Gordon Lightfoot Book, Music and More!

The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.

Wyclef Jean - Masquerade

The Haitian-born rapper has done more to broaden hip-hop’s musical palette than either Lauryn Hill or cousin Pras, his ex-Fugee cohorts. Like his last two albums, Masquerade mixes reggae and r&b with funk and hard-edged hip-hop beats. There’s a Dylan cover and the usual Marley influence. The message ultimately remains the same: ‘Clef, a product of the projects, preaches ghetto enlightenment. The biggest surprise is the Oriental-flavored “Peace God,” which Jean amusingly calls “crouching tiger style.”
549 Hits

Chumbawamba - Readymades

If “Tubthumping,” with its riotous refrain “I get knocked down, but I get up again,” hadn’t become a huge hit (and a staple at hockey games), Chumbawamba might have remained an obscure anarcho-syndicalist collective, spouting polemics and living in a filthy squat in Leeds. As it is, they’re a major-label act churning out folk-flavored, politically correct albums like their latest. If this is revolution rock, god help the working class. It’ll put the masses to sleep, rather than have them storming the barricades. 
492 Hits

New Found Glory - Sticks & Stones

What defines emo punk? Peppy, positive tunes played with boundless energy by dudes in backwards baseball caps and baggy, low-slung pants. Throw in a chubby bass player and a tattooed lead singer and you’ve got New Found Glory, a quintet from sunny Coral Springs, Florida that plays with the intensity of the Sex Pistols but sings as sweetly as the Beach Boys. A popular draw on the Vans Warped tour, NFG write catchy songs about love and loyalty, like the new album’s buddy anthem “My Friends Over You.”
452 Hits

Carolyn Mark - Terrible Hostess

A dairy farmer’s daughter from Sicamous, B.C., Mark sure knows how to milk her influences, belting out rockabilly like a reborn Wanda Jackson or crooning country ballads like the second coming of Patsy Cline. On her second solo album, Mark, who also records with the fabulous Neko Case as the Corn Sisters, pulls out all the stops, singing with equal parts melancholy and mischief on songs about heartache, getting drunk and getting laid. If only country radio sounded as feisty as this.
494 Hits

Jarvis Church - Shake it Off

If you’re the former Philosopher Kings vocalist and co-producer of Nelly Furtado’s smash debut, how do you establish yourself as a solo act? Well, if you’re Gerald Eaton, you trade your old stage name in for a new identity. Introducing Jarvis Church, Canada’s latest neo-soul singer. Although his record company is playing up his Jamaican heritage, Church is far more r&b than reggae. Standout tracks include his quirky duets with Furtado and Esthero, who joins him on "Run For Your Life,” about a psycho stalking fan.
487 Hits

Papa Roach - Lovehatetragedy

The second release from Papa Roach finds the Northern California alt-metal group mining the same aggressive sound that pushed its debut album to triple platinum. On “She Loves Me Not,” frontman Coby Dick, who now goes his given name of Jacoby Shaddix, adds his angry rap vocals to the group’s hard-rock crunch. When he screams the song’s whiny refrain, “life’s not fair,” he sounds at risk of bursting a blood vessel. So it’s probably a good thing P-Roach has joined Eminem on this year’s Anger Management Tour.
494 Hits

Silverchair - Diorama

These Aussie blokes were only 15 when they released their debut album. My, how they’ve grown. Gone are the grunge influences that tagged them as Nirvana wannabes. Working with legendary arranger Van Dyke Parks (Beach Boys), they’ve come up with a swirling, kaleidoscopic gem. Dreamy songs like “World Upon Your Shoulders” and “Tuna in the Brine” are closer to Pet Sounds than Nevermind . No wonder Parks calls the band’s Daniel Johns “the most talented person I’ve worked with since Brian Wilson.”
494 Hits