EC fans received a bit of a scare after the singer-songwriter cancelled a clutch of live dates due to ill health. But news of his recovery and the release of Look Now – one of Costello’s best albums of recent times – must have cheered diehard followers!
THE JAYHAWKSRainy Day Music (Lost Highway/American)
After the greater pop emphasis of Sound of Lies and Smile, the Jayhawks return to the roots rock approach of their earlier albums (especially Hollywood Town Hall and Tomorrow the Green Grass) with this, their first album with the Lost Highway label (also home of that other alt-country standard bearer, Ryan Adams).
Back in the hazy-dazy days of 2001, I had put together a feature on one of my favourite bands, the Electric Light Orchestra, which included reviews of then-new album Zoom and the Eldorado re-issue and Flashback boxset.
Genesis fans rejoice! But more than that, fans of Tony Banks’ songwriting will more than appreciate Five, the band’s keyboards player’s new orchestral album, which will also appeal to classical music and film score enthusiasts.
When you consider how obsessed the current modern rock scene is with the 80s New Romantic/Big Music vibe, it makes perfect sense for Simple Minds to freshen up their sound by going back to a tried and tested formula.
The biggest question when thinking of Billy Joel is – why hasn’t he released a new album in 20 over years? This biography does not seem to answer that question satisfactorily. This makes the final third rather difficult to get through as it covers the period where Joel becomes an oldies act basically – living off the glories of his past. But before that the book is riveting – providing details during Joel’s successful time as a singer-songwriter/recording artist. For fans only, though.
The Canadian rock trio Rush have always evoked polarising views. Some folks found the band viz. Geddy Lee – (vocals, bass, keyboards); Alex Lifeson – (guitar); Neil Peart (drums), somewhat pretentious, obnoxious with Lee’s high pitched vocals an annoyance whilst others (present company included) revered them as virtuoso progressive rock gods who could do no wrong!