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Jack Johnson strikes again

music Updated: Jun 21, 2010 15:48 IST

Hindustan Times
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To The Sea Jack Johnson Universal

I have always thought of Jack Johnson as a 21st century James Taylor (for those who know who James Taylor is), but even otherwise, Jack Johnson is a believer in the natural-ness of things, be it tunes, songs, songwriting or even the way they’re recorded (Jack’s studio in Los Angeles is completely solar powered).

This new album brings about a very relaxed Johnson, a man who’s completely at peace with himself. And yet, he still has some jibes to throw at the world. Fans will rejoice in the fact that there is a new Johnson album, and as you breeze through these stellar 13 songs, you realize you want more like this, so you have no other choice but to start again from the beginning. Gladly!

The Family Jewels Marina And The Diamonds Virgin Records

Born Marina Lambrini Diamandis, she started her music career living in her native country of Wales. Originally of Greek descent, her music exposes her myriad influences that shape this album. Although the overall sound is a new-wave-ish, pop-rock-electro hybrid (aren’t they all these days), it’s the quirky songs that stand out.

And though her purpose is to blend into the pop landscape, she manages to put forth a few experimental ideas with a theme thrown in. At first listen, what instantly came to my mind was, ‘Here is a female version of Mika.’ And I mean that in a good way. So give this one a spin if you want some bright sounds in these gloomy rainy days.

Everything Remains As It Ever Was Eluvietie Nuclear Blast

Now here’s a sound to get your ears around, a Swiss band that fuses Celtic folk with melodic metal. Whoa! That sounds like a plan. And to add to that, the lyrics are in the extinct language of Gaulish, although they do sing in English, too. Recently, the students of IIT, Assam were witness to this phenomenon, when the band played there in February earlier this year.

Each member of this massive eight-piece band plays a variety of Celtic folk instruments in addition to the standard drums/bass/guitars. And in particular, lead vocalist Chrigel Glanzmann also plays the Mandola, whistles, bagpipes and the Uliean Pipes. But although the music sounds like an interesting idea, the concept pretty much wears thin after awhile, as the songwriting doesn’t match up. Metal fans will enjoy this for a bit, before they move on to their regular harder stuff.

Twilight Saga: Eclipse OST Various artistes Warner

Regardless of how the films turn out, I can wholeheartedly say that the producers have outdone themselves with the soundtracks of the Twilight Saga films. Each film has a bevy of the best of the current indie artists, each contributing a song specially written for the respective film. And like its earlier two predecessors, this third installment too ratifies that. So this time around we get The Bravery, Florence + the Machine, Vampire Weekend, UNKLE, Beck, The Dead Weather amongst newbie’s like Sia, Fanfario, Bat For Lashes and Metric. Staple members Muse make their presence felt as always.

This is a fantastic soundtrack. Every song is a treasure and a pleasure to listen to. The variety of sounds and songwriting is a lesson to learn.