Creatively, Cassandra Wilson has never rested on her laurels, and her new album, Another Country, is no exception to the rule. Nine of the ten songs are composed by Ms. Wilson and/or her collaborating partner, guitarist-producer Fabrizio Sotti, with the tenth a very special arrangement by the duo of the classic aria, O Sole Mio. Recorded in Florence, Italy, the entire sound of the album is intimate, guitar-driven, and lushly romantic. Launched by the lead single, Red Guitar, Another Country is poised to invigorate Cassandra's intensely loyal fan base as well as greet new audiences.
Willie Nelson's new album, Heroes, features 13 brand new recordings, produced by Buddy Cannon, and featuring a host of guest artists.
The songs take on a reflective, emotional tone and move from heartfelt (a stunning rendition of Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe") to humor (on "Roll Me Up" with guest vocalist Snoop Dogg). Other guest vocalists on the album include Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Jamey Johnston, Billy Joe Shaver and Sheryl Crow. Sons Lukas and Micah Nelson also feature prominently, making this a real family affair.
On her breakout album Back-Road Highways, songwriter Chastity Brown combines the influences of her Southern upbringing and her adopted Minneapolis to dramatic effect. Brown's wrenching, heartfelt delivery will please fans of soul and vocal-driven pop, while the addition of banjo finds her exploring traditional Americana and expanding her sonic palette.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:48 pm
Another week brings more surprises in our search for the albums everyone can love. According to our most recent poll, a third of you haven't heard the one record we've probably pimped more than any other on All Songs Considered: Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago. Really? A third of you haven't even heard it?
If there was any doubt that The dB's have any use for being considered through the haze of memory, or limited to the misty fondness from fans who remember them from the early 80s, the blast that opens their new album Falling Off the Sky, a song called "That Time Is Gone," could not be more explicit. Group leaders Peter Holsapple and Chris Stamey, along with drummer Will Rigby and bassist Gene Holder, are taking back their sound after 30 years, sprucing it up and re-exploding it for the days we live in now.
It's always an adventure to ask NPR Music's resident metalhead and "outer sound" maven, Lars Gotrich, for song recommendations. Sometimes, doing so can lead down a path of impossible listening — banshee wails over blast beats, recorded inside what appears to be a toilet tank — but it can also lead to awesome epiphanies like Darkest Era or Deafheaven.