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SPIRIT OF SYLVIA (UPDATE)
Saluting a legend (10/11a)
STREAMING SONGS CHART: CLIMBERS
Shock of the new (10/11a)
SONG REVENUE CHART: CAPTAIN KIRK
Da teen vs. DaBaby (10/11a)
A LATE-BREAKING
CHART BATTLE?
Unexpected drama (10/11a)
GRAMMY CHEW:
BEST NEW ARTIST
An uber-competitive category (10/11a)
RIHANNA PREPARES TO RULE THE ROOST
What shoes go with dancehall?
WHAT'S NEXT FOR R&B?
How certain projects connect at streaming.
THE K-POP LANDSCAPE
농담은 한국어에서 더 잘 작동합니다.
THE NEW GRAMMY POWER
Change is nigh.
Critics' Choice
THE GREAT LOST CARS LP
9/20/19

By Bud Scoppa


In 2011, 33 years after The Cars’ astonishing debut album, a record that sounded entirely new and yet instantly familiar, auteur Ric Ocasek and the three other surviving members (bass player/singer Ben Orr died in 2000) came remarkably close to achieving the contoured crispness and in-your-face immediacy of their greatest achievement on the little-known or -heard Move Like This (on the now-defunct Hear Music). Their potent chemistry was undiminished on super-sticky instant classics like “Blue Tip,” “Sad Song” and “Keep On Knocking,” with the taut interaction of guitarist Elliott Easton and synth player Greg Hawkes, the howitzer snare hits of David Robinson and Ocasek’s wry, terse vocal persona on full display. That these long-separated musicians were able to make a quintessential Cars LP a quarter century after releasing what was supposedly their sixth and last album constitutes a small miracle. With the late, great Ocasek very much on our minds, Move Like This is a buried treasure that demands to be unearthed and enjoyed.
 

MAROON 5 SHARING "MEMORIES"
9/20/19

The last time we heard new music from 222/Interscope superstars Maroon 5, it was 2017's club-rocking giant "Girls Like You." The band has returned with a new single that's decidedly simpler and more gentle, the elegiac "Memories." It's a song about loss, but also about the restorative power of remembering those who've left us.

The song has flown at iTunes worldwide (it's currently #3 U.S.); check it out below and expect its sweetly soulful vibe to spread.

FRAMPTON'S FINE FAREWELL
9/16/19

By Phil Gallo

Shredding and reminiscing his way through a 50-year career that has largely been centered on guitar-playing prowess, Peter Frampton bid adieu to New York Friday as his farewell tour hit Madison Square Garden. It was a rousing two-hour-plus performance, long on guitar solos and stories about bandmates, incidents in Manhattan, and moments in a life that he recognized with a consistent tone of humility.

“I’m verklempt,” he said after wrapping “Lying,” his third song in the 17-song set. He truly seemed overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response.

Saying goodbye on this Farewell Tour—he’s suffering from the progressive muscle disorder Inclusion Body Myositis—Frampton is able to perform at the highest possible level before the disease robs him of any playing abilities. As great as he sounds vocally, this is very much a celebration of Frampton the Guitarist, the blues-oriented, harder edged rocker whose musical world exploded and for a good while softened with the intense success of Frampton Comes Alive in 1976.

“Something Happening,” one of five songs everyone knows from Frampton Comes Alive, opens the show; he reaches back for Humble Pie—“I Don’t Need No Doctor” was written at the Garden during a soundcheck, he says—and celebrates his more recent triumphs—the Grammy-winning Fingerprints and his recent blues chart-topper All Blues.

His show, which stops at The Forum in L.A. on 10/5, features blues classics and gems from George Harrison and Soundgarden; intense duels with his second guitarist, Adam Lester, and keyboardist Rob Arthur; and fond recollections of one musician after another, Hank Marvin to Steve Miller to Chris Cornell. (A slide show had plenty of photos with Peter and David Bowie but there was no musical tip of the cap to his lifelong friend).     

It’s a spectacular final statement from Frampton and the disease is clearly not winning: His voice, his smile, his demeanor—all are still as charming as ever.