The Rolling Stones
Exile on Main St. |
It’s tricky to mess with a classic like Exile on Main St., the Stones’ 1972 double album (back when that meant two vinyl LPs). But this deluxe reissue doesn’t disappoint. Disc 1 contains the remastered original work, shining new light on gems like “Tumbling Dice” and “Let It Loose,” with the band at the peak of its powers. It’s Disc 2, though, that really makes this special. With eight previously unreleased songs from the Exile sessions (plus alternate takes of “Loving Cup” and “Soul Survivor”), it’s like unburied treasure. Best are “Following the River,” a “Wild Horses”-esque ballad with a new Mick Jagger vocal, and “Plundered My Soul,” on which the Stones hijack R&B as only they can.
The Dead Weather
Sea of Cowards |
Between being in three bands-this one, the Raconteurs and, most famously, the White Stripes-and working with such artists as Loretta Lynn, Alicia Keys and Beck, Jack White has been one of the busiest men in rock. The second Dead Weather album comes just 10 months after the first. And while there is a tossed-off feel to this 35-minute set, it’s another quality effort in the White discography. Dipping into blues, psychedelia and even funk at will, Sea is badass rock.
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If ever one note could make an album, then it may be the very last one Charice-the YouTube phenom who just made her fourth appearance on Oprah-hits on her self-titled debut. Her big moment comes on the Diane Warren ballad “Note to God,” which finds the 18-year-old Filipina reaching for the heavens, backed by a gospel choir. A powerhouse performance, it’s the stuff of a young Celine, Whitney or Mariah. But Charice is torn between being a begowned diva and acting her age on songs like the Iyaz-assisted single “Pyramid,” which sounds more like something off a Jordin Sparks CD.
On his U.S. debut, Britain’s Taio Cruz fails to break out any original dance-pop moves. There’s little here to distinguish him from Jason Derulo or Jay Sean. But while he may lack real star quality, he does deliver on electro-infused grooves like “Dirty Picture” (featuring Ke$ha) and the No. 1 hit “Break Your Heart” (featuring Ludacris).
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