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.

Melissa Etheridge - Skin

Since coming out in 1993, Etheridge’s music has been overshadowed by her lesbian lifestyle. Parenthood with partner Julie Cypher (and children sired by David Crosby) further fuelled a “lesbian chic” trend in the media. Cypher’s now a thing of the past and Etheridge’s latest album deals with heartbreak and hope. But the record is mired in the sort of romantic cliches and pop mediocrity of “I Want to Be in Love,” the album’s first single.
515 Hits

Jimmy Rankin - Song Dog

Following the Rankins’ breakup and John Morris’ tragic death, Jimmy resurfaces with an assured solo debut. Produced by Tim Thorney, who brought in singers Cassandra Vasik and Joel Feeney (Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor and sister Cookie Rankin also lend vocal support), the album places Jimmy squarely in the Canadian singer-songwriter tradition, with music more country than Celtic. In fact, perhaps in deference to John Morris, there’s not even a fiddle to be found.
591 Hits

Thrust - The Chosen Are Few

A former member of Virgin Music Canada’s street team, which had him spreading the news about Canadian urban music, Thrust (a.k.a. Christopher France) is now the latest breakout act from T-dot’s burgeoning hip-hop community. Less overtly sexual than Choclair, Thrust goes in for the sort of spacey, groove-heavy hip hop heard on “The One & Only” and “This is For Sure.” And like Kardinal Offishall, he basks in his Caribbean heritage, bookending his debut album with two delightful “interludes” that are rich in dense Jamaican patois.
728 Hits

Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros - Global a Go Go

On his previous solo outing, 1999’s Rock Art and the X-Ray Style , the punk grandad caught critics off-guard with a surprisingly robust collection of ethnically laced rock. Unlike his Clash-mates, Strummer had graduated to sophisticated relevance without losing his streetwise roots. Here, his Joe-ness proves he’s still got something to say, from the spirited pacifist sing-a-long “Johnny Appleseed” to the roaring internationalist dub of the title track.
482 Hits

Slipknot - Iowa

Expect another ear-splitting album of speed metal laced with raging, hated-filled rap lyrics. Sounds like fun, eh? Hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, this nine-piece band could actually be a really nice bunch of farmboys beneath their evil clown faces and pointy-nosed goalie masks. But don’t tell that to their legions of fans, who obviously have a fondness for the terror of it all.
375 Hits

Björk - Vespertine

Many people tuning into this year’s Oscars barely knew what to make of the pixie in the strange swan dress who warbled her way through a song called “I’ve Seen It All,” backed by a 55-piece orchestra. Few had caught the Icelandic singer’s acting debut in Lars Von Trier’s film Dancer in the Dark , in which she played an east European girl who goes to America with her young son. Fewer still were familiar with her recordings, avant-pop albums that make Canada’s quirky pop princess Jane Siberry seem positively conventional. Little is known at press time about this next Björk album, but it’s bound to confound all but her most ardent supporters. An acquired taste.
354 Hits

Bruce Guthro - Guthro

Breaking out of the country-music straightjacket has proven tricky for the native of Sydney Mines, N.S. He’s tried singing with the Scottish band Runrig. On his latest album, he’s employed producers as diverse as Malcolm Burn (Emmylou Harris), John Hampton (Gin Blossoms) and Cracker’s David Lowery. For all that, the talented singer-songwriter still sounds most convincing when crooning blue-collar ballads with a twang like “Factory Line,” the album’s first single.
357 Hits