Smith Tourist, Eurythmic, and solo star Annie Lennox’s distinguished pop career has spanned more than 25 years, won her Grammys, Brits, a Golden Globe and an Oscar. From the sinewy soul of her (and longtime partner Dave Stewart’s) pop hits with Eurythmics to three distinctively personal and powerful solo albums – the first one Diva, released in 1992, was followed intermittently by Medusa and Bare – the fiery Scottish chanteuse has defined classy contemporary popular music, full of vocal power, emotional nuance and a bit of spirit. As the title succinctly implies, Songs of Mass Destruction is an equally hefty work, her undeniable vocal elegance and intelligence tackling topical themes and emotions. Annie’s gorgeous pipes radiate both melancholy and defiance in equal measure, whether directing it towards hearts broken by relationships, warfare or ...
Monday, 01 October 2007 |  Written by John Sutton-Smith  | 
Sterling Harrison - South of the Snooty Fox format:    16-bit CD performance:    8 sound:    7 released:    2007 label:    HackTone/Rhino/ADA reviewer:    John Sutton-Smith Sterling Harrison was the epitome of American rhythm and blues: a singer who struggled to carve out a career as a journeyman on the chitlin’ circuit of this country’s small town backstreets and byways, in the shadows of contemporaries like Bobby “Blue” Bland, Johnnie Taylor or Bobby Womack, but in the forefront of the people’s soul. South of the Snooty Fox, the title of the last album by the late Los Angeles singer, refers as much to a state of mind as it does to the actual saloon, located near 41st and Western in old South Central L.A., where Harrison regularly recited classic blues and soul standards, along with his memorable comic impressions of everyone from Moms Mabley, Al Green and Ray Charles to Ed Sullivan, Paul Lynde and even Richard Nixon and ...
Monday, 01 October 2007 |  Written by John Sutton-Smith  | 
Sly & the Family Stone - Greatest Hits format:    16-bit CD performance:    8 sound:    7 released:    2007 1st released:    1970 label:    Sony Legacy reviewer:    John Sutton-Smith For one shining moment in the late ‘60s and early ’70s, Sly & the Family Stone were about as exciting and funky as rock and roll could get. Their pop grooves and social stance made them the party political broadcast of a generation. The newly re-released Greatest Hits album was originally released in this configuration back in 1970. Containing all the early hits – “Dance to the Music,” “Stand,” “Everyday People,” “I Want to Take You Higher,” and more – it chronicles Sly’s explosive burst of soulful funk-pop, culminating in their legendary Woodstock performance in 1969. Never conceived as anything more than a stalling tactic, when Greatest Hits was first released Stone was holed up with the band in the studio, laboring over what would become the classic and more ...
Monday, 01 October 2007 |  Written by K L Poore  | 
Ringo Starr - Photograph: The Very Best of Ringo format:    16-bit CD / PCM Stereo DVD performance:    9 sound:    9 released:    2007 label:    Capitol reviewer:    K L Poore When my friends and I get together to drink, shoot the bull and generally dampen each other’s overblown egos, one of the games we play is “put your band together.” My band changes based upon who I think I am at that moment. Maceo Parker or Lenny Pickett? Jimi Hendrix or Lowell George? I guess the only thing consistent about my band is that it’s always changing. Except for the drummer. It’s always Ringo. I’m not bringing this up so that we can debate it later on, I’m just letting know you he’s my guy. He’s solid as a rock, incredibly creative, and there’s no way you can convince me you wouldn’t want to hang out with Ringo while waiting around back stage. I love the guy. ...
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