CD preview

Tony Clay­ton-Lea on CDs for Oc­to­ber-Novem­ber

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music Reviews -

It’s the busiest time of year for CDs. Pre­pare for more com­pi­la­tions than you can man­age, more un­nec­es­sary Great­est Hits, more big names, more po­ten­tial multi-mil­lion sell­ers.

First are new al­bums by Dido (ti­tle tbc/Oc­to­ber) and Court­ney Love (ti­tle tbc/Oc­to­ber). The for­mer is – so far, any­way – the big­gest sell­ing fe­male artist of the 21st cen­tury, and she re­turns with a less glossy, more left-field record than you might ex­pect. Pro­duc­tion is cour­tesy of Jon Brion, which is a good thing, be­lieve me. Love’s album is prob­a­bly the fi­nal vol­ley in a ca­reer of so­cial and per­sonal car crashes. She has brought on board Smash­ing Pump­kins’ Billy Cor­gan and song­writer for ex­pen­sive hire, Linda Perry. Dylan is a ma­jor in­flu­ence, ap­par­ently, so think of this as Love’s Blood on the Tracks.

We also wel­come back Kylie (Lessons/Oc­to­ber), which for many is the gen­uine come­back of the year, as the pert Aus­tralian ad­dresses her bat­tle with can­cer as well as re­tain­ing her sta­tus as pop’s true princess. Songs for the album were writ­ten by (among oth­ers) r’n’b linch­pin Teddy Ri­ley, Boy Ge­orge and Scis­sor Sis­ters’ Jake Shears (the soon-to-be dance­floor an­them White Di­a­mond).

Just as revered – al­beit in a dif­fer­ent way – is Joni Mitchell (Shine/Oc­to­ber). The doyenne of singer-song­writ­ers threat­ened never to record an­other orig­i­nal album, yet here she is singing new songs for the first time since 1998. Some are en­vi­ron­men­tally themed.

An­other strong-minded fe­male, Róisín Mur­phy (Over Pow­ered/ Oc­to­ber), adds to her list of cred­i­ble, skilled projects with a record that marks her as one hell of an un­der­rated song­writer. As is Ali­cia Keys (As I Am/Oc­to­ber). This sees Amer­ica’s Ur­ban/soul queen in a some­what more ag­gres­sive mood than hereto­fore. And speak­ing of ag­gres­sion – the de­meanor is sweet­ened a tad with The Un­der­tones (Dig Your­self Deep/Oc­to­ber 12th), but racked up to max­i­mum with the 30th an­niver­sary re-is­sue of the Sex Pis­tols: Never Nind the Bol­locks Here’s the Sex Pis­tols (Oc­to­ber 28th), one of the most im­por­tant rock al­bums ever made.

Come Novem­ber, there are a few ma­jor re­leases, no­tably from Ryan Adams (20:20/late Novem­ber), who re­leases a CD box set of rar­i­ties. In­cluded are five “lost” al­bums: Dark­breaker, 48 Hours, Pink­hearts, Black Hole and The Sui­cide Hand­book, the lat­ter de­scribed by Adams as “my most ma­jes­tic piece ever”.

Those who thought they’d never see Led Zep­pelin re­lease an­other record may yet proved to be wrong. While their latest com­pi­la­tion (Moth­er­ship/Novem­ber) fea­tures tracks cho­sen by Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page, the ru­mour mill is go­ing into over­drive that it will pre­cede an album of new ma­te­rial and ad­di­tional live dates in 2008.

A new album from Madonna used to be an event. Now, we’re not so sure. For her latest (ti­tle tbc/ Novem­ber) she had help from Justin Tim­ber­lake, Phar­rell Wil­liams and Mika, so she clearly still has clout. Let’s hope it isn’t the first pre-Christ­mas turkey, though.

Also com­ing: Antony & the John­sons, Ap­ples in Stereo, Deven­dra Ban­hart, El­bow, The Feel­ing, Fiery Fur­naces, Franz Ferdinand, Peter Gabriel, Dia­manda Galas, Gnarls Barkley, Green Day, Guns N’Roses, Hal, An­nie Len­nox, Por­tishead, Ra­dio­head, Sigur Ros, Stereo­phon­ics, Rosie Thomas, Dwight Yoakam, Scott Walker.

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