Utterly engrossing, and full of dusty portent, Lee DeWyze’s “Blackbird Song” couldn’t have put more space between his time on American Idol and where he is now. DeWyze, who won Season 9 of Idol, issued the more country pop-leaning Frames last summer. Forget that
One Track Mind
Somehow, Ray LaMontagne lost his mojo. A year went past after the release of his Grammy-winning God Willin’ and the Creek Don’t Rise project. Then two. Then four. Other than the stand-alone track “Empty,” LaMontagne simply walked off the musical map.
Richard Barone, the ex-Bongos leader, imbues this Velvet Underground gem with a newfound sense of sad reverie. Whereas the nihilistic Nico, on the original 1967 version, stood apart from the conviviality, a distant observer, Barone finds the nostalgia, the very real need for attachment in the Lou Reed lyric.
Glass Hammer returns never sounding so much like itself, even as the band boldly expands its vocabulary — musically and quite literally. “Crowbone,” for instance, includes an invigorating guest turn by violinist David Ragsdale of Kansas fame
A previously unreleased trio recording from Pat Martino provides new insight both into his obvious debt to Wes Montgomery and Grant Green — but also how his burning, blinding speed outstripped anything those old masters ever attempted, even as the guitarist opened a door for fusion’s looming ferocity.
Don Airey, who had a vibrant career of his own prior to Deep Purple, has provided a ringing farewell for his old bandmate Gary Moore — with a final assist from the too-soon-gone guitarist himself.
Slowly at first, and then with a tornadic gush, Brian Eno and Karl Hyde begin this collaborative journey. “The Satellites” begins with an almost imperceptible pulse, then synth and sax tangle and untangle — creating an undulating dissonance, before there emerges from these whispers a canny amalgam of Eno’s ambient ruminations and Hyde’s Underworld electronica.
An enormous leap forward in both focus and experimental verve, the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger has released a prismatic explosion of psychedelia, woozy but also cut through with vocal sun shards, called “Moth to a Flame.”
Robert Cray switches producers for his second album in two years for Mascot/Provogue, but keeps the same visceral guitar presence on the advance single “You Move Me.” It’s bright, then serrated — and always right up front — throughout this loping paean to wobbly-kneed passion.
The surprise, really, isn’t how much this sounds like classic-era Joy Division. Electric Litany has made a quick name for itself with its synthy, melancholic etherealism. It’s the presence at the boards of one Alan Parsons. Yes, of Pink Floyd and “Eye in the Sky” fame.