When George Michael released his debut solo album Faith in 1987, it instantly caught the imagination of the entire pop world, becoming a milestone in his career and in popular culture. Written, arranged and produced entirely by George Michael, Faith confirmed his status as a songwriter of outstanding ability and emotional depth, instantly propelling him to superstar status. The album produced six Number One singles: Father Figure, Faith, I Want Your Sex, One More Try, and Kissing A Fool. After hitting the Number One spot on both sides of the Atlantic, Faith went on to sell over twenty million albums worldwide and win countless accolades, including the Grammy® for Album Of The Year. Over twenty years later, Faith is still a high point in pop music as well as a measure for any artist wanting to cross genres and gain popular and critical appeal. Now remastered and available in new formats, the reissue of Faith is set to become one of the biggest music events of the year. -Amazon
The Shins are pleased to announce the release of their fifth studio album, Heartworms. In contrast to 2012's Port of Morrow, which debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 and was nominated for a Best Alternative Album GRAMMY, Heartworms ushers in a return to the handmade. Heartworms is, as always, entirely written by James Mercer, with exception of So Now What (produced by band member Richard Swift). Heartworms is the first Shins album to be self-produced by Mercer since Oh, Inverted World in 2001. Heartworms features Mercer's most diverse lyrical palette to date. The result is a cohesive, yet genre defying album marked by Mercer's distinct voice and melodic composition. Unified by his singular vision, Mercer creates a sound that is both familiar a nostalgic nod to the album's predecessors - and distinctly new. The album's first single, Name For You, is a resounding call for female empowerment inspired by Mercer's three daughters. The Shins are James Mercer (lead vocals, guitar), Joe Plummer (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Yuuki Matthews (bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Mark Watrous (guitar), and Richard Swift (keyboards, piano, organ, synthesizers, percussion, backing vocals). -Amazon
Bathroom escapades aside, there's no denying that George Michael has been responsible for some of the biggest party jams of the '80s and '90s. Have you ever noticed what happens to a room when Faith erupts from the speakers? Aside from the funk-fueled Fastlove, the material from his most recent album, Older, is well and truly overshadowed here by the megahits from days gone by. The first disc starts off slow, with Careless Whisper and his remake of I Can't Make You Love Me the only real high points among otherwise bland ballads. It's disc 2 that exudes the essence of Michael, with Fastlove, Too Funky, and Freedom 90 providing a nonstop dance-athon, and I Want Your Sex and Faith picking up the slack. The package also includes his rather unexciting (but hugely popular) duets with Queen and Elton John, his perfect pop pairing with Aretha Franklin, and two new tracks. Set aside some serious time for this one, folks. The hits don't stop. --Rebecca Wallwork (Amazon)
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