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Album reviews: Own The Night, Soulicious, New Blood

Own The Night
Consider this old joke: 'What do you get when you play a song by a country music band backwards? You get your house back, your job back and your wife back.' It doesn't make much sense after listening to any album by Lady Antebellum, simply because they don't restrict themselves to the joys of whingeing.



Their third studio album -- a much-anticipated one after last year's big seller Need You Now -- has a few uninspired moments, of course, but one can never quite fault the band for not trying hard enough. So, for every unimpressive track like When You Were Mine or Friday Night, there's great stuff like album opener We Owned the Night and closer Heart of The World. They've grown up, and it shows.
-- Own The Night, Lady Antebellum, Rs 395

Soulicious
Cliff Richard is the Dev Anand of the British music scene. Just when you think he's had enough and has decided to retire in some place like Majorca, he surprises you with a new release. He's been doing this for five decades, and shows no signs of considering retirement. Naturally, when dealing with a body of work this large, the number of missteps far outweighs the highlights.



Soulicious must, sadly, be relegated to the former category. The biggest problem with this album of duets with soul singers (as the title helpfully points out) is 71-year-old Richard's inability to sing with, well, soul. For proof, listen to his duet with Roberta Flack called When I Was Your Baby. It makes you cringe. Much like Dev Anand's latest attempts at filmmaking.
-- Soulicious, Cliff Richard, Rs 395

 New Blood
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the music world would be a less colourful place without Peter Gabriel. What makes him such a compelling figure, however, is not his ability to churn out hits like Sledgehammer; it is his innate need to change shape with every new project. Place any three of his albums together -- So, Passion and Scratch My Back, for instance -- and it's almost impossible to imagine them coming from the same artiste. New Blood takes off where his last album of covers left off.



This time, Gabriel gives his own discography the orchestral treatment. Red Rain and In Your Eyes are immediate winners, gaining immensely from the gravitas that strings tend to bring. Digging in the Dirt is stripped down, but still gorgeous. And it all ends with a tremendous version of Solsbury Hill which was, interestingly, his debut single as a solo artist. Long may he prosper.
--
New Blood, Peter Gabriel, Rs 395

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