New albums from Wynonna & The Big Noise, David Bowie and Hinds.
Reviews of Wynonna & The Big Noise, David Bowie and Hinds
BY M. BRIANNA STALLINGS
Wynonna & The Big Noise
Wynonna Judd has had a rough row to hoe. Most recently, current husband and bandmate Cactus Moser lost a leg in a motorcycle accident. Despite struggles with addiction and infamously rocky relationships with mother Naomi and sister Ashley, a wisened Wynonna remains unbroken.
This eponymous debut with her new band is her first album of original material in 13 years. Plus Wynonna covers soul singer Raphael Saadiq (“Staying In Love”) and renowned country songwriter Julie Miller (“You Make My Heart Beat Too Fast”). Her world-worn humanity shines on “Things That I Lean On” and “Keeps Me Alive”; the latter’s breathtaking falsetto howl resembles a hound baying at the moon. Occasionally saccharine, “Wynonna & The Big Noise” boasts a sense of narrative continuity that’s always genuine.
I’m soothed by the loud and uncomfortable. New, unfamiliar noise cradles me . . . especially when it comes from a reliably transgressive source like David Bowie. Released on his 69th birthday, “★ Blackstar” proves weird enough to scratch that itch.
Produced by faithful Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti, rock’s aging changeling recruited James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem), citing Kendrick Lamar and Death Grips as influences. We rise, shine, swell, burst and descend from the sax-heavy title track and opener which, along with “‘Tis a Pity She’s A Whore,” “Sue (Or In a Season of Crime)” and “Girl Loves Me,” hearkens back to Bowie’s Berlin trilogy and 1995’s underrated “Outside.” Though solidly experimental, “★ Blackstar” isn’t as new as you might think. Addendum: Thank you and goodbye, Mr. Jones.
In Madrid, Spain, two Deers named Carlotta Cosials and Ana García Perrote wielded axes and sang girl power-infused garage rock. Then came two more, bassist Ade Martín and drummer Amber Grimbergen. The quartet ditched the moniker — legal issues — becoming instead a herd of Hinds (female red deer). Coming in at two seconds under 38 minutes, their debut full-length “Leave Me Alone” contradicts its alienating title with 12 inviting, effervescent tracks. Cosials and García Perrote emit audible grins on “And I Will Send Your Flowers Back” and “Warts.” “I’ll Be Your Man” cajoles us to forget him and embrace girlfriends. Retro-sounding instrumental “Solar Gap” practically guarantees Hinds’ spot on a Tarantino soundtrack. Fans of Thee Headcoatees, Black Lips and Honeyblood, you’re Hinds’ kind.
M. Brianna Stallings writes so you don’t have to.
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