The air is starting to cool off and the summer is coming to a close for us Americans. I have to say, I’m totally ready for it and so are my French bulldogs. A lot of the music that has come out lately has been perfect for ushering us into the chill; let’s see if we’ll be listening to today’s new music while watching the leaves change.
Margaret Cho — Cho Dependant (Clownery Records)
There are about 100 reasons why Margaret Cho gets today’s top spot up in this piece. Firstly, I have loved her since All American Girl, collected her stand-up comedy routines and seen her doing burlesque live. Secondly though, and perhaps more importantly, this isn’t just a comedy album — the songs are crafted well and if this album had been made when I was little, I am almost positive my mom would have had me memorize it so we could sing it together in the car as though we were the raunch Judds. I suppose the tunes should be good considering the list of talent she’s got singing with her including Tegan and Sara, Fiona Apple, Ani DiFranco, Meghan Toohey and Rachael Yamagata.
JP, Chrissie and The Fairground Boys — Fidelity! (La Mina/Rocket Science Ventures)
Coming in at a close second is this highly unexpected collaboration from Chrissie Hynde and JP Jones. Chrissie’s voice is one of the most distinct in rock and roll and I would follow it almost anywhere. This album was written and recorded as a way to express their love for one another even though they’ve established that they can never actually be together. It’s a tragic story that I’m sure we can all relate to in some way. If you are a fan of the Swell Season, you will most likely enjoy this album.
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan — Hawk (Vanguard Records)
Remember when Belle and Sebastian had a female singer? Well that was Ms. Isobel who ended up leaving the band in 2002 for personal reasons. She released some solo albums but none of them (including her work with Belle and Sebastian) have made as much musical sense as this collaboration with Mark Lanegan (formerly of the Screaming Trees). The contrast of her soft whispery voice with his gruff, deep rasp works perfectly on this folk-blues masterpiece.
Fantasia — Back to Me (J Records)
The American Idol star is releasing her third album just as she is recovering from an overdose of Aspirin and sleeping pills. Hopefully her record sales will give her a nice boost of self-esteem and she can get back to doing her R&B thang.
Katy Perry — Teenage Dream (Capitol)
Ugh I can’t lie — I’m actually bummed that I have to include Katy Perry on here at all. This album is the most generic and formulaic pop album I’ve heard probably ever. I’m sure I’m offending some of you, but I can’t — in good conscience — endorse this.
Honorable Mentions: Antony & The Johnsons (perfect for fall!), !!! (perfect for when you want to dance in the fall and get sweaty!), Ra Ra Riot (strings!).
That’s all for this week lovers — who did I miss? Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for another installment of Your Weekly Women to Listen to.