Great Big Sea – “Fortune's Favor”
(Red Eye) ***
Canadian folk-rockers Great Big Sea plays Dana Auditorium at Queens University Oct. 26. www.carolinatix.org.
Great Big Sea's 10th release doesn't encompass the old world energy of 2005's “The Hard and the Easy,” but it covers a lot of stylistic ground without sacrificing the Newfoundland group's infusion of traditional Celtic sea songs into contemporary pop and rock.
“Love Me Tonight” straddles country and rock like John Hiatt guesting with Scottish '80s groups Big Country or the Proclaimers. “Here and Now” echoes Toad the Wet Sprocket. “Long Lost Love” bridges reggae and Crosby Stills and Nash-like folk harmonies. “Oh Yeah” bounces with punk influence. Yet one foot is always placed solidly in tradition. “England” (inspired by a lonely trip to Charlotte), “Banks of Newfoundland” and “Company of Fools” are true to the seafaring spirit that endears them to fans.
Anthony David –
(Soulbird/Universal Republic) ****
David plays UNC Charlotte Sept. 4 at 8 p.m.
For his major-label debut, Atlanta singer-songwriter Anthony David collects the most popular tracks from his two independent releases for a stellar compilation of timeless hip-hop-tinged, folk-based soul. Along with his classic songwriting, David's notable for his ability to harness a realistic African-American male perspective, when most artists focus on exaggerated portraits of money, women and violence. The songs “Lady,” “Cheatin' Man” and “Krooked Kop” are blatantly honest portraits of the male experience.
He also knows his way around a melody. The Seal-like “Words,” the upbeat “GA Peach” and funky party-ready “Kinfolk” are among the album's most memorable tracks.