Arriving a scant four months after their last full-length, Don't Get Lost finds Brian Jonestown Massacre trekking ever further afield into the psych wilderness. Since launching his Cobra Studio in Berlin, bandleader