Previewing the "Daredevil" soundtrack, new albums from Johnny Marr, the Marsalis Family, and more.
The 'Devil' Inside
New recordings by Nickelback, Fuel, and Moby lead the soundtrack to the hotly anticipated film "Daredevil," due this week from Wind-Up Records. The 20-track collection boasts all fresh material, including "The Man Without Fear," a collaboration between Rob Zombie and the surviving members of hard rock outfit Drowning Pool.
Fuel's "Won't Back Down" is its first new recording in nearly three years and is No. 23 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Other new tracks from modern rock heavy hitters include Nickelback's "Learn the Hard Way," Saliva's "For You," and Hoobastank's "Right Before Your Eyes."
"Daredevil" also sports a couple of collaborations, including "Right Now," a track that sees P.O.D.'s Marcos Curiel working in tandem with hip-hop act Nappy Roots. Elsewhere, Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger assists noted composer Graeme Revell on the movie's theme song.
"Daredevil," adapted from the Marvel comic book of the same name, stars Ben Affleck in the title role. The film, which also stars Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell, and Michael Clarke Duncan, opens Feb. 14 in U.S. theaters.
After leaving the Smiths in 1987, guitarist Johnny Marr spent the next decade-plus drifting from a host of intriguing, but largely under-the-radar projects. He provided a jolt of fresh creative energy to the The and Pet Shop Boys. He wrote songs for Billy Bragg, Beth Orton, and Kirsty MacColl. He played on albums by Oasis, Beck, the Talking Heads, and the Pretenders. And, in tandem with New Order vocalist Bernard Sumner, he crafted three studio sets under the moniker Electronic.
But on "Boomslang" (due this week on ArtistDirect's iMusic imprint), Marr is finally stepping out front and center as the leader of the band the Healers, which also features drummer Zak Starkey (the Who) and bassist Alonza Bevan (ex-Kula Shaker). For the first time in his career, Marr is also serving as a lead singer and primary lyricist.
"I never tried to do anything like a solo album because I know you have to do it full tilt, especially if it's a band," he says. "One thing I did know was that if I was ever going to my own record, the first record wouldn't be some obscure, instrumental late night thing, because that to me would have been somewhat of a cop out. People know I can write songs that are wide awake."
And while "Boomslang" does not re-invent the wheel, such head-nodding cuts as "The Last Ride," "Bangin' On," and "Caught Up" display Marr's signature chiming fretwork and inventive melodic twists and validate the notion that he is the godfather of modern British rock. The artist, who self-produced the set, also proves himself more than a capable vocalist on stellar cuts like "Down on the Corner." The Healers open for Pearl Jam beginning Feb. 8 in Brisbane, Australia, and will criss-cross the globe for much of 2003.
The celebrated New Orleans-based Marsalis family, one of the best-known clans in jazz history, has come together for a live recording, "The Marsalis Family: A Jazz Celebration," to be released this week on the Marsalis Music label. The disc features performances by all the musical Marsalises -- patriarch pianist Ellis and his sons, saxophonist Branford, trumpeter Wynton, trombonist Delfeayo, and drummer Jason -- joined by bassist Roland Guerin and pianist Harry Connick Jr., the latter a former student of Ellis'.
The album documents an Aug. 4, 2001, concert where the Marsalis clan played together on stage for the first time at a concert honoring Ellis and New Orleans' jazz heritage through Louis Armstrong (the date would have been the late Armstrong's 100th birthday). "Everybody came to play the music as well as they possibly could play it," Branford says of the show, which Delfeayo assents "reflected our family collectively and individually."
The songs feature the players in trio, quartet, and sextet arrangements through renditions of Ellis' own compositions "Swinging at the Haven," "After," "Nostalgic Impressions," and "Twelve's It," as well as the Rodgers and Hammerstein tune "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top," Branford's "Cain and Abel," and the Armstrong classic "Struttin' With Some Barbecue." The Marsalis family begins a tour Feb. 23 in Ottawa.
Additional titles hitting stores this week include:
-- Country artist Blake Shelton's "The Dreamer" (Warner Bros.), featuring "The Baby," which is No. 2 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
-- A self-titled set from modern rock outfit the All-American Rejects (DreamWorks).
-- Country veteran Steve Wariner's "Steal Another Day" (Selectone).
-- A 23-track compilation from country legends Alabama, "In the Mood: The Love Songs" (RCA), featuring the new song "I'm in the Mood" and a cover of Mike & The Mechanics' "The Living Years."
-- A 20-track retrospective from R&B vocalist Lionel Richie, "The Definitive Collection" (Motown/UTV).
-- New sets from modern rock acts Nada Surf ("Let Go," Barsuk), New Wet Kojak ("This Is the Glamorous," Beggars Banquet), and the Juliana Theory ("Love," Epic).
-- Veteran progressive rock outfit King Crimson's "The Power To Believe" (Sanctuary).
-- A new album combining studio and live recordings from jam band moe., "Wormwood" (iMusic).
-- A mix of studio and live cuts from inspirational rock act Jars Of Clay, "Furthermore: From the Studio to the Stage" (Brentwood/BMG).
-- The soundtrack to the Apartheid-themed documentary "Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony" (ATO).
-- Blues guitarist Smokin' Joe Kubek & Benois King's "Roadhouse Research" (Blind Pig).