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click to enlarge Feist  - The Reminder  -  -  - Cherrytree  -  - Sounds like: Indie soul music from the heart -  - Short take: Feist moves forward, with sublime - results -  - When Leslie Feist released 2004 album Let it Die, the project was intended more for the discriminating - indie fan than for any mainstream pop consideration. - However, something funny happened along the road to - obscurity. The perfect amount of press opened the doors - for her handcrafted melodies and helped the album - become a bonafide success. Today, Feist's third album, - The Reminder, is garnering plenty of attention, - too. And Feist has risen to the occasion. The 13 tracks of - pop, blues, jazz and world music coax the listener - through Feist's oft-eccentric musicality and vision. - Thankfully, you get the idea that Feist is still - concentrating on substance over style.  John - Benson
  • Feist

    The Reminder

    Cherrytree

    Sounds like: Indie soul music from the heart

    Short take: Feist moves forward, with sublime results

    When Leslie Feist released 2004 album Let it Die, the project was intended more for the discriminating indie fan than for any mainstream pop consideration. However, something funny happened along the road to obscurity. The perfect amount of press opened the doors for her handcrafted melodies and helped the album become a bonafide success. Today, Feist's third album, The Reminder, is garnering plenty of attention, too. And Feist has risen to the occasion. The 13 tracks of pop, blues, jazz and world music coax the listener through Feist's oft-eccentric musicality and vision. Thankfully, you get the idea that Feist is still concentrating on substance over style. John Benson

click to enlarge Black Rebel Motorcycle Club  - Baby 81   -  -  - RCA  -  - Sounds like: The most glorified bar band -  - Short take: They love rock 'n roll -  - Regardless of whatever genre it was competently - imitating  from droning punk-rock to anthemic Brit - rock to fuzzy folk  Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has - always tended toward driving, crunchy rock songs. On its - fourth disc, Baby 81, that tendency is fully - indulged, and the band sounds more like itself than ever. - That means Baby has a lot of decent rock 'n roll, - with the boys snarling along like the jukebox junkies - they are. They've freely admitted to improvising this time - around, and the result is a more concise version of the - jam-band approach. Lyrically, they're just as paint-by- - numbers, though, growling about revolution and - rebellion and other outmoded buzzwords.  - Matt Martin
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

    Baby 81

    RCA

    Sounds like: The most glorified bar band

    Short take: They love rock 'n roll

    Regardless of whatever genre it was competently imitating from droning punk-rock to anthemic Brit rock to fuzzy folk Black Rebel Motorcycle Club has always tended toward driving, crunchy rock songs. On its fourth disc, Baby 81, that tendency is fully indulged, and the band sounds more like itself than ever. That means Baby has a lot of decent rock 'n roll, with the boys snarling along like the jukebox junkies they are. They've freely admitted to improvising this time around, and the result is a more concise version of the jam-band approach. Lyrically, they're just as paint-by- numbers, though, growling about revolution and rebellion and other outmoded buzzwords. Matt Martin

click to enlarge Tori Amos -  - American Doll Posse  - Epic  -  - Sounds like: Crucifying herself like never - before -  - Short take: The Cornflake Girl takes aim at the - oil president -  - There's little doubt that Tori Amos is pissed off on her - ninth studio effort, American Doll Posse, with - President George W. Bush in her crosshairs. However, - instead of bogging down in diatribe, this red-hair - chanteuse channels her energy and ire into her most - focused and even work to date. Sure, she lets Bush have - it on the pensive lead track "Yo George," but this is - followed with the rousing "Big Wheel," a bouncing back- - porch blues jam with rising slide guitars and juke-joint - piano adornment. When Amos sticks to straight-ahead - albums, instead of cabaret dalliances, the results are - often blissful, as is the case with American Doll - Posse.  John Benson
  • Tori Amos

    American Doll Posse

    Epic

    Sounds like: Crucifying herself like never before

    Short take: The Cornflake Girl takes aim at the oil president

    There's little doubt that Tori Amos is pissed off on her ninth studio effort, American Doll Posse, with President George W. Bush in her crosshairs. However, instead of bogging down in diatribe, this red-hair chanteuse channels her energy and ire into her most focused and even work to date. Sure, she lets Bush have it on the pensive lead track "Yo George," but this is followed with the rousing "Big Wheel," a bouncing back- porch blues jam with rising slide guitars and juke-joint piano adornment. When Amos sticks to straight-ahead albums, instead of cabaret dalliances, the results are often blissful, as is the case with American Doll Posse. John Benson

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