"Lady Madonna (Love Version)"
Be prepared. This is a giant departure from the original. The intro contains other Beatles tunes grafted on top (the drums from "Why Don't We Do It in the Road" and maybe barnyard sounds from "Good Morning Good Morning") and the backup harmonies from "Lady Madonna's" bridge are the first vocal moments. But George Martin, who can still go head-to-head with any producer working today, and his son, Giles, make it all work brilliantly, joyously. Each Beatle is highlighted with a streamable track from the new "Love" album of Beatles mash-ups created for the Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas. This is obviously Paul's moment and, in the context of these radical remixes, structurally works the best of the four.
This infuriatingly opaque video has Omarion singing "Look me in my eyes," a difficult proposition since they're closed much of the time. Otherwise, he's engaged in choreography that looks like a tai-chi routine in the midnight hour as he tries to avoid spooky, hooded figures in a dark forest. A mysterious white Rolls Royce on a dirt road is shepherding ... Timbaland. Is Timbaland Ol' Man Death himself? Who knows? The song is a standard "I pour my heart out for you, girl," but the video steers you away from the theme over and over.
Kronos Quartet and Mogwai
www.nonesuch.com/thefountainThe mighty Scottish band Mogwai teams up with the quintessentially democratic Kronos Quartet on the score of Darren Aronofsky's new film, "The Fountain." The music by Clint Mansell revolves in an ambient minimalist fashion around one tonal center throughout, but maintains a consistent spirit of dread and wonder. Few bands shake the soul as deeply as Mogwai and filmmakers are beginning to recognize that; the group's music was recently featured in the "Miami Vice" soundtrack and in the documentary "Zidane." Excerpts of the score are streamed here on the official film website. Skip ahead on the player to "Holy Dread!" for an example of two magnificent ensembles in collaboration.
"Roots of Rumba Rock Sampler"
Roots of Rumba Rock: Congo Classics 1953-1955
www.crammed.be/craworld/crw33 Hardly a more exciting world-music compilation has been released this year. Not only is this a peek at the very beginnings of the wildly popular Afro-Cuban style, dominant for at least two to three decades after, but it is also a fascinating window into a time when African country after country sprouted liberation movements and went independent. Colonial influences were still deep, even as indigenous music found its voice. Click on the speaker in the lower right-hand corner to hear this streamed sampler of music that made Kinshasa one of the liveliest cities in Africa in the early '50s.