Briefs: OA Top Ten Albums October 245, 2008

1. Rodney Crowell, “Sex and Gasoline.” “The whole world runs on sex and gasoline,” or so says Crowell. This new CD has some of the finest songwriting from one of the world’s best at it. “The Rise and Fall of Intelligent Design” and “Closer to Heaven” are two of his finest songs.

2. Bob Dylan, “Tell Tale Signs: Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006.” If you need any further proof that Dylan is the world’s greatest songwriter, pick this set up. Dylan’s outtakes are better than most other artists’ keepers.

3. Grateful Dead, “Rocking the Cradle Egypt 1976.” Two CDs featuring the best from the Dead’s historic shows from Egypt’s Great Pyramid. Included is a DVD of extremely rare concert footage plus home movies from the Grateful Dead.

4. Lucinda Williams, “Little Honey.” In love again and happy most of the time, Williams has one of her most positive and uplifting CDs to date. But don’t worry. There are still some classic Williams’ style folk/blues tracks full of heartache that we all love.

5. Jackson Browne, “Time the Conqueror.” Browne’s 13th studio album, and first in six years since “Naked Ride Home,” is a mix of classic Browne with his ’80s political side showing some. Highlights include the title track and “Going Down to Cuba.”

6. Little Feat and Friends, “Join the Band.” This CD is just what the title says and is just what this band deserves. It’s a laid-back recording with friends covering some of their classic song as well as a few others.

7. Buddy Guy, “Skin Deep.” This is Guy’s first album of original material in his incredible career and he had help from friends such as Eric Clapton, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks and Robert Randolph. However, the star of this disc is Guy’s fantastic guitar playing.

8. Lindsey Buckingham, “Gift of Screws.” An introspective rock ’n’ roll record from this former and, I guess, future member of Fleetwood Mac. Buckingham has never sounded better on the guitar. That and a great batch of tunes make it one of the year’s best discs.

9. Calexico, “Carried To Dust.” Known for its stark Southwestern soundscapes, this mysterious band from the West Coast has the most accessible of their eight releases to date. Its music is mesmerizing in the way that the first Cowboy Junkies was, but Calexico’s sound is all its own.

10. Michael Franti & Spearhead, “All Rebel Rockers.” Always outspoken, political and controversial and unafraid to speak his mind, Franti and band recorded this CD in Jamaica with the help of legendary producers Sly and Robbie.


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