Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lily Allen "It's Not Me, It's You" (2009)

This is where Ms Allen takes on the always tricky problem of the followup album.  "Allright, Still" was one of the brightest pieces of pop to be released in the decade.  It combined a sassy modern outlook with retro musical settings.

"It's Not Me" leaves me disappointed.  The sensibility is still there, but musically it's more similar to Madonna's club music than the R&B/ska of Allen's first album.  For my tastes, there's just not as much to sink your teeth into.

Possessed By Paul James "Cold & Blind" (2008)

I have to admit that I love the aesthetic on this album.  Just a guy & some basic instruments, overdriven amps & mics.  There's a rawness to the recording that you rarely hear aside from some old garage & rockabilly records.

Unfortunately, I just don't like the songs nearly so much as I do his later material.

Collie Ryan "The Hour is Now" (2009)

After a raised profile due to her appearance on The Numero Group's "Ladies of the Canyon" collection, this compilation appeared.  It contains selections from 3 self released albums from 1973.

I have to say that I have a hard time getting past the tonal qualities of her voice.  (My knee jerk reaction is that it falls into what I think of as the Joan Baez school of folk singing.)  It's a soprano with lots of vibrato.  The accompanying music is so simple & understated that I just don't have anything to fix on other than her voice.  And that just doesn't work for me.