Maria Taylor, “11:11”
Available at All That Jazz for $13.98
She’s got the grit of Liz Phair, the marketability of Norah Jones and the whispering voice of Mazzy Star. Check into the Daydream Motel because the song “Leap Year” will be your wake-up call.
I will warn you though – after your hear “Song Beneath the Song,” the words “It’s not a love/it’s not a love/it’s not a love song” will be stuck in your head forever.
This CD flows like a river in the quietest canyon in Colorado at twilight. “Speak Easy” is the sweet bedtime-story song written by a girl who has loved and lost and still believes in love.
But “One for the Shareholder” stands out like that one blouse that catches your eye from across the trendy clothing store. It’s what you’ll wear to this dance song that is embedded in the rack of sleepy songs. And you’ll be singing “you can’t love me” to every suitor who window shops you.
Rating: Put on your headphones and lay down in a big empty field with Maria Taylor singing in your ears.
Gwen Stefani, “Love. Angel. Music. Baby.”
Available at All That Jazz for $16.98
Gwen Stefani has sold her soul to pop.
Let me set the scene of this record. You’re at a slumber party. You open up the Caboodle you bought in the ’80s. You’ll need your gooiest lip gloss and your shiniest faux bling rings.
Call you rich boyfriend and climb out your BFF’s second-story window and through Jake Ryan’s car window (from “Sixteen Candles” before he fell for girls like Samantha).
Then fast forward to 2006 to complete this teenager’s fantasy soundtrack like you are 13 going on 30.
This CD is packed with the confidence of a pop princess. Gwen has at least four or five radio songs on this CD. You’ve probably already heard “What You Waiting For?” “Cool,” “Crash,” “Rich Girl” and “Hollaback Girl.”
Although the lyrics of “Hollaback Girl” might not have any cosmic consequences, and she spells out the word “banana,” you feel compelled to sing it with her – I love this song.
The new Gwen Stefani sounds like Kylie Monougue after she met Mr. T and went shopping at Tiffany’s.
Rating: Wear something sparkly and work it, girl.
Bob Dylan, “Modern Times”
On Sale $15.98
Raspy-voiced Bob Dylan is still kickin’ it at 65 years old. He delivers the same classic Americana and meaningful lyrics about religion and women that we expect.
Dylan is an icon who has built his career on simple American values and tunes that are easy on the ear. His laid-back “Spirit on the Water” will swing you back and forth on the porch swing you wish you had.
Dylan has been consistently supplying his fans with reliable ballads such as “When the Deal Goes Down” in his 44-album career.
But unlike Madonna, he is one of those brilliant musicians who never had to reinvent himself. Luckily, Dylan never needed to don a cone bra.
Rating: If you love Bob Dylan, you will continue to love him.
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