Albums of March – Weekend – Kommersant

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Stromay “Multitude”

In 2009, Belgian Rwandan-born Paul Van Auver released the hit “Alors on danse” under the pseudonym Stromay, which sold his debut album “Cheese”. And in 2013, the album “Racine carree” was released, which changed the perception not only of himself, but also of popular music in general. It turned out that the author of the European hit song can write exquisite songs with chanson bitterness and the issue of migrant ghettos in the lyrics. In nine years, a whole generation has changed, new ways of delivering and perceiving music have appeared. And here is a new album, and it is again in first place – in Belgium, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Stromay won not only time, but also disease – in 2015 he contracted malaria, drugs gave a side effect in the form of depression. And in 2018 he had a son, and this event restored Stroma’s ability to write songs. On “Multitude” there are many traditional instruments, many recitatives, but almost no disco rhythms. There is a lot of bitterness, but there is also hope. He will remind someone of Cesaria Evora. It will calm someone and heal emotional wounds.

Publisher Mosaert / Polydor

«Ocean Child: Songs Of Yoko Ono»

From the first chords of Sharon Van Itten’s first song “Toyboat”, Yoko Ono’s new tribute album “Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono” seems to offer refuge to anyone who is tired of the attacking reality. Music lovers do not know Yoko Ono as well as her husband, who was killed in 1980. There has always been a certain skepticism about her: did the Japanese artist deserve so much attention to her music? But the new album removes all questions. Compiler of the compilation Ben Gibbard from the group Death Cab For Cutie is well aware of the elements from which the Yoko Ono catalog is woven, and he chose the perfect team. Here’s David Byrne (“Who Has Seen The Wind?”), Deerhoof (“No, No, No”), The Flaming Lips (“Mrs. Lennon”), Stephen Merritt (“Listen, The Snow Is Falling”) and more a number of flagships of the American alternative, which together extinguish the fire of discussions about the role of Yoko in the history of The Beatles, which erupted with renewed vigor after the release of Peter Jackson’s series “Get Back”. “Ocean Child: Songs Of Yoko Ono” is a rare case of an album that is now, in principle, possible to let into your heart and head. It seems that she and her husband really learned something about human nature that would be good for everyone to remember.

Publisher Atlantic

Gabriella Cohen’s “Blue No More”

The young Australian singer Gabriella Cohen is such a local phenomenon of the Green Continent that even Wikipedia does not have her personal page. There is no band The Furrs, where Gabriella Cohen sang before. Nevertheless, “Blue No More” is the third full-length album of the singer, and we can even talk about some evolution in the sound of her solo works. If the album “Full Closure And No Details” (2016) was characterized by gloomy and even gothic sound, then in “Pink Is The Color Of The Unconditional Love” (2018) Gabriella Cohen took a course on sunny folk and comfortable pop melodies and recorded them on a long journey through the Old and New Worlds. In the new album, Gabriella Cohen works with the boss-new, psychedelics, gospel, southern country and many other sources to make her melodies sound as diverse as possible. At the same time, the album, on the other hand, looks much clearer and conceptually concise than its predecessors. This will probably give the singer more opportunities outside of her native Australia. But she seems to inevitably lose something secret.

Publisher Gabriella Cohen

Brian Adams “So Happy It Hurts”

Canadian singer and photographer Brian Adams has released his fifteenth album of songs for radio stations, which does not contain a single note that you would not expect to hear from him. And don’t be embarrassed by the slight reggae nod in the song “Always Have, Always Will” – it’s still the same arena rock with catchy melodies. Only those to whom this rock can be attached, exchanged the sixth, if not the seventh ten, like Adams himself. The singer played all the instruments, and his longtime producer Robert “Matt” Lang was responsible for the authenticity of the sound. According to the singer, the sound of the album “So Happy It Hurts” should symbolize a return to normal life after the pandemic (remember that?). And if someone needs the typical Adams ballads, which are in short supply on “So Happy It Hurts”, you can turn to songs from Brian Adams’ musical “Beauty”, which is based on the film of the same name. The play was released in 2018, and the soundtrack was released a week before “So Happy It Hurts”. “Beauty” without songs by Roy Orbison and Roxette is, of course, strange, but in nature, it turns out, it exists.

Publisher BMG

Tatiana Zykina’s “Seventh Album”

In the late 2000s, when Izhevsk singer Tatiana Zykina declared herself as a new great Russian singer, the resulting noise did her no good. There were no nuances behind him. The singer’s career soon turned upside down, there was a six-year break in recording (but not in concert activities – she performed regularly in Zykin’s clubs). The new album was released on February 22, 2022, we can say, in silence. There was noise in other places. Indie from a woman’s face seems to have ceased to be interesting to anyone, as well as all music in general. “Seventh Album” was recorded at the junction of jazz, old pop and modern songwriting. Tatiana Zykina has not lost her recognizable poetic handwriting, her songs still regularly contain lines that I want to quote, that I want to turn to and there is an abyss. The listener, who is determined to look for predictions and omens, will find a lot of interesting things in the opening song of the album “Ghost”, but most of all – in the song “Involuntary”: “I’m far in the future, and it’s great. No pain, no bitterness, white spaces. “

