Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New albums out this week

Barry Manilow/15 Minutes (Stiletto Ent/Fontana) - After four popular themed albums representing The Greatest Songs of the Fifties through Eighties (two of them certified gold or better), another covering The Greatest Love Songs of All Time and a pair of Christmas CDs (one of which also went gold), the veteran singer/songwriter returns with his first all-original studio release in 10 years. 

The title was inspired by the famous Andy Warhol quote; the guitar-driven pop song cycle explores the perils and pinnacles of fame’s double-edged sword. Working with a top-notch assembly of studio musicians - including guitarists Tim Pierce and Laurence Juber (ex-McCartney & Wings), drummer Greg Bisonette, bassist Matt Bisonette, longtime backing vocalist Ron Dante and others - 15 Minutes is a pleasant surprise. Manilow nearly rocks out at times and there are a couple dance numbers that could've come from his "Copacabana" days. 

“Fame and success are something we all strive for, and yet when we get it how do we behave? That question jumps out at us daily from magazine covers, TV news and online gossip sites. In my world of entertainment, I’ve watched perfectly decent and talented people achieve the success they’ve been striving for only to crash and burn as their star rises," Manilow has said about the lyrical impetus.

"It happens in every walk of life, not only in the entertainment field; in sports, in politics and in daily life when the assistant manager gets promoted at the grocery store. It’s something that continues to fascinate us, and for me it represented an interesting musical journey to explore," he continued. 

Sebadoh/Bakesale Deluxe Edition (Sub Pop) - One of the influentual Seattle record label's more popular acts during the mid-'90s, Sebadoh put out fifth full-length CD Bakesale in 1994 and it became one of their most acclaimed efforts.

This reissue features the original album, newly remastered, and a second disc of B-sides, EP tracks and rarities from the same era.  Principle members Lou Barlow and Jason Loewenstein oversaw the process and both contributed to the liner notes, along with merch guy Mike Flood. Also included are several photos and original artwork design instructions. Bakesale is being reissued on vinyl for the first time in years and will include the bonus material as a digital download.

Blackie and the Rodeo Kings/Kings and Queens (FUM/Dramatico) - the Juno Award-winning Canadian roots rock group pairs up with Rosanne Cash, Exene Cervenka, Holly Cole, Emmylou Harris, Sam Phillips, Serena Ryder, Pam Tillis, Sara Watkins, Lucinda Williams, Cassandra Wilson, Patti Scialfa and several other female singers on its sixth album.

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