Dependable pop rocker doesn’t disappoint on solo album
Album: The Nice Unknown
Artist: Rob Thomas
Don’t let the title idiot you: Rob Thomas stays a identified amount on his third solo album. Whereas which means there aren’t many surprises, the excellent news is he’s nonetheless the identical consummate pop-rock craftsman who has been making all of it sound so easy for years. Reunited with Matchbox Twenty producer Matt Serletic, Thomas piles on the hooks proper from the opener, ‘I Assume We’d Really feel Good Collectively,’ a soulful come-on. Even catchier is ‘Maintain On Ceaselessly’ — it’s pure acoustic-guitar bliss. Elsewhere, the title tune is an atmospheric ballad about “driving via the valley of the nice unknown.” With Thomas on the wheel, you may belief the journey.
A covers album from the Aussie songbird who sang ‘Torn’
Artist: Natalie Imbruglia
Should you at all times dreamed you’d get an opportunity to listen to Natalie Imbruglia sing ‘I Soften With You’, your future simply acquired just a little extra open vast. This Australian pop thrush broke hearts world wide again within the Nineties together with her traditional karaoke weeper ‘Torn’, and Male has that very same lying-naked-on-the-floor vibe: Imbruglia covers 12 songs made well-known by dude acts, together with Neil Younger, Tom Petty, Pete Townshend, Dying Cab for Cutie and Zac Brown Band. The ache in her voice oddly fits Daft Punk’s ‘On the spot Crush’ and Iron and Wine’s ‘Bare as We Got here’. One of the best second is probably the most weird: Imbruglia turns the Remedy’s “Friday I’m in Love” into a rustic hoedown, full with a so-not-goth banjo solo.
Squeaky-clean pop star reveals she’s all grown up on her enjoyable, clubby third album
Album: Proper Right here Proper Now
Artist: Jordin Sparks
Jordin Sparks has made a profession out of age-appropriate pop — catchy sufficient for the charts, tame sufficient on your mother and father. The 25-year-old star’s first new LP in six years sees her turning into sexier, sassier and shadier with time. Taking cues from R&B upstarts like Tinashe and Jhené Aiko, Sparks focuses on singing in ways in which play off the beats (many provided by Amy Winehouse producer Salaam Remi), though she nonetheless makes time for a few of her signature pop belting. On the two Chainz-featuring ‘Double Faucet’, she laments a thirsty Instagram lurker; the infectious ‘Boyz within the Hood’ goals for hip-hop kitsch. A couple of ballads drag down the album’s momentum and get misplaced among the many bouncy membership songs, which both recall DJ Mustard’s sound or are literally produced by him (‘It Ain’t You’). Nonetheless, rays of sunshine just like the reggae jam ‘Informal Love’, that includes Shaggy, remind us that Sparks remains to be a woman on fireplace.
– Rolling Stone
Footnote: Vasay Chaudhry’s interview will probably be featured within the
upcoming difficulty of Instep on Sunday