Lucinda Williams & Opinions on Rhye

Singer-songwriter and alt-country pioneer Lucinda Williams is live in the Sound Opinions studio.

Lucinda WIlliams
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It’s the silliest meme since Psy’s Gangnam Style, but in some parts of the world, Bauuer’s Harlem Shake is serious business. In Egypt, protestors filmed themselves performing the dance in front of the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters, and in Tunisia, students’ attempts to make Harlem Shake videos have ignited violent riots with religious conservatives. Half a century after Blackboard Jungle and Rock Around the Clock, Jim says pop music still has the capacity to shock.

Lucinda Williams

For almost four decades, Lucinda Williams has been writing and performing music, without ever really fitting into any music industry labels. During this time she’s moved cities almost as many times as she’s moved labels. She’s released 10 studio albums, including the critically lauded Lucinda Williams for Rough Trade and Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Many of her songs have tackled love, loss and liquor, but people have been noticing a sunnier side of Lucinda in recent years. She named her 2011 album Blessed, perhaps a nod to her 2009 marriage to manager Tom Overby. But, Lucinda insists she still has plenty of material, even if she’s in love. Maybe she’s just channeling the always optimistic, Tami Taylor. You can still hear the fire in songs like Born to Be Loved, When I Look at the World, and Something Wicked This Way Comes.

Woman Rhye

Woman

Not much was known about the electro-soul duo Rhye before the group’s debut album Woman came out this month. Early reports had that Sade-like voice coming from a woman, but now the truth is out: Rhye is Canadian electronic musician Mike Milosh and Danish producer Robin Hannibal, both men. It’s only March, but Woman is already high on Jim and Greg’s Best Of lists. Jim calls Woman mind-blowing and compares the duo’s combination of steamy lyrics and cool accompaniment to Sade’s best work. Greg agrees. What gets him is the orchestration. On tracks like Woman and Verse, drawn-out phrasing and evocative water drips underline the meaning of the lyrics. This is music about love and lust, with the flame turned down low he says. Rhye gets an enthusiastic double Buy It.

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