CD Revue 

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CARINA ROUND The Disconnection HHHH

From Carina Round’s open, heart-shaped face and rosebud lips issues forth the frightening march of a million scarlet demons. Although it wouldn’t be surprising to find that PJ Harvey was the main influence on Round’s soulful musical minimalism and dark, slicing poetry, a collage of other sounds bleed through: Fiona Apple, trip-hop, old Mississippi blues, ritualistic superstition, Nikka Costa. But make no mistake: Ms. Round’s sound is her own. The Disconnection is an example of the forceful, primal eruptions that explode only from the untainted core of a genuine artist. (Interscope)


Nellie’s disco, rap and jazz ditties are hysterically funny, shot through with bitter sarcasm and political commentary. Get Away From Me is like a Broadway musical on crack. Peaches, Saturday Night Live and Crank Yankers better watch their backs. Best lyrics go to “Won’t U Please B Nice:” “If you would sit/ Oh so close to me/ That would be nice ... if you don’t/ I’ll slit your throat/ So won’t u please b nice?” (Columbia)

SHAKIRA Live & Off the Record HHH

Why Shakira bleached her hair before beginning her huge U.S. marketing push is such a mystery! But ultimately, it just looks fried. Shakira’s strong, sensual voice is captured perfectly on this live album, un-tinkered with via ProTools, which is more than one can say for most modern-day divas. Now she just needs to lose those nasally moan dives that seem like a cross between Celine Dion and Kermit the Frog. (Epic)


Improvisationalists The Bad Plus, sure to become a favorite among indie elitists universe-wide, recorded almost every song of this free-form jazz juggernaut in one take, with only two minor edits. Piano, drums and earthy stand-up bass coalesce in a random focus, a wandering journey of calculated chaos. Give contains three jazz takes on rock covers (like Salt Lakers SLAJO); which include “Velouria” (Pixies) and “Iron Man” (easily the best track). (Columbia)

PRE-THING 22nd Century Lifestyle H

This album is worse than waking up in the morning and realizing you have a bladder infection. Pre-thing tries to incorporate the image of Kid Rock with straight rock and fails miserably. And, although 22nd Century Lifestyle might make fitting background music at the next WWE pay-per-view, there’s really no other place where it could—or should, legally—be played. Exceptions to the overall despair are ballads “Faded Love” and “Sunshine.” (V2)

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About The Author

Rebecca Vernon

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