Music of the Week

4.28.2009

By Lauren Harris



Bob Dylan
Together Through Life
And for his next trick, the 67-year-old Mr. Zimmerman will release his 33rd album, using a French filmmaker's work for inspiration, and producing it under one of his many aliases, Jack Frost. America's best-loved rocker bard's latest album is the third of a piece; along with 2006's Modern Times and 2001's Love and Theft, Together forms a trifecta with Dylan's other work of this century, though this time the album has a cinematic vibe, with the lyrics front and center for the purpose of story-telling. As if he didn't have enough of his own stories, Dylan is using the work of Olivier Dahan (Ma Vie En Rose), illustrating a dusty road trip steeped in the Americana Dylan's music is so well-versed in. Get it on:Bob Dylan - Together Through Life
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Ben Folds
Ben Folds Presents: University A Capella
Regardless of what anyone tells you, there are truly only two types of people in the world: Those who like a capella music, and those who do not. Include precious singer-songwriter Ben Folds in the former category. Due to some cosmic alignment, it seems that a capella groups are equally smitten with Folds, making his songs oft-covered tunes in their repertoire. Folds caught wind of this phenomenon, and decided to solicit submissions from university a capella groups from around the country for an opportunity to appear on his latest album. Folds whittled down a dizzying number of candidates to record just 15 of his most a capella-tastic tunes, recording groups like the University of Chicago's Voices In Your Head and Washington University in St. Louis's Mosaic Whispers live. Note: a capella group names are worth the price of the album alone. Get it on:Ben Folds - Ben Folds Presents: University a Cappella!
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Ben Lee
The Rebirth of Venus
For reasons that the pint-sized indie rocker aren't abundantly clear on the album, Lee's latest is an exploration of all things feminine, from its title down to one critically ravaged song 'I'm A Woman Too.' Unfortunately, those sentiments distract from what has made Lee a stalwart force in the indie-pop world for more than half his life: an unswerving commitment to melody. No word on what prompted Lee to embark on his mission to further cultivate his more feminine side, but it could be said that it's an exploration best not set to music. Lee does win points for the ladies in his life, however: Actress (and Lee's brand new wife) Ione Skye makes an appearance on the album cover, and Lee's new stepdaughter is featured on the pots and pans for album opener 'What's So Bad (About Feeling Good).' Get it on:Ben Lee - The Rebirth of Venus (Deluxe Version)

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