Melissa, Annie, Joni and Faith. Do I need to tell you their last names? Probably not given how successful each of these artists have been.
These four women have new CDs out so if you're looking for some new tunes checking out these offerings might be a good place to start.
Annie Lennox's latest is "Songs of Mass Destruction," released today.. The video for the first single "Dark Road" highlights the undercurrent of unease felt during wartime which weaves a thematic thread through much of these artists' work without being outright protest songs.
Sarah Rodman at the Boston Globe writes that Annie Lennox wraps herself in optimism and empowerment.
Wendy Brandes usually blogs jewelery but Annie's new album leads her to post in her occasional series "Music Hum."
Faith Hill's new album (also out today) is a greatest hits compilation with a few new tracks to give you a reason to buy.
Check out her performance (upper right corner) from Good Morning America this morning. Also, not a video, but the CD cover with the single "Red Umbrella" playing...
Joni Mitchell has released new music in many years and she returns with "Shine." Mitchell is one of the most influential artists of all time and is worth checking out if for no other reason than to understand the influences of some of your favorite younger musicians.
j. brotherlove has a thoughtful review of Joni (and his other top artists this week)
Mitchell neophytes may find Shine’s content depressing or preachy. However, the contemplative magic is in her lyrics, phrasing and arrangements. When she sings lyrics like "Holy War, Genocide, Suicide, Hate and Cruelty, How can this be holy?, If I had a heart, I’d cry" on "If I Had A Heart" she includes herself in the equation.
Kat at The Common Ills takes male critics to task for their evaluation of Joni's new album:
Shine, said the woman, so you better shine. The woman in question is Joni Mitchell, the CD is Shine and it's not just one of the year's best, it's Joni's return. That alone should be cause for excitement, just having a new album from Joni. For the half-awake, that may be the end of it. "A new CD by Joni? Nice." But it's not "nice" and that's the really the problem for some. See, women are repeatedly told -- even now -- to be "nice." That's what's at heart of some of the criticism such as the self-proclaimed "dean of rock critics" with his laughable swipes at the album in the current edition of Rolling Stone. Robert Christgau.
Melissa Etheridge is many things: rock star, breast cancer survivor, environmentalist, wife and mother which is why she has decided to postpone her tour supporting her new CD "The Awakening" until school is out.
Steph Mineart at commonplacebook.com bought the CD on a whim and writes:
In all, I'm glad I bought it. Over the years my musical tastes have grown quite a bit away from female folk/rock songwriters, but there's lots to enjoy about this CD.
Also, because I cannot pass up an opportunity to talk about Melissa's favorite artist, Bruce Springsteen, I'll mention that his new CD "Magic" is out today and Entertainment Weekly gives it an "A" and Rolling Stone gives it 5 out of 5 stars.
Finally, last but not least, is "100 Days, 100 Nights" by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. You might not have heard of this group but if you've heard the inescapable "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse then you've heard the Dap-Kings. Oliver Wang writing in the Los Angeles Times says forget the manufactured Jones-Winehouse beef because "'100 Days, 100 Nights,' deserves every accolade it has and will receive."
Bonus new music link: Entertainment Weekly's fall music 2007 guide to "The 10 Most Exciting Artists Right Now" with songs from each. Good news, there are many women on the list so you can fill you iPod with favorites old and new.
What are you listening to this fall? Do you have any new favorites to share? Any old favorites you are excited to have return?
Maria blogs about pop culture including Bruce Springsteen and much more at Beyond Help
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