Quickie CD Reviews: ScarJo and Yorn, Apples in Stereo and Juliette Lewis (with audio player +video)

The Apples in Stereo


#1 Hits Explosion


[image-1](Yep Roc)


With 17 years of pop rockin' under their belt, The Apples in Stereo collect their best tunes on one album, #1 Hits Explosion. For seasoned fans, this may not be a choice album as it's really just a recap of what they've been enjoying for years. For noobs like, me the album is a great primer. With bright 60's pop rock -- think Beatles, Beach Boys and Velvet Underground -- Apples in Stereo can cure your case of the Mondays in a pinch. Highlights: "Energy,"  "Go" and "Tidal Wave."


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Juliette Lewis


Terra Incognita


[image-3](The End Records)


Imagine a bluesy version of Mars Volta's De-Loused in the Comatorium with controlled drumming, Juliette Lewis' explosive vocals and pop song structure. This is what a great Omar Lopez-Rodriguez-produced release sounds like. Evoking Janis Joplin, the 12-track album is darker than anything Lewis has done before. OLR's expert influence is blatant all throughout the album (guitar work, song keys, effects), but man, does it work. Highlights: "Hard Lovin' Woman" (for Janis fans) and "Romeo."


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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laDiQkbmmRk[/youtube]

Scarlett Johansson and Pete Yorn

Break Up

(Rhino)

Inspired by Serge Gainsbourg's duets with Brigitte Bardot, singer-songwriter Pete Yorn teams up with actress Scarlett Johansson for Break Up, a sweetly-produced and easy-to-enjoy album. The nine-song collection goes by quickly and has ScarJo and Yorn seductively singing saccharine melodies over Beach-Boys-style production. It's a mellifluous session, but the songs are a little too sappy for my taste. Recorded back in 2006, the album is set to be released next Tuesday, September 8. ScarJo describes this as a "small project between friends." Highlights: "I Don't Know What to Do" and "I Am the Cosmos".

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