All apologies for the tardiness of this week’s record store report: my day job schedule for the remainder of this month is jus’ crazy, so let me apologize for the spotty posting which will surely result from my need to earn a living. Thankfully, the pickins are mighty slim this week, which gives you a perfect chance to revisit last week and catch up on anything you might have missed in that jam-packed madness. (If you need a clue for where to turn first, let me just scoop my forthcoming review of Kelly Clarkson’s latest album by saying simply this: I’m thinking of a word; the word is dynamite.)


Do I already proudly own every last track — Counting Crows’ untouchable 1994 classic “Round Here,” Hole’s 1999 stomper “Malibu,” or 3 Doors Down’s elegant 2002 heartbreaker “Be Like That” (which featured a true star-making vocal performance from Brad Arnold), or Oasis’ 1996 gem “Don’t Look Back in Anger” (which unfortunately was overshadowed by the behemoths — “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova” — that preceded it on the radio) that deserves its placement on Buzz Ballads 2? Damn straight I do. Is that going to prevent me from shelling out the ten or so bucks required to purchase this album, which manages to wrangle all the aforementioned tuneage (and so much more untold brilliance!) onto one shining, beautiful, eminently listenable disc? The hell you say!

VH-1 has been incessantly plugging
“Sweet About Me,” the girl’s frisky first single, and now much-buzzed-about sixteen-year-old newcomer Gabriella Cilmi — that’s pronounced CHILL-me, for all you uninitiated — blows onto the scene this week with her full-length debut, Lessons to Be Learned. Cilmi’s already garnering comparisons to that hot mess Amy Winehouse, but listen closer: judging by “Sweet,” as well as the few other bits and pieces I’ve heard from Lessons, and you’ll swear you’re hearing traces of fellow Australian heroine Kylie Minogue. This one could be a sleeper, kids.

One of the most impressive, most remarkably consistent commercial careers in the history of country music gets summed up nicely this week with the new two-disc collection I Told You So: The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis. Widely credited with kicking off the neotraditionalist movement that would later sweep through the genre in the mid-to-late ’80s (and introduce in its wake artists the likes of Patty Loveless, Clint Black, and Alan Jackson, among many others), Travis shot to fame twenty-five years ago with his breakthrough smashes “1982” and “On the Other Hand” and was a dependable hitmaker for most of the next decade. Travis was adrift for a spell in the wake of the Garth explosion of the early ’90s, but he launched a spectacular comeback in 1997 with a switch from Warner Bros. to Dreamworks and a great single called “Out of My Bones.” (How disappointing is it that a deal couldn’t be reached to include any of that terrific Dreamworks material on this set?) No doubt spurred on by the stunning success of “Three Wooden Crosses” a few years back, Travis has wandered of late into inspirational music, but what a great reminder these two discs are of a time when this man was the cream of the crunchy crop.

Also noteworthy this week:


  • One of the ’80s’ most fabulous (and most heinously underrated) country artists, the eternally terrific Juice Newton, gets a reissue for one of her richest and most sonically interesting albums, 1984’s decidedly pop-leaning Can’t Wait All Night, which, if only for its magnificent title track, is well worth the effort it’ll take to track it down.

  • I don’t know why this sounds familiar, or like something worth owning — Sherry Ann, did you tell me about this? — but Irish pop band The Script is up this week with its self-titled debut record.

  • Legendary artist Marianne Faithfull is back with her 22nd album,
    Easy Come, Easy Go.


3 responses to “the world’s a better place when it’s upside down, boy
(or: march 17 — a thumbnail sketch)”

  1. the buzz from Sherry Ann:

    I did! They play The Script every week on Sober House.

  2. the buzz from brandon:

    See! Don’t say I never listen when you speak!

  3. the buzz from Sherry Ann:

    That Dr. Drew is soooo yummy!