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New Music Released Tuesday October 27th, 2009: Bunnymen and Crocodiles

Things I Need Too Know – Echo And The Bunnymen

Around their album Heaven Up Here I was a huge fan of Echo and the Bunnymen’s Doorsy psychedelia. I mean, if it was between A Teardrop Explodes psychic damaged and Echo’s emotional trauma I was going with the latter. But the Bunnymen made up and broke, and I kinda lost interest till tragedy struck. Septmeber 1st of this year keyboard player Jake Brockman died in a motorbike accident. The band played two sold out nights at the Bowery ballroom and have just released their latest album the Fountain. The lead singer is very good, over the years Ian McCullough has lost some of his Jim Morrison intonations but kept the deep husk. Oddly, Ian doesn’t sound aged, he sounds like he did only more so. The song is straight up no chaser English rock: the difference is in the guitars which rave but don’t roar. Single Of the Week

Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
It is not that “Bad Romance” is a bad song because it aint. It’s that “Bad Romance” is a holding action. I hate to ram Madonna down Lady Gaga’s throat but she kinda asks for it. Look at the difference between the last single off Madonna’s self title first album, “Borderline” and the first single off her second album Like a Virgin’s “Lucky Star”. Now look at the difference between Lady Gaga’s last song off The Fame “Paparazzi” and her new single off The Fame Monster “Bad Romance”. “Lucky Star” was a pop slam dunk -quite possibly her catchiest song ever and a highly produced move forward. “Bad Romance” is a holding action. It is very, very good, but it isn’t quite where she needs to be. It feels like a misstep.

Walk These Streets – Rakim
Rakim is a legendary rapper and for good reason. I’ve loved all his solo work and I love his rapping on “Walk These Streets” but I can’t take the tracks at all any more. This stuff is too old fashioned for me -the sample sounds as though it has been heard a thousand times before. And really? Those 5%ers are whacked.

You Make Me Feel Brand New – Rod Stewart (with Mary J. Blige)
People who think the standards on Rod Stewart’s new album Soulbook are over exposed are right but not about “Brand New”. It gets played to death but not to death the way some of the stuff on his American songbook did (“Our Love Is Here To Stay” any one?)and even if it does, if you’re not in the market for a Stewart, Mary J. duet maybe the problem is that you don’t like soul so much? Nobody needs to tell Rod how to cover soul music, he’s been doing it at least since Every Picture Tells A Story and there he was covering Sam Cooke, a substantially riskier business than covering the Stylistics. Metacritic ranked the Soulbook album at 55%. Rod shoulda have gone for Gregorian chants.

According To You – Orianthi
 Orianthi is a good greek session guitarist who has parlayed who playing in MJ’s This Is It band into a solo career and more power to her. “According To You” is pure modern pop with a guitar solo that sounds as though it has been sampled around a million times but is fresh as a daisy. Free on Itunes by the way.

When We Were Beautiful – Bon Jovi
My niece Louba Lababedi has been on my case for not liking Bon Jovi very much. Bon Jovi have their moments true, especially on stuff where they relax a little like  “Who says You Can’t Go Home”. “When We Were Beautiful” is an overwrought, overblown ballad in typical blowhard Bon Jovi form and makes Bruce Springsteen sound like the Dirty Projectors backing Bjork.

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