Lady Gaga, Leonard Cohen, NxWorries & David Bowie - Albums of the Week October 21-28
Thu, 20 Oct 2016 14:58:45
It's a hell of week for album releases, with icons from different eras, and the timelessness of integrity coming to the front of the pack. Lady Gaga finally brings her long awaited "Joanne", David Bowie's presence resonates through the original cast recordings of his musical "Lazarus" and Leonard Cohen, the songwriter's songwriter, released one of his best albums since his debut in 1967.
Rock elements have also repped themselves well, with Korn and Jimmy Eat World bringing the noise on "The Serenity of Suffering" and "Integrity Blues" respectably. These two acts showing that the long game of rock ‘n' roll remains possible, and that black t-shirts will never go out of style - both albums offering plenty of reason to punch the sky in defiance and enter the mosh pits with renewed vigor.
Lady Gaga - Joanne - Interscope Records
It's been months of promise, speculation, and surprises from the Lady Gaga camp, but now her long awaited album has finally landed. Nurtured with the help of a range of producers - most notably Mark Ronson and Kevin Parker - the album is a stellar expression of the artistic soul. Stripped bare of previous make-up and special effects, Gaga's fifth album may well be her most striking collection since debut "The Fame".
Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker - Columbia Records
Describing the accomplishment of Leonard Cohen's latest album is no small feat. At the age of 82 the Canadian singer songwriter, who many artists reference as the greatest wordsmith of all time, has issued a collection of songs that address his impending death, whilst suggesting his own vitality will remain intact until the very end (and perhaps beyond). It's a masterstroke that will stand as a timeless testament to a man who has forged almost 50 years of a career in the Tower of Song.
NxWorries - Yes Lawd! - Stones Throw Records
Frankly, there's no stopping the continuing, and much deserved ascent of Anderson .Paak - and this latest release, a collaboration with producer Knxwledge, just ten months behind his incredible album "Malibu" is a staggering flight of ambition. The artist who has experienced a number of setbacks, has met them all with hard work and assertions of his soul to land another striking blow of honed lyrics. Cracking beats are provided by Knxwledge - who manages, somehow to be sardonic, sensible, sensual and highly danceable all within the same passage.
Various Artists - Original Cast Recording Lazarus - Columbia Records
"Lazarus" the musical comprised of David Bowie music is well worth checking out, regardless the bonus tracks - but it's the bonus tracks on the second disc of this release where the term 'Bonus' is truly delivered. Three songs "No Plan", "Killing Time" and "When I Met You" were recorded by Bowie with the jazz troupe led by Donny McCaslin during the "Blackstar" sessions - Bowie's final album released just days before his death. The tracks have been previously unreleased and are available here for the first time. Less angular than the tracks that populate "Blackstar", Bowie's ear for melody is married with his uncanny lyrical ability to cut the crap and express the center of a human emotion - once again displaying why he'll be sorely missed, and yet somehow never leave.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff