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.

Music Review: Tami Neilson - Dynamite!

Music Review: Tami Neilson - Dynamite!
Dynamite is right. With a voice that channels Pasty Cline and Peggy Lee in equal measure, this Canadian torch singer has exploded since emigrating to New Zealand, where she’s become a country music star. From the plaintive twang of “Cry Over You” to the defiant sass of “Walk (Back To Your Arms),” her talent is on full display.
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Music Review: David Bowie - Blackstar

Music Review: David Bowie - Blackstar
Rock’s most famous chameleon has changed personas countless times during his career, from Ziggy Stardust to the Thin White Duke. With each mask comes a new sound. For his 25 th album, Blackstar  (stylized as a symbol), the icon threw out the rulebook. His longtime producer, Tony Visconti, says the goal was to avoid rock ’n’ roll and create a new fusion sound. Released to coincide with the singer-actor’s 69 th birthday, the seven-song album includes the unsettling title track, a shape-shifting, apocalyptic torch song that runs nearly 10 minutes, and “Lazarus,” the horn-drenched title number from Bowie's current off-Broadway musical, based on  The Man Who Fell to Earth (he starred in...
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Music Review: Neko Case - Truckdriver Gladiator Mule

Music Review: Neko Case - Truckdriver Gladiator Mule
Neko Case’s extraordinary journey from punk drummer and country torch singer to avant pop icon is well documented in this box set, which gathers her entire discography of eight titles on remastered vinyl and includes an 80-page book of photography. The collection features the American-born, Canadian-bred musician’s 1997 solo debut  The Virginian , on vinyl for the first time, and her excellent 2004 live album  The Tigers Have Spoken , recorded with Toronto’s The Sadies. There are a wealth of inspired covers, including the Everly Brothers’ “Bowling Green” and Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Soulful Shade of Blue,” and such stunning originals as “Hold On, Hold On” and “Near Midnight, Hono...
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Music Review: Adele - 25

Music Review: Adele - 25
The British star’s last album, 21 , sold over 30 million copies—the only release this century to reach that zenith, making Adele’s long-awaited followup something like pop’s second coming. The “Rolling in the Deep” singer doesn’t disappoint. Her new album revisits the heartbreak that informed 21 while allowing Adele, now a mother of one in a steady relationship, to move on. It opens with “Hello,” featuring her wondrously deep, soulful voice, and includes “When We Were Young,” about running into an old flame. “River Lea,” takes her into gospel territory, while “All I Ask,” her collaboration with Bruno Mars and his crew, expresses loneliness with palpable emotion. Best of all is the adventurou...
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Music Review: Chris Isaak - First Comes the Night

Music Review: Chris Isaak - First Comes the Night
With his handsome dark looks and deep melancholic croon, the California singer and actor easily channels  early Elvis Presley. For his last album, Beyond the Sun , Isaak actually ventured to Memphis to cover the King and other legends on the iconic Sun Records label like Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. This time around, the “Wicked Game” singer took his muse to Nashville and worked with some of Music City’s finest songwriters and session musicians. The result is a collection that bristles with originality while still paying homage to heroes. The rollicking “Down in Flames” cites both Elvis and Hank Williams in its lyrics, while the piano-driven “Running Down the Road” is pure Jerry Lee...
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Music Review: Elvis Costello - Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album

Music Review: Elvis Costello - Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album
Elvis Costello is one of pop’s most inventive composers—he once penned a song called “Everyday I Write the Book,” which brilliantly drew parallels between romance and a wordsmith’s craft. Now the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has actually written a book, a memoir called Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink , in which he cleverly weaves stories about his life, jazz-musician wife Diana Krall and assorted music-legend friends. He’s also compiled 38 songs on two discs that compliment the themes and stories in his book. The collection draws from his impressive song catalogue, including early hits like “Alison” and “Watching the Detectives” to numbers co-written with the likes of George Jones, Al...
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Music Review: Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - If I Can Dream

Music Review: Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - If I Can Dream
The King of Rock & Roll backed by strings and brass? It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Elvis had diverse musical tastes and was a big fan of opera singer Mario Lanza. “This is the album he always would have wanted to do,” says Priscilla Presley, the singer’s former wife. Added Priscilla, who approved the pairing of Elvis’ vocals with brand-new accompaniment by London’s Royal Philharmonic: “He would have loved to play with such a prestigious symphony orchestra.” Released for his 80 th birthday, the collection is a reminder of Elvis’ emotive power, whether on familiar songs like “Love Me Tender” or the inspirational title track. Italian operatic pop trio Il Volo joins Elvis on a robust...
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