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NATASHA LEGGERO/Coke Money: What is it about Rockford? Is there too much BGH in the milk? If there something in the water? First we get Cindy Crawford, then we get Brenda Yu, now we get Natasha Leggero, the latestcomic to spin off from the Chelsea Handler laugh factory. Leggero hits it out of the park with her well honed, contemporary observation humor that hit's the mark with almost every syllable, even the ones that are "a", "the" and phonemes like that. Great delivery, rapier wit and a killer non-stop mind that feels like it's editing and revamping in the moment make this the kind of set that you can play repeatedly like a music record. Available as a download only, which in another time and place would have had us bitching and moaning. Well done throughout.

HANK WILLIAMS/Icon: 11 #1s and there's still room to bitch about what was left off (ahem, "Mind Your Own Business")? Well, you shouldn't bitch, you should have jumped on it a few years ago when some goof at BMG Record Club hit the wrong switch and made a bunch of box sets 2/3s off of 2/3s off and glommed a copy of the complete Hank Williams. Meanwhile, if you want to know how 60+ year old music can still be relevant, check out these country classics that set the template for crossover. Each one a masterwork that demands the copyright law be extended so that Hank Jr's daughters don't have o lift a finger ever if they don't want to. This is Williams' oeuvre distilled to it's essence and you can reissue this as much as you can reissue Elvis without thinking it's ever going to lose it's power. This isn't a greatest hits set, this is a master class in songwriting.
(Mercury Nashville)

MARVIN GAYE/What's Going On 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition: A revamping of a towering work that came out 40 years ago by a guy that's been dead for almost 30 years, it might be impossible to improve upon the original, except for modern remastering techniques, but it's mind boggling to think there was so much previously unreleased material that could match it toe to toe. It should probably be called the Ubergeek Edition to separate it from the usual Hip-O deluxe editions, but you don't have to be an ubergeek to want to roll up your shirt sleeves and dig in one more time. The thing that really sends this into ubergeek territory is the third disc, a vinyl edition of the original Detroit mixes with young cats in the background that would later go on to hit a few heights themselves. That's almost even too geeky for me. Probably the most romantic sounding, danceable protest record ever, this was recorded as Gaye was getting ready to follow Motown out to LaLa Land and you could feel Detroit receding out of his bones. Killer stuff that slays and will live forever.

Volume 34/Number 246
July 6, 2011
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2011 Midwest Record

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