Music For Pride Covers All the Categories – Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Questioning and Parents and Friends of All The Aforementioned
When I look at some of the new CD releases this year I have to pinch myself and look at the Calendar. What year is it again? Icons, Legends, and Cult Favorites are gracing us with their musical presence and I couldnât be all the more joyful. You can only handle so much of whatâs being played on the radio these days. A new release by a well established artist not only brings freshnesss to their sound, but also makes you fondly look back at their catalog. So hereâs a sampling of what youâre not hearing on those big stations out there that are obsessed with the new Justin Beiber, Rihanna or Lady Ga Ga track.
K D LANG – SING IT LOUD – NONESUCH MUSIC
Since her first release in 1984, KD Lang has experimented with many venues of music but has never seemed to call one style as home. This is due to the fact the her voice is her true main instrument and something that profound cannot be harnessed or categorized. Backed up once again with a band (Siss Boom Bang) the opening track ãI Confess,ä belts out the line Love Me Madly with such emotion it leaves you dripping with passion. This feeling is carried out within the whole set. Often romantic and dreamy this small set of 10 new tracks harkens back to her Constant Craving days but also hints at her days with the Reclines. Her finest output in years.
THE CARS – MOVE LIKE THIS – HEAR MUSIC
Since 1978 the Cars took that new wave sound and brought it to the forefront of the pop market and paved a history of hits that were often duplicated but never rivaled. Simple songs that featured an infectious guitar riff and a bouncy beat that somehow lurks in your mind for decades. Tracks like ãJust What I Neededä or ãGood Times Roll,ã donât come across the musical landscape to often. For me it was hard to image a new Cars album since Benjamin Orr, responsible for the lead vocals in half of their hits, passed away in 2000. The thought of a true Cars reunion was lost. Nevertheless, Ric Ocasek has united with the surviving members and believe it or not, they were able to capture that original sound. Certainly not as immense as their debut, Move Like This does carry that original feeling and if it were a different decade youâd be hearing this album all over the radio and watching slick produced videos on music television.
STEVIE NICKS – IN YOUR DREAMS – REPRISE MUSIC
In 1973 Stevie Nicks recorded a Duo LP called Buckingham Nicks, with then partner Lindsay Buckingham and it was just a hint of the greatness the pairing were capable of. Nicks and Buckingham forever changed the direction of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie on her own broke out in 1981 with the legendary track Edge of Seventeen. Jumping back În forth between Fleetwood Mac, In Your Dreams is her 7th effort and 10 years since her last, Trouble In Shangri La. The new CD sort of comes full circle for this artist as Secret Love (a song lost from 1976), New Orleans, and Annabel Lee could easily have fit on any Mac album and we are treated with Lindsay making a guest appearance. All that’s missing is another Tom Petty or Don Henley duet.
RUPAUL – GLAMAZON – RUCO MUSIC
When not busy with his Drag Race and itâs offsprings, Ru still has the gift for bringing some really hot dance tracks to the clubs. Glamazon marks the first time RuPaul appears to be serious about taping into the pop radio market. Youâll still find wicked humor the tracks Responsitrannity and Click Clack there are others that capture todayâs sound without being saddled with a 90âs feel. I Bring The Beat and Here It Comes Around Again could easily have been taken to the top of the charts by any of the current Ke$has or Selenas. Glamazon is RuPaulâs best well-rounded collection since he enchanted us with Supermodel way back in 93.
STEVE MILLER BAND – LET YOUR HAIR DOWN – ROADRUNNER MUSIC
The Steve Miller Band was known on their first LP, in 1968, as a Blues-Rock outfit that brought a gutsy approach to the Psychedelic sounds of that time. On his fourth LP Your Saving Grace, the song Little Girl, was the first preview of the massive pop-rock radio success he would achieve in the mid 70âs. Guitar Rock Staples like Fly Like An Eagle, Rock âN Me, The Joker, and Jet Airliner were all from that era. In the early 80âs Miller did some experimenting with dance orientated music which produced the number one single Abracadabra. In the 90âs the Steve Miller went back to basics and returned to his blues roots, though his efforts were sporadic. His last release 2010âs Bingo came 13 years after 1993âs Wide River. Let Your Hair Down is a further extension of the new (old) ground covered on Bingo. This is a straight no-holes-barred Blues affair, even featuring guest vocalists. If youâre looking for a another trip to Swingtown this isnât the record for you, but if you dig the blues this is some of the best down home brewing youâll find by this guitar legend.
