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.

Syleena Johnson - Chapter 2: The Voice

There's one thing that separates Chicago’s Syleena Johnson from so many of today’s soul pretenders: raw, honest emotion. Johnson, whose father, r&b vocalist Syl Johnson recorded on the same Hi label as the Rev. Al Green, sings with such gritty conviction, that it’s impossible to doubt her. “Faithful to You” and “Guitars of the Heart” are dreamy, romantic numbers, while “Guess What” reads the riot act to a lazy lover. But Johnson is at her provocative best on sexy, steamy numbers like “No Words” and “Tonight I’m Gonna Let Go.” Red hot.
497 Hits

Deborah Cox - The Morning After

The Toronto-born r&b diva’s star seems destined to soar higher with her third album. Now part of Clive Davis’ J Records, a stable that includes Alicia Keys, Angie Stone and Luther Vandross, Cox has the thoroughbred backing of hit-makers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who co-wrote two songs with her: the soulful “Hurts So Much” and the sultry “Up and Down (In & Out).” Already multi-tasking, with an acting career that includes starring roles in the movie Love Come Down and on TV’s Nash Bridges , Cox may in fact be headed for pop’s stratosphere.
487 Hits

The Wallflowers - Red Letter Days

Maybe Jakob Dylan’s just spent too much time listening to the Travelling Wilburys. How else to explain why the 32-year-old musician comes across like a hybrid of his father and Tom Petty? The latest Wallflowers’ album—the band’s fourth—is a marked improvement over previous efforts, with a surplus of both thoughtful ballads and rousing rockers that express a belief in better times to come. “This has not been the greatest year for anybody, really,” explains Dylan. “On these songs I really tried to be hopeful.” Sounds more like Tom than Bob, actually.
500 Hits

Whitney Houston - Just Whitney

Her life has long been the subject of gossip and rumours—about her rocky marriage to Bobby Brown, her alleged drug abuse and massive weight loss—in the tabloid press. But now the troubled diva is battling back. “Whatchulookinat,” the first single from her new album, takes a swipe at the media. “You’re telling lies on me,” she sings over a mid-tempo groove, “trying to dirty up Whitney’s name.” It’s a limp counter-attack. And news that she’s recorded a version of the Debby Boone ballad “You Light Up My Life” doesn’t bode any better. Sad, really.
473 Hits

David Gray - A New Day at Midnight

The Manchester-born, Welsh-raised Gray has been quietly winning fans for years with his bright, intelligent and tuneful songs. After opening for stadium rockers Radiohead and Dave Matthews Band in the mid-1990s, Gray self-financed his fourth release, White Ladder , a stirring acoustic album that drew rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. His latest is even better: a collection of quiet, unaffected pop gems like the melodic “Caroline,” the slow, soulful “Freedom” and the Dylan-like “Last Boat to America.” Gently delivered, but deeply affecting.
515 Hits

Tony Bennett & k.d. lang - A Wonderful World

Everyone remembers how sweet k.d. lang and Roy Orbison sounded on the spine-tingling “Crying.” Well, lang’s duets with Tony Bennett, performing the Louis Armstrong songbook, may be the sweetest music this side of heaven. Highlights include a tender “If We Never Meet Again” and a charming rendition of the old Satchmo chestnut “What a Wonderful World.” But nothing quite prepares for the velvety version of “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” in which lang and Bennett harmonize like a pair of angels. Exquisite.
529 Hits

Various artists - A Tribute to the King: Elvis Has Left the Building

Elvis’ influence runs so deep through popular music that a collection like this, featuring songs the Pelvis made famous, brings together artists as diverse as Carl Perkins, Billy Joel, Alison Moyet and Meat Loaf. It’s exhilarating to hear an early Rod Stewart belt out “That’s Alright” and Linda Ronstadt coo through “Love Me Tender.” Kudos to the compilers for including Mac Davis’ own version of “In the Ghetto,” the classic song he penned for Elvis, and Billy Swan’s stark, chilling take on “Don’t Be Cruel.”
503 Hits