There are plenty of CDs that come in under people's radar that really deserve more attention. I wanted to highlight five CDs that I felt were extremely neglected from the past five years, favorites of mine...
Slow Down Kid ~ Val Emmich (2004) This CD blew me away. I bought it on a whim when I was listening to some music at Border's one day. I really just listened to the CD because I thought the guy was cute, but my god Val Emmich is talented. His music is bursting with the raw emotion that so much music is lacking. His lyrics can be painful and touching, but are mostly very angry and lost. This kid can sing and write and rock. Key tracks: Medical Display, Bury Me, Separate Things, Shock, Unstable.
Who's Got Trouble? ~ Shivaree (2005) I first became aware of Shivaree because of her song Goodnight Moon on the Kill Bill Volume 2 soundtrack. I gave a listen to her most recent CD after that and was extremely impressed. The more I listened to this CD, the more I fell in love with the bluesy, smoky tone of her music. Full of depressing numbers and whimsical songs alike, this CD is a real pleaser. Key tracks: New Casablanca, I Close my Eyes, Someday, Little Black Mess, The Fat Lady of Limbourg.
Neon Nights ~ Dannii Minogue (2003) Recognize the last name? Well, you should because this is pop icon Kylie Minogue's younger sister. But Dannii's been around for awhile too, starting her music career back in the early 90's (after being a TV actress). This was her first CD made available in America (in the wake of Kylie's big blow-up). She also does dance music and between her and her sister, do it the best presently. If you like club/house music, you will love Dannii. Key tracks: Put the Needle On It, Creep, I Begin To Wonder, Hey! (So What), Mighty Fine.
Mindy McCready ~ Mindy McCready (2002) Maybe the most familiar name on the list, this country singer made it big with her debut platinum album Ten Thousand Angels. Since that time however, Mindy's fallen off the map, but through no fault of her own. With each CD she has come out with, she's steadily gotten better. Her last CD was her best coincidentally, simply titled Mindy McCready. Citing a good mix of mature and playful songs, this is the country CD to have in your collection. And try not to let the fact that she was addicted to prescription drugs and tried to commit suicide sway you from her favor. Rumor has it she's due for a comeback. Key tracks: Maybe, Maybe Not, Lips Like Yours, Lovin' Your Man, Scream, Don't Speak, If I Feel Your Hand.
Day I Forgot ~ Pete Yorn (2003) Pete Yorn had some moderate success with his first CD Musicforthemorningafter, but didn't get quite so much attention for his second effort, which is really just as good. Pete Yorn's music is moody. He can croon through a ballad with the best of them, but I prefer it when he really cuts loose and just rocks out (he has a great live CD for just that). His music is just brilliant; the best songwriter currently out there. Key tracks: Come Back Home, Carlos (Don't Let It Go To Your Head), Committed, Turn of the Century, Burrito.