BOY GEORGE – ORDINARY ALIEN – HIGH NOTE MUSIC
Itâs hard to believe itâs been almost 20 years since Boy George via Culture Club asked that musical question, Do You Really Want To Hurt Me. Thereâs been a lot of hurt, pain, sorrow, and embarrassment for this Icon in recent years. Ordinary Alien is the first full album of new solo material since 1995âs Cheapness and Beauty. This CD has been floating around as an import since late last year and features GeorgeÎs longtime German collaborator Kinky Roland. The collection is a mixed bag of sorts drawing heavily on his side career as a DJ Mixer, but it does contain elements of what made George popular all those years ago. Many of tracks have powerful messages like the opener, Turn To Dust, which focuses on the end of hatred and prejudice. The only odd track is a cover of Fleetwood Macâs Go Your Own Way, aside from itâs awkward reggae treatment, the message of the lyric flows well with the rest of the package.
DONNY & MARIE OSMOND – DONNY & MARIE – MPCA MUSIC
Yes my friends a new Donny & Marie album has surfaced and these two are like a pair of energizer bunnies. After their individual Dancing with the Stars competitions, solo albums, and reunited Vegas Act, what else but a new album. Itâs like they have no clue about modern music or any changing of the times, and theyâre locked in a 1974 time capsule. The new Donny & Marie is a little bit country and no rock n roll. Itâs not that the music or the songs are bad, itâs just that they are so bland and indifferent. Other than there voices sounding mature, any of these tracks could have been featured on their old variety show. What I miss the most is a campy cover of some well overplayed Motown or Brill Building dusty track. Instead we have an unpopular Gavin DeGraw song. Yes itâs cute to fondly look back and recall the good ole days, but for such a recording reunion over 30 years in the making, it would have been nice to see a little bit of fireworks.
HUMAN LEAGUE – CREDO – WALL OF SOUND MUSIC
If you compare the Leagues 1979 debut Reproduction with 2011âs Credo itâs almost like listening to two different bands aside from Philip Oakeyâs unmistakable vocals. The band that started as a simple borderline dreary electronic outfit is now a full blown earful of studio magic. Itâs been 10 years since their last studio showing, but time certainly hasnât hurt the Human Leagueâs creativity. Even though there isnât another Donât You Want Me or Fascination in the Credo collection, there certainly isnât any lack of good attempts. Just listening to them now shows how far ahead they were back in their prime. Check out the opener Never Let Me Go, It sounds like almost anything at the top of the dance charts today.
BARRY MANILOW – 15 MINUTES – STILETTO MUSIC
Are you prepared for a semi-rap song from this legendary songwriter? Thatâs what youâll find on Work The Room, from Manilowâs concept album 15 minutes, inspired by the famous Andy Warhol quote. Barryâs last collection of new songs was Here At The Mayflower, 10 years ago. Mayflower, also was a concept effort of sorts revolving around rooms in an apartment building. What differs is that Mayflower contained stand alone songs, whereas 15 Minutes plays like a Broadway show spinning the tale of a performers raise to fame and then the eventual fall from it. I wouldnât be surprised to see some sort of Vegas Act or Cable Special somewhere down the line playing the whole thing out visually. I long for the old Barry Manilow sound as found on his debut in 1973. A simple songwriter belting out a song like Could It Be Magic, with tender innocence and full emotion. This is what captured the hearts of the world at the beginning of his journey.
OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN – PORTRAITS A TRIBUTE TO THE GREAT WOMEN OF SONG – GREEN HILL MUSIC
Livieâs new collection of modern day standards covers great tunes like Judy Collinsâ Send In The Clowns, Dusty Springfieldsâ Anyone Who Had A Heart, Minnie Ripertonsâ Loving You, and the Carpentersâ Rainy Days And Mondays, just to name a handful. Olivia Newton-Johnâs vocals have never sounded richer with these classic songs, many of which were popular back when she was riding high on the pop charts. Branching out further she also includes standards from Julie London, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, and Dinah Washington. Portaits is a nice companion to her debut album, If Not For You, from an unbelievable 40 years ago, that was comprised of songs from primarily male performers. Listening to them both back to back is truly inspiring as this artist reflects back and pays tribute in her recording history.
NIGHT RANGER – SOMEWHERE IN CALIFORNIA – FRONTIER MUSIC
The Sister Christian Boys are back with a set of new recordings to flirt with the little Headbanger in all of us. Iâd have to say their last few releases suffered from poor production and Jack Blades vocals seemed at that time to be quickly fading. Something has rejuvenated this band as Somewhere In California is equal in quality if not better to their last charting album Man In Motion. Blade is sounding as good as he did on their first top 40 hit from 1983, Donât Tell Me You Love Me. This is a very strong collection of arena type rockers and also carries a signature ballad that youâd expect on such a recording. To securely confirm that ãYou Can Still Rock In America,ä the mighty unbridled Ted Nugent makes a guest appearance on the Amazon exclusive closing track ãComing of Age,ä oddly the strongest of all the songs. It seems like the only hair band from the 80âs that is still going strong is Bon Jovi. I wonder why that is because many bands from that period are still spinning their wheels, but it just appears that nobody is listening. Is it time for a comeback from this music format? Is it time for the airwaves to give Night Ranger another chance? Well if you watched American Idol this year, contestant-rocker James Durbin was sure hell-bent on bringing it back to the viewing nation and he had quite a fan base that agreed with his thoughts. I urge everyone to look up their old favorite bands from that era and you will find many independent releases from groups you thought that had long faded away.
NEW YORK DOLLS – DANCING BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELS – SAVOY MUSIC
Surviving members of the Dolls, David Johansen and Syl Sylvain, are back again for the third time, but this time it seems they are done trying to recreate the Trash-Sound of their infamous 1972 debut. The first rebirth, One Day It Will Please Us To Even Remember This, gave a glimmer to the rawness of the past but it didnât capture the spontaneity in the recording as found in the sessions from the 70Îs. The second, Cause I Sez So, was just way overproduced by Todd Rundgren and seemed too planned out and a little on the mellow side. Dancing Backwards In High Heels is a complete jam session. It would be almost perfect in this sense if the songs were a minute or two longer. The album has several moments that are just made to be played loud and distorted. Overall, it really gives the feeling that the guys are sitting in the studio banging out their version of blues-rock that would even make Mick Jagger a little envious. The Stones comparison continues as Johansen more and more sounds like Keith Richards when the groove slows down, but his vocal styling leans towards Jagger when the beat picks up. The hot tracks to check out are the howling opener Fool For You Baby, Talk To Me Baby with its Motown reflective stomp, Round And Round She Goes serves up some nasty rockabilly, and a riveting reworking of a 1978 solo Johansen track Funky But Chic is a little out of place, but still handles the festive feel with the other tracks.
DOLLY PARTON – BETTER DAY – WARNER BROTHERS MUSIC
Dolly personally titled this release as a sign of inspiration and hope due to ongoing economy troubles and natural tragedies that have hit the United States in recent months. The first single Together You and I is a remake of a Porter Wagoner & Dolly track from 1972. The new version attempts to reach out caringly to her fans but also appears to have religious feel when performed as a solo track. A few tracks are from the 9 to 5 musical, but Dollyâs personal interpretations give them added character and meaning as only she can. Of those, Get Out, is a moving number that shows a frisky and commanding side of her vocal rarely shown previously. Better Day certainly isnât planned as a vehicle to top the country singles chart as several cuts, In The Meantime, The Sacrifice, and Missing You show a more intimate and touching side to Ms. Partonâs persona. The release is undoubtedly meant for her loyal fans. Dolly currently as three dates set for the California area at the end of July at the Hollywood Bowl and Concord Pavilion.