Saturday, July 19, 2014

Veterans and Newcomers Featured on Outstanding New Releases

By Robert Kinsler
Summer 2014 continues to yield musical pay dirt thanks to the far-flung talents of singer-songwriter Morrissey, heartland hero John Hiatt, Americana trio Puss n Boots and synthpop outfit Magic Man.
Artist: Morrissey
Title: World Peace Is None of Your Business (Harvest/Capitol)
You might like if you enjoy: The Smiths, Morrissey’s previous solo albums
Tell me more: It would be impossible to find an artist as adept as Morrissey at tapping into their biggest self doubts and fears while also being able to confidently poke their finger into the collective eye of humanity. The former Smiths frontman may be 55, but sings with the nuance and force of someone half his age on his new disc World Peace Is None of Your Business. There is simply no subject off limits and just about everyone will likely be offended somewhere along the way; the title track questions the success of mass protest and even voting, the decidedly-Smiths sounding “Staircase at the University” looks at student suicide, while “The Bullfighter Dies” champions the bull over the matador. And the music across the disc is glorious, with an intoxicating mix of alt rock, flamenco, post-punk and art damage providing the perfect backdrop for the confessional icon to sing away. Information:
Get the deluxe version of 'World Peace Is None Of Your Business' here

Artist: John Hiatt
Title: Terms of My Surrender (New West Records)
You might like if you enjoy: John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Nils Lofgren
Tell me more: Keeping it real is in John Hiatt’s DNA. One of America’s greatest living songwriters, his newly-released Terms of My Surrender marks another essential sonic incursion by the Indiana native. Mortality is tackled on “Long Time Coming,” probing look at faith via the acoustic blues of “Face Of God” and haunting gospel-tinged Delta ode “”Wind Don’t Have to Hurry.” The beautiful title track looks at love with depth wonderfully at odds in an age where the world seems to live for the moment. A much-recommended deluxe edition of Terms of My Surrender (available via includes a bonus DVD with a live performance by Hiatt captured at the Franklin Theatre in Franklin, Tenn in 2013. Information:
Buy 'Terms Of My Surrender (Amazon Exclusive: CD + DVD)' here

Artist: Puss n Boots
Title: No Fools, No Fun (Blue Note Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson, Catherine Popper
Tell me more: Noted singers Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper having been working together since 2008, but only now have released a full-length LP. No Fools, No Fun showcases the three talented artists (dubbed Puss n Boots) playing a variety of instruments and singing with tangible warmth. Among the best songs on the wonderful collection is a sparse acoustic take on Robbie Robertson’s “Twilight,” a high kickin’ country foray on the original Norah Jones gem “Don’t Know What It Means” and a haunting translation of Neil Young’s classic “Down By the River” recorded live. Information:
Purchase 'No Fools, No Fun (Amazon Exclusive - 2 Track Bonus Version)' here

Artist: Magic Man
Title: Before the Waves (Columbia Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Phoenix, Passion Pit, the Postal Service
Tell me more: New England-based Magic Man is more than simply another entry on the burgeoning neo-New Wave synthpop movement. The group’s Columbia Records debut Before the Waves boasts the upbeat indietronica-pop of “Out of Mind,” decidedly melancholy-rich strains of “It All Starts Here” and melodic perfection of “Paris.” Produced by Alex Aldi (Passion Pit, Holy Ghost!), “Before the Waves” is bound together by Alex Caplow’s shining vocals. Information:
Purchase 'Before the Waves' here

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