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Don Shewey


  • Various Positions

    Oh, no, moans an aging hippie after being bitten by a vampire. "Now I'll be half-dead and half-alive, kinda like Leonard Cohen." I always laugh at Leonard Cohen jokes, but I don't share their derisive sentiment. It's true that Cohen's vocal range will never rival Cleo Laine's, and his songs will never be featured in […]

    • Music
  • Aimless Love

    After eight albums on two major labels, John Prine has gone the route of many a fine though commercially marginal singer/songwriter and released an album on his own independent label. It's a treat. Though perhaps it lacks the instant standards like "Hello in There" and "Sam Stone," which made Prine's debut album so startling, Aimless […]

    • Music
  • Whitney Houston

    Blessed with one of the most exciting new voices in years, Whitney Houston sings the hell out of the pleasant but undistinguished pop-soul tunes on her album, which was put together by a consortium of top producers: Michael Masser, Jermaine Jackson, Kashif, Narada Michael Walden. But compared to the Bacharach-David gems that launched Dionne Warwick […]

    • Music
  • Milk & Honey

    Milk and Honey was conceived as a companion piece to Double Fantasy. Each is subtitled "A Heart Play," and while the earlier album was meant to be something of a healing ritual (coming after John and Yoko's eighteen-month separation and Lennon's subsequent five-year "retirement" from recording), its successor seems designed as a portrait of domestic […]

    • Music
  • Busy Body

    As a soul man, Luther Vandross has a unique image. Forsaking the role of Demanding Lover or Five-Star Stud played by the likes of Teddy Pendergrass and Marvin Gaye, Vandross is usually pursuing a woman who is elusive, independent or stepping out on him. He doesn't get angry or play the clown, but responds by […]

    • Music
  • Swordfishtrombones

    Tom Waits' new album is so weird that Asylum Records decided not to release it, but it's so good that Island was smart enough to pick it up. Half of the fifteen cuts — the dirty blues, poetry recitals and odd instrumentals — would not sound out of place on a Captain Beefheart album. The […]

    • Music
  • Hello Big Man

    Hello Big Man is Carly Simon's best album in years. After the primal-scream therapy of Come Upstairs and the somewhat sterile sidestep into standards with Torch, Simon has returned to the sort of beautiful, folk-based singing and songwriting that originally made the world fall in love with her. In fact, two of the album's best […]

    • Music
  • Hearts and Bones

    Paul Simon's new album is all about heart versus mind, thinking versus feeling, and how these dichotomies get in the way of making music or love. He addresses the issue directly in "Think Too Much" (which was once to have been the title of this album), goes at it metaphorically in "Train in the Distance," […]

    • Music
  • Amanda Plummer Acts Differently

    From 'Agnes of God' to 'Daniel,' a strange magic fills the stages of her life

    • TV & Movies
  • Madonna

    Madonna, who crashed onto the dance charts last year with "Everybody," has a voice that takes some getting used to. At first, it doesn't sound like much at all. Then you notice its one distinguishing feature, a girlish hiccup that the singer uses over and over until it's irritating as hell. Finally, you get hooked, […]

    • Music