Shooter Jennings, 'Countach (for Giorgio)'
With this mesmerizing and unexpected tribute to dance-music pioneer Giorgio Moroder, Shooter Jennings finally finds a way to combine all of his diverse influences. There's outlaw country (a snippet of dad Waylon's "Outlaw Bit" opens the album), moody prog rock (David Bowie's "Cat People" with Marilyn Manson) and soaring Eighties pop ("The Neverending Story," as sung by Brandi Carlile). It's all tied together by the pop-culture geek mind of Jennings, who hides sonic Easter eggs throughout: Sam Kinison's scream, amusement-park commercials and the speeches of video-game visionary Richard Garriott de Cayeux. But the heart of the project remains the songs of Moroder, which Jennings interprets with reverence. And a whole lotta synthesizer. Joseph Hudak