August 20, 2010
New Albums: Ray LaMontagne and Brian Wilson
Ray LaMontagne – God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise
Ray LaMontagne is known for his bluesy, raspy music and voice, respectively. Oh and “Trouble,” which I love. God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise is only his fourth studio album, but LaMontagne has earned a steady following that keeps growing and growing with each album. He’s becoming more recognizable on the Billboard charts, even if his singles don’t crack the Hot 100 lists.
That being said, keep in mind that John Mayer is a multi-platinum-selling artist and hasn’t cracked the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 with a single, either…just saying, singles aren’t everything.
So the start of God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise is very solemn and just…honest sounding. It’s hard to explain, I think. “Repo Man” is mostly instrumental until well over 2/3 into the song, and it works. It’s gloomy and brooding and works. Then you go into “New York City’s Killing Me” and it’s even *more* solemn. It’s really great, I think. It’s got this faint southern twang in the background instrumentals, too.
The rest of the album is just as good, just as gloomy, just as perfect. It’s something you should listen to when you just feel like zoning out and doing nothing else but listen to each track with focus. All ten songs will make you feel this way.
At the pace LaMontagne is working, he releases an album once every two years. I think that’s a good pace. Grab God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise, and we’ll eagerly be on the lookout for another album in 2012!
Brian Wilson – Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin
Okay…I love Gershwin. If you are a Gershwin fan like me, then, you’ll have been excited by Brian Wilson’s new album in which he recreates some of the brilliant 1920s classics. And no, I don’t mean the San Francisco Giants pitcher. I’m talking about the lead singer of the Beach Boys!
In fourteen tracks, Wilson touches some of the best Gershwin tunes. Some are instrumental that he turns into vocal songs, some are vocal that he modernizes. They sounds bluesy, jazzy, poppy, etc. “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” sounds like it could have come right off of a Beach Boys album, actually. Loves it!
It’s kind of an original and risky idea to take Gershwin and mold it to Wilson’s own style. Why is it risky, you ask? Well, people aren’t so much into the Gershwin these days, and he takes completely recognizable songs (even to a non-Gershwin fan) and shifts them to sound new and unrecognizable. Then there’s always the idea that the people who are Gershwin fans and already recognize the songs (like myself) may not like these recreations.
However, I think Wilson has had such a long and extensive career that he can take this risk. For the most part, I think these tracks work. Decide for yourself and see if you like Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin!
Posted by Shaane at 7:00 am