Catalina by Air / Landing on the Rock: I'll start off these quick music reviews with a couple completely biased opinions. My pals Dae and Ernesto got together to form a new music project called Catalina by Air, and their first album is now available on iTunes! Dae and Ernesto have been my friends and band mates since the Day Jobs days, and their new music has a wonderfully relaxed 20s-30s jazz feel. There are original songs by both Dae (who sings and plays guitars, as well as most other instruments) and Ernesto (who blows some sweet sax), as well as classic standards that everyone knows. I love their music, and encourage everyone to check it out!
Dave Clupper / Letting Go: When in lived in Tulsa, the Cluppers were like a second family to me, and we always had fun making music together. Dave Clupper has continued to become an incredible songwriter, and now he has two albums available on iTunes! His latest is Letting Go, which features both live and studio cuts, and includes many songs that are very dear to me (since I sung them with the Cluppers so many times). Sunset Train will always be the most uplifting and comforting song about leaving this world that I'll ever hear, and the version on this album is wonderful! If you're in the mood for some Tulsa folk music, you'll love Dave Clupper.
Morning Musume / Naichau Kamo: It's time to get back to the usual Jpop that I'm always listening to, which of course includes Morning Musume's latest single Naichau Kamo (which is already available on their recent full album, but I'm saving that for another review). When I first heard this song, I wasn't too happy they used a cut-time feel in a sad song, but now I'm totally into it. Everyone (including Sayumi) gets some good lines, and they all look stylish in the video (not everyone enjoys watching Jpop idols cry, but I think it's moving). I'm also super-psyched about the B-side Yowamushi, which is a Risa and Sayumi duet! Risa sounds effortlessly awesome, and Sayumi tries her best not to sound like a hamster (and mostly succeeds).
Berryz Koubou / Special Best Vol 1: I haven't mentioned Berryz Koubou much on WEBmikey, but of course I listen to them (since every Morning Musume fan automatically becomes a semi-fan of all Hello! Project groups), and since I'm a sucker for compilations, I really enjoyed this album. I was excited that their recent singles are included (I love Madayade and yes, even Yuke Yuke Monkey Dance), but I can't believe that my absolute favorite Berryz song, Kokuhaku no Funsui Hiroba, is missing!
High School Musical 3 / Original Soundtrack: Finally, I had to complete my High School Musical collection with the third soundtrack (which I was able to get for free as an Amazon promotion), and even though I'd rank it last among all three, I still think it's great. I don't really like the longer tracks (like the full Spring Musical, which gets a little boring), but the duets like Right Here, RIght Now and Zac's solo Scream are pretty cool songs!