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.

Vivian Green - A Love Story

As in love lost and gained, the yin-yang of popular song. Green, Jill Scott’s former backup vocalist, doesn’t come up with any new twists on the old formula. But the young Philly soul singer does offer a fresh delivery on her debut album. “Fanatic,” which compares love to “some bad habit,” conveys a desperate yearning, while “Emotional Rollercoaster” hits unexpected highs and lows vocally. But “Superwoman,” with its staccato delivery and assertive message, provides the album’s most dramatic moments.
552 Hits

Mississippi Fred McDowell - Mama Says I’m Crazy

Delta blues fans will rejoice at the re-release of this classic 1967 recording of the seminal bottleneck guitarist and his harmonica sidekick Johnny Woods. McDowell, who died in 1972, was a major influence on Bonnie Raitt and remains best known for “You Got to Move,” which the Rolling Stones covered on Sticky Fingers . And while he recorded his best work solo, it’s a thrill to hear the raw spontaneity of his interaction with Woods on songs like the explosive title track and the locomotive “Shake ’Em On Down.”
612 Hits

Phil Collins - Testify

What is it about the short, balding former Genesis drummer that makes him so utterly hateful? Is it his insipid songs, his nasally voice, or is it his workman-like (and very uncool) approach to rock ’n’ roll, which has made him one of the most successful “adult contemporary” singers of all time, with global sales of more than 100 million albums? This dreary, predictable album, his first in six years, adds nothing to Phil’s Phormula, despite the fact that it was supposedly inspired by his new wife and child. Sad, really.
574 Hits

Shania Twain - Up!

Advance news about Twain’s latest feel-good project has been treated like precious state secrets. Although her record publicist admitted to having heard it, he was immediately subjected to complete memory erasure in the interests of security. As of press time, only “I’m Gonna Getcha Good,” the first single, had been made public. Judging from that and the video, in which new mother Shania zooms about on a motorcycle looking like Batgirl, the album promises more slick country-pop with her now patented, feminist-lite message.
512 Hits

George Harrison - Brainwashed

he Quiet One was also the Spiritual Beatle. So it’s not surprising that this posthumous, rootsy album—his first collection of new material since 1987’s Cloud Nine —offers cautionary tales about moral decay and technological idiocy. Before he died last November, George toyed with the idea of calling the album Your Planet is Doomed, Vol. 1 and the actual title track finds him pleading, “God, god, god, won’t you lead us through this mess.” Completed by Harrison’s son Dhani and ex-ELO and Wilbury Jeff Lynne.
525 Hits

Joni Mitchell - Travelogue: Live

On her recent Both Sides Now , Joni performed lush, orchestrated versions of jazz standards—and two of her own classics. Now, with this glorious two-disc set, Mitchell’s catalogue gets the symphonic treatment. Recorded again with the London Symphony Orchestra, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, the collection spans early songs like “The Dawntreader” and “Woodstock” to more recent numbers like “Sex Kills” and “Cherokee Louise.” A classy showcase for an incomparable body of work.
582 Hits

Craig David - Slicker Than Your Average

The British r&b sensation has taken knocks for his smooth delivery and squeaky-clean image—which explains the defensive title track and its reminder of the singer’s commercial superiority (sales of seven million copies for last year’s Born to Do It ). David also tries to show his toughness by flirting with hip-hop bravado and hard club beats on the album’s first few tracks. But it all proves to be so much posturing, as David quickly slides back into his smooth, squeaky-clean and, yes, ultra-slick, persona.
526 Hits