GUNSLINGER Garth Brooks Pearl/Sony www.garthbrooks.comg
After a retirement of sorts, notably between the years 2001 and 2014, Garth Brooks returned to regularl recordingdi a few years ago, releasing Man Against Machine. His latest album Gunslinger sticks with his tried and true formula of blending country and rock. Brooks again delivers the goods, notably on the upbeat single ‘Baby, Let’s Lay Down and Dance’. He brings back the western swing sound for ‘Honky-Tonk Somewhere’ and gets into holiday mode on the vibrant ‘Weekend’. Brooks has always been adept at powerful piano-backed ballads, and he returns to the well on ‘He Really Loves You’, a song that builds in volume and intensity. And there’s a drinking song too – the waltz-timed ‘Whiskey To Wine’, a duet with wife Trisha Yearwood.
DRAGONFLY Kasey Chambers Warner Music www.warnermu www.warnermusic.com.au
Dragonfly is studio album number 11 for Kasey Chambers, that tally including her two collaborative albums with Shane Nicholson. Dragonfly, however, is two albums in one. A double CD set, the first disc was recorded at Paul Kelly’s Sing Sing Studios, with Kelly in the producer’s chair. Kelly joins Chambers for a duet on ‘Hey’, and Irishman Foy Vance adds vocals to the folk-styled ‘Romeo & Juliet’. On disc two, she links with brother and regular producer Nash Chambers, plus a sprinkling of guest vocalists, including Keith Urban for the sensitive ballad ‘If We Had A Child’, and bluesman Harry Hookey plus Vika and Linda Bull for the ragtime sound of ‘No Ordinary Man’. Dragonfly is a fivestar effort from Chambers and possibly her best album so far.