Thursday, July 8, 2010

Asia to Cupcakes: Six One-Line Reviews (2000)

(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )

Asia, The Very Best of Asia: Heat of the Moment (1982-1990) (Geffen). Virtuoso prog-rockers playing down to the masses for fun and profit (not necessarily in that order).

Buju Banton, Unchained Spirit (Anti/Epitaph). Instead of run-of-the-mill reggae and stoned-soul politics, this buoyant Rastafarian offers stoned-soul reggae and run-of-the-mill politics--a subtle distinction, perhaps, but a meaningful one all the same.

Bobby Bland, The Best of Bobby Bland--20th Century Masters, the Millennium Collection (MCA). Twelve R&B singles (1960-1975, approximately) listing at $11.99 and essential now that MCA has deleted its twelve-track Bland best-of from 1972.

Johnny Bush, Lost Highway Saloon (Lone Star). Autumnal honky-tonk from the most famous survivor of spastic dysphonia ever to play drums with Willie Nelson and Ray Price.

Ray Condo and His Ricochets, High and Wild (Joaquin). Western swing meets rockabilly once more with feeling--and brains.

Cupcakes, Cupcakes (Dreamworks). The lyrics steer clear of “interpersonal relationships” while roaring guitars and bleeping synths crash headlong into what New Wavers would’ve considered the future of power pop back in ’79.

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