Best Music CDs Artists 2012
1. Adele 21
21 is the eagerly awaited sophomore album from British singer-songwriter Adele. It’s the follow up to Adele’s critically acclaimed, Grammy award winning debut album 19 (both named after her age at the time the songs were written). Recorded in Malibu and London, 21 offered Adele the opportunity to work with such luminary producers and songwriters as Rick Rubin, Paul Epworth, Ryan Tedder, Dan Wilson and Fraser T. Smith, as well as continuing to work with Francis “Eg” White and Jim Abbiss.
This new collection of songs showcases the growth of this incredible artist, who at the very young age of twenty two, exhibits the poise of a seasoned veteran. Adele’s music takes some new direction while staying true to her signature style… Read more >
For an artist who only released four proper albums in a 15-year career, it’s astounding to recall how many hits Whitney Houston was able to achieve. The two CDs on The Greatest Hits track Houston’s rise from mid-’80s Top 40 balladeer to standard-setting diva. Disc 1, Cool Down, runs chronologically through Houston’s down-tempo love songs, from “The Greatest Love of All” and “I Will Always Love You” to the cleverly conceived new duet with Deborah Cox, “Same Script, Different Cast.” She’s also showcased as the remixee of choice for DJs on the second disc, Throw Down, which serves as the antidote to the lovesick first disc. Calling in marquee mixmasters, Houston’s old-shoe tunes get a new millennium polish. “My Love Is Your Love,” reinterpreted by Jonathan Peters, captures the versatility of Houston’s songs by making the downbeats danceable without going totally Euro-cheese. In contrast, Junior Vasquez’s remix of 1985’s “How Will I Know” pokes fun at the song’s ’80s fluffiness by layering in bells, lasers effects, and echoes on top of Whitney’s enthusiastic vocals… Read more >
3. Adele 19
19 is the Grammy Award-winning debut album from British singer/songwriter Adele. Citing influences as diverse as Etta James, Jill Scott, Bjork, Dusty Springfield, Billy Bragg, Billie Holiday, Jeff Buckley, The Cure and Peggy Lee, Adele is a truly unique new artist. With her mix up of R&B and soul served up with a healthy dash of feisty London attitude, she spins beautiful dark stories of loves won and lost and sometimes just daydreamed about. Features the classic tracks Chasing Pavements and Hometown Glory as well as a cover of Bob Dylan s Make You Feel My Love… Read more >
With over 170 million combined albums, singles, and videos sold worldwide during her career with Arista Records, Whitney Houston has established a benchmark for superstardom that will quite simply never be eclipsed in the modern era. She is a singer’s singer who has influenced countless other vocalists, male and female. Houston is triumphed by the Guinness Book of World Records as music’s “Most Awarded Female Artist of All Time” with an amazing tally of 411 awards. She holds both the biggest-selling U.S. single of all-time (her career defining rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”) and one of the top 10 best-selling albums of all time (The Bodyguard soundtrack) to her many credits. She’s also the only artist to chart seven consecutive #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits, hold seven consecutive multi-platinum albums. She reigns as the first female artist to have entered the Billboard 200 album chart at #1. Whitney’s highly anticipated new studio album features a wide array of A-list producers including Stargate, R Kelly, Akon, Eric Hudson & Johnta Austin, Fernando Garabay & Harvey Mason Jr., Tricky Stewart, Swizz Beatz, David Foster and Diane Warren. On September 1, 2009, the Legend, the Icon, the Worldwide Superstar returns with her best work yet… Read more >
“We are delighted to partner with Universal Republic Records to once again bring together one of the most eclectic mix of tracks in one album,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “And this year we are extremely excited to offer GRAMMY and music fans the opportunity to experience Music’s Biggest Night® firsthand through our pre-order enter-and-win sweepstakes. We look forward to another successful chart-topping year and to providing further support to the important work that MusiCares and the GRAMMY Foundation continue to do year-round.” Universal Republic Records President/CEO Monte Lipman said, “It’s an absolute honor to be working with The Recording Academy on this release. There have been so many incredible songs and albums released this past year and having the chance to produce a comprehensive snapshot of all that great music is incredible. In addition, it’s wonderful to support these fantastic charities the album will benefit… Read more >
