Daniele Luppi & Parquet Courts, Milano (Columbia) –
Daniele Luppi & Parquet Courts, Milano
The last time we heard from Italian composer Daniele Luppi was 2011’s stunning Rome
with Dangermouse. This time out, he pays homage to Milan in the 1980s by bringing Andy Savage and Karen O together to sing wild pop songs chronicling a magic era. Fusing Parquet Courts and Yeah Yeah Yeahs is an act of genius, while the closing instrumental “Café Flesh” evokes James Chance & Contortions.
Margo Price, All American Made (Third Man Records) –
Margo Price, All American Made
When Nashville’s Margo Price was declared the future of country honky-tonk in early 2016, she may have been a trifle green for such a claim, but her second album more than justifies the accolades. It’s not just the fine arrangements and help from stalwarts like Willie Nelson, but also a compassionate lyricism giving voice to the forgotten. The closing title track is a powerful economic treatise that could bring tears to the most jaded country fan.
Out Lines, Conflats (Rock Action) –
James Graham, lead singer of Glasgow’s The Twilight Sad, was intrigued by Kathryn Joseph, whose debut LP won Scottish Album of the Year in 2015. The duo joined with producer Marcus Mackay, forming a band that may lay claim to the bleakest music in Glasgow. When Joseph goes solo in “There Is a Saved Place,” she can sound like a plaintive Kate Bush, but when she and Graham join for harmonies, there may not be enough pint glasses in Scotland for listeners to cry in their beer.