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edge staff writer


New music for October: The good, the bad … and the Bon Jovi

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The playing field for new music titles has become pretty crowded this fall as many artists elected to postpone albums that were expected in the spring and summer. Here’s a sampling of what’s out, what’s coming, what’s hot and what’s not in new music.

Aloe Blacc – “All Love Everything” (BMG; out now)

Songs about keeping loved ones close occupy the fifth studio LP from this soul singer, songwriter and producer, who says he aims to transcend genre and stereotype. In a press release, Blacc writes: “My music is about affirmation, inspiration and motivation.” “Hold on Tight,” with its hooks, and message of perseverance, should become a contemporary anthem.

The Jaded Hearts Club – “You’ve Always Been Here” (BMG; out now)

Members of Jet, Muse, The Last Shadow Puppets, and The Zutons comprise this sort-of supergroup on an album of eclectic, amped-up covers of “lost” 1960s hits by The Shocking Blue, The Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, The Sonics, The Human Beinz and six other nearly forgotten favorites from the groovy graveyard. The record succeeds in introducing these songs to a new generation, but the uniformity in sound contrasts sharply with the musical diversity that made these songs so alluring in their original form.

Diana Krall – “This Dream of You” (Verve; out now)

Krall’s 16th album consists of songs from the final sessions recorded with her longtime producer Tommy LiPuma before his passing in 2017. The recording and performances are meticulous as Krall wraps her subtly smoky voice around standards from Irving Berlin to Bob Dylan. If you’re like me and you spend an inordinate amount of time listening to Spectrum cable’s ‘Singers and Swing’ channel 1947, you will find a lot to like on Krall’s latest.

Blitzen Trapper – “Holy Smokes Future Jokes” (Yep Roc Records; out now)

There’s something about this record, with its myriad melodies and precocious lyrics, that keeps bringing me back for more. This Portland, Oregon based indie folk alt-country quintet’s 10th album boasts a tuneful batch of songs from band leader Eric Earley that allegedly encapsulate (according to a press release) “the intermediate period between a person’s separate lives on earth.” Whatever man, these are good songs, especially “Don’t Let Me Run” and “Masonic Temple Microdose #1.”

Bon Jovi – “2020” (Island; out now)

If you’re looking for a soundtrack to current events, this one might do it for you, but it’s a tough slog to get through the thing without asking “What happened to Bon Jovi?” The auto-tuned earnestness of Jon’s unconvincing growl is almost as big a misstep as the lack of anything here you’d want to hear twice. Vocal and lyrical contrivances aside, Bon Jovi would be better served by bringing Richie Sambora back into the fold to help craft a batch of new material that can stand up with the best of what the band has accomplished, because this isn’t it. We all want to escape 2020 … and I include this album with that wish.

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 October 2020 07:46


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