While many a musician is often asked about the tunes that have influenced their songwriting, it is not a question Paul McCartney ordinarily gets to answer – until now. Paul is about to offer a glimpse into “the songs which inspired the songs” with the upcoming release of a brand new album of those standards he grew up listening to in his childhood-plus two brand new McCartney compositions. With the help of Grammyr Award-winning producer Tommy LiPuma and Diana Krall and her band-as well as guest appearances from Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder, McCartney’s new album is a deeply personal journey through classic American compositions that, in some cases, a young Paul first heard his father perform on piano at home. As authentic and daring a musical statement as he could make, this is the album Paul has been thinking about making for more than 20 years – and probably the last thing his fans are expecting. “In the end it was ‘Look, if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it’,” he says. In short, Paul believes it is about time “the songs me and John based quite a few of our things on” received the recognition they deserve. Moreover, the record also features a couple of new original McCartney compositions in the spirit of those classics. “When I kind of got into songwriting, I realized how well structured these songs were and I think I took a lot of my lessons from them,” Paul explains… Read more >
From our master singer-songwriter, Leonard Cohen, here are ten new songs that mine the heart, shake the body and break the boundaries as everybody knows only Leonard can do. A signature of our time, Leonard’s baritone holds us like the voices of Hank, Frank and Ray. These are songs that nobody knows and everyone will treasure.
Fans were given a hint of what to expect when Cohen made remarks as the recipient of the Principe de Asturias Prize for literature in Spain in October 2011.
“As I grew older, I understood that instructions came with this voice. And the instructions were these…Never to lament casually. And if one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity & beauty… Read more >
Marking his 17th studio album, ‘Wrecking Ball’ features 11 new Springsteen recordings and was produced by Ron Aniello with Bruce Springsteen and executive producer Jon Landau.
Said long-time manager Jon Landau, “Bruce has dug down as deep as he can to come up with this vision of modern life. The lyrics tell a story you can’t hear anywhere else and the music is his most innovative of recent years. The writing is some of the best of his career and both veteran fans and those who are new to Bruce will find much to love on ‘Wrecking Ball.'”
This special edition of ‘Wrecking Ball’ includes two bonus tracks and exclusive artwork and photography… Read more >
One of the most popular hard rock bands ever, Van Halen’s stellar reputation for no-frills macho rock has taken a backseat in recent years as continuing personnel problems impeded their ability to record and release new material.
Brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen formed the hard rock band that would take their name in 1972, with bassist Michael Anthony and singer David Lee Roth, and gigged around California to build a reputation. They finally released their debut album, Van Halen, in 1978, to great commercial success… Read more >
Summit Entertainment, Chop Shop Records and Atlantic Records presents The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, the musical companion to the highly anticipated fourth installment in Summit’s worldwide blockbuster film franchise. The soundtrack is highlighted by the new single, “It Will Rain,” by Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum singer/songwriter/producer Bruno Mars.
In addition, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack features new tracks from an extraordinary array of artists, including Christina Perri, The Joy Formidable, The Belle Brigade, Theophilus London, and Mia Maestro (who co-stars in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 as Carmen Denali of the Denali Coven). Iron & Wine, who were featured on Twilight – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack return with a newly recorded version of their song “Flightless Bird, American Mouth.” Chop Shop Music Supervision owner Alexandra Patsavas (Grey’s Anatomy, Gossip Girl) returns as Producer/Music Supervisor on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack having worked closely with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 director Bill Condon in compiling the tracklisting. Paul Katz of Eye2Ear Music serves as both the producer of the album as well as Summit’s point person on film-related music and soundtracks… Read more >
Copyright 2012 David Masters