New Music: Jack White, Norah Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood and Keane (phew!)

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Spotify?  Yes, it allows me to listen to new music compulsively and not feel badly when I ditch something after a few listens.  Such was the case with a few of these new(ish) albums- I kind of didn't love or hate any of them.

 

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Jack White: “Blunderbuss” - I’m a Jack White fan.  I’m also a White Stripes, Raconteurs and Dead Weather fan.  Jack brings a refreshingly offbeat sound through the speakers, awakening a person from the more mainstream and safe sounds of Maroon 5 and Katy Perry.  This is Jack White’s first solo venture, and “Blunderbuss” has gotten good reviews, so I was excited.  What I discovered, however, was that as nice and refreshing as it is to hear a good song by him every now and then, a whole album of it felt like too much- too much noise, too much disorder, too much clang.  I’ll stick with one song at a time.

Tracks to try: “Love Interruption” and “I’m Shakin’” (both being played on the radio)

 

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Carrie Underwood: “Blown Away” – Carrie Underwood seems like the sweetest little thing, so it’s kind of funny to hear her singing about cheating and revenge.  She shouldn’t be exposed to all that!  One of my daughters absolutely loves Carrie, and we saw her at Ravinia last summer.  This album is no more or less than I expected it to be.  Surprisingly, I did not at all like the ballads- I kind of enjoy it when Carrie is belting it out, and she does not hold her tongue on this album.

Tracks to try: “Good Girl” and “Two Black Cadillacs”

 

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Norah Jones: “Little Broken Hearts” – Norah is trying to modify the coffee shop image that made her famous, but she’s taking it pretty slowly.  She describes this album as very personal because a number of the songs relate to a painful breakup.  Some of the songs did have a bit more edge to them than her past albums, but nothing too crazy.  Personally, I like quiet Norah, so I wasn’t looking for her to change too radically.  I did like some of the more up-tempo songs, which is a bit of a departure for her.

Tracks to try:  “Out on the Road,” “Happy Pills” and “Say Goodbye”

 

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Bonnie Raitt: “Slipstream” – Again, big Bonnie Raitt fan for quite a few years.  I’ve been hearing her version of Gerry Rafferty’s “Right Down the Line” on the radio, and it has really grown on me.  This album contains a great mix of sounds, and Bonnie’s voice sounds as good as ever.  If you’re a fan, you’ll like “Slipsteam.”

Tracks to try:  “Right Down the Line” and “You Can’t Fail Me Now”

 

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Keane: “Strangeland” – I am a mild Keane fan in that I like a song here and there but have never actually bought a whole album.  I listened to “Strangeland” for an entire workday at a time when my concentration could easily have been permeated by interesting songs, yet none really stood out for me.  I think Keane sounds a lot like Brandon Flowers/The Killers.  The songs are fine, nothing horribly exciting but definitely radio ready.

Tracks to try:  Any or none, it doesn’t really matter.

Filed under: Album Reviews

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