Jill Scott/Dave Alvin
Two (Very) American Humanists
Jill Scott: The Light of the Sun (Blues Babe/Warner Bros.)
I agree, men are dogs. But it gets my radar in a lather when this loving, lovable woman structures her 2007 album along a break-up's narrative arc and then four years later the same thing happens twice‑-only the first guy leaves her with a boychild who, let's be candid, she loves more unreservedly than she has any grown man on record. For instance, Anthony Hamilton, with whom she shares the highly unconvincing "So in Love" duet right after a conversion experience of an opener called "Blessed" and right before a well-nigh womanist Eve duet. Other boons in a year when Adele has positioned herself as the queen of solemn soul: the sub-two-minute "Quick," about her babydaddy's attention span, and the four-minutes-plus "Making You Wait," about how she needs to find out whether he's nuts first. Also the Doug E. Fresh duet. A MINUS
Dave Alvin: Eleven Eleven (Yep Roc)
To call this the best record of his solo career isn't to claim it's great, it's to reckon that it's pretty darn good. At 55, young Dave has found his voice, which echoes somewhere on the outskirts of Johnny Cash territory, and the songs strike old notes so truly they could be new: loner quests (a half-blind Golden Glover, a bounty hunter with nothing to lose), lost bard (Johnny Ace this time), union man (he beat U.S. Steel and got beat anyway), sex in the present (he loves her dirty nightgown) and past (one inamorata was a union maid on the side). He even hooks up with his brother for some forced jocularity that's the truest note of all. Remember when Phil was supposed to be the singer? A MINUS
Best song from The Light of the Sun: 'Until Then (I Imagine).' [If I was actually attracted to Jill Scott, this would be pretty freaky!]
Best beat (play this sh!t loud!) from The Light of the Sun: 'Some Other Time.'
'http://soundcloud.com/damianmarley/wanted.'I'm half and half .
'...my favorite thing Metallica's ever done is on Feed the Animals when Gregg Gillis mashes up, what is it, "One" and "Lip Gloss".'+1!
This new Metallica/Lou Reed thing is gonna suck. I mean booomb! So looking forward to the new Ye/Jay thing and Tha Carter IV!
Wow....Shabazz Palaces is some dark murky funky ****. Love it, especially Black Up. Viktor Vaughn meets Burnt Sugar... in Dr. Dooom's basement. Other recent purchases: Ofori Amponsah: Odwo (Supermusic download 2007). Been playing this one almost every day for a week now. Up, Up, Up! My fave African album this year. Also: Plastic People of the Universe: Magical Nights (Munster 2010).Fantastic two-CD compilation from last year that I finally got around to picking up after checking out the track listing and realizing that this is as great an anthology of this amazing band as we'll most likely see. In truth, I'd add "Zapca" and "Toxica" from Egon Bondy and maybe another concert recording but other than those omissions, this 2-CD set has everything you need. Almost all of Egon Bondy, a handful of classic recordings from their historic concerts, Includes the two best tracks from Passion Play, the best tracks from Side One of Leading Horses, great chunks of Slaughter House and Midnight Mouse (Pulnocni Mys), their last albums before morphing into Pulnoc. Still need to read the liners but I'm playing this now and it sounds amazing.....will have more to say about this later I'm sure.
As far as vocals on the new record go, I wouldn't be surprised if sibling rivalry still played a hand in the recording and mix.That was my reaction on first and second listen. Then I tried to convince myself that was paranoid thinking. Then I played Un "Sung Stories" and Trouble Bound just to clear the air.
Nicky -- He's not a businessman, he's a business, man.
Nicky -- He's not a businessman, he's a business, man.
I hear what you're sayin' about technique vs. content, but would you at least admit that Jay-Z's section's sound good? (*re-reading what I wrote, feeling a little insecure about my argument.)
The eleven minute track that closes the Jill Scott record is actually three separate songs -- or, one song followed by two hidden "bonus" tracks." I know this because, er, I dig them. "I'm more than my ****," followed by "There's power in them rollin' hills." How can you not totally love that? But Jason's right...there is some sag in the middle. She shows so much personality on this one that you wish it was just a wee bit better than it actually is.
Edit: Oh, so they censored ****. What if I was talking about the biblical beast of burden?
P.S., HOV kills Kanye on "Diamonds from Sierra Leone." Absolutely kills.
"It's maybe the best thing done by anyone, ever. It could create another planetary system. I'm not joking, and I'm not being egotistical."
And I wouldn't want to be without The Blasters from '81.
As far as vocals on the new record go, I wouldn't be surprised if sibling rivalry still played a hand in the recording and mix. Just guessing of course, Phil's never had what you would call a big voice. The fact that he gets to sing "I debate time and space/And the theory of numbers/But all anyone asks is/What's up with your brother?" makes it all worthwhile to me though.
'...but when Bob asks, "Remember when Phil was supposed to be the singer?" there's a part of me that can't help thinking, "He's still supposed to be the singer." I count at least four or five songs, on the thing, I’d rather hear Phil sing.'I think what Bob means is that, on the duet they do together, Phil is the (obviously) worse singer. I think, overall, Dave has a killer voice, and while I haven't heard any of Phil's stuff (I don't think?), from that song alone (yeah, yeah), I'd say Dave is the better singer!
there are also a ton of 1968-73 titles I’ve never heard of.
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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