Selected New Releases: April 7, 2017 – Part 1/3

More than 24 new works by Canadian recording artists released this past Friday have come to our attention. We’ll give our usual capsule reviews but divide the big lot into three parts alphabetically by title. Below are a stately eight.

French-Canadian recording artist Mylène Farmer released an album a few years back called Monkey Me. Montreal’s Richard D’Anjou puts a monkey on the cover and goes with the title Beautiful Me. Formerly in Sherbrooke rock band with Dan Georgesco Too Many Cooks (80s-90s), this is Richard’s first solo album, a spicy, blues-tinged rock charmer.

Another story of a band member dishing out a solo work involves Montreal’s Speedy Johnson, bluesman of Ol’ Savannah. Before It’s Dark combines blues, folk, and rock dressed with Speedy’s Wolfman Jack styled vocals.

Fans of rock on the harder side can check out Calgary’s Woodhawk and album Beyond the Sun which promises to punch a few cracks and cast some spells over the Rocky Mountains with its riff-rock exploration of sci-fi, swords & sorcery.

For something completely different, acclaimed classical pianist Janina Fialkowska, OC, of Montreal continues her interpretation of works by Chopin on Chopin Recital, Vol. 3.

Youthful Montreal blues ace Samuele presents an album with a long title: Les filles sages vont au paradis, les autres vont où elles veulent. The work oscillates between folky gentleness and distorted rock in a captivating universe of sound.

Annie Villeneuve, one of the highest profile Francophones at the 2010 Winter Olympics, has released her fifth album, entitled 5, a pop effort. It is the top musique Francophone seller at iTunes and #25 overall which is a strong showing. Annie was a finalist at the first season of Star Academy. Her new album is an absolute beauty.

Exco Levi may be the nation’s leading reggae artist (he has won the Reggae JUNO five times since 2012) but there is lots more Canadian reggae out there. Montreal based Okapi presents Hot Sauce piquante. This is reggae a little over on the more alternative side and is a fun record.

Punk rock, JUNO-nominated Toronto group The Flatliners and album Inviting Light cap off Part 1. The album, the band’s fifth, is doing quite well, and the players’ experience matches the honed quality of the disc’s sound.