I LOVE music, always have, always will. Music has helped me get rhough hard times, smile, laugh and cry. Music is such a powerful tool to tap into peoples emotions. So many people get stuck in a rut of listening to the same artist over and over or get stuck in a certain era and ONLY listen to the Beatles and Elvis, there REALLY is good music out there, it's just finding it. In this day in age if your not in the mainstream of music many amazing songs and albums get overlooked. It's a shame really. Remember how diverse the 80s were when you could hear Debbie Gibson, Steve Winwood and MC Hammer all on the same station. Below are several NEW single and album releases that are well worth the listen.
1. Shine - Joni Mitchell
First off, iTunes sucks because they have censored Joni's album cover. Look at the album cover above. Ummm...it's men in tights, have we not progressed at all over the past 20 years. Geezz, give me a break. I guess we have George W. and Janet Jackson's "Nipplegate" to thank for that. Ok, back to this album. I have never really been a fan of Joni Mitchell, I appreciate her music, and her unique style and look, shaping a generation and being mad talented. This album blew me away at just listening to the snippets on iTunes. I bought it and I have to say that these songs are so well written and are expressed with so much feeling. I am blown away by Joni. If you don’t want to buy the entire album, the stand out single is "Shine" it's hauntingly beautiful. I love artists that have a legacy to them and Joni is one of them. This album has made me a fan. I would not be shocked if this gets a best album of the year Grammy nomination.
2. Trav'lin' Light - Queen Latifah
This is an odd one for me. I loved the "Queen" when she came out in the 90s with "Ladies First" and "U.N.I.T.Y." She was a badass rapper and I liked her. So now that the Queen has transitioned nicely to successful movie musicals she comes out with this beautiful album of old favorites, light music and her voice shines. The single to buy here is "Poetry Man" made popular by Phoebe Snow in the 70s. Latifa (real name Dana Andrews) soars on this song, her voice is so clear and pretty. I highly recommend it.
3. Amazing - Seal
Ah good ole Seal is back! Seal hit it big with his infectious single "Crazy" and the monster hit "A Kiss from a Rose" in the 1990s and then he faded away, married Heidi Klum and had kids. He's back! His new single "Amazing" is so catchy the clubs will be pumping out this song. Look for this one to go number one in the dance clubs.
4. Funk This - Chaka Khan
I love Chaka! It's been 10 years since she came out with new material and oh it was worth the wait. Remember the hits from Chaka "Sweet Thing," I Feel For You" and Through the Fire?" Well, add her new song to that list...it's called "Angel" and it's going to be a hit for her. It sounds like classic Chaka and her voice has not changed a bit. I love the entire album, her voice goes right through you. I smell Grammy awards for Chaka! She even does a duet with Mary J.!
5. Matt Nathanson - Some Mad Hope
I thought this was a new artist but he has been around for 10 years! I am hoping he gets radio airplay, his voice is very pretty..I guess a guys voice can be pretty and the songs have meaning. Watch out for this artist to breakthrough to the mainstream airwaves. Stand out single "Come on Get Higher."
6. The Awakening - Melissa Etheridge
After battling cancer, recovering and winning an Oscar for her song "I Need to Wake Up" from the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" she's back with a brand new album. I have always liked Melissa and her gritty vocals and deep vocals, this album delivers. It's softer than usual but the lyrics are brilliant. Highly recommend the single "I've Loved You Before."
7. Live at Massey Hall - Neil Young
This album came out earlier this year and I am STILL playing it in my car weekly. It's an amazing compilation of Neil at a 1971 concert live that was never released until this year. It's filled with amazing songs that were considered new at the time. Honestly, this album has moved me so much. The songs "Ohio," "Old Man" "Don't Let it Bring You Down," "Needle and the Damage Done" and "Down By the River" are brilliant songs that go right into your heart and soul. If you to hear a historic piece of work, buy this album you will be moved. It's cool to be named after such an inspirational artist.