Music

GrooveOut Shorts: July 2007

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Rufus Wainwright, Timbaland, Curtains, Christine Ebersole, High Fidelity, Chris Garneau, Dolores O’Riordan, Deborah Cox, Joss Stone, Mandy Moore, Pretenders, Tiffany, Jessica Molaskey, Cary Brothers, Justin Lanning,Joss Stone, Mandy Moore, Pretenders, Tiffany, Jessica Molaskey, Gay Days Vol. 4 , One Mighty Weekend, Cary Brothers, Justin Lanning—INCLUDING WEB-ONLY SHORTS 
  Troy Carrington

RufusRufus Wainwright
Release the Stars
Few recording artists arriving on the pop music scene in the past decade have created a body of work as distinctive as that of the openly gay singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. His deeply personal and idiosyncratic songs are like nothing else out there, partly because of his gorgeous melodies and partly because it’s not that unusual for “Bea Arthur” to turn up in his lyrics. Wainwright needn’t be compared to other artists, but names like Dylan, Lennon, and (Leonard) Cohen might come to mind when you consider the overall quality of his best work. Now comes Release the Stars, his fifth album in a decade, with 12 new songs that can only enhance his reputation. And he looks stunning in lederhosen! From Geffen Records (www.geffen.com). — Review: Jack Varsi

Various Artists
Timbaland Presents Shock Value

Justin Timberlake. Missy Elliot. Elton John. Nelly Furtado. Fall Out Boy. 50 Cent. Super producer Timbaland brings these heavy hitters together for the must-have CD of the summer. Specifically, Elton John’s deft piano weaving through “2 Man Show” proves Sir Elton still has a thing or two to show the kids. From Timbaland Music (www.timbalandmusic.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

CurtainsOriginal Broadway Cast
Curtains
To the possible surprise of one person in these United States, David Hyde Pierce came out of the closet in May. The Frasier second banana then received the Tony last month for his star turn in Curtains, the pleasant final show from John Kander and the late Fred Ebb (Cabaret). Listen for another Fraiser ex, openly gay Edward Hibbert, who played food critic Gil Chesterson. From Broadway Angel/Manhattan Records (www.manhattanrecords.com). — Review: Tim Brookover

Christine Ebersole with Billy Stritch
In Your Dreams

Former Houstonian and Friend of Liza (Minnelli) Stritch joins Ebersole — another recent Tony winner, for Grey Gardens — on this CD version of their cabaret act. The powerhouse Ebersole, who performs this month on chum Rosie O’Donnell’s R Family cruise, and Stritch sing solo numbers and pair up — notably on a sassy “There’s a Boat Dat’s Leavin’ Soon for New York.” From Ghostlight Records (www.ghostlightrecords.com). — Review: Tim Brookover

AMusicalOriginal Cast
High Fidelity: The Musical
Though its run on Broadway lasted a mere 10 days, High Fidelity’s producers have released the poppish original score based on the movie about the habitués of a record shop. The “I Slept with Someone…” series is clever. From Ghostlight Records (www.sh-k-boom.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

Chris Garneau
Music for Tourists

In June, this out musician and Logo favorite brought his gentle folk tunes, with their cello-infused richness, to The Proletariat. With thoughtful lyrics and melodic shifts, his work recalls Rufus Wainwright’s, but with a double dose of Xanax. From Absolutely Kosher Records (www.chrisgarneau.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

ListeningDolores O’Riordan
Are You Listening?
It took four years for this former Cranberries lead singer to birth this, her first solo effort, and it was worth every moment of the wait. It’s good to hear her voice again, especially on “Ordinary Day” and the initially discordant “When We Were Young.” From Sanctuary Records (www. sanctuaryrecords.com). — Review: Nancy Ford (Editor’s note: See web special story: “Talking with Dolores O’Riordan.”)

Deborah Cox
Destination Moon

On Destination Moon, Deborah Cox reinterprets the classic songs of Dinah Washington, thus thrusting the R&B/dance diva into whole new territory, showcasing her range as an artist capable of tackling jazz, blues, and big-band with ease and confidence. From Decca (www.umusic.com). — Preview: Suzie Lynde  

JStoneJoss Stone
Introducing Joss Stone
The 19-year-old ironically titled her third album Introducing because it’s “the first album I’ve made that is truly me,” she says. But we’re already quite familiar with this old-soul, throaty R&B junior diva. “Music,” with assistance from Lauryn Hill, stands out. From Virgin records (www.jossstaone.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

Mandy Moore
Wild Hope

We’ve always respected her comparatively even-keeled career as a pop starlet. And we loved her acting turn in Saved. Now we find out Mandy Moore can write music, too! All this, without benefit of rehab. Her “Ladies’ Choice,” deep and driving, is a keeper. From EMI Music (www.emigroup.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

PretendersPretenders
Get Close and Learning to Crawl
She of the long bangs, Chrissie Hynde, and cohorts return with expanded reissues of two monster albums chock-full of demos, outtakes, and previously unreleased tracks. Texas Pretenders-ophiles will swoon at the inclusion of live versions of “Thumbelina” and “Don’t Get Me Wrong,” both recorded in Austin in 1987. From Rhino Records (www.rhino.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford

Tiffany
Just Me

This Star Search and Celebrity Fit Club alumna penned or co-penned most of the songs on this collection. Its designated first single/title cut is poppy, boppy, and fresh; listening to it makes me want to go to the mall. From Ten Spot Music (www.10spotmusic.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

JMolaskeyJessica Molaskey
Sitting in Limbo
This acclaimed singer has tapped Billy Joel, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, and Sting for her fourth solo recording endeavor. Her husband, John Pizzarelli produces this diverse selection of songs, helping Molaskey maintain a smoky, jazzy thread. From PS Classics (www.psclassics.com). — Review: Nancy Ford

Various Artists
Gay Days, Vol. 4

It’s the happiest place on earth, and perhaps the most litigious. Maybe that’s why producers were careful not to employ the “D” word anywhere on this CD, despite its familiar theme park look, on this thumpa-thumpa collection mixed by DJ Randy Bettis. From Centaur Music (www.centaurmusic.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford

WeekendWEB-ONLY SHORTS
Various Artists
One Mighty Weekend, Volume 2
Johnny Chisholm produces this sophomore collection of club mixes spun by DJ Roland Belmares. Donna Summer and Kathy Griffin performed at its kickoff at Gay Days in Orlando last month, making this CD an enviable inclusion on any club kid’s shelf. From Centaur Music (www.centaurmusic.com). — Preview: Nancy Ford

Cary Brothers
Who You Are
Fans of the quirky indie film, Garden State, may recognize Brothers’ “Blue Eyes,” the closing track on his debut album. The tunes are pleasant adult contemporary fodder, but most curious are two, nearly two-minute tracks, both titled “Untitled,” of complete silence. Maybe they’re songs only dogs can hear. From Bluhammock Music (www.carybrothers.com). —Review: Nancy Ford

JLanningJustin Lanning
Behind These Eyes
Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Justin Lanning’s debut CD contains spirited and optimistic songs that reflect the 21-year-old’s broad set of influences, such as the glossy, power-pop sheen of Weezer, the storytelling prowess of Billy Joel, the youthful exuberance of James Blunt, and the energy of blink-182. Self-taught from a young age on a variety of instruments, including guitar, piano, bass, and drums, Lanning wrote and performed all the songs on his self-financed album. From King George Records (www.justinlanning.com). —Preview: Troy Carrington

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