Jan 2019

Ingenue Redux: Live from The Majestic Theatre (BLU)

Fans of K.D. Lang's sumptuous voice can now enjoy the 25th anniversary concert for her widely acclaimed 1992 album, Ingenue, on Blu-ray. Filmed at the Majestic Theater in San Antonio, TX, Lang performs mega-hits like “Constant Craving” and “Miss Chatelaine,” which was a step away from her previous country music stylings, into a new world of jazz and cabaret-influenced pop. The concert also includes an unreleased song entitled “Sleeping Alone” and Lang's cover of Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah,” as well as highlights from the rest of Lang's catalog.

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Staff:
Outer Peace (CD)

Toro Y Moi’s Outer Peace is a lively, lushly-crafted sojourn into the smoother, more seductive side of main man Chaz Bundick. Guest artist Abra shines on the sultry, instantly addictive “Miss Me,” while Wet contributes to the chilled out, funkified atmosphere on “Monte Carlo.” Instupendo helps Bundick flex his pop production muscles on the languid, dreamy, (and auto-tuned) “50-50,” of one of Bundick’s favorite tracks on the LP. Outer Peace straddles the line between two worlds — indie electro (is chillwave still a thing?) and indie R&B — and the result is this perfectly harmonious marriage of sounds.

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Fool (CD)

One of the most musically literate of the New Wave songwriting sect, Joe Jackson slowly graduated from acerbic-yet-tuneful, Elvis Costello/Graham Parker-indebted spunk to the sophisti-pop and yuppie rock of his most successful period, with Night and Day and Body and Soul both acting as perfect soundtracks for all the Gordon Gekkos and Patrick Batemans of 1980s NYC. Fool, his first studio album in 4 years and 21st overall, splits the difference between his two best-known eras. A song like “Fabulously Absolute” strips off the soft edges Jackson is so often fond of and transports us back to late '70s England, evoking not only Look Sharp! but the hyperactivity of early XTC as well. On the other end of the spectrum lies “Strange Land,” a patient ballad that is as smooth as smooth can be. Drenched in jazz piano and atmospheric synths, it moves at a languid pace, propelled by Jackson’s powerful and unique singing voice. With a career spanning over 40 years, Jackson isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel here; he’s comfortable in his own sound and knows where his strengths lie. Thankfully, Fool puts them all on full display.

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Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (CD)
Vocalist/composer Jeremy Dutcher's debut combines post-classical arrangements with samples from archived recordings of his Wolastoqiyik First Nation's first music, stored at the Canadian Museum of History. The results are both operatic and earthy, buoyed by strings, percussion, electronics, piano, and Dutcher's soaring tenor vocals. The opening track “Mehcinut” builds to a stunning climax and then slides into a peaceful conclusion with scratchy original vocal samples at the center. “Essuwonike” features pounding drums and a stirring rhythm, signaling early on that this is not sleepy New Age, but its own kind of unique baroque pop. Read more