A half-dozen cool things in music, from two points of view:
Paul McCartney revives Michael Jackson in "Say, Say, Say" mix. McCartney recalled that he had unreleased tracks of the 1983 pop hit after hearing DJ John "Jellybean" Benitez's remix. Jackson's vocal range is deeper and richer than on the original, and you hear more of him because the new mix is twice as long. The added beats and remixed vocals intrigue me enough to give it a spot on the playlist. The accompanying music video with young dancers in the city is a lot more fun than Paul and Michael putting face paint on each other.
Prince's new single, "Free Urself." Only weeks after releasing his electro-funk album "HitNRun (Phase1)," Prince dropped a synth-chugging pop tune that is sonically worlds apart from the grooves on the new album. To the untrained ear, the single and album might sound like completely different artists. Rest assured, it's just Prince being Prince.
Bob Dylan talks to "Watson" in IBM commercial. It's tough to get Dylan to sit for an interview, much less diagnose his lyrics. Always great to see Dylan in a good mood and opening up, even if it's a fictional machine.
tom Oszman, TCMediaNow.com
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Janet Jackson, "Unbreakable." Working once again with producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, she comes close to vintage form. She's less sex-obsessed but still sensual.
Lianne La Havas, the Varsity. The London thrush seduced with her fragile soul/jazz/pop, which was more remarkable live than on her two winning albums.
Afro-Cuban All Stars, the Dakota. The large percussive ensemble kept people dancing, with a little help from homeboy Nachito Herrera on piano.
Jon Bream, Star Tribune