Publisher Tatiana Zykina

Alena Shvets “Antidote”, “Poison”

If the intimate plots of the songs of the adult girl Zykina are interesting even against the background of the changing world, the favorite singer of all domestic teenage girls Alena Shvets took a big risk when she decided to release two albums – “Poison” and “Antidote”. The first is super-audacious, imbued with youthful hatred for everything at once. The second is conciliatory and even affectionate in places. Both albums are full of potential hits: no matter what happens around, the issue of puberty seems to have gone nowhere in life, there are girls, and they are growing up. Only a conversation with the “masses” is now unimaginable or associated with completely different music. Not the one in which regulators until recently sought “calls for suicide.” Mass youth pop, albeit with an alternative color, is not waiting for the best of times. It’s hard for him to compete with reality. But the attempt to count is still worth it. Release the album on March 11 – it also takes courage.

Publisher Alena Shvets

Jethro Tull «The Zealot Gene»

“The Zealot Gene” is the first album in almost 20 years, released by Ian Anderson under the brand of Jethro Tull, which he founded in 1967. However, in 2012 he released a sequel to the legendary album “Thick As A Brick” (1972), and in 2014 – more than successful “Homo Erraticus”, so the story of the great group by and large was not interrupted. The Zealot Gene is a worthy page in this story. Despite the pop-rock start in the form of the song “Mr. Tibbets “and the ballad” The Betrayal Of Joshua Kynde “with a mainstream keyboard riff, in general, the album continues the tradition of” knightly progressive rock “with the inevitable flute, leading against the background of electric guitars. However, Jan Anderson’s texts are much closer to the present than the passions of the Middle Ages. Each song begins with a passage from the Bible, but biblical themes appear in verse in conjunction with today’s realities. Anderson began writing these songs five years ago, when he was most concerned about Donald Trump and the rise of right-wing populism in his native England. The topics turned out to be close to the public even now. For the first time since 1972, Jethro Tull’s album entered the top ten in the UK.

Publisher Inside Out

Khruangbin (starring Leon Bridges) “Texas Moon”

The Houston band Khruangbin (translated from Thai – “airplane”) has released the second EP in collaboration with their fellow countryman from Texas – Leon Bridges of Fort Worth. If in their solo work Khruangbin deliberately reduces the weight of the vocals, making it one of the equal parts of the arrangement, then in the recordings with Leon Bridges, the vocalist will be promoted to his rightful place in the center of the picture. Although Khruangbin’s music is largely inspired by the soundtracks of the 1970s, the EP with Leon Bridges does not automatically line up with pompous soul recordings such as Anderson Pak and Bruno Mars’ recent album Silk Sonic. The previous EP “Texas Sun” (2020) and the new work of the alliance offer their escape route from the harsh today to the world of the wild but beautiful West of an unknown era. “Texas Moon” is called the “dark side” of “Texas Sun”, but this darkness does not scare, but rather soothes. The world of albums turned out to be so attractive to the public that the fundamentally non-mainstream recording of “Texas Moon” was ranked 23rd on the Billboard charts. A complete surprise.

Publisher Dead Oceans

Rex Orange County “Who Cares?”

“Who Cares?” – the second album of Hampshire songwriter Alexander O’Connor, released under a contract with record-breaking major Sony Music. This is probably one of the reasons why it is not so easy for Russian listeners to find new songs: the company has suspended our work. Earlier, Rex Orange County (O’Connor’s stage name) released the songs himself, and recorded them himself – and therefore was included in the “bedrum-pop” scene, which included Billy Isle, and Olivia Rodrigo, and Claire. Listening to “Who Cares?”, It is not so easy to find traces of “home recording” in this music. The 23-year-old singer’s voice is still full of teenage harassment and student recklessness. But orchestral strings sound, so to speak, expensive, the bass guitar provides a flawless groove, and the song “Open A Window” appears one of the most authoritative rappers of modern Tyler, The Creator. Rex Orange County has firmly established itself right in the middle between progressive amateurism and soul in the best traditions of Stevie Wonder.

Publisher RCA / Sony Music

Scorpions «Rock Believer»

“Rock Believer” is Scorpions’ first album in seven years. The Germans repeatedly announced the end of their careers and went on farewell tours, but the love of fans and the habit of composing rock militants took their toll this time as well. And the musicians were clearly guided not only by the desire to earn once again, it was enough to just go on another tour. Scorpions love to write songs, and since 2016, the band has included Mickey Dee, a former Motorhead drummer. This musician clearly added confidence to the veterans, their music became tougher and the rhythmic basis stronger. Klaus Maine’s vocals exude the purest honey, as in the best years. The melodic gift is also in place, just listen to the slow songs “Call Of The Wild” and “When You Know (Where You Come From)”. The latter may well compete in the number of lighters in concert halls with the legendary “Wind Of Change”. It is unknown, however, whether the Scorpions will perform “Wind Of Change” in the foreseeable future. The song, directly inspired by Gorbachev’s perestroika, is no longer listened to in the way it has in the last 30 years. As Boris Groys said in a recent interview, “the wind of change is nowhere to be found.”

Publisher Universal

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