On the racks: October 17, 2006

Diddy, Danzig, and Badly Drawn Boy
By MATT ASHARE  |  October 17, 2006

061020_badlydrawnboy_main
Badly Drawn Boy
When Diddy calls, you answer. So it’s no surprise that his new Press Play (Bad Boy/Warner Bros.) is loaded with big time cameos. Mary J. Blige, Brandy, Christina Aguilera, Busta Rhymes, Nas, and the Pussycat Dolls are some of the vocal talent who help Diddy make his way through his first fully R&B album (i.e., he sings instead of raps). And Kanye West, Will.i.Am, Timbaland, Pharrell, and Mario Winans are some of the A-list producers who lend their skills to keeping Diddy in key and on point.

To drive home the connection to Springsteen’s epic Born in the U.S.A., Damon Gough actually thanks Bruce in the liner notes to his new Badly Drawn Boy album Born in the U.K. (Astralwerks). He also indulges in the sort of studio fussiness that the Boss is known for, which may come as a less than pleasing development for those who’ve gotten to know Gough as that lo-fi guy from across the pond.

Straight out of the strange-but-true files comes the return of the Slits, complete with founding singer Ari Upp and a rather eclectic cast of characters, including Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook, his daughter Holly, Clash guitarist Mick Jones’ daughter Lauren, and original Slits member Tessa Pollitt’s daughter Phoebe. They’ve even got a US tour booked to support the new Revenge of the Killer Slits EP (SAF).

He’s back. And, yes, he’s wearing black. He’s also delving back into the tale of Lilith, the chick Adam dated before he hooked up with Eve. Yes, it’s Danzig time again — actually Glenn Danzig because he’s finally completed the sequel to his 1993 operatic classical rock album Black Aria. The title: Black Aria II. And this holiday season, having watched his old band the Misfits reap the merch rewards of little plastic figures, Danzig’s fighting back with his own “Three Faces of Danzig,” a limited edition series of dolls that capture Glenn is three fazes of his career — a Misfit, a Samhain, and a Danzig Danzig.

Since the holiday season’s looming, it’s time for Billboard to make room for Mannheim Steamroller at the top of the charts. And then there’s always a steady stream of seasonal fare from artists who are looking to make a quick buck. We can add Sarah McLachlan’s name to that list now: her Wintersongs (Arista) includes a timely (or is it timeless?) cover of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” and versions of “Christmas Time Is Here” (from the Charlie Brown holiday special) and “Silent Night.”

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