Amy Grant shows another side with remixes
“In Motion -- The Remixes”
Amy Grant never has shied away from experimentation and change. Having transformed herself from devout singer-songwriter to upbeat pop star more than 20 years ago, she now leaps from the reflective tone of recent work to the electronic dance music beat of “In Motion -- The Remixes,” which gives a glow-stick tweak to her catalog of hits.
A Christian music star who balances sensitive reflection with positive celebration, Grant might seem a tad wholesome for dance music’s hedonistic culture. But “In Motion” proves that positive lyrics set to a wicked beat can provide the juice to quench a raver’s thirst.
Some of Grant’s repertoire easily adapts to the remix concept: Dave Aude’s ramped up “Baby Baby” capitalizes on the sunny energy of the 1991 hit. Similarly, “Every Heartbeat” lends itself well to the hyperdrive of electronic duo Moto Blanco.
But other cuts required more ingenuity. Tony Moran and Warren Rigg are surprisingly sublime in retooling the emotionally layered “Stay For Awhile.”
Grant has never taken the expected path -- and once again creates an unexpected triumph. (AP)Ace Frehley outta this world on ‘Space Invader’
With seven-plus years of sobriety under his belt, the original Kiss lead guitarist has recorded his best solo album since his groundbreaking self-titled album in 1978.
With walls of wailing guitars, droning feedback and snarling solos, Ace Frehley launches an old-school ’70s-style hard rock jam fest. It kicks off with him talk-singing his way through the title track, about a well-intentioned extraterrestrial who comes to save the Earth, and it includes a sudden tempo change for the guitar solo just like he did on “Snowblind” and “I’m In Need of Love” on his first solo record.
“Gimme A Feelin’” is a timeless rocker, with thick guitar chords, and “I Wanna Hold You” and “What Every Girl Wants” could be melodic hits.
On “Change” and “Inside the Vortex,” Frehley showcases some impressive growth as a songwriter and arranger, with complex chord progressions and melody lines.
The only weak track is a vanilla remake of Steve Miller’s “The Joker” that adds nothing to the plodding original, but apparently was too much for Frehley to resist with its “Space Cowboy” intro. (AP)Coryell sings of love, lust on new album
A musician walks into a bar. A female stranger kisses him. He flees.
For Murali Coryell, this is no joke. Love-life dysfunction is a recurring theme on “Restless Mind,” and luckily for us, Coryell’s woes inspire warm, embracing R&B to soothe the soul music fans.
Coryell’s lyrics aren’t much -- the bar scene in “Crime of Opportunity” is silly, while “Sex Maniac” is worse. And the 44-year-old son of veteran jazz-rock guitarist Larry Coryell can’t match his dad’s instrumental chops. Few can.
But the younger Coryell’s smoky tenor more than compensates. He’s a Huey Lewis sound-alike who can pull off a pop burst such as “Waiting and Wasting Away,” a jazzy ballad like the title cut, the blues of “I Need Someone to Love,” and even the closing seven-minute cover, “Let’s Get It On.” While it’s risky business to take on Marvin Gaye, Coryell gives the chestnut fresh fizz with an inventive vocal arrangement.
He sings a lot about heartache, but as “Let’s Get It On” makes clear, Coryell has his act together. (AP)