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English Review

music Updated: Jul 26, 2010 14:46 IST
Luke Kenny
Luke Kenny
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Maya
MIA
EMI
The quirky songstress continues her madcap journey across her twisted landscape. Already in the news for her controversial video of her single Born free, which shows a bunch of red-haired girls being rounded up in an armoured car and being shot in the head.

The video was removed from all internet viewing platforms for its violence and graphic gore. But MIA has defended it saying that ‘in order to end violence, one has to highlight violence’.

MIA is a highly provocative artist, her music is often socio-political and talks of the perils of consumerism, women’s right and violence in society. Heavy stuff, but she makes it interesting with her radical song arrangements and use of unconventional sounds and samples. MIA is not Lady Gaga, she’s definitely not Britney Spears and in no way, is she Miley Cyrus. She’s much more dangerous!
***

Bottomline
Indulge this Illusion

RECOVERY
Eminem
Universal
Eminem is still angry, very angry. One wonders what his problem is, ranting and raving against the world that seems to not conform to the gospel of Marshall Mathers. Aggressive and abusive to the core, Eminem says it like it is, as he always has.

Some interesting guests pop up on this one. Pink, Li’l Wayne, Kobe and Rihanna all make their presence felt as they doff their hats to one of the biggest rap and music sensations of the last 15 years. Fans will spin this into eternity but non-fans will wonder what the fuss is all about.
***
Bottomline
Relape, recovery, overdose!

INTRIGUER
Crowded House
Fantasy
One of the interesting reunions of the past three years was the one where Australian seminal alternative pop band Crowded House got together again after ten years since their break up in 1996.

So after 2007’s reunion album, Time On Earth, comes their tenth album. And like all Crowded House albums, the signature voice of Neil Finn resounds through all the songs that retain the classic Crowded House sound, which, like all bands of their ilk, are Beatles-influenced sonic harmonies and choruses.

The lead single, Saturday sun, Either side of the world, Falling down and Elephants; are some of the ‘intriguing’ songs on this album.
***
Bottomline
Good ‘crowd’ to hang with

100 MILES FROM MEMPHIS
Sheryl Crow
Universal
Sheryl goes soul-rock in this one. Gone is the country-rock sound we were (hopefully) familiar with from the past albums. It’s interesting to see how artists change sounds at times, to bring considerable freshness as performers as well.

But given the blues-based songwriting of her past ouvre, a walk down the Memphis soul-funk route is not really surprising. But we get some funky songwriting and some surprising guests.Keith Richards on the reggae flavored Eye to eye, Justin Timberlake on Sign your name (a cover of the Terence Trent D’Arby song) and notably Doyle Bramhall II, who has produced the album.

A nod to her one-time employer Michael Jackson closes the album in the song, I Want you back (where she sounds uncannily like a young MJ). A bit boring overall, though.
**
Bottomline
Get close to this if you want.