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Sean Daly's CD picks: Irma Thomas, Solange, Lost Trailers, Lady Antebellum

Irma Thomas

Album: Simply Grand (Rounder)

In stores: Now

Why we care: The Soul Queen of New Orleans duets with such famed baby-granders as Dr. John, Norah Jones and Randy Newman, most of whom stay mum and let the 67-year-old legend do all the singing.

Why we like it: The 14-track disc has a late-night feel, all wistful playing and Thomas' cool, contained vocal. It's quiet, captivating, especially as the guests reveal themselves mainly through their signature ivory work. The album's finale is a cover of Newman's I Think It's Going to Rain Today. With the singer's obvious connection to the lyrics, it becomes a mournful but hopeful tribute to the Crescent City.

Reminds us of: 3 a.m., on the corner of Dauphine & Toulouse, wondering what to do next.

Download this: I Think It's Going to Rain Today

Grade: B


Album: Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams (Geffen)

In stores: Now

Why we care: As an only child, I've always daydreamed about having an older, wildly successful sib. Maybe a sister. Like Madonna Daly. Or at least Cher Daly. I'd totally be like Solange Knowles, the 22-year-old lil' sis of Beyonce. Solange is cute, quirky, has cool taste in music. But her fame will forever be hinged on Big B's. That said, Solange will always get a rockin' table at Bern's. Yeah, I could live with that.

Why we like it: Solange digs trippy soul and R&B, which allows Thievery Corporation and the Neptunes to produce funky '60s grooves. Her voice is thin, but she's having fun.

Reminds us of: Mom woulda liked Cher best.

Download these: Sandcastle Disco and I Decided Pt. 1

Grade: B-

The Lost Trailers

Album: Holler Back (Sony)

In stores: Now

Why we care: This Nashville country crew whips up a hillbilly heaven stuffed with shout-out choruses and pretty-boy veneer. They say they're at home "back in the woods," but you get the feeling they'd be just fine at a Rascal Flatts show, too.

Why we like it: First single Holler Back is pure pop country — synthetic but catchy — and it's already raising a ruckus on iTunes. Willie Nelson wouldn't like it, but Southern sorority girls sure will. The Trailers' by-the-book ballads tend to grate — if they get any response at all. But when the boys speed things up, you're in safe, if not entirely groundbreaking, hands.

Reminds us of: Riding ATVs backstage with Big & Rich. Good times, good times.

Download these: Holler Back and Hey Baby

Grade: C


Lady Antebellum

Song: Love Don't Live Here

Album: Lady Antebellum (Capitol)

In stores: Now

Why we care: Country trio Lady Antebellum is just as slick as the Lost Trailers. But the big difference here is singer Charles Kelley. Have you heard this guy yet? Hoo boy, this cowboy can sing for sure, a down-low sexy yawp reminiscent of Gregg Allman's bluesy off-road growl. Kelley might have the best new voice of the year.

Why we like it: Love Don't Live Here isn't that great a tune. It's your standard midtempo belter about a former paramour showing up on an ex's doorstep. He's done with her . . . or is he? Whatever. Kelley's rich vocal gives this bit o' fluff an added dimension and drama it doesn't deserve. Nevertheless, you'll be hooked.

Reminds us of: Allman's I'm No Angel. Or Michael Caine in Jaws 4.

Song grade: B+

Sean Daly's CD picks: Irma Thomas, Solange, Lost Trailers, Lady Antebellum 09/06/08 [Last modified: Saturday, September 6, 2008 4:30am]
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