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Now that is good music

music Updated: May 10, 2010 15:26 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Weathervanes Freelance Whales Frenchkiss records
****
Here is another stunning band I am proud to be the first to tell you about. This is a breath of fresh air amongst the staleness of all the pseudo-indie-ness out there. A band that truly wears their musical heart on their sleeve, they have an appeal that goes well into the brain and emerges through the heart. No screaming vocals, no loudness, no furiosity, no angst, yet the music screams out at you with its ethereality and its simplicity. Swirling basslines, light thump percussion and string picking with a love supreme. Every song is a journey into the self and every sound a cry from the spirit. If there is one band that has music worth making love to, it is this.

New Amerykah Part Two (Return Of The Ankh)
Erykah Badu
Universal Motown
***
Fans of Nu-Soul and classic R&B will love this one. Erykah has been one of the most enigmatic voices in modern pop music, her songwriting focusing on issues both personal and worldly. She returns with the sequel to 2008’s predecessor (part 1 was titled 4th World War). This one’s chilled out and in a relaxed mode she sets forth her truths with a confidence and conviction that is largely missing in what passes off for Soul today. A production that sounds like it’s beaming down straight out of the ‘70s, heavy phat grooves, plunky suave synths and a bass that hits you squarely in the centre of your heart. This will take a few spins to get into, and with every spin you will discover a new layer to a multi-faceted artiste.

The Places Between: The Best Of Doves
The Doves
EMI
****
Close on the heels of last year’s Kingdom of Rust comes a Best of compilation of one of the most underrated British alternative bands in recent times. This is originally a three disc deluxe edition with a second disc full of rarities and a third DVD of all the videos and live performances, but what we poor Indians get here is just the single disc edition of 15 songs pulled from their four studio releases to date. So we get There goes the fear, Words, Pounding and Caught By The River from 2002’s The Last Broadcast. From their debut Lost Souls in 2000 we get Here it comes, Sea Song, Catch the Song and The Cedar Room. But surprisingly, only two songs from Some Cities (my favorite album) get selected, Black and White Town and Snowden. There are selections from Kingdom of Rust as well and a previously unreleased track Andalucia. This is a fine primer for those who have yet to experience a band like the Doves.

Concert For The Americas
Frank Sinatra
Universal DVD
****
The year was 1982 and the place was the Altos de Chavon Greek-style amphitheatre in the city of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. And on that night to a capacity audience of over 5000 people, Sinatra held his audience spellbound. At that time he was 68 years old, and not for an instant does his voice ever betray that. The power, the attitude and the easygoing timbre repeatedly proves the old adage, ‘You never walk out on Sinatra’ and believe me from the time I slipped this dvd in, I could not skip a single chapter. Every song that I watched, beginning with I’ve got the World on a String and ending with Theme from New York, New York felt like I had Frank in my living room, ‘talking’ his songs out to me in such a free way that I was transfixed. And finally now, all you Frank Sinatra fans can get to feel it as well. The concert also had artists, Heart and Santana perform as well, but unfortunately the Santana performance got rained out. However it was Frank that swung the show that night and I hope you have a swinging time watching this.