Quick Spins: Sleater-Kinney, Alan Parsons and Ivy Ford

Sleater-Kinney

The Center Won’t Hold (Mom+Pop)

www.momandpopmusic.com

$14.99

A new long-player from trio Sleater-Kinney is always an anxious proposition, and I mean that in the best way possible. Their last few efforts have proven to be anything but predictable. Their songs run the gamut of their influences, from gritty 1970’s punk, to the progressive weirdness of bands like Flaming Lips and The Claypool Lennon Delirium.

The explicit “Hurry On Home” struts with new wave attitude. “Can I Go On” is full of 1960’s girl-group goodness, with snappy background vocals and hooky synths. “Bad Dance” explores the intricacies of stepping out on the floor, borrowing the vibe of Bowie’s “Modern Love,” albeit in a darker, minor key. I enjoyed every second.

Alan Parsons

The Secret (Frontiers)

www.alanparsons.com

$15.99

Alan Parsons may not exactly be a household name, but some of the records he’s worked on sure will be familiar to you. He engineered The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon,” to name a few. I also suspect that most also know him from his early MTV hit, “Eye In The Sky.”

Here, Parsons splits vocal duties among himself, Jason Mraz, and Todd Cooper. While the lazy Susan of singers may make things sound a bit disjointed at times, the songs themselves are really quite good. “Miracle,” helmed by Mraz would’ve been a hit in ’82, and “Sometimes” is an epic ballad that sounds like it never stops building. Clearly, the man has learned a little something over the years. Longtime fans will love this.

Ivy Ford

Harvesting My Roots (Self Released)

www.ivyfordmusic.com

From just across Wisconsin’s southern border, Waukegan, Illinois, to be exact, comes blues wonderkid Ivy Ford. Possessed of a voice large enough to fill the biggest roadhouse, Miss Ford looks poised to prove that the blues has a future. At only twenty-six years of age, she’s already rubbing shoulders with greats like Buddy Guy.

The title track, replete with jumpin’ slide guitar, is a guaranteed toe-tapper. Firmly setting the hook is the piano ballad, “Daddy of Mine,” in which Ford bares her familial laundry. You can literally hear the tears as she wails “No more precious time to waste.” And, what’s a good blues record without an ode to the devil? When Ford sings “I don’t know if I owe the devil,” in “Devil Song,” her delivery belies her years. Gripping stuff.

 

New Releases:

Killswitch Engage/Atonement (Metal Blade)

Tracy Lawrence/Made In America (LMG)

Spoon/Best Of Spoon (Matador)

The Hold Steady/Thrashing Thru The Passion (French Kiss)

Lionel Richie/Hello From Las Vegas (Capitol)

Bobby Rush/Sitting On Top Of The Blues (Deep Rush)

Jim Gaffigan/Quality Time (Comedy Dynamics)

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(262) 942-9400