There's a couple of discs that have been out for a few months that deserve mention here: Alejandro Escovedo's Street Songs of Love and The Gaslight Anthem's American Slang. I've been slow about blogging about these, but they both deserve some raves.
I've been listening to Street Songs of Love for a while now and a couple of things that stand out. First of all this disc has a Springsteenish feel and I noticed that Alejandro is managed by John Landau (Bruce's manager). Additionaly Bruce makes an appearence on the song Faith. The second thing is the background singing by Karla Manzur and Nakia Reynoso is some of the best that I've heard in a long time. I also wanted to mention that the disc was recorded at Saint Claire Recording Company in Lexington, KY (just up the road; that is exciting).
Street Songs of Love sounds like s a new classic with a nice mix of both rockers and ballads. The cd starts with Anchor, a rocking love song that makes you want to sing a the top of your lungs with the windows rolled down; This Bed is Getting Crowded is another loud upbeat song with clever lyrics; Down in the Bowery is a slower number and a highlight as this duet features Mott the Hoople's Ian Hunter; After the Meteor Shower is a gorgeous ballad; Tula brings you back to your feet; Fall Apart With You is another beautiful song with a nice sentiment; Faith is another rocker and as I said previously features Bruce Springsteen.
The other new disc is The Gaslight Anthem's American Anthem. If you never heard these New Jersey guys they sound sort of like the Ramones meet Springsteen. The highlights of the cd include The Queen of Lower Chelsea, the title track, American Slang, Star Lucky and Boxer.