Reviews of the latest music releases

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The Flatlanders, "The Odessa Tapes" ****

The contents of this splendid alternative country-rock set were thought to have been lost forever until the bassist on the original sessions discovered a dusty reel-to-reel tape in his closet,and the contents have now been released in CD form for the first time.The Flatlanders' creative trimuvirate of Butch Hancock,Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Joe Ely recorded "The Odessa Tapes" as  simple, unadorned demos for their subsequently shelved 1972 debut album, with Gilmore handling the vocal duties on some classic slices of Americana such as "Dallas," "Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown" and "Down In My Hometown."
Released on August 27th (New West Records : £12.31)

 

Jerry Douglas, "Traveler" ****  

Readers  may have come across dobro player Douglas in his role as musical director on the BBC's "Transatlantic Sessions" series, where his matchless musicianship has underpinned the efforts of luminaries such as James Taylor and Paul Brady in a celebration of music-making at its most relaxed and intimate.. Jerry's new solo album is a similarly star-studded affair,with contributions from Alison Krauss , Eric Clapton  and Mumford and Sons reinforcing the appeal of an eclectic collection which finds the veteran sideman applying his considerable skills to everything from Leadbelly's "On A Monday" to Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer," the latter track featuring  Paul Simon himself  on keyboards and vocals.
Released on August 20th (Proper / Membran 233577 : £11.99)


Luke Haines, "Outsider / In :The Collection" ***   Luke Haines may have been rather innacurately hailed as one of the founding fathers of Britpop, but in reality this provocative singer-songwriter has always marched to the beat of a markedly different drum. Haines' uniquely contrary approach to his craft is well represented here by some fine examples of his work with  The Auteurs, including "Lenny Valentino," "The Upper Classes" and "Starstruck," alongside a generous helping of solo material and four challenging tracks from his mid nineties side project,Baader Meinhof.
Out now (Music Club MCDLX 165 : £5.33)


Laibach, "An Introduction To...Laibach / Reproduction Prohibited" ***

Industrial rhythms a plenty dominate the latest offering from Slovenian avant-garde specialists Laibach,who've taken this opportunity to bring together their radical re-inventions of songs first recorded by such  unlikely bedfellows as  Bob Dylan, The Normal  and  one-hit wonders  Europe. The finished product is more than a little unsettling ,including seriously distorted versions of the British and German national anthems,Queen's "One Vision" and The Beatles' "Across The Universe" culled from Laibach's  extensive back catalogue.

Released on September 3rd (Mute Records : £8.99)

 


Vangelis, "The Collection" ***

The extensive use of Vangelis' "Chariots of Fire" theme in this year's Olympics ceremonies has prompted a resurgence of interest in the veteran electronic composer's work,and this new anthology features many of the Greek musician's most popular creations. The contents are divided fairly equally between extracts from his celebrated film scores for epics such as "Blade Runner" and "1492-Conquest of Paradise" and a selection of more small scale and  introspective compositions ,with the added bonus of  four tracks from his successful collaboration  with Yes vocalist Jon Anderson,including "I Hear You Now" and "I'll Find My Way Home."
Out Now (Rhino Records : £8.99)

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