I am really excited for today's music. I was telling Cathy the other day that this is a great time to have cash (unfortunately, we don't) because a lot of great artists are coming out with great material, and music-lovers everywhere have got to be excited somehow with the quality of material that will head into music stores.
Look to purchase the following, they'll be fantastic:
1) U2, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Can't wait! Debuted at #1!
2) Michael W. Smith, Healing Rain. Go, MWS!
3) Fantasia, Free Yourself. I think she's the most exciting American Idol yet. Debuted at #8, but so what? Get this album!
4) Ruben Studdard, I Need an Angel. His voice is like buttah.
5) Creed, Greatest Hits. Enough said.
Sometimes, they're great, sometimes, they're not. I've purchased the following:
1) Destiny's Child, Destiny Fulfilled. This is an awful album, across the board. Only four songs are worth listening to: Lose My Breath, Soldier, Girl, and I'm Through With Love. The other tracks are the blandest R&B, which is a shame. DC used to be innovative and fun; this album is tasteless and dull. To complicate matters, Michelle compromises her faith BIGTIME with smutty photographs in the booklet, and singing some of the most horrifyingly sexual lyrics DC has ever produced. Awful, terrible, God-forbidden music. Do not get this album.
2) Music from Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. This would be a charming collection if based solely on Julie Delpy's waltzy, syrupy love song sung to Ethan Hawke in Before Sunset. It doesn't sound like her movie rendition, though, and the studio gloss kills whatever earnestness Delpy gives her own compositions. Her voice, while unique and sensuously French, has been traumatized by the cold sterility of the studio, and as a result, the spontaneity that comes across as refreshing in the Linklater series is severely compromised. Not a bad collection, excellent for coffee out in the brisk night air, but not something I'd listen to on a daily basis.
3) Diane Warren presents Love Songs. This is a Diane Warren collection, and every saccharine-sweet Warren ballad worth its salt is on this collection, from Celine Dion's Because You Loved Me to Aerosmith's I Don't Want to Miss a Thing to long-gone Taylor Dayne's Love Will Lead You Back. You know what? It's the best collection of the year! I don't care what you say: Warren knows how to turn a lyric, and push the right buttons, and make a song speak to you from deep within. I've loved Warren's work from the minute I first heard a Warren composition (Dion's I Love You Goodbye), and this collection has most of it, including Faith Hill, Leann Rimes, and, of course, my theme song with Cathy, I Could Not Ask For More from Edwin McCain. My two complaints: 1) the McCain track doesn't have liner notes from Warren!, and 2) the compilation would have done well to include some Warren songs that weren't hits but personal favorites of hers - including Chynna Phillips' Just to Hear You Say That You Love Me and Color Me Badd's Let's Start With Forever.