Jason Aldean is already sitting pretty at the top of the country music singles charts, with ‘Take A Little Ride’ and this week, he’s looking to do the same with his album, Night Train. It’s the fifth studio album from the 35 year-old, who likes to mix a little hip-hop in with his country. Night Train is pretty much a dead cert to storm to the top of the US country music charts, but how will it fare in the Billboard Hot 100? His last full-length release, My Kinda Party rocked in at number two; surely this time round, Aldean will be looking for that elusive top spot?
From country infused with hip-hop to one of the forefathers of ‘alt-country’: Jason Lytle. Formerly of Grandaddy, Lytle releases his fourth solo album this week, entitled Department of Disappearance. So far, the album’s received an impressive score of 80 on the metacritic reviews site but it remains to be seen whether or not an alternative artist such as Lytle can translate into chart success.
It looks as though country music will be dominating this week’s charts again; American Idol winner Scotty Mccreery is getting in early with the Christmas releases and launching his festive tunes for all of the world to hear. If the phrase Christmas With Scotty McCreery fills you with dread then this is never going to be the album for you. If however, the thought of having your family dinner soundtracked by the pearly-white perma-grinning McCreery sounds agreeable then you may as well get in early, grab a copy of the album right now and watch to see if he can grab another US number one album, or whether he will have to admit defeat to the almighty Aldean.
Here's a prime example of what happens when fascinating subject matter falls prey to inept filmmaking. Lian Lunson's Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man is a frustrating mess, redeemed intermittently by a few solid musical performances and by the towering, erudite presence of Cohen himself.
Much of Lunson's tribute to the legendary songsmith is taken up by a 2005 concert featuring a lineup of international folk and pop artists honoring Cohen's music. I don't claim a close familiarity with Cohen's music, but it doesn't take an aficionado of it to figure out that several of the performances are overwrought, shrill, or just plain boring. Rufus Wainwright's nasally crooning and vamping reduce the wry humor of "Everybody Knows" and "Chelsea Hotel #2" into fey cabaret numbers. Elsewhere, Nick Cave's version of "I'm Your Man" by way of a Vegas lounge act deadens the senses, and Jarvis Cocker's stiffly delivered "Death Of a Ladies' Man" is god-awful. Aside from the default pleasure taken in knowing that you're hearing one of Cohen's songs, this is disposable material. All of it, that is, with the exception of Teddy Thompson's version of "Tonight Will Be Fine," Antony Hegarty's "If It Be Your Will," and Martha Wainwright's "The Traitor": Three performances that achieve the grace and soulful resonance of Cohen's music, so devoid in the rest of Lunson's documentary.
Continue reading: Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man Review