CHANTAL KREVIAZUK, What If It All Means Something (Columbia/Sony, Nov. 19)
Chantal Kreviazuk oozes vulnerability-and that’s a good thing. Her emotionfilled vocals, along with deft piano playing, led to the double-platinum success of her first two albums. On her latest CD, Kreviazuk remains true to form. She penned the lyrics of one song, Flying Home, while travelling to her cousin’s funeral. And she sings of passion and devotion on In This Life. Kreviazuk collaborated with husband Raine Maida, of Our Lady Peace, on the disc’s best song, Turn the Page, which shines for its simplicity. In fact, most of the album is stripped down, allowing listeners to fully savour Kreviazuk’s delicate voice.
GEORGE HARRISON, Brainwashed (Dark Horse/EMI, Nov. 19)
George Harrison wanted the songs on his posthumous release to sound like demos. But his son, Dhani, and friend Jeff Lynne, who finished the CD after Harrison died of cancer last November, thought they deserved to be a bit more polished. Brainwashed evokes many aspects of Harrison’s post-Beatles career. The first song has the playful wittiness of the Traveling Wiiburys. Other tracks are glossy, like Harrison’s 1987 release, the Lynne-produced Cloud Nine. And the guitar playing is as beautiful and moving as what’s found on his solo debut, All Things Must Pass (1970). But the first single, Stuck Inside a Cloud, is the only song with a hook worthy of a Beatle. While the CD is musically all over the map, lyrically Harrison was more single-minded. Seemingly resigned to his approaching death, he remained as he was throughout life-spiritual, reflective and engaged.
DEBORAH COX, The Morning After (J Records/BMG, Nov. 19)
On her third CD, Juno-winner Deborah Cox continues to work with R & B hit makers, and contributes more songs of her own. But while the first half of the disc is funky and showcases her vocals, the handful of sexedup tracks on the second half are silly—and detract from an otherwise classy and danceable recording. REVIEWS BY JOHN INTINI AND SHANDA DEZIEL
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