Simon’s 13th solo studio release, Stranger to Stranger, comes five years after the late-career triumph So Beautiful Or So What. I was surprised to see that album came out way back in 2011. It still feels vital and fresh, and unfortunately this new release lives in its shadow.
Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera made the move in the early 2000s. Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez did it in the past couple of years. And now it’s Ariana Grande’s turn.
Fallen Angels is the unlikeliest Bob Dylan album since the album he released a year earlier, Shadows in the Night. Both records are tours through the Great American Songbook, specifically standards once recorded by Frank Sinatra.
I call these albums unlikely, but the truth is Dylan fans know there’s no such thing. By now, the man has released music in every genre short of opera, and don’t be surprised if he announces his take on La Boheme for the Fall.
I’ve purchased a total of eight albums in 2016, but I already covered David Bowie’s Blackstar and Lucinda Williams’ The Ghosts of Highway 20, which I featured track-by-track over three weeks, much to the dismay of some readers.
The odds of a second Josh Rouse song popping up after the first one are about 1 in a 100, given the number of Rouse songs in my library (137) vs. the total number of songs (12,425). Not exactly like winning Lotto, but certainly a long shot.
I still think of Josh Rouse as a recent discovery, but I just realized that Nashville — the album that caught my attention as a new release — came out 11 years ago. Rouse’s debut, Dressed Up Like Nebraska, was released in 1998, nearly two decades ago, making him a grizzled veteran.