Fantômas Suspended Animation (Ipecac)
Mike Patton's projects are usually hit or miss, but you can't deny that they're innovative. Fantômas, one of Patton's more eccentric groups, deliver an album that's something which might result if Tim Burton did a soundtrack for Loony Tunes, featuring animated sounds mixed with twisted, dark, off the wall noises. Patton's unpredictability as a musician is what keeps him an underground, anti-MTV success. However, Patton goes overboard with Suspended Animation, which is just a collage of sounds that are enough to puzzle even the most devout Patton fans. Patton's other projects—Faith No More, Tomahawk, Mr. Bungle and Lovage—deliver more versatility and show off his incredible vocal style to much better effect.
Michael Bublé It's Time (Reprise)
Artists like Michael Bublé resurrect classic crooner music that was alive in the glory days of Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. In It's Time, Bublé ventures out into the ballads, while staying true to his crooner roots. You can hear strong influences of Stevie Wonder, Bobby Darin and, yes, even a little Barry Manilow. The record isn't as polished as his previous self-titled album, but it is more experimental as Bublé makes new discoveries with his voice. In It's Time, Bublé puts his own twist on cover tunes. His version of the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" sounds like a different song entirely.
Tori Amos The Beekeeper (Epic)
Listening to Tori Amos' newest effort forces one to face the sad reality that long gone are the days of Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink. Back then, Amos made love to her music, reaching a point of orgasmic ecstasy with every high note. In The Beekeeper, Amos doesn't emphasize her words, and the melodies are forgettable and depressing. On this CD, Amos ditches her old style and goes all holistic on us. I miss the old Tori—borderline blasphemous, sometimes angry, tortured, very sexy, but never ordinary.