“Touch & Move”
Known for their sexy dance moves and powerful vocals, K-pop girl group Sistar has returned with the new summertime-inspired EP “Touch & Move.”
The lead single “Touch My Body,” a dance-pop track, features a catchy and repetitive chorus, during which the four girls continuously sing “touch my body, touch my body, touch my body.” Though its cool, summery tones are at times reminiscent of Sistar’s past hit “Loving U,” “Touch My Body” delivers a much more explicitly sexual message.
Nonetheless, the track’s brassy horns and the all-out saxophone solo that suddenly breaks out towards the song’s refrain certainly add to the tune’s colorful and happy tone, despite the blatantly suggestive lyrics.
“Naughty Hands (Feat. Verbal Jint)” runs similar to a conversation between girl and a guy who are in a flirtatious relationship. Under groovy beats and acoustic-synth guitar sounds, the four ladies of Sistar scold a guy’s “naughty hands” while hip-hop artist Verbal Jint raps back in a playful response.
“But I Love You” delivers a darker message about a girl who is hurt yet still in love, while “Ok Go!” is a much brighter and energetic track featuring powerful electronic beats.
Sistar’s vocals and harmonies particularly stand out in the concluding track “Sunshine,” which features an ongoing groovy and uplifting melody.
Posthumous Clement album a sweet send off
“For Once and For All”
Jack Clement was a court jester who emphasized the joy and camaraderie of making music. A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Clement made his greatest mark as a producer (Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings), a songwriter and a studio owner.
The posthumous “For Once and For All” is only his third album, recorded after he was diagnosed with liver cancer. He died in August 2013 at age 82, leaving behind an album that perfectly conveys why he was such a special creative catalyst.
The album captures Clement’s breezy personality and love for wistful songs about lost love and touching story songs. His voice shows some age, but it’s also warm and expressive, especially on songs like “Got Leaving On Her Mind” and “I Know One,” both songs Clement wrote for Charley Pride.
The guests underscore his high standing among artists, and include Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, T Bone Burnett, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Leon Russell and others. The music is spare yet perfectly played -- especially on the tragic “Miller’s Cave” and the sweetly sad “Baby Is Gone.”
Everything echoes a bygone era that emphasized ensemble play and melodies over virtuosic, flashy dramatics. It’s a perfect parting shot from a behind-the-scenes master who contributed greatly to the American song book. (AP)
Morrissey gets political on new album
“World Peace is None of Your Business”
Rue the day when Morrissey runs out of gripes. Throughout his 37-year career, he’s transformed torment and disdain into a memorable body of work with both the Smiths and as a solo artist.
The 55-year old crooner has always approached romance and anything else that gets in his craw with stark reality. This time, on his 10th album “World Peace is None of Your Business,” he’s decided to exorcise more of his political demons.
The title track goes after irresponsible world leaders and the actual people who vote them into power. He takes on bullfighting, human cruelty and bad relationships. And it’s more than the clever lyrics that make this collection work. It’s also the musicality. The serious themes are nicely contrasted with an ironically up-tempo flavor. There’s bounciness to these tunes, including some perfectly placed flourishes from flamenco guitar.
As for the rest of the album, Morrissey attacks the modern idea of masculinity while showing his most vulnerable qualities on “I’m Not a Man” and goes slightly romantic on “Kiss Me a Lot.” And “Kick the Bride Down the Aisle” sounds like something left off the “Kill Bill” soundtrack, right down to the theme.
Morrissey clearly shows he has not shed any of his trademark wit or dissension, and while not the best album he’s ever recorded -- it’s a pretty strong collection. (AP)