Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Noteworthy ; Reviews of Recent CDs

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Noteworthy ; Reviews of Recent CDs

Article excerpt

POP/ROCK

Dido - Life for Rent (Arista): When Eminem sampled Dido's "Thank You" a few years ago, he pushed her into international stardom. With her latest, Life for Rent, she proves she's no one-hit wonder. Her distinctive voice and beautiful orchestrations are still here, but Dido expresses herself in a more honest way on songs like "White Flag" and "Life for Rent." The album is, simply, wonderful. The melodies are as comfortable and soft as a pillow. - Lisa Leigh Connors

Gov't Mule - The Deepest End (ATO): Meet Warren Haynes, rock music's great nomad. Recently voted 23rd best guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone, Haynes is a fixture in the Allman Brothers Band as well as Phil Lesh and Friends. But his spiritual home is Gov't Mule, an improvisational trio he has fronted for nine years. This DVD and two-CD package from a six-hour concert (did I mention this was a jam band?) is a great precis of the group's best material. Guests ranging from David Hidalgo of Los Lobos to banjo player Bela Fleck, fuel Haynes's flights of fancy guitar playing. - Stephen Humphries

Travis - 12 Memories (Epic): A few years ago, Scottish heartthrobs Travis went from being scuffling nobodies in Glasgow to megastars in Europe, on the strength of sincere and irresistible pop masterpieces like "Driftwood" and "Sing." Though earnestness is usually "uncool," elfin lead singer Fran Healy proudly wears his ample heart on his sleeve. The 12 new songs expound tunefully on spousal abuse, the war in Iraq, Catholic school discipline, and the healing balm of love. Romantics and pop fans everywhere will welcome Healy's plaintive choirboy tenor, urging us to trust that "Love Will Come Through." A fine new release from an inspiring band. - John Kehe

COUNTRY

Martina McBride - Martina (RCA): Let's admit it: Martina McBride has the best set of pipes in country music today. Her new CD just adds proof as McBride's voice glides elegantly over a fine collection of songs that touch at the heart of life. She captures the beauty of a child at play in the spirited "She's a Butterfly" and finds humor in a well-traveled woman's wedding day in "Wearing White. …

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