Isaak takes break from
TV to release new CD
If you've ever seen Chris Isaak in interviews
or on his own critically acclaimed Showtime series The Chris Isaak Show,
you know he possesses a wry, self-effacing
sense of humor.
Photo courtesy of Reprise
Singer/actor Chris Isaak
releases one of his better albums with Always Got Tonight.
But in the last decade and a half, Isaak
has been cranking out a series of albums that prove him a modern troubadour
of heartbreak. With his roots-based sound, Isaak
has inherited the mantle of the late,
great Roy Orbison (even though he doesn't quite have the Big O's operatic
Isaak had been around a few years before
he made his first big splash in 1990 when the song "Wicked Game" was featured
on the soundtrack of the David Lynch film
Wild at Heart.
Just a couple of years ago, Isaak got another
cinematic boost when "Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing" was heard during the trailers
for Stanley Kubrick's soft-core swan song
Eyes Wide Shut.
In between, Isaak and his crack band have
consistently released strong albums that don't seem to fit within the parameters
of modern pop, but instead have a timeless
quality that could fit as easily in the
1950s as in the 21st century.
Isaak's latest CD, Always Got Tonight,
is no exception. Returning to songwriting and the recording studio after
a year of concentrating his energies on his television
show, Isaak and company turn out 12 tracks
that mine the depths of unrequited or lost love.
The album kicks off with "One Day," a rocking
number that segues into "Let Me Down Easy," in which Isaak's vocals slide
from a just-this-side-of-crying falsetto to a
Isaak might be accused of never varying
from his trademark sound, but in "Notice the Ring" and the title track,
he experiments with hip-hop-flavored rhythms.
Always Got Tonight
— Ken Fountain
Senior Staff Writer
Post-rock lives on with the latest release
by The Six Parts Seven. Slow-moving melodies and interlocking rhythm structures
characterize the mostly instrumental genre.
Though Things Shaped in Passing bleeds
with evidence of fellow Midwestern influences like Tortoise and Dianogah,
it's still a beautifully written and recorded album.
The band's sound focuses on subtlety, on
first listen sounding pretty bland. But after repetitions, familiarity
builds from recurring themes. The album must be listened to
as an entire piece; individual tracks
serve as movement within the project.
From the first track, imagination sets
the listener out on a frosted blue morning drive down country roads.
By the song "Sleeping Diagonally," rhythmic
drum throbs lose to soft piano chords in a sedated forgetfulness like forgotten
highway turn signals.
By holding back ability, these nuanced
sub-rock daydreams aren't cluttered by showmanship. The continuity of the
album is helped by each track's ambiguous
disappearance and reemergence in modified
form. Frazzled ends of fade connect organic sounds with hints muted by
For those with a taste for the instrumentally
evocative, the subtlety of Things Shaped in Passing gives the album a lot
of playback value.
The Six Parts Seven
Things Shaped in Passing
Suicide Squeeze Records
— Chris Goodier
Daily Cougar Staff