Jill Jones – Jill Jones

It’s easy to think that Prince’s side projects as nothing but token artists providing an Jill_Jones,_cover_album,_US,_1987outlet for his ego, however most (if not all) were/are talented artists in their own right.   Jill Jones provided backing vocals and appeared in the video’s for 1999, Little Red Corvette and Automatic but her debut album didn’t surface until 1987.  The Family and The Revolution make appearances on the album with Prince providing the songs.  It is very much a Prince album, and he features on backing vocals, but Jill’s performance stands up on it’s own and her voice really suits the tracks.  Jill has spoken very positively about the whole experience of working with Prince and if you like that 80’s Prince sound it is well worth a listen and for big Prince fans its an essential if you can get it – mine is ripped from my vinyl copy!

Standout track : For Love

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American Authors – Oh, What a Life

American_Authors_-_Oh,_What_a_LifeIts funny when your brain knows what to say but it doesn’t transfer to your mouth.  Instead of just saying “Please, have my seat” to a pregnant lady on the tube, I said “Would you like to sit down?”.  She didn’t say “Of course I would!” so the intention was recognised but it’s funny how in the moment the right words are not important. This has nothing to do with the American Authors by the way, one of the CD’s I borrowed from my kids to dip into. The plinky-plunky banjo-sound is a motif through a lot of the tracks, so if you have heard Best Day of My Life you will know what I mean.  It’s a pretty upbeat album where a lot of the tracks feel a bit anthemic in a festival/live kind of way. Is it a keeper? Not sure yet.

Standout track : Heart of Stone – cool guitar riff.

Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill

Alanis_Morissette_-_Jagged_Little_PillCharity shops are a great place to pick up CD’s you thought you still had or never got round to buying, plus they are cheap! I never bought Jagged Little Pill which is practically a greatest hits collection for Alanis Morrisette who culled a run of hit singles from it in the late 90’s. I like clever or interesting lyrics and there’s a lot of that in this album. When she pulls back her voice on some of the quieter tracks you get to hear how melodic it can be. The songs that scream bitterness are countered by some more vulnerable performances, both of which relay emotional hurting. Frequently cited as one of the best albums of the nineties, if you like angst ridden jangly guitar pop rock to start the day then this is a good choice.

Standout track – You Oughta Know ; Alanis literally spits the lyrics at you.

Sheryl Crow – Be Myself

sheryl-crow-be-myself-2017-2480x2480-cd0294c5-fe01-4c6c-bfef-14831022bd44I’m a big Sheryl Crow fan but not in the same way as I am with other artists who I can really get obsessed about, but I buy all her albums and is probably one of the artists I listen to the most, so not being obsessed about her is a bit weird for me! She manages to blend country, rock and pop in a really great way that means that I rarely get bored with her music and her voice suits all these genres. Her latest album is supposedly a return to her rock roots of the nineties, and it’s a change from Feels Like Home which was a very intentional country album. For me that’s the attraction, that Sheryl mixes it up with every album and gives you something new to listen to.

Standout Track – Only just getting into it really but the title track is a great.