Sleeping in the Nothing
I’m not a rock star,” says Osbourne. ”I’m a rock star’s daughter. I’m going to do what I like.” That’s why her new, Linda Perry-produced album sounds radically different from her pop-leaning debut. ”I love electro music, so I’ve always listened to bands like the Faint and Fischerspooner,” she says. So far, the new direction is paying off: The album’s first single, ”One Word,” went to No. 2 on the Billboard dance charts in early May.
MOST LIKELY TO…have you busting out your Max Headroom sunglasses to do the robot. (JUNE 7)
Fifteen years ago, Teenage Fanclub were being hailed as saviors of rock by breathless critics; these days, only the faithful even remember them. ”Fortunately, we’ve never taken compliments or criticism too seriously,” quips singer-guitarist Norman Blake. They have, however, kept making seriously solid albums, like this, their seventh. Recorded in Chicago with John McEntire (Tortoise), it’s quieter than most of their other work, but no less tuneful. Says Blake of the sparse production style: ”We just wanted to keep it really simple.”
MOST LIKELY TO…make a small army of guitar-pop fans inordinately happy. (JUNE 7)
Fijación Oral 1
The Colombian pop star with the Pre-Raphaelite hair and belly-dancer moves saw her 2001 English-language debut, the oddly titled Laundry Service, sell a jaw-dropping 13 million copies worldwide. Now she’s back with an album of Spanish tunes. (An English follow-up, Oral Fixation 2, comes out in November.) The DIY singer is producing — with the ubiquitous Rick Rubin and others lending a hand — and the first single, ”La Tortura,” features Spanish superstar Alejandro Sanz.
MOST LIKELY TO…stir up some fantasies with that album title. (JUNE 7)
Cooder has had a long, wide-ranging career that includes producing the Buena Vista Social Club album. In Chávez Ravine, he pays homage, through a soundscape of conjunto, jazz, R&B, Latin pop, and old radio broadcasts, to L.A.’s lost Chicano barrio, which was bulldozed in the ’50s. Along with old-school Latin singers Little Willie G., Ersi Arvizu, and Lalo Guerrero, Cooder conjures up a ”Poor Man’s Shangri-La” where there are ”cool cats,” dirt roads, and hot couples dancing the rumba. As Guerrero mournfully sings on ”Barrio Viejo,” ”All that’s left are fragments of those happy homes.”
MOST LIKELY TO…be a public-radio fave. (JUNE 14)
Out of Nothing
After years of mainstream success in the U.K., these Britpop second-stringers are storming our shores with an album that has already sold more than half a million copies and spawned two hit singles in England. It might help that a Brit with some Stateside experience, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, wrote the single, ”Gravity.” ”In England, we’re part of things,” says frontman Danny McNamara. ”When we come over here, people don’t know quite how to take us. It feels kind of evangelical, like going door-to-door.”
MOST LIKELY TO…sound like Coldplay. (JUNE 14)