Self-styled nineties ‘alternative’ legend Perry Farrell summons a heavyweight arsenal of slightly suss collaborators (Thievery Corporation, Nuno ‘More Than Words’ Bettencourt, New Order’s Peter Hook, even the voice of Jim Morrison) for this cosmic eco-moral concept album. Expect: trite polemics and more funk metal than you can shake a stick at. The man can do no right.
ipod essential: Woman in The Window
The slickly produced slide guitar-meets-reggae of the first few tracks on Xaxier Rudd’s fourth LP hints at Ben Harper, but the album then becomes much more interesting. His songwriting is in the Paul Kelly tradition of conscious Australian folk-roots music, and Rudd successfully incorporates performances by indigenous musicians and kids from Northern Territory and Canada, without sounding twee.
ipod essential: Land Rights
Good Girl Gone Bad
Young Barbadian Jay-Z protege and CoverGirl model Rihanna has the voice as well as the hook-ups to produce a great debut album. Her Jamaican heritage is mostly pushed to the background here, but the effective cut-up vocal chorus of single ‘Umbrella’ shows why innovative r’n’b stills rules the charts. The moderately dancehall ‘Lemme Get That’ is another highlight.
ipod essential: Lemme Get That