Tuesday, November 17, 2009


For those of you who are
new to No Expiration, every Wednesday morning at 9 am ET I go on the SIRIUSXM channel OutQ. I am a weekly contributor to The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick. Most weeks I bring a theme, and since "female singers," or "divas" seems to always go over well, I decided to go with that one again, particularly because there are lots of relevant
albums out right now.

First off is Larry's #1 favorite album of the year, Lungs, by Florence & The Machine. He's been talking about it for months, and I only just listened to it for the first time. It's a pretty powerful album. In some ways, Florence reminds me of Tori Amos, but I can't back that up with much, so I'll probably keep it to myself, as Larry is no fan of Tori! My wife Maria grabbed the CD from me, and she loves it. So, I'm glad to say that I like it also. I may even add this to my Best Of '09 series.

Leona Lewis has just released Echo. Larry and I disagreed about Leona last year, he thought she deserved the Record of the Year Grammy, last year, and I thought it rightfully went to Robert Plant & Alison Krauss. Sorry, Larry, I paid my NARAS dues and you forgot to pay yours! Larry felt that Leona's debut was an event on the level of Mariah Carey's debut. I disagreed with that - I almost think it is impossible for someone to dominate pop music the way Mariah did. (I also didn't think a Mariah-level-event would be a positive thing, anyway, as I don't like Mariah.) I did think Leona's "Bleeding Love" was a great pop song, and I don't hate on her because of it. I have only heard one new Leona song, "Happy," which I thought was really good. But she doesn't dodge comparassions to Mariah, that's for sure.

Norah Jones has been a favorite of mine since I heard her debut album, Come Away With Me, in 2002. I just got her new album, The Fall, tonight, and I think it's great. She broke up with her long time boyfriend/bass player Lee Alexander, which pretty much broke up her band. So she started working with new people, including producer Jaquire King, who worked on Tom Waits' classic Mule Variations. I think it is a really successful progression for her.

Finally, Joss Stone has just released Color Me Free!, which sees her fighting with her record label, which, sadly, doesn't usually end well for the artist. I got to interview her before her debut, 2003's The Soul Sessions EP when I worked for VH1. I think it's a good record but not a great one. She has so much talent, it's almost frustrating that she hasn't clicked with audiences in the way that she should. Maybe she needs a new record label. I hope they just don't slut her image up too much.

So call in if you want to weigh in! We'll probably do another week of female singers next month, when Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige and Shakira have released their new albums. Next week: crack. Um, I mean box sets. The Rolling Stones, Dolly Parton, Hall & Oates, AC/DC and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.

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