Per­fect mu­sic for giv­ing

Five new al­bums which many would be happy to find un­der the Christ­mas tree

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - ENTERTAINMENT - DAVID REED

With Christ­mas ap­proach­ing, here are five new al­bums that would make ex­cel­lent gifts for any se­ri­ous mu­sic lover.

THE SHEEPDOGS - CHANG­ING COLOURS

( WARNER MU­SIC CANADA, 2018)

These Saska­toon rock­ers proudly carry the man­tle of prairie rock laid out by the Guess Who, and in­fuse it with some duel- gui­tar py­rotech­nics that hint at the All­man Broth­ers. The first sin­gle, No­body, will grab your at­ten­tion and the rest of the record is just as good.

Guitarists Ewan Cur­rie and Jim Bowskill are in­spired and con­nected, and brother Shamus Cur­rie lays down some sweet piano, or­gan and mel­lotron parts ( Cool Down is phe­nom­e­nal). Other high­lights in­clude I Ain’t Cool, Satur­day Night, Let it Roll, Kiss the Brass Ring and the six- part med­ley that closes the al­bum.

Sounds best with head­phones.

MET­RIC - ART OF DOUBT

( CRYS­TAL MATH MU­SIC, 2018)

This Cana­dian quar­tet has been re­leas­ing con­sis­tently ex­cel­lent records for two decades. If you con­sider your­self a fan of Cana­dian mu­sic you should have all of them in your col­lec­tion.

Vo­cal­ist Emily Haines is a dy­namic stage per­former with a killer voice. James Shaw crafts a myr­iad of gui­tar tones. To­gether, the two com­ple­ment and com­pete, push­ing up­wards. Joshua Win­stead ( bass) and Joules Scot­tKey ( drums) cre­ate a foun­da­tion that pro­pels the sound.

High­lights in­clude Die Happy, Dressed to Sup­press, Love You Back, Art of Doubt and Dark Satur­day. Crank it up.

MUM­FORD & SONS - DELTA

( UNI­VER­SAL MU­SIC, 2018)

This Bri­tish band has rein­vented them­selves from folk/ blue­grass be­gin­nings to some­thing that al­most re­sem­bles hip­ster Cold­play. ( Not an in­sult - I love Cold­play.) The thick vo­cal har­monies that made Mum­ford & Sons fa­mous are still there, but the sonic ta­pes­try has thick­ened, even in­clud­ing an orches­tra.

High­lights in­clude Guid­ing Light, Slip Away, Rose of Sharon, Woman, Oc­to­ber Skies, 42 and the spo­ken word on Dark­ness Vis­i­ble in­clud­ing seg­ments from Mil­ton’s Par­adise Lost.

Spend the ex­tra few bucks for the deluxe edi­tion. The three bonus tracks are live acous­tic per­for­mances

that are worth ev­ery penny ( even though no­body has pen­nies any­more).

MARK KNOPFLER - DOWN THE ROAD WHER­EVER

( BLUE NOTE RECORDS, 2018)

Dire Straits’ founder, singer and lead gui­tarist has re­leased eight solo al­bums since the band called it quits in 1995, in ad­di­tion to lots of film scor­ing. His fin­ger­style gui­tar play­ing first caught my at­ten­tion on the track “Sul­tans of Swing.” I’ve en­joyed just about ev­ery­thing he’s re­leased since then.

This new record is mostly laid­back blues and roots with a few twists like the funky No­body Does That.

High­lights in­clude Back on the Dance Floor, Drover’s Road, Slow Learner, Float­ing Away, Good On You Son and Ev­ery Heart in the Room.

PRINCE - PIANO & A MI­CRO­PHONE 1983

( WARNER BROS RECORDS, 2018)

Recorded at Prince’s home in 1983, this record­ing fea­tures some ex­ploratory and im­pro­vi­sa­tional piano work and song de­vel­op­ment. This group of un­re­leased demos was recorded in one take on the same night.

We’re not used to hear­ing Prince sound­ing re­laxed. He was known for his ob­ses­sive per­fec­tion­ist ten­den­cies. Hear­ing his foot stomp­ing along and the oc­ca­sional sniff or breath is oddly in­trigu­ing. Most no­tably, there is an early ren­di­tion of his iconic Pur­ple Rain. The tra­di­tional song Mary Don’t You Weep is de­liv­ered with a bluesy vibe.

Other high­lights in­clude 17 Days, Cold Cof­fee & Co­caine, Why the But­ter­flies and Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You. This in­ti­mate per­for­mance is a gem.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.