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click to enlarge Frankie J - Priceless - Sony - Sounds like: A Mexican-American Chris - Brown - Short take: As generic as R&B gets - Frankie Js latest effort, Priceless, isnt a terrible album, - but its not a very good one, either. Its  forgettable. - And in a market flooded with talented R&B singers (Chris - Brown, - Ne-Yo, Usher, etc.), thats a mistake Frankie J can hardly - afford. The first single, That Girl, is catchy enough, but - the remaining tracks read like bad knockoffs of past - radio hits (especially Is This What You Call Love? a lame - response to Rihannas Unfaithful). Expect each release - to be Clear Channel filler until somewhere down the line, - you catch yourself thinking, I think I kinda like this one! - Trust us, you really dont.  Pete Freedman
  • Frankie J
    Priceless
    Sony
    Sounds like: A Mexican-American Chris Brown
    Short take: As generic as R&B gets Frankie Js latest effort, Priceless, isnt a terrible album, but its not a very good one, either. Its forgettable. And in a market flooded with talented R&B singers (Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Usher, etc.), thats a mistake Frankie J can hardly afford. The first single, That Girl, is catchy enough, but the remaining tracks read like bad knockoffs of past radio hits (especially Is This What You Call Love? a lame response to Rihannas Unfaithful). Expect each release to be Clear Channel filler until somewhere down the line, you catch yourself thinking, I think I kinda like this one! Trust us, you really dont. Pete Freedman

Frankie J

Priceless

Sony

Sounds like: A Mexican-American Chris Brown

Short take: As generic as R&B gets

click to enlarge The Decemberists - The Crane Wife - Capitol - Sounds like: The Decemberists, woken up - Short take: Timeless galleon blues - Finally, The Decemberists have gone really big, and it - suits them. The Crane Wife is a musical artifact, - operating outside of the zeitgeist. These songs could be - sailor songs or war ballads; they could be from the 13th - century or the 21st. Seemingly conceived on the open - sea, in a ramshackle shanty on a pilfered lute, theyre - rich, yet rocking, layering the elements and orchestrating - them with folk aplomb. Meloys lyrics are still precious, - literate in the annoying way, but they dont take over the - songs anymore. Crane Wife is most focused on - musicality, and thats its best move.  Matt - Martin
  • The Decemberists
    The Crane Wife
    Capitol
    Sounds like: The Decemberists, woken up
    Short take: Timeless galleon blues
    Finally, The Decemberists have gone really big, and it suits them. The Crane Wife is a musical artifact, operating outside of the zeitgeist. These songs could be sailor songs or war ballads; they could be from the 13th century or the 21st. Seemingly conceived on the open sea, in a ramshackle shanty on a pilfered lute, theyre rich, yet rocking, layering the elements and orchestrating them with folk aplomb. Meloys lyrics are still precious, literate in the annoying way, but they dont take over the songs anymore. Crane Wife is most focused on musicality, and thats its best move. Matt Martin

Frankie J's latest effort, Priceless, isn't a terrible album, but it's not a very good one, either. It's ... forgettable. And in a market flooded with talented R&B singers (Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Usher, etc.), that's a mistake Frankie J can hardly afford. The first single, "That Girl," is catchy enough, but the remaining tracks read like bad knockoffs of past radio hits (especially "Is This What You Call Love?" a lame response to Rihanna's "Unfaithful"). Expect each release to be Clear Channel filler until somewhere down the line, you catch yourself thinking, "I think I kinda like this one!" Trust us, you really don't. Pete Freedman


The Decemberists

The Crane Wife

Capitol

Sounds like: The Decemberists, woken up

Short take: Timeless galleon blues

click to enlarge Tommy Guerrero - From the Soil to the Soul - Quannum Projects - Sounds like: A Latin, funkified Garage A - Trois - Short take: Superb, diverse musicianship - Tommy Guerrero proves as versatile as blue jeans on this - kitchen-sink, tossed-salad release. The jack-of-all- - genres hits everything from dreamy acoustic riffs to - jazzy, jammy keyboard melodies to hip-hop rock (with - guest vocals by Lyrics Born). Grooving from track to track - is like taking an international wine flight  a hint of this, - a subtle suggestion of that, and all bursting with flavor. - The song Tomorrows Goodbye is simply destined to - end up on a movie soundtrack. Whats even more - respectable: Guerrero recorded this set mainly in his - home studio. This collection of mostly instrumental - songs will make anyone say, Damn, I wish I could do - that in my basement   Matthew Schniper
  • Tommy Guerrero
    From the Soil to the Soul
    Quannum Projects
    Sounds like: A Latin, funkified Garage A Trois
    Short take: Superb, diverse musicianship Tommy Guerrero proves as versatile as blue jeans on this kitchen-sink, tossed-salad release. The jack-of-all- genres hits everything from dreamy acoustic riffs to jazzy, jammy keyboard melodies to hip-hop rock (with guest vocals by Lyrics Born). Grooving from track to track is like taking an international wine flight a hint of this, a subtle suggestion of that, and all bursting with flavor. The song Tomorrows Goodbye is simply destined to end up on a movie soundtrack. Whats even more respectable: Guerrero recorded this set mainly in his home studio. This collection of mostly instrumental songs will make anyone say, Damn, I wish I could do that in my basement Matthew Schniper

Finally, The Decemberists have gone really big, and it suits them. The Crane Wife is a musical artifact, operating outside of the zeitgeist. These songs could be sailor songs or war ballads; they could be from the 13th century or the 21st. Seemingly conceived on the open sea, in a ramshackle shanty on a pilfered lute, they're rich, yet rocking, layering the elements and orchestrating them with folk aplomb. Meloy's lyrics are still precious, literate in the annoying way, but they don't take over the songs anymore. Crane Wife is most focused on musicality, and that's its best move. Matt Martin


Tommy Guerrero

From the Soil to the Soul

Quannum Projects

Sounds like: A Latin, funkified Garage A Trois

Short take: Superb, diverse musicianship

Tommy Guerrero proves as versatile as blue jeans on this kitchen-sink, tossed-salad release. The jack-of-all-genres hits everything from dreamy acoustic riffs to jazzy, jammy keyboard melodies to hip-hop rock (with guest vocals by Lyrics Born). Grooving from track to track is like taking an international wine flight a hint of this, a subtle suggestion of that, and all bursting with flavor. The song "Tomorrow's Goodbye" is simply destined to end up on a movie soundtrack. What's even more respectable: Guerrero recorded this set mainly in his home studio. This collection of mostly instrumental songs will make anyone say, "Damn, I wish I could do that in my basement ..." Matthew Schniper

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