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Beck, Belle & Sebastian, Benny Goodman, Betty Wright & The Roots

First up, a very Happy Birthday to my lovely gorgeous wife!

Next up, an admission: I knew I had to shut off the Killer Be Killed CD, difficult as that was to do, so I could have some music I could write about for today! So, we cleaned up the house to some of this, then I spent some time culling through boxes of old crap for disposal, during which I heard the rest! Oh, and it still hasn’t stopped snowing.

Beck – Odelay

The timing here is great, given the recent Beck conversation over on Geoff’s excellent 1001albumsintenyears site. Over the years, I have owned a few Beck records, all earlier stuff. At a certain point I drifted away from his music, probably just my tastes changing. I found this copy of Odelay for $2 in our thrift shop, snagged it for nostalgia, and was still pretty impressed by it now, in 2015. It’s certainly of its time, not sure how it would go over if it was a new album right now, but I’m glad it’s here. Lots of strong songs, funky ideas. Neat!

Belle & Sebastian – The Boy With The Arab Strap

I truly don’t know how this CD ended up in my collection. To be honest, I don’t tend to listen to this kind of music very often. It certainly is a busy record, lots of instruments in tight arrangements. The songs are very light and airy, very pop. The songs are stories, and I love the accents. But there’s an edge to the stuff here, so don’t let the sweet confection of it fool you.

Benny Goodman – Swing-Sation: Benny Goodman

I’m a swing fan from childhood, grew up hearing the big band stuff at my grandparents’ place. It’s in my blood, and I’ve said many times I was born in the wrong era, missing this music I love, but then those were war years so lucky me I wasn’t anyway! Benny Goodman, of course, was one of the big stars of that era. I don’t usually like the clarinet, but this sort of music is the one place it works (to my ears). And this being a compilation, all the hits are here, like Stompin’ At The Savoy, One O’Clock Jump, Sing, Sing, Sing, and 11 others. For me, this is bliss!

Betty Wright & The Roots – Betty Wright: The Movie

I love The Roots, and pairing them with Betty Wright is a genius idea. This is funky, soulful music, and Wright’s voice is gorgeous. Another key here is that The Roots play all the instruments – this isn’t manufactured and knob-twiddled R&B like alot of the crap out there, no sir, this is the real deal. All of the current divas should be using this as a textbook on how good R&B can still be made now, in the tech age. This is a really great CD. Throw it on and find yourself pulled deep into it and loving every minute!

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