It’s always fascinating watching multitasking musicians divvy up their talents among an assortment of projects.
On film, Jamie Foxx is a performer of wide range, a gifted mimic and an Oscar winner. In music, though, he plays a naif: eager second stringer, shameless trend chaser, just happy to be allowed on the field.
R. Kelly stepped out on stage last month at the 2010 Soul Train Awards and sang his familiar, discomfiting refrain: “There is something that I must confeh-eh-eh-eh-esss.”
Doe eyes and diary entries notwithstanding, Taylor Swift eats boys for breakfast. And I mean that as a compliment.
Sound Affects: Music reviews and ratings
Jenny Lewis must be kidding when she sings, “I don’t think that two heads are better than one,” on “I’m Having Fun Now,” the debut album by Jenny and Johnny. She has thrived with collaborators through most of her career, from her time as lead singer of the band Rilo Kiley to sharing her own 2008 album, “Acid Tongue,” with guests including Elvis Costello.
Any hip-hop act but the Roots would be bragging about camera time on “How I Got Over,” their first studio album since becoming the supremely flexible house band for “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.”
Karen Elson’s debut album, “The Ghost Who Walks,” has too clear a back story to claim down-home authenticity. Elson is the redheaded English supermodel who’s married to Jack White of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather. He produced the album and played drums. And it’s easy to hear Elson’s songs — tales of mortality and faithless love, set to waltzes and countryish rock — in the shadow of her husband’s analog-loving Americana.
Capsule reviews of recent CD Releases
‘THIS IS HAPPENING’ (DFA) LCD Soundsystem James Murphy, the semicomic force behind the one-man dance-rock band LCD Soundsystem, has loaded himself up with broad, juicy aesthetic problems. He makes the nature of those problems pretty clear, and so his records radiate with anxiety.