Exclusive Review: Alanis Morissette's Bold New 'Flavors'


A few weeks ago I got a call from one of my producers Guy Sigsworth saying that he’d nearly finished the project he, and his colleague Andy Page, have been working on for the majority of 2007 - the brand new Alanis Morissette album ‘Flavors of Entanglement’. Guy asked if I would pop over to his studio to have an album playback and share my thoughts. I was really excited, partly because I didn’t really know what to expect.

When ‘Jagged Little Pill’ came out in 1995 I was 14, and it swiftly became one of the most important albums for me alongside Joni Mitchell’s ‘Blue’ and Tori Amos’ ‘Little Earthquakes’. I loved their honesty, their melodies and their strength. Skip forward to Autumn 2006 and I was working with Guy on ‘Winter’s Coming’, the closing song for my debut Temposhark album. Alanis had just approached him to see if he’d be interested in collaborating.

One year on, I arrive at Guy’s studio in West London. He reminds me that by now they’ve produced and co-written well over twenty songs! In this one afternoon I hear 22 songs in total, and as each song went by, it was like falling in love with Alanis all over again.

Four highlights for me were ‘Citizen Of The Planet’ which starts off with intriguing lyrics that twist and turn around a captivating melody before hurtling into one of the best choruses of her career - it’s just MASSIVE and her voice cuts right through you... Another gem called ‘Madness’ is spell binding in its beauty, and actually a really long song at over six minutes if I remember correctly, but unusually it didn’t feel long at all! I could’ve listened to that one over and over again...

‘Straitjacket’ is another powerful track that has stuck in my head, with genius lyrics and great melodic hooks... whilst my favourite of all the songs is called ‘Torch’. It’s just the most touching, almost devastating, dedication to the end of a relationship and the things you miss most about your day-to-day life with a partner.

And it was on hearing ‘Torch’, that I remembered why Alanis is such an important voice. She is so good at channelling her subconscious, those true thoughts most people hide. She can take those deeply private emotions and translate them in a simple, easy-to-relate-to way; putting into words what so many of us feel. This new collection of songs takes you on a serious emotional journey, across many highs and lows, and is possibly her best song writing since ‘Jagged Little Pill’ and 'Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie'. It’s just so easy to connect with – the end of a relationship, the value of childhood friends, complicated family ties and all kinds of emotional ‘entanglements’.

Robert's review of Alanis continues after the jump!

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Erasure New Album Details


The guys of Erasure keep cranking out new albums. There's nothing that seems to stop them! Right on the heels of their acoustic "Union Street" CD and Andy Bell's solo album, the British duo is gearing up to release their brand-new studio album "Light At The End Of The World" on March 22 on Mute.  First single taken from the album "I Could Fall In Love With You" will be released in conjuntion with the record.

A press release describes the new CD as "a potent return to classic, totally electronic Erasure form as last heard on 2005’s "Nightbird."

"Light At The End Of The World" was written and recorded  at a private home in the U.S. in Maine which Clarke and Bell, alongside producer Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode, Nick Cave), converted into a recording studio.  It was here over a month's time during the fall of 2006, they wrote and recorded ten new songs.

(Oh, and that's a vintage Erasure photo of course.)

Tracey Thorn to Release Album in March


It is offical. Tracey Thorn's new solo album will be released on March 20 in the U.S. on Astralwerk. The label sent a formal statement out today with an introduction to the singer and some background info about the new album. The disc will be titled "Out Of The Woods." As posted earlier, you can listen to the fantastic new track "It's All True" on her MySpace page.

Full statement after the jump.

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New Young Pony Club Release Digital EP

New Young Pony Club is finally making their formal debut in the United States on Modular Records early in 2007. On January 23, the label will be putting out an EP with original songs and remixes of the group's punky-funky first single "Ice Cream." However, a digital version of the EP is already available on iTunes for your immediate listening pleasure.

You might recognize the song from the Intel "Multiply" commercial that is currently airing in the United States and Europe.

New York Pony Club are the brainchild of founding members Andy and Tahita, who put out “Ice Cream” on U.K. indie label Tirk. When all 1000 copies sold out within 3 days, the duo decided to think bigger and form a proper band. London based, by way of Cambridge, the female-dominated rabble rousing band now consists of Tahita (vocals) Andy (guitar) Lou (keyboards), Sarah (drums) and the Ukrainian Igor (bass).

The video for "Ice Cream" has been out for a while but if you haven seen this candy-flavored delight make sure to watch it and get your sugar fix for the day.

The tracklisting of the New York Pony Club EP includes "Ice Cream," "Get Dancey," "Descend,"  "Ice Cream (Comets remix)," "Ice Cream (Van She remix)" and "Ice Cream (DJ Medhi remix)." My favorite is the electro-rock version of Van She. The group will also be in the U.S. next week to play L.A. (6/12), San Francisco (7/12), NYC/Manhattan (8/12), NYC/Brooklyn (9/12).

The Killers to Release Christmas Song


NME reports that The Killers went back into the studio earlier this month to record a Christmas song together with producer Alan Moulder. The Las Vegas foursome recorded the tune "A Great Big Sleigh" that will released on iTunes on December 5.

Brandon Flowers explained to NME that he was inspired by many Christmas songs in the past. "There are some great Christmas tunes that have been recorded over the years from the likes of George Michael and John Lennon," he explained. "Sometime you forget. You get so caught up in business and being an adult that you forget to have fun and enjoy things and be nice to people." (Flowers photo via Caroline.)