CD Reviews – Nov. 3, 2011
The Whole Love
From the first track off of Wilco’s new album, The Whole Love, fans are treated to something it seemed was lacking in the past couple of albums — ambition. It’s the strongest it has been in years for Wilco. With their last two releases, Sky Blue Sky and their self-titled Wilco, having already been forgettable.
They become even more of a distant memory the second “Art of Almost” kicks off the album. While this passion translates into arguably the best songs the band has made the past seven years, it isn’t sustained throughout the album. It comes and goes, but unfortunately doesn’t really find a home again until the last track, “One Sunday Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)”
While those two tracks essentially hold up the album, it certainly gives the band something they can feel more accomplished about than anything in recent years.
— Nathan Ross
Fish People Music
Kate Bush’s unique vocals have been resulting in best-selling albums since the mid-‘80s. With intricate lyrics, vivid melodies and enchanting instrumentals, her albums feel like a trip into another world. Unfortunately Director’s Cut doesn’t really take you anywhere.
As the title indicates, Director’s Cut is a collection of songs taken from previous albums, only redesigned. The first track, “Flower On The Mountain,” is a dedication to the instrumentals rather than her voice, and it’s packed with pipes, whistles and fiddles. In fact, the entire album is more reminiscent of a yoga soundtrack than of her previous work.
“The Red Shoes” is perhaps the most catchy of all the tracks and when Bush sings, “They’re gonna make her dance ‘till her legs fall off” you almost believe her.
Director’s Cut is definitely a reflection of Bush’s maturity as an artist. She deserves credit for creativity and the fresh energy she brings to the tracks, but without that distinct quality of her voice entwined in the music most of the songs seem to merge together.
— Holly Triebwasser
Diamonds & Plastic
Ian Kelly is being compared to Jack Johnson, which at first listen seems to be quite an odd comparison, but upon listening to the album a little more carefully, it is true that Kelly has Johnson’s smooth surf voice and oftentimes brings a lively island vibe in tracks like, “I Would Have You” and “Made up My Mind.”
There’s a cover track of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding,” which is actually a great folk-pop rendering of the original track.
The banjo is fairly present throughout the entire album, which makes for an overall great folk album, although I feel Kelly still needs to define and refine his true sound.
Kelly is a folksy singer-songwriter from Quebec. Diamonds & Plastic, his second album, was recorded in a cottage not too far from his Laurentian home.
— Claire Miglionico