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Top four in music: Ryan Adams & The Cardinals and more

<p>Ryan Adams is trying a little tenderness with his second release in 2007.</p>







Ryan Adams & The Cardinals

Album: Follow The Lights

Label: Lost Highway Records

Release Date: N/A

**** (out of five)





Ryan Adams is trying a little tenderness with his second release in 2007.





Follow The Lights may only offer two new songs — but with vocals tempered by The Cardinals’ subdued old-timey twang, the other reinterpretations become poignant and release worthy.





Through bar-closing waltzes, bleary-eyed ballads and a surprisingly well-suited cover of Alice In Chains’ Down In A Hole, Adams may find some new fans following these lights. The solid interplay of pedal steel and acoustic guitars emits an unexpected warmness — like an alt-country sunset.








Key Witness

Album: Mercury In Retrograde

Label: Independent

Release Date: Dec. 12

**** (out of five)





This sextet blends a perfect mix of alt-folk rock and infectious pop melodies, sewn together by the sweet and sometimes frenetic sounds of the violin.





J.M. McNab’s perfectly placed nasal vocals are surrounded by solid guitar work and the pounding drums of Shinnosuke Yamaguchi.





All forces work in wonderful unison on songs such as Last Man On Earth and Steam, creating a catchy whirlwind of pop rock and fiddle riffs.





Can I get a Witness?





The CD release party for Key Witness is at the Tranzac Saturday — $5 at the door.










Daft Punk

Album: Alive 2007

Label: Virgin Records/EMI

Release Date: Dec. 4

*** (out of five)





The French Dukes of house come out of the gate swinging on this live album, with funky renditions of Robot Rock, Television Rules The Nation and Touch It.





However, listening to a room full of cheering ravers at an electronica show isn’t half as interesting as being at one.





Two-thirds into Alive 2007, the album loses a little steam and starts to feel more like a really cool party that you weren’t invited to.










Nelly Furtado

Album: Loose...The Concert

Label: Geffen/Universal

Release Date: Dec. 4

** 1/2 (out of five)





For Furtado fans, Loose…The Concert should evoke memories of some giddy-good singalongs and Nelly’s kinda-cute cover of Blondie’s Heart Of Glass.





The problem is even with a solid backing band, many of the live arrangements may sound a little lacklustre compared to the slick and sultry versions of your faves on Loose … The Album.





The CD is also available with a DVD of the entire concert from Toronto this past April — maybe you can see yourself singing like a bird in the Air Canada Centre.



 
 
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