Mitchell: Topping the charts doesn’t last long these days

These are perilous times for album sales for nearly all but a few superstars.

Moby: Destroyed (EMI)

These are perilous times for album sales for nearly all but a few superstars. Lady GaGa has finally pushed Adele out of the top spot to number two after almost three months but Adele, staying so high for so long, is rare nowadays.

The following four new albums were all released two weeks ago—the first number is the debut position while the second number is one week later re: Ben Harper 13-67, Tinie Tempah 25-77, Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi 16-69 and finally Kate Voegele 36-96.

It seems that fans are rushing out to buy their heroes new releases and then sales fall right off a cliff.

Anyway, Moby is no exception where his new release Destroyed debuted at No.17 and then quickly dropped down to No.60.

Moby already has an album titled Ambient and this new disc could be described as part two. This is a mellow CD with what used to be called wallpaper music or perfume music that sort of just wafts in the air almost benignly.

Moby offers 15 tracks over 70+ minutes so there is lots to choose from. His tune Rockets is restive, his Christian-oriented The Right Thing is meandering while the title Stella Maris is lightly cinematic.

The laidback Lacrimae has beat throbs that could be the tear drops the title refers to while Moby piles on the strings on a few instrumentals such as the closing When You Are Old.

Fans have already bought this album but I found it to be one of Moby’s lesser offerings.


Tinie Tempah: Discovery (Capitol)

Tempah is a big new star in his native U.K. This debut album features three chart-topping Brit singles with the up-tempo dance hip hop of Frisky and the dub-styled Pass Out that reminded me of old time Sly & Robbie.

Tempah also hit No.2 with the song Written In The Stars with its arena rock guitar solo which is the first single domestically and doing very well in our top 20.

But at first I wondered if this wasn’t some sort of Sasha Baron Cohen put-on with Tempah’s clichéd rap about groupies, gangstas and lyrics like “the Roley on my wrist” and “like Popeye on spinach” when it came to his wiener bits that he likens to bison (I figured he meant beef witted).

But Tempah has also obviously noticed the huge hits B.o.B. has had with duets with Hayley Williams and Jessie J and so this album closes out with three similar duets with Brit gals Ester Dean, Ellie Goulding and Emeli Sande.

I like the fact that sometimes MC Tempah uses his thick English accent but he ought to warned about just how xenophobic the charts are to the south of our border.



Daniel Taylor:

Shakespeare, Come Again Sweet Love (RCA)


If you Google the words Shakespeare and songs/music you will find dozens upon dozens of releases but this new 21-track CD by Montreal’s Daniel Taylor will most likely rank up there as one of the best of contemporary times.

Taylor is a 42-year-old star of classical music who helped establish the Quebec-based Theatre Of Early Music a decade ago that often records baroque, Elizabethan music.

Taylor is known for his superb countertenor (which means a female sounding voice) and on Come Again Sweet Love he covers mostly ballads written by Henry Purcell (1659-1695), Edward Johnson (1572-1601), Tobias Hume (1569-1645) and others of the era who sometimes used Shakespeare’s text for their compositions.

There is a lovely song by Dame Emma Kirkby on Now What Is Love? with text by Sir Walter Scott. A few other singers help out as well, but Taylor consistently steals the show on this lengthy classical disc.

There are extensive liner notes making this a musicologists dream release and the few heavenly instruments with lute, viola, theorbo and bass makes this a delightful listen that harkens way back to the antiquities of popular song of the day.

The Guardian, Britain’s mainstay newspaper, heralded Daniel Taylor with “he is part angel, part man…Taylor sings beautifully.”



Ozzy Osbourne:

Blizzard Of Ozz,

Expanded Edition (Epic)


Blizzard Of Ozz is one of Ozzy Osbourne’s earliest albums and holds the classic hit Crazy Train as it was originally released 30 years ago.

It has now been “restored and remastered from original source tapes” for this Expanded Edition that includes three bonus tracks. These are the non-LP, b-side You Looking At Me, Looking At You, a guitar and vocal mix of Goodbye To Romance and the 1:30-minute snippet simply titled RR.

The vastly improved sound and bonus songs will make this pure catnip for old Ozzy fans as released on Sony’s Legacy label.



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