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.

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.
  515 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.
  583 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.”
  618 Hits

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.
  561 Hits

Snow - Two Hands Clapping

Teaming up with Shaggy’s producers may prove to be a mixed blessing for Snow. While Tony and Dave Kelly have helped the Toronto singer return to his reggae roots, it may give the impression that he’s is following Shaggy’s ragga-pop footsteps (in fact Snow’s breakthrough, 1992’s dancehall hit “Informer,” came a full year before Shaggy’s “Oh Carolina”). At any rate, Snow’s latest boasts more ragga than r&b. And the album’s surefire hit, “Missing You,” is melodically sweeter than anything Shaggy’s ever written.
  526 Hits

The Pretenders - Loose Screw

Ever since she lost her original guitarist to drugs, Chrissie Hynde has been typecast as a survivor—and every Pretenders album has been viewed as a comeback. Truth is, Hynde’s material has often been woefully uneven. Here, there’s a preponderance of mediocre reggae and dodgy songs about dishonesty. Still, Hynde does possess one of rock’s great voices, an instrument that mixes aching boredom with rugged insouciance. And the album contains at least one memorable song: the strutting “Walks Like a Panther.”
  579 Hits

Enya - Only Time: The Collection

Although she flies well under pop’s radar, this beguiling Irish singer easily outsells compatriots U2 and Sinead O’Connor—and then some. Last year, Enya was the biggest selling artist in the entire world. How does she do it? By setting her spellbinding voice to flowing, hypnotic sounds that deftly combine elements of Celtic folk, classical and new age music. Featuring songs from such popular albums as Watermark and Shepherd Moons , this four-CD box set proves the power of word-of-mouth over mass marketing.
  545 Hits