1. Ruby Rose Fox – Domestic
There are a lot of angles from which to appreciate Ruby Rose Fox’s debut full-length album. Its shimmering and muscular pop would fit well with some of layered, roomy sounds favored by contemporary radio favorites like Cage the Elephant or The Young Wild. But Fox’s music feels heavier. Part of that has to do with her voice, which has a resonant low end that glides easier to a higher register, where she can float and hang. She’d be at home singing Aretha Franklin or the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Fans of Annie Lennox can probably stop reading here and just check out the album. There’s plenty of attitude and confidence in defiant songs like “Pain Killer” and “Requiem for Danny Thunder.” I don’t know Ms. Fox personally, but I’d hate to tangle with her voice in a street fight. On top of that, there’s some tough, unflinching stuff in the lyrics. “Rock Bottom” is an anthem for independence filtered through the tragedy of Rosemary Kennedy, with the repeated line, “Rosemary Kennedy/who did your lobotomy?” Even more incisive is “Every Time I Tell,” about domestic abuse. “He hit me/I took a shot,” she sings, “He kissed me and I forgot/I kill him every time I tell.” Domestic works all the way around, from an emotional, intellectual, and sonic level.
2. SINGLE Grandmaster’s Furious 5: Melle Mel & Scorpio – “Some Kind of Sorry”
After a quick opening rap, the first two minutes of this new single from hip hop pioneers Melle Mel and Scorpio is a straight ahead grooving rock tune with a monster guitar hook and bubbling organ, and some soulful vocals on the verses. Chorus is a bit breezy. It’s more recognizable as a product of the people behind “White Line (Don’t Don’t Do It)” and “The Message” in the second half, but they don’t have much time to really get going. It’s a strange mix, and it makes me wonder if this is the new direction these guys are headed. I’m curious to hear more. Check their Facebook page to find out where you can listen to it starting today.