REVIEW: Eliane Amherd’s “Skylines”

The new album from vocalist Eliane Amherd continues to show incredible promise for someone who displays incredible talent, not only in her voice but what she selects for her new album, Skylines (self-released). It’s partly jazzy but it’s rich with pop tendencies, soulful vibes and occasional reggae grooves, showing the kind of diversity that a lot of modern singers are often afraid to do. It would be too easy to compare her to Norah Jones but that’s due to the shared vocal harmony and charm but Amberd is her own person, whether it’s the Herbie Hancock-esque “”Counting Grains Of Sand” or her cover of Janet Jackson’s “What Have You Done For Me Lately”. She is someone who is letting people know what she is about and if you liked her previous album, the songs here are saying “I have much more to give and share, please stick around.” Glad she has returned with this new effort.

VIDEO: James Apollo’s “Ho, Ho, Ho Hum”

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The press release for this song suits my opinion accurately: “There‚Äôs a certain artificiality that comes with much Christmas music, due in large part to the over-commercialization of the holiday.” This is why I like songs such as Puff Tube’s “Let’s Shave Rudoloph”. Thus, I’ve discovered a Christmas song that doesn’t feel artificial nor forced, and it’s done by an artist named James Apollo. His song is called “Ho Ho, Ho Hum”, which may make some go “I don’t want to listen to it if it’s just ho hum” but boring it is not. It takes the reality of being lonely during the holidays and gives it a positive perspective.

SOME STUFFS: Audio Fidelity to release remasters of George Benson and “Super Session”

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They are cherished albums in the world of jazz and blues rock respectively, and despite how many copies you have seen of this around everywhere, you definitely haven’t heard them like this. Audio Fidelity are releasing audiophile hybrid SACD remasters of George Benson’s Breezin’ and the Mike Bloomfield/Al Kooper/Stephen Stills album known to many as Super Session.

Benson’s 1975 album is the one that helped moved him to the pop charts with his renditions of “This Masquerade” and the title track, a song that you could pretty much hear everywhere on the radio. The 5.1 mix was done by Doug Sax.

Super Session is an album that has carried a reputation for the guitarists that are on it, along with their performances of each song. In hip-hop circles, many will recognize “Season Of The Witch” as being sampled by The Pharcyde. The 5.1 mix was done by Bob Ludwig. For both CD’s, the stereo mixes were both mastered by Steve Hoffman, so you should know very well how this will sound. How will it compare to the MFSL audio pressing? Just wait and see/hear. Both SACD’s are scheduled for release on August 5th.