Artist: Reece Mastin
Title: Beautiful Nightmare (Sony)
In short: A little rocker
WE all knew it. From the moment Reece Mastin graced the X-Factor stage at 16, he had the complete star package.
His mentor on the show, Guy Sebastian, told me recently that Reece had “been gifted to us ... he’s such a star.”
And neither Sebastian, nor the legions of ‘Little Rockers’ — Mastin’s dedicated fans — are likely to be disappointed in Beautiful Nightmare, the tattooed teen’s ‘real’ debut CD.
He shares songwriting credits on all 15 tracks including co-penning the retro-rocker Give Up The Girl with Good Charlotte's Benji Madden.
The CD on a whole is fun and punchy — there’s equally great pop to rock moments including the driving title tune, the ferocious She’s A Killer and the likely future single, Outta My Face.
Then there's the tracks that are already hits — Shout It Out and Shut Up & Kiss Me. Both still fare well despite radio saturation.
And on the super-likable Rock$tar, Mastin sings ‘I wish I was a rockstar, breaking all the girls’ hearts’
Mission accomplished, Reece.
Artist: Prinnie + Mahalia
Title: Come Together (Universal)
In short: It takes two
WHEN rocker Joel Madden chose Prinnie Stevens to stay on his Voice team over Mahalia Barnes, you’d be forgiven for thinking the duo’s firm friendship might be rattled.
To the contrary.
While Stevens was ousted soon before the grand final, the young mothers have pooled their talents for Come Together, a collection of soul and pop favourites — each with a little twist.
The girls deliver a dynamic take on Beyonce’s Crazy In Love — sans Jay-Z funnily enough! — while Diesel’s All Come Together is classy and features an appearance from the man himself — Mark Lizotte, also Mahalia’s uncle.
Her dad Jimmy Barnes helps out on a fun take on River Deep, a track he’d made his own previously, while their sexy The Voice ‘battle’ tune Tainted Love is still a highlight.
Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water and Sam Brown’s 1988 hit Stop are also strong.
Artist: Diana Krall
Title: Glad Rag Doll (Universal)
In short: Musical
BEFORE I get into how Glad Rag Doll is musically, it must be noted that Diana Krall is rather saucy for 47.
Ok, I’ve got that off my chest. Now to the music.
Canadian jazz star Krall, delves further back than most on Glad Rag Doll, her 10th release.
While many modern-day jazz artists take their ‘standards’ from the 1940’s and 1950’s, Krall focuses on “The Jazz Age” of the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Helmed by the legendary T-Bone Burnett, GRD even sounds like it’s spinning on 78 rpm vinyl.
Opener We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye, originally a 1932 hit for Annette Hanshaw, is sultry while There Ain’t No Sweet Man That’s Worth the Salt of My Tears — what a mouthful! — is a lively and faithful take showcasing the terrific band, including guitarist Marc Ribot, backing Krall on this CD.
Elsewhere, the title track is a subtle surprise and I’m A Little Mixed Up is a ton of fun.