May 24, 2017
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HI 57 / LO 50

Quick Spins: Reba soars on gospel set

commentary by DAN PAVELICH



Reba McEntire, “Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope” (Capitol), $17.99

Reba McEntire forgoes her pop leanings on her latest, a collection of gospel and inspirational tunes. This is a two-disc set, with disc one focusing on more traditional material like “Jesus Loves Me” and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.” The latter reminds me of what Elvis often did with songs like this, speeding up on the ending.

Disc two is more contemporary, with the soft and touching “There Is a God,” “From the Inside Out” and “Say a Prayer.” The real standout, though, is the mid-tempo rocker “Angel on My Shoulder,” which has a definite possibility of becoming McEntire’s first gospel hit. Christian music fans will love this.

Japandroids, “Near to The Wild Heart of Life” (Anti), $14.99

Japandroids’ “Near to The Wild Heart of Life” is a perfect example of why I don’t like so much of the contemporary music that seems to fall under the headings of “indie” or “alternative.” It just plain sounds horrible.

Vocals are maddeningly low in the mix, so you can’t make out most of what is being sung. What’s the point of that? The overall fidelity of the recordings is terrible, with tinny cymbals and grinding guitars creating an almost white noise sound throughout. Again, what’s the point? Isn’t the whole idea of putting out a record supposed to be creating something that is pleasurable to listen to?

The Cramps, “Bad Music for Bad People” (Fontana)

Originally released in 1984 on punk/new wave label I.R.S. Records, “Bad Music for Bad People” finally gets a re-release. A compilation of early recordings, it’s an interesting look at one of the most-heralded garage punk bands in history.

Unlike a lot of their late-1970s, early-’80s peers, The Cramps mixed their punk attitude and energy with elements of 1950s music. Their sound had just as much in common with Johnny Rotten as it did with Johnny B. Goode, and still sounds vital today.

Feb. 18 releases

Overkill/The Grinding Wheel (NBA)

Def Leppard/Live From Detroit (Eagle Rock)

Michael Bolton/Songs of Cinema (Frontiers)

Old Crow Medicine Show/Best Of (Nettwerk)

Elvin Bishop/Big Fun Trio (Alligator)

David Bowie/Vinyl Remasters (Parlophone)

Kris Kristofferson/The Austin Sessions (Atlantic)

Queen/Greatest Hits II (Hollywood)

Bush/Razorblade Suitcase (RHM)

Chevelle/This Type of Thinking (Sony)

CDs provided by CD-DVD-Games-Warehouse, 3717 80th St., Kenosha, 262-942-9400.


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