Morrissey You are the Quarry (Attack Records)
Morrissey's latest effort is a slap in the face for those with a utopian view of the world. The album combines beautiful melodies and dark lyrics. With songs like "America is not the World," "Irish Blood English Heart," and "I Have forgiven Jesus," Morrissey, formerly of the Smiths fame, proves his love and disdain for society. Longtime fans will love this album. Newcomers who are into political bands and Sylvia Plath poems, this one's for you. Gut wrenching and enjoyable at the same time, I can't stop listening to it.
Gavin DeGraw Chariot (J Records)
My first mistake was that I expected to hear the influences of a young Elton John or Billy Joel in Gavin DeGraw's debut album (as promised by critics). As a huge fan of both, I was thoroughly disappointed. The only similarity is that DeGraw is a singer/ songwriter and pianist. Despite the fact that the songs are repetitious and the lyrics trite, the music is pretty good and his vocals have soul. "I Don't Want to Be," a song that gets airplay, is hands down the best song on Chariot. The boy has potential, but he ain't no Piano Man.
Tito Puente Dance Mania: Tito Puente and his Orchestra (BMG)
Latin music is arguably the most danceable, especially the old (pre-MTV Español) stuff. The late Tito Puente, labeled the king of Latin music, was considered a phenomenal composer and musician and his legacy lives on. His music combines Afro Cuban rhythms, Mambo and Cha Cha. The digitally remastered album is a compilation of all Puente's greatest hits, originally recorded in 1957. This album will make one wish for the old days of feel good, energizing music that comes from the corazón.