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.

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.”
522 Hits

Oasis - Heathen Chemistry

Love ’em or hate ’em—and many dismiss them as arrogant wankers—Oasis are one of the world’s truly great rock ’n’ roll bands. It’s easy to grow weary of the battling Gallagher brothers, but few write better rock songs than Noel or sing them as convincingly as Liam. Already, “The Hindu Times” has been all over the airwaves. But it’s Noel’s anthemic “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” that will get lighters flickering at concerts. And the biggest surprise is Liam’s “Songbird.” Christ, the little twat can write too. Who knew?
506 Hits

The Vines - Highly Evolved

Add Australia’s Vines to list of groups like Sweden’s Hives, Detroit’s White Stripes and New York’s Strokes who, if you believe the hype, are rock’s new saviors. Truth is, there’s something undeniably thrilling about any garage band that can conjure up magic from three chords and a kickass beat. All of these groups are doing that. Along with the requisite intensity, the Vines can also summon Beatlesque melodies and harmonies on songs like “Autumn Shade,” and the oh-so-sweet “Homesick.” Fookin’ brilliant.
486 Hits

Robert Plant - Dreamland

Give Plant credit: he hasn’t succumbed to fans’ demands for him to reproduce Led Zeppelin’s sound. Instead, building on the global hybrid he and Jimmy Page forged on the No Quarter tour, he puts a new spin on classic folk, blues and psychedelic numbers using hypnotic Asian drones and complex Middle Eastern scales. Thus, Plant’s version of Bukka White’s “Funny in My Mind (I’m Fixin’ to Die)” would rock any casbah. And his rendition of Tim Buckley’s “Song to the Siren” boasts a transcendental eastern vibe.
629 Hits

Alex Lloyd - Watching Angels Mend

Yet more good stuff from Down Under. Lloyd is a singer-songwriter who shares Neil Finn’s introspection and sensitivity. And while he lacks the unfailing melodic gifts of the former Crowded House frontman, he is still capable of coming up with a damn fine tune: just check out the mellifluous “Green.” Most of Lloyd’s material tends to be moodier, like the syncopated “Trigger.” Overall the album, produced by Magnus Fiennes (brother to actors Ralph and Joseph), seems destined to find a North American audience.
553 Hits

David Baerwald - Here Comes the New Folk Underground

Not much has been heard from Baerwald, one half of 1980s duo David & David, aside from two critically acclaimed but commercially disappointing solo albums in the early 1990s. Now signed to roots label Lost Highway, Baerwald has been given a new lease on life. But despite the promise of the title and quirky numbers like the horn-drenched “Bozo Weirdo Wacko Creep” and the piano-driven “If (A Boy Whore in a Man’s Jail),” his new album sounds like lame Jackson Browne or Randy Newman.
535 Hits

Danko Jones - Born a Lion

"We're calling the white people, black people, Asian, South Asian, Hispanics, Natives, everybody,” Danko Jones sings on “Caramel City,” about his Toronto punk-soul trio’s multicultural hometown. “I like to see it when the worlds collide.” Mostly, though, Jones likes to see bodies colliding, singing about sexual tension in a voice thick with lascivious innuendo. He calls it his “lover call,” but that makes it sound as safe as Barry White. Jones’ brand of eroticism is sinister—and about as reckless as rock ’n’ roll gets.
570 Hits