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- August 27, 2012
- Vol. 78
- No. 9
Picks and Pans: Music
Checking in with ...
If you compile a catalogue like Fleetwood Mac's over 45 years, you deserve to have your songs saluted. But few musical homages do it as well as Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac. Cleverly conceived with indie-alternative artists putting a hipster spin on vintage tunes, it serves to both celebrate a great band and showcase some cool acts who are going their own way today. In fact, probably the best-known band here is MGMT, tripping out with a spacey, nine-minute version of "Future Games" by Bob Welch, who passed away in June. Peter Green, another early Fleetwood Macster, is recognized with three of his tunes (while surprisingly Rumours hits "Don't Stop" and, yes, "Go Your Own Way" are missing). But the classic lineup is represented in the songs of Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham. Nicks wrote 10 of 17 compositions here, including two of the highlights-Antony's beautifully lyrical "Landslide" and the Kills' swampy, sinister "Dreams"-and her "Angel" is performed by Marianne Faithfull, who, in a nice nod to the old-timers, demonstrates that she's still edgy enough to hang with this crowd.
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3 THINGS I'M LOVING NOW!
1 FRANK OCEAN'S VIVID DEBUT
Channel Orange, his instant neo-soul classic, continues to reveal new shades to me. "Bad Religion," starting with that churchy organ, breaks my heart every time I hear it.
2 GREEN DAY'S NEW DAWN
Previewing their upcoming album trilogy with "Oh Love"-a punk-pop blast that has already hit No. 1 on Billboard's rock chart-the trio have helped save a slow summer for the genre.
3 JESSIE J AT THE OLYMPICS
The Brit was the big winner at the closing ceremony, singing her hit "Price Tag," the Bee Gees' "You Should Be Dancing" with Taio Cruz and Tinie Tempah, and even "We Will Rock You" with Queen.
ON THE NOT-SO-OVERNIGHT SUCCESS OF HER HIT SINGLE
It's really insane. It's been a slow, gradual thing. [The single was released in March 2011.] I never thought it'd be so huge. Yesterday I was with a friend, and a girl in the car next to us was dancing to it. But people don't recognize me because I have long pink hair now.
ON HER UPCOMING SECOND ALBUM, HALCYON
It's kind of a breakup record. I was in a relationship that ended, and I started writing quite sad songs. Then I wrote [first single] "Anything Could Happen" because I needed a positive song in my life.
ON PLAYING WILL AND KATE'S WEDDING RECEPTION
We were the only band, which was quite scary. But once I played the first dance, it knocked out all my nerves. It was amazing, so much fun-one of the best nights of my life. They're such lovely people, I couldn't be happier for them.
ON HER DEEJAY-PRODUCER BEAU, SKRILLEX
He reached out to me via e-mail. Then we met and decided to be more than friends. We can spend a five-hour flight talking constantly about music. It's cool to have someone who can relate to your passion. He's been my best mate.
MUMFORD & SONS "I Will Wait"
From the moment that banjo kick-starts this rocking hoedown, you just know it was worth the wait.
ANITA BAKER "Lately"
She could be singing Kim Kardashian's tweets on this lush ballad, and I'd still be glad that voice is back.
THE SCRIPT FEATURING WILL.I.AM "Hall of Fame"
Pop-rock meets pop-rap. Yes, it gets cheesy, but it's also catchy.
Based on a T.R.U. Story
This southern rapper stoked anticipation for his debut by appearing alongside Kanye West on "Mercy," then scored another No. 1 hip-hop hit with this set's "No Lie," featuring Drake. For the most part, the hype is T.R.U.
Turn on the Lights
Since hitting No. 1 with "Bad Day" in 2006, this singer-songwriter hasn't had such good times on the charts. But tunes like the single "Cupid," a folk-pop ditty that unabashedly aims for your heart, could yet save him from being a one-hit wonder.
Boys Don't Cry
Curiously, the Cure classic is not among the covers on this album. Instead the Brit brings a tender woman's touch to '70s male songwriters like Neil Young and Isaac Hayes. As shown earlier this year on her debut of originals, the era suits this girl perfectly.
Loving You More ... In the Spirit of Etta James
Clearly this retro-soul belter has deep affection for Etta (though there's no relation), releasing this tribute six months after the R&B legend's death. But better to pay your respects by seeking out the originals.
TERENCE TRENT D'ARBY
IN 1995 YOU CHANGED YOUR NAME TO SANANDA MAITREYA. HOW COME?
I had an identity crisis so severe that I needed to do something drastic.
YOU'VE BEEN LIVING IN MILAN. HOW'S YOUR LIFE THERE?
My days are spent working on music, and I spend time with my [2-year-old] son Francesco, who's such a cool kid. My wife and I are expecting our second child. We're so grateful.
IT'S BEEN 25 YEARS SINCE YOUR DEBUT, INTRODUCING THE HARDLINE ACCORDING TO TERENCE TRENT D'ARBY. EVER PLAY IT NOW?
I'm content with my memory of it. But I don't want to think about it too much because I might get freaked out!
YOUR VOICE STILL SOUNDS STRONG. HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN IT?
At this point I don't do much. As you get older, you realize the center of gravity for your voice is your heart, so you start singing from there more.
STILL SPORTING THE DREADS?
For the moment. But I may just go completely bald!
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