New releases from diva faves: Kylie, Stevie, JLo

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imageNew music from three very different artists hit the marketplace Tuesday, with albums by rock goddess Stevie Nicks and “Idol” darling Jennifer Lopez, plus a live EP from Kylie Minogue, who makes a local stop on Friday.

Kylie Minogue
“North American Tour Bonus Edition”

This release is designed to get fans pumped about Minogue’s North American leg of her Aphrodite Live Tour, which rolls into Atlanta’s Fox Theater on Friday, May 6. The release contains three songs recorded for a broadcast on BBC Live Lounge last year and two tracks from her first North American tour in 2009.

Three of Minogue’s dance hits, “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” “All the Lovers,” and “Get Outta My Way,” receive the acoustic treatment from the BBC session. “Better Than Today” was the track from “Aphrodite” that Minogue performed on her 2009 tour, giving fans a glimpse of the album that would follow in 2010. “Confide In Me” is also included from the 2009 tour. Also included is a behind-the-scenes look at the “Aphrodite Les Folies” tour that trekked through Europe and Japan.

No matter the format, Minogue is in great voice on these live offerings, which is something fans have come to expect from her concert performances. Four of the tracks are more down-tempo, but expect plenty of supercharged energy from the Aussie diva on Friday as she performs songs from “Aphrodite,” her 11th studio album, and her extensive back catalogue.

Stevie Nicks
“In Your Dreams”

imageTen long years after her last studio album, Nicks released “In Your Dreams,” produced by Dave Stewart. Nicks described collaborating so closely with Stewart—best known as Annie Lennox’s partner in the Eurythmics—as reminiscent of the early days of Fleetwood Mac.

Lead single “Secret Lovers” was written in 1976 and is about a forbidden relationship. “I always knew that one day I was going to record the song,” Nicks says in a press release.

The album has a timeless quality to it that sounds like it could have been made at any point during Nicks’ stellar career. Among the tracks are a shout-out to the Big Easy in “New Orleans,” “Soldier’s Angel” featuring her ex and former Fleetwood Mac bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, and “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream),” which was inspired by the 2009 film “New Moon.”

Stewart joins Nicks on “Cheaper Than Free,” and as a producer and collaborator, he helped Nicks create one of her most consistent albums, taking her hippy/folksie vibe and crafting it into music that would be at home on pop or adult contemporary radio.

Jennifer Lopez

imageAt long last, the much-delayed seventh studio album from JLo is finally out, and the results are … OK. The album careens from dance/pop to R&B/hip-hop with mixed results.

Of course, this doesn’t exactly shock anyone since “Love?” was supposed to come out last year, but the singles “Louboutins” and “Fresh Out the Oven” flopped and didn’t even make the cut for the album.

The lead single — or third single, depending on how you look at it — “On the Floor” shot to the top of charts across the world, so it’s no wonder that Lopez chose to pepper the album with some solid dance tracks, including “Invading my Mind” and “Hypnotico,” which were the results of collaborating with Lady Gaga and RedOne (Gaga’s hit-making producer). Lopez is set to perform “On the Floor” during Thursday’s “Idol.”

The new single, “I’m Into You,” featuring Lil’ Wayne, was written by Taio Cruz and produced by Stargate. It sounds a little like something from the “JLo” days, like “I’m Real” but not as catchy.

Hopefully Lopez will release some of the more dance-oriented singles, keep the remixes coming and realize that with a voice and stage presence like hers, she is made for dance music – not that there is anything at all wrong with that.

imageProfessional university administrator by day, roving entertainment reporter by night and co-chair of the Entertainment Committee for Atlanta Pride, Buck Cooke is armed with a passion for pop culture and rabid appetite for music, scouring the entertainment landscape for treasures in music, TV and cinema.


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