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Sean Daly's CD picks: Motley Crue, Willie Nelson, Albert Hammond Jr.

Motley Crue

Album: Saints of Los Angeles (Motley)

In stores: Now

Why we care: In 2001, four wise men sat down to write the greatest book in the history of, like, reading and stuff. That would be Motley Crue's oral tell-all, The Dirt, a poignant portrait of hope, faith and that time Ozzy Osbourne snorted ants and urine. The metalheads' new album, the first in a decade to feature all four original members, is the sinful soundtrack to that lit masterpiece.

Why we like it: Saints doesn't reach the sleazy heights of 1989's Dr. Feelgood, but it's good to have the boys back. Vince Neil's excessive facelifting has ruined his vocals. But Tommy Lee still makes a mad beat, and despite being 57, Mick Mars can seriously shred.

Reminds us of: Tumbling down the Sunset Strip

Download this: White Trash Circus

Grade: C+

Willie Nelson

Album: Stardust: 30th Anniversary (Columbia/Legacy)

In stores: Now

Why we care: The Red-Headed Stranger's 1978 collection of standards spent 551 weeks on the Billboard country charts. That's 10 1/2 years! It remains the biggest-selling album of Willie's career, and it remains Sunday-morning mellow and chill-out cool. Must be the dirty ponytails.

Why we like it: Over the course of just 10 days, Stardust was recorded and produced by none other than Booker T. Jones, who opted for a quiet, contemplative approach rather than the raucous racket his MGs could make. Behold the cracked-leather treatments of Georgia on My Mind and Someone to Watch Over Me.

Reminds us of: This edition comes with 16 bonus tracks, including Stormy Weather.

Download these: Blue Skies and All of Me

Grade: A

Albert Hammond Jr.

Album: Como Te Llama? (Black Seal)

In stores: Tuesday

Why we care: The Strokes' rhythm guitarist leaves his ample-haired N.Y. mates for a second spin in the solo spotlight. The raw energy of his day job has been replaced with a loose, glammy rock sound reminiscent of Bowie circa '75 (or, at the very least, a Young Dudes-era Mott the Hoople).

Why we like it: Hammond likes to fuzz out his vocals and his guitar, which isn't to say he doesn't get pretty now and then. The chirpy riffing and falsetto coo on first single GfC are destined for a Volvo ad. There are hooks and laid-back cool galore, an indie aesthetic mixed with a throwback fake-wood-paneling vibe. I can't think of a better album to pass out to.

Reminds us of: Ziggy Stardust Jr.

Download these: In My Room and Lisa

Grade: A-



Song: Inside the Fire

Album: Indestructible (Reprise)

In stores: Now

Why we care: In tough economic times, I turn to blood-curdling metal to make me feel better. There's something comforting about hirsute, head-banging rage and venomous power chords. I feel better already! The fourth album from the Chicago ghouls is all parts madness, mayhem. Inside the Fire is about girls, suicide and the devil. More importantly, it's also about rawk.

Why we like it: If you're not a Judas Priest fan, or don't appreciate metal-studded leather codpieces, you can stop reading now. Disturbed singer David Draiman gets his growly Rob Halford on, and guitar specialist Dan Donegan does his best to re-create the twin guitar assault of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing.

Reminds us of: Our metal-studded leather codpiece really needs to be dry-cleaned.

Grade: B

Sean Daly's CD picks: Motley Crue, Willie Nelson, Albert Hammond Jr. 07/05/08 [Last modified: Saturday, July 5, 2008 4:31am]
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