Young for Eternity
REVIEWED BY CHUCK ARNOLD
Thank God for Dracula ... Now I can leave my work for nights/ And leave my day for sleeping." So wails singer-guitarist Billy Lunn on the crunching title track of the Subways' debut, which is packed with the kind of raw energy and brash attitude that comes with youth. The London indie-rock trio—which is rounded out by Lunn's younger brother, drummer Josh Morgan (Lunn uses their mother's maiden name professionally), and the frontman's girlfriend, bassist Charlotte Cooper—hits you like an express train with these short blasts of punk and garage. The crowning moment is "Rock & Roll Queen," a snarling, Nirvana-style stomper that fans of The O.C.
might remember from when the band performed it on the show last fall. The song plays like a teenage love letter from Lunn to his own "little rock & roll queen," Cooper: "You are the sun/ You are the only one/ You are so cool/ You are so rock & roll." The Subways keep it on full throttle on the raucous "Holiday" and the strutting "I Want to Hear What You Have Got to Say" (one of several cuts on which Cooper shares the mike), while taking a melodic turn on the dreamy "No Goodbyes." Young for Eternity
shows that the group, whose members range from 19 to 21, definitely has room to mature: The CD loses steam at the end, some songs are underdeveloped, and the lyrics are adolescent at best. But as Lunn sings on "Oh Yeah," "These teenage years, well, they don't last." So let them enjoy them while they can.
DOWNLOAD THIS: "Rock & Roll Queen"
Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George
Since everybody knows that Curious George doesn't speak, Jack Johnson provides a musical voice for the mischievous monkey on this delightful soundtrack to the new animated film about the children's book character. The ever mellow surfer dude gets in touch with his inner simian on fanciful folk-pop ditties that will have both kiddies and grown-ups happily singing along. The first single, "Upside Down," swinging along a buoyant groove, captures the spirit of discovery and imagination that encourages young minds to explore the world's possibilities and challenge its norms: "I want to turn the whole thing upside down/ I'll find the things they say just can't be found." It's a sentiment we adults could learn from as well. Elsewhere, Johnson remakes the White Stripes' school-chum serenade "We're Going to Be Friends," while pairing up with pal Ben Harper on the campfire-ready "With My Own Two Hands." On the jazzy "The 3 R's," with its environment-friendly message to "reduce, reuse, recycle," he cleverly borrows a bit from "Three Is a Magic Number," which will surely bring a smile to those who grew up on Schoolhouse Rock.
DOWNLOAD THIS: "Upside Down"Comfort of Strangers
REVIEWED BY CHRIS STRAUSS
Fiona Apple isn't the only Lilith Fair alum making a great comeback. After 2002's Daybreaker failed to live up to her stellar first two albums, British singer-songwriter Beth Orton recruited Wilco producer Jim O'Rourke for her next effort. The result? her most stripped-down and accessible release to date. Bearing little trace of the electronic influences that dotted her early work, Comfort
showcases Orton's ability as an instrumentalist, featuring her on guitar, piano and harmonica. She's joined by a string section on the first single, "Conceived," revealing in her unmistakable voice that "some of the time the future comes right 'round to haunt me." With audiences sure to react favorably to the curiously optimistic "Shadow of a Doubt," the rootsy, slide-guitar-driven "Heartland Truckstop" and the Fiona-like opener "Worms," there's no reason for her to be frightened.
DOWNLOAD THIS:"Shadow of a Doubt"Timeless
For his first album in 10 years, Brazilian music maestro Sergio Mendes teams up with the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am, and the two prove to have enough chemistry to make Fergie
more than a little jealous. In addition to producing the CD, will raps on about half of the cuts, which smoothly blend bossa nova and samba with hip-hop and R&B. Guests like Jill Scott, John Legend and Justin Timberlake
help make fresh takes on Mendes hits and other Brazilian standards, as well as new tunes like the radiant title song, where India. Arie reminds us that "kindness is timeless." So, it seems, is Mendes.
DOWNLOAD THIS: "Timeless"
Valentine's Day Love Mix ♥
Nothing says "I love you" like a mushy mix CD. With V-Day right around the corner, here are our picks guaranteed to get your honey all gooey."If I Ain't Got You" We really believe she'd give it all up for her boo.
"In Your Eyes" Seventeen years after that Say Anything moment, this still makes us sigh every time.
"You're Beautiful" Unrequited love, usually a bitch, has never sounded so sweet.
"Adore" "Until the end of time, I'll be there 4 U ... " This is pure romantic bliss.
"Ordinary People" Real love for real people. Simply extraordinary.
"Happy Valentine's Day" If only Cupid were as cool as Andre 3000, the world would be a better place.
"Just Like Heaven" Skipping along on a cloud of joy, this is what love should feel like.
"I Found My Everything" When you feel it all the way down in your soul.
"You and I" Of all Stevie's love songs, the most wonderful.
"A Love That Will Never Grow Old" For 3½ glorious minutes, forever sounds for real.
"So Amazing" Forget the flowers and chocolate—just let Luther work his magic.
For information on where to find our Download This picks, go to www.people.com/downloadthis or AOL (Keyword: People)