Kristi Kates 6/15/09
R.E.M. continue their series of reissues with a great 25th anniversary deluxe version of their 1984 album, Reckoning, which arrives via IRS. Another two-disc set (like last years reissue of the bands Murmur), the first disc includes the remastered album, with super-clear sound on such tracks as So. Central Rain and Pretty Persuasion, while the second disc is a live show recorded in Chicago in 1984 at the Aragon Ballroom; that disc features live renditions of eight songs from Reckoning as well as Driver 8 and Hyena, which were new at the time.
James Apollo - Angels We Have Grown Apart - No Alternative
Hes better known overseas than he may be in the U.S., but that doesnt diminish James Apollos talent at all - Americans are just gonna have to catch up with his redolent brand of thoughtful, soulful folk-pop. Morphine and Wine blends American jazz with mournful lyrics; a viola serves as the carrying thread throughout the song Its Cruel, with its veering tempo changes; and Dead Men Weigh More Than Broken Hearts is perhaps the perfect audio representation of Apollos jazzy, melancholy songs and his distinctive, smoky 2 a.m. vocals.
The Smiths -The Sound of the Smiths: The Very Best - Rhino
This deluxe two CD set of The Smiths is quite accurate in its Best description; this album really does bring together most of the bands best tracks from their beginnings in 1981. Morrissey and Johnny Marrs skills and songwriting complexities stand up even today, whether youre listening to Smiths classics like How Soon is Now? Girlfriend in a Coma, or Panic - or slightly lesser-known tracks like The Boy with the Thorn in His Side, or Shoplifters of the World Unite, youll hear why The Smiths are still an influential band to plenty of todays indie-rockers.
LANDy - Eros and Omissions - Apology
LANDy is the pseudonym for actor-slash-musician Adam Goldberg (Friends, Saving Private Ryan), whos actually been crafting music almost as long as hes been acting. Goldberg teams up here with the Flaming Lips Steven Drozd to arrange and enhance Goldbergs own songs of love and loss, which he actually began writing way back in 2002. Eighteen songs are included here, from the first single, the quirky-poppy BFF! to the piano-riddled Apology 2, the more complex Every Time Its Over, and No One in Particular, which blends peppy music with saddened lyrics.