By Michael Cerio
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Enjoy your last free weekend Philadelphia. A week from now we’ll be locked inside a traffic box, or papal fence, or a Francis force field. Whatever they call it, you’re not allowed in with balloons or pets or bicycles. That’s all the good stuff!
I don’t know about you but I’m getting all the music I can before these great barriers are erected. Who knows what kind of Hunger Games District 12 rules exist within the walls on Pope Weekend.
Thankfully, there’s New Music Friday. It’s an unrestricted free-moving collection of music, brand new for your ears. Here are some of this week’s new releases.
Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon
On Honeymoon, Lana Del Rey appears to slowly be coming out of her nostalgia coma. When we first met Del Rey in 2012, her voice was a nod to something older but it mixed well with some Hip Hop influence and pop packaging. However, somewhere around her amazing “Young & Beautiful” track from “The Great Gatsby”, Del Rey fell permanently into that forgotten time. It continued with the down 2014 Ultraviolence, dressed in full Nancy Sinatra styling in a smoky lounge full of sadness. That continues in some fashions on Honeymoon, although she seems to be clawing her way out like Marty McFly watching the people in his photo reappear. It’s certainly slow to start as the first couple offerings from Honeymoon are shifted way down, swimming in strings and dark piano. But when Lana starts having fun again, Honeymoon picks up. She dabbles in hooks and trunk-rattling bass in songs like “High By The Beach” and “Freak”. She’s playful on “Salvatore” and her Nina Simone cover “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, and a pop classic on “Religion”. She’s very talented and getting closer to finding the balance that shows that off the best.
Keith Richards – Crosseyed Heart
In the lead-up to Crosseyed Heart, Keith Richards took every opportunity to appear old and out-of-touch. He said Hip Hop was for the tone-deaf, Metallica and Black Sabbath were “great jokes”, and Sgt. Pepper’s was “rubbish”. How could he possibly still rock while he’s so busy shouting at the neighbor kids? Well, he manages. Crosseyed Heart is actually a lot of fun, a bluesy patchwork of genres that play like a window into an icon’s garage. It’s loose and jangly, never taking itself too seriously like Richards himself. He wears the delta blues as well as he does a reggae beat. It all unfolds like things the Rolling Stone has collected along the way, and for that it’s charming. Norah Jones with an impressive assist on the duet “Illusion” is a favorite.
Chris Cornell – Higher Truth
A big welcome back this week to Chris Cornell. The Soundgarden singer fell into a Timbaland-sized hole in 2009 with his solo album Scream. He tried something different by putting the guitar down and picking up the producer only to hear a unison cry of “no”. This time around he’s back with the six-string in hand and leaning more on that killer voice than ever before. It’s front and center, more matured than ever on Higher Truth. This is the graceful evolution children of the 90s wanted from Cornell and it sounds fantastic.
Also out this week is new music from New Jersey’s The Front Bottoms, Yinzer rap from Mac Miller, and a solo spot from Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.