Arsenio Orteza

Follow Arsenio on Twitter @ArsenioOrteza.

Noteworthy new releases

Music
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 8/02/18, 12:16 pm

Good Thing 

Leon Bridges

Bridges’ sophomore effort begins with “Bet Ain’t Worth the Hand,” which sounds enough like his retro Southern-soul debut to placate continuity lovers. With the second song, though (“Bad Bad News”), the album shifts into something else—the Sound of Philadelphia, say, slowed down and reimagined as old jack swing except when it’s sped up to approximate Quincy Jones–era Michael Jackson. And if the lyrics aren’t always deeper than those of Bruno Mars, they have more integrity. The only song with bedroom eyes is called “Mrs.” for a reason.

Read more

Photo illustration by Krieg Barrie

‘Usurped arts’

Music | Two new albums express Christian belief—if you listen closely
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 8/01/18, 09:50 am

Play the latest albums by the Innocence Mission and Wovenhand’s David Eugene Edwards for someone who doesn’t speak English—someone, in other words, oblivious to what’s being sung—and he’ll probably tell you that the two have little in common.

One of them, after all, is loud, dark, and turbulent; the other quiet, luminous, and peaceful.

Read more

New or recent releases

Music
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 7/19/18, 02:52 pm

In The Groove

Barry Goldberg

The words in the only song that has any are sung by Les McCann and—according to one source—address Donald Trump (antagonistically, of course). Otherwise, the producer Carla Olson keeps the focus off virtue signaling and on Goldberg’s Hammond B3, Joe Sublett’s sax, and the slinky R&B melodies of the covers (including those of Doc Bagby, Milt Bruckner, Johnny and the Hurricanes, and Sil Austin) and Goldberg’s own compositions. Target audience: anyone who thinks that Goldberg’s roots only go back as far as Newport ’65.

Read more