FIRST LISTEN: Angels by The Strokes (RCA/Rough Trade)

Angles

NOTE: This is by and far the most tired sounding album by The Strokes. It is not up to par. Part of that may have to do with Julian Casablancas and Albert Hammond Jr both battling drug addictions. In fact, the recording sessions initially fell apart because Albert Hammond Jr went to rehab to straighten up his life. Unfortunately, his efforts were not what makes a great album. Julian Casablancas’ vocals on this album sound terrible and tired.

With a sloppy sounding album coming (Angels) out it is surprising that The Strokes are gearing up to begin recording another new album immediately.

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FIRST LISTEN: ‘Come Around Sundown’ by Kings of Leon (RCA Recs)

Come Around Sundown

Album out Oct 19, 2010

Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? Out Oct 26.

The feature documentary on one of the greatest musicians of all time is playing at special theatrical screenings in LA and NYC.  LA=Laemmle Sunset 5 starting Sept 17//NYC=Cinema Village starting Sept 7.  The DVD will also be available on Oct 26, 2010.  Paste Magazine named it one of the Top 11 documentaries you should see this fall.  Press reviews are very favorable.

The movie includes interviews with stars including Robin Williams, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, Eric Idle, Richard Perry, Randy Newman, The Smothers Brothers, The Monkees/Mickey Dolenz, Terry Gilliam, and many more…

**If you are a Reynolds or know a Reynolds please keep a lid on this for obvious gifting reasons**

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Why ‘Annie’s Song’ by John Denver (RCA Recs) is Timeless…

Annie’s Song was pure inspiration.  The history goes that “Annie’s Song” was written as an ode to Denver’s then-wife, Annie Denver.  Denver “wrote this song in about ten-and-a-half minutes one day on a ski lift” to the top of Bell Mountain in Aspen, Colorado, as the physical exhilaration of having “just skied down a very difficult run” and the feeling of total immersion in the beauty of the colors and sounds that filled all senses inspired him to think about his wife.

It was a #1 hit in the USA and Denver’s only #1 hit in the UK.  It was also a #1 hit on the Easy Listening charts.  It was also a #1 hit in Canada.  It is one of the most beautiful songs around.

FIRST LISTEN: ‘God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise’ by Ray LaMontagne (RCA/14th Floor Recs)

God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise

The album (released yesterday) is Ray LaMontagne’s fourth album.

NPR writes of the album “Whereas 2008’s Gossip in the Grain was a more expansive release, God Willin’ exists in a more compact musical space. As the album’s title suggests, it’s a country-tinged record complete with slide guitar and the occasional banjo. The songs conjure images of a simple life of hammock naps and skillet-cooked breakfasts within a universe devoid of cell phones, laptops and televisions.”

STANDARDS: ‘A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night’ by Harry Nilsson (RCA Recs)

A master songsmith and voice, Harry Nilsson is a rare talent. He won two Grammy Awards for ‘Without You’ and ‘Everybody’s Talkin”. He quickly became the favorite American artist of The Beatles and was subsequently a close friend of John Lennon (who cowrote a couple songs with Nilsson). Nilsson made some rare and beautiful music. His obvious talent and exquisite voice is surely manifest in his classic 20th century standards album ‘A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night’. This is perhaps one of the most romantic full albums around (in competition with much of Nilsson’s music catalog). It was arranged by Gordon Jenkins (a brilliant composer and arranger in the 1960s for Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and others).

Unfortunately for Nilsson, his reticence to perform live and his avoidance of such things as TV performances left his career a moderate one. He himself admitted this was a huge mistake later in life.