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One of my favourite bizarre and twisted women in music is back (I mean that in a good way). I own all Tori Amos music ever released, even some bootlegs and I always look forward to her next release. And, as with all albums, her music and songwriting deals with the faith one puts in […]

Luke Kenny Jul 25, 2009
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One of my favourite bizarre and twisted women in music is back (I mean that in a good way). I own all Tori Amos music ever released, even some bootlegs and I always look forward to her next release. And, as with all albums, her music and songwriting deals with the faith one puts in relationships and the subsequent loss of such. Abnormally Attracted to Sin, her latest album, follows a seamless segue with one song flowing into each other, which is just as well, because with 18 songs on the album you wouldn’t want to be distracted by those four second silent gaps in between songs. But still, by the time you reach the tenth song a bit of aural fatigue begins to set in. My opinion would have been for it to be a double album, thereby giving the music a bit of a breather between disc one and disc two, but hey, who am I to dictate creativity? As a Tori Amos fan myself, I’m not complaining.

The Anti-Christ Superstar is back with his latest opus and what really keeps me interested in his music the shock-rock persona that he repetitively uses to his benefit, much like what Alice Cooper did in the Seventies. Musically, this is standard Marilyn Manson stuff, with the usual pained vocals and distorted guitars that keep those eardrums numb for weeks after you’ve heard the songs. His penchant for unconventional song titles hasn’t waned as well, ‘Pretty as a Swastika’ (yes the Nazi one), ‘I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies, ‘I Have To Look Up Just To See Hell’ and my favourite, ‘Arma-Goddam-Motherfucking-Geddon’. In ‘Four Rusted Horses’ Manson sings, “Everyone will come to my funeral to make sure I stay dead”well, he’s right there but I hope they have to wait a long time, because by the time that happens, Manson’s gonna be one old, angry, wrinkly, and pissed-off-at-the-world mofo. Amen.

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The Manic Street Preachers were a big hit on the alternative scene through the early 90’s right up to the early 2000’s; most of you will remember the hits ‘Tsunami’ and ‘You Stole the Sun from My Heart’. Although their star faded a bit from the Indian consciousness, they have been consistent with their output over the past few years. Their latest, Journal For Plague Lovers, arrives after 2007’s Send Away the Tigers. An interesting thing my research provided is that all the songs on Journal feature lyrics written by guitarist Richey Edwards who was suffering from depression and went missing in 1995. He has been declared “officially presumed dead” last year. He was reported to have been spotted in Goa at a hippie market, though, so if you ever bump into him tell him his band is going great guns and the new album is a smashing hit!

One of the youngest jazz legends alive today, Wynton Marsalis has been unwavering in his support of the art form. In a time when jazz is not really a strong force here in India, the arrival of a new Wynton Marsalis album, He and She is a hugely welcome effort. I own some of his music, although his output is extremely prolific. One of the most inspirational musicians alive today, his trumpeting skills are said to be comparable to the great ‘Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong himself. An ardent supporter of the classic era of jazz, when the playing was clear and the arrangements relatively simple, he has endured much criticism for these views which tend to skim over the modern-day contributors to jazz. But all said and done here is a new old-school jazz album from a beacon of the art form in a time that is slowly eclipsing the glory days. Interspersed with short poems, ‘He and She’ is all that a jazz album should be. From the wide-eyed ‘School Boy’ to the Miles-in-my-mind ‘The Sun And The Moon,’ the sassy, ‘Sassy’ to the hilarious, ‘A Train, A Banjo And A Chicken Wing,’ Wynton and his four astounding musicians, Walter Blanding (sax), Dan Nimmer (Piano), Carlos Henriquez (bass) and the sublime Ali Jackson on drums, take you on a journey you never want to end. This one’s a winner all the way.
PS: Check out the bass playing on ‘Fears.’

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