DeVotchKa A Mad & Faithful Telling
Anti- Records / Release date: March 18
Sounds like: At best, a Latin-influenced orchestra; at worst, carnie polka
Short take: Symphony and circus
DeVotchKa, a Denver band most widely known for its work on the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack, delivers beauties and clunkers on A Mad & Faithful Telling. The band succeeds with string-based tracks that bring to mind its well-known ballad "How It Ends." "Transliterator," the first single and strongest track, combines passionate vocals, a lively beat, strings and a bit of piano. Another standout, "Along the Way," shines with Latin-inspired guitars and horns with sparse violin accompaniment. However, the band struggles when it breaks out the tuba. "Basso Profundo," the opening track, is fit for a circus sideshow. The oom-pah-pah style used on "Blessing in Disguise" mimics carousel music. Some of the album merits a listen, but make sure the skip button on your CD player works. Meghan Loftus
Snoop Dogg Ego Trippin'
Sounds like: Old Doggs don't learn new tricks
Short take: More Doggy doo doo
Dear Snoop: Just so you know, we're big fans from the old haze, when "Gin & Juice" ran nonstop and the O.P. (Original Pimp) ruled the hip-hop nation. But listen, we just got done listening to Ego Trippin' and had to shed a tear. While "Been Around Tha World" has that old-school Snoop swagger, it's "Can't Say Goodbye" that's killing us. Aside from the overt attempt at credibility by adding into the mix a reverent gospel singer similar to casting Morgan Freeman as a moral compass in a Judd Apatow movie this ode to your past leaves us with a bad buzz. Also: The Johnny Cash shout-out, a rockin' country "My Medicine," has earnest intentions, but we prefer your pro-chronic anthems delivered with stoned-out vocals and smoky sounds. We know we can't go back, but you're making going forward even harder. John Benson
Various Artists Now That's What I Call the 80s
Sounds like: Bits and pieces of a decade
Short take: Sequels, please
The American Now That's What I Call Music! people released their first compilation in October 1998. Since then, we've seen 26 additional discs more than 500 songs to represent a little less than 10 years of contemporary music. With that in mind, it seems unfair to release one 20-track compilation to represent the entire 1980s. But on Tuesday, that's what happened. Now That's What I Call the 80s includes some classics, like "Billie Jean," "Hungry Like the Wolf" and "Don't You (Forget About Me)," but it lacks many essentials. Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer," which VH1 named the greatest song of the '80s, misses the cut. Neither Prince nor Madonna appear on the disc, and it includes just one hair-metal song (Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again"). This compilation needs at least 26 follow-up discs to do justice to the decade. Meghan Loftus
This is awesome! Excited about the new music and adventures for his year!
Thanks so much!!!
Hah! Similarly, one, if famous, should not die in December, as all those who passed…