Known Johnson

November 16, 2006

Overlooked Alternatives: Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris, Paul McCartney, Damien Rice

Filed under: Music,News,Overlooked Alternatives — Tom @ 4:59 am

Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris – Real Live Roadrunning (CD/DVD): As I mentioned in a previous entry with regards to a new Joe Satriani live album, a live album in the same year as the release of the studio album is overkill and is probably just a quick cash-grab by the label, and I can’t claim it’s any different with this live set from Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris following their fantastic album, All the Roadrunning. However, in this case, I have to plead a little bit of innocence in buying into it simply because it’s not like these two have ever had a live release before, nor has much of this material been covered live before, either – and certainly never together. At least here we get both a CD and a DVD in the same package for one price, but the CD comes edited of a few songs that are on the DVD, but in this case, the CD actually comes with one song that the DVD does not (“All That Matters” – for the record, missing from the CD are the songs “I Dug Up A Diamond,” “Born To Run,” “Done With Bonaparte,” and “Belle Starr.”) Shared in common are songs from Roadrunning as well as tunes from Knopfler’s solo career and Dire Straits as well as a couple of Emmylou’s songs.

Paul McCartney – The Space Within US (DVD): McCartney has managed to document each of his tours lately, yet insists on releasing them not as actual concert videos but more as documentaries of the show. This would be fine if he’d do as others have done, such as Peter Gabriel with Still Growing Up, and put the unedited live footage together as a single show, but he doesn’t – instead what he releases is a montage of concert footage mixed with interviews of him, his band, and various celebrities. This is frustrating – I can see the point of not wanting to always release straight concert recordings because there’s also a story behind each tour that doesn’t get told only by seeing the music, but the fans sometimes just want to hear and watch the music. Regardless, if you, like I, want to get a document of McCartney taking the material from his – yes, I’m actually going to say it – best ever solo album, Chaos And Creation In The Backyard, on tour, this is your only option.

Damien Rice – 9: It took him years, but Damien Rice is back with his second solo album. It can’t possibly live up to the precedent set by the amazing O, but can we really hold it at fault for that? It’s hard to say no when the album begins with the opening single, “9 Crimes,” heavily featuring the vocals of Lisa Hannigan, a song that sounds like it’s been written specifically as background music for any number of teen melodramas on TV right now. But after that, the album changes tone considerably, back to Rice’s signature Irish-folk, with a few rockier numbers thrown in as well. It’s not going to top O in anyone’s eyes, but if it can get Rice back out on the road, where he puts on spellbinding shows, it’s a good thing.

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