After fans clamored for its release, Extraordinary Machine finally came out. The result is honed down to its essential and most striking features: Fiona Apple's voice and a modest accompaniment produced by Dr. Dre protege Mike Elizondo.
The singer's latest album finds her reaching for a wider country-pop audience. The intensely personal collection, in which she collaborates with husband Steve Earle, is the first in which the Alabama native wrote every song herself.
Instead of one condensed studio session, Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris chose to build their collaboration upon various short recording dates scattered across seven years. At long last, the ex-Dire Straits frontman and veteran country singer have released All The Roadrunning.
A love of the ocean has given Donavon Frankenreiter ample inspiration for his laid-back acoustic music. Drawn to simple pleasures — surfing, music, family — the singer has maintained careers as both a surfer and a musician, using the latter to dispense a positive, feel-good message.
Donavon Frankenreiter in Studio on World Cafe - 08/25/2006
Mates of State's Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel leave little to the imagination: They use their relationship as fodder for songwriting, and once filmed a video wearing only their underwear. Full of punk-informed jams and quirky ballads, Bring it Back is their most diverse and personal album yet.
Mates of State in Studio on World Cafe - 08/23/2006
The songs for Burnett's new album came from a period of solitude in which he wrote the bulk of his new lyrics. Titled The True False Identity, the disc was recorded with a long list of musicians who shared Burnett's musical influences — which include Bo Diddley, Howlin' Wolf and even Haitian music.
T Bone Burnett in Studio on World Cafe - 08/22/2006
When Sonic Youth began in 1981, the critical and commercial success they would achieve was unimaginable. Though it began as an experiment in guitar noise and feedback, the group has cemented its legacy as one of the most important acts of its era.
Whether playing aggressive rock or hauntingly quiet folk, Montreal musician Sam Roberts is likely to inject social commentary into his songwriting. His eclectic mix of rock, pop and folk has won him a growing fan base across North America.