They say seven is a lucky number, and it seems that Mandy Moore hit her artistic pot of gold with her seventh studio album "Silver Landings," her first release in 11 years. Her music, carefully thought out and curated with love, is a triumphant return to her creative self.
Moore's melodic register is suspended in time to that easy listening genre of the early 2000s when she broke out as a pop star but didn't make the music she wanted. Her acting career hit a new high four years ago with the debut of the hit series "This Is Us," earning Moore Emmy and Golden Globe nominations, and giving the performer the confidence to make the music she wanted.
The 10-track "Silver Landings" charts her life, her career and her mistakes -- from the country-like tender but matter-of-fact "Fifteen," where she sings about her early struggles with fame, to the perky bop "Easy Target," where she unveils her determination to start over.
-- Cristina Jaleru
The Associated Press
Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys have been a thinking-person's dance band for three-and-a-half decades now, with silent and stone-faced beat-maker Chris Lowe leading the way to the disco while ambivalent wordsmith Neil Tennant drolly calculates the emotional cost of loving the nightlife, baby.
"Hotspot" is not a flat-out fabulous Pet Shop Boys record in the vein of such previous one-word-title career linchpins as 1987's "Actually" or 1993's "Very." But that would be a little too much to expect at this late stage, with both Pets now in their seventh decade. Recorded in Berlin with producer Stuart Price -- a Madonna collaborator who previously worked with the Pets -- "Hotspot" works best when it plays it cool. The songs on this well-made album that ponder longing and loneliness and whether it's worth summoning the energy to head out for another night at the club -- those are winners.
"Happy People" captures "that feeling of epic grandeur at the end of a summer's day/ That sense of so much missing, when the world gets in the way." And "Burning the Heather," which has been interpreted as Tennant mulling whether or not there's a place for the Pets in post-Brexit England, conjures a lovely autumnal energy as he plays it coy about risking a romantic connection: "Seasons are changing, time's moving along/ Give me a drink and I'll be gone."
-- Dan DeLuca
The Philadelphia Inquirer
With no live music to list, this spot will be filled by news and reviews of new albums, both local and national. Send information about your new releases to Jocelyn Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAN What's Up on 03/20/2020
Print Headline: Listen Here!