December 24, 2000 |
Eminem runs away with the trophy in the 20th annual best-album poll of The Times' pop-music contributors, but "The Marshall Mathers LP" isn't the only controversial album to make a strong showing. Radiohead's ambient "Kid A" divided the English band's audience between those who applauded its daring and those who saw it as a retreat from the group's potential as a front-line rock presence. Sales have been slow, but the critics have lined up behind Radiohead's experiment.
July 2, 2000 |
One of the rewarding things about pausing to salute some of the most distinguished records from the first half of the year is that it helps us remember that there still are distinguished albums. That's a point that can easily get lost during a time when the national sales charts and radio airwaves are dominated by sludge. In 1999, the year of the Backstreet Boys, there were outstanding albums at the midyear point from Tom Waits, Moby and Randy Newman, among others.
May 1, 2000 |
Anyone who has read one of the flurry of rave reviews for singer-songwriter Shelby Lynne's new album knew Friday at the House of Blues to expect a touch of the sensual persuasion of Dusty Springfield and the desperate vulnerability of Janis Joplin. But whoever imagined that the connection everyone would be marveling about afterward would be the primal-scream fury of John Lennon?
February 27, 2000 |
D'Angelo's "Voodoo" and Shelby Lynne's "I Am Shelby Lynne" are both albums that require some listener patience, but they ultimately reward you for the time spent. They are the standouts in the latest guide to keeping up with what's exciting in pop music on an album budget of $50 a month. January D'Angelo's "Voodoo" (Virgin).
February 13, 2000 |
Shelby Lynne is half an hour late for an interview, but she doesn't bother to offer an explanation. She simply flops into a chair on the hotel patio and orders a beer. She probably figures that in the grand scheme of things, she's the one who deserves an apology. For more than a dozen years, she has been denied her rightful appointment with stardom.
April 9, 1991 |
How much you enjoy "Another Pair of Aces: Three of a Kind" (as confusedly titled a TV movie as ever there was) will depend solely on how susceptible you are to the chemistry, real or imagined, of stars Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson, who almost lend it the illusion of wit. Beyond that, this "contemporary Western"--so-called in the network publicity, one guesses, because it's set in Austin--offers torpid mystery plotting, a nearly nekkid Joan Severance and not much else.
September 16, 1990 |
Shelby Lynne, 20, is a brassy young newcomer out of Alabama who, on her second album, confirms her position as a sort of country Whitney Houston. She's got a set of pipes that could crush granite, but except for three canny remakes, she wastes them pulverizing musical marshmallows.