One of the great decade-long singles runs is straightforwardly documented on Respect M.E., a compilation distributed throughout Europe and, unfortunately, not released in the States. From 1997 through 2006, Missy Elliott's work – often the product of a partnership with producer Timbaland – was in steady rotation on the radio and on video programs. Nearly every time out, she came up with something fun, inventive, out of this world, and lasting, charting alternate paths for pop music while also projecting the image of a fully empowered plus-size woman in a mainstream populated by females who tended to be anything but. Although each one of Elliott's albums is well worth owning, nothing can deny the need for this release, which includes almost every noteworthy track she released during the period, from "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)" through the underappreciated "Teary Eyed." The most significant omissions are "Lick Shots" and "Take Away": hardly deal breakers. An ideal companion release would contain the hits Elliott wrote and/or produced for other artists, such as Aaliyah's "One in a Million," SWV's "Save Me," 702's "Where My Girls At," Nicole's "Make It Hot," Total's "What About Us," Monica's "So Gone," and Tweet's "Oops (Oh My)." During these years, there was no greater force in popular music.
Wednesday Morning, 3 AM doesn't resemble any other Simon & Garfunkel album, mostly because their sound here was fundamentally different from that of the chart-topping duo that emerged a year later. Their first record together since their days as the teen harmony duo Tom & Jerry, the album was cut in March 1964, at a time when both Simon and Garfunkel were under the spell of folk music…
Lambchop have made a number of outstanding albums as they've evolved from "Nashville's most f–ked-up country band" to a singular chamber pop ensemble during a career that lasted nearly two decades, but one of their finest works is not really a Lambchop album at all. Vic Chesnutt recruited Lambchop to serve as his backing band on the 1998 album The Salesman and Bernadette, and the results were a marvelous fusion of the group's broad but emotionally intimate approach and Chesnutt's witty, skewed, and perceptive gifts as a songwriter. Chesnutt and Lambchop's Kurt Wagner seemed like kindred spirits, fellow Southerners who married oblique yet telling poetry to melodies that were strong yet fluidly graceful, and it should surprise no one that Wagner was hit hard by Chesnutt's death in late 2009. Lambchop's first studio project since Chesnutt's passing, 2012's Mr. M, is dedicated to Wagner's friend and collaborator, and though the songs don't deal explicitly with Chesnutt, there's a sense of sorrow in these songs that's deeper than what we've come to expect from Lambchop, infused with an air of reflection and regret that's impossible to miss.
Solid, soulful blues, often with humorous, self-deprecating lyrics, comes from the well-respected vocalist, tenor player, composer, and veteran of the bands of Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, and Son Seals. Reed has been called "the definitive Chicago blues sax player." This album features Reed's band, with guests Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Ray Vaughan