Author

J.D. Considine

From Japan

”Girl-pop” often dominates the Japanese charts, whether as dance music (Ayumi Hamasaki), J-R&B (Hikaru Utada), or cuteness for its own sake (Morning Mu-sume). Aiko is none of the above. With her fourth CD, Aki Sobani Iruyo (”Autumn Is Here!”), the 27-year-old singer-songwriter broadens her lean, rock-based sound with strings, Beatlesque horns, and, on ”Kurozetto” (”Closet”), even a touch of circus music. Aiko’s emphasis on lyrics may leave non-Japanese speakers feeling like they’re missing something (they are), and her pitch sometimes seems unsure to Western ears.

Read Full Story
Andrea Bocelli, Sogno

Americans, by and large, are not an opera-loving people. It hardly matters whether it’s Verdi or Wagner, Mozart or Mascagni – as far as the average joe is concerned, it’s all over when the fat lady sings. Yet the most popular artist on the Billboard album charts is Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. Right now he has three albums in the top 200: 1997’s ”Romanza,” 1998’s ”Aria: The Opera Album” – and ”Sogno,” which, fueled by his performances at the Oscars and Grammys, recently debuted at an astounding No. 4.

Nonetheless, legitimacy is an issue for Bocelli.

Read Full Story
Des'ree, Supernatural

There?s nothing a reviewer likes better than an album full of lyrics with big ideas. We love wrestling with weighty issues, digging deep for profound tidbits, and showing off just how smart an album (and a critic) can be. But if we?re honest about it, the most pleasurable albums often find the words taking a backseat to the music, offering a sound so alluring that it?s easy to turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream. Albums like Des?ree?s drop-dead-gorgeous Supernatural.

Read Full Story

There’s nothing a reviewer likes better than an album full of lyrics with big ideas. We love wrestling with weighty issues, digging deep for profound tidbits, and showing off just how smart an album (and a critic) can be. But if we’re honest about it, the most pleasurable albums often find the words taking a backseat to the music, offering a sound so alluring that it’s easy to turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream. Albums like Des’ree’s drop-dead-gorgeous Supernatural.

Read Full Story
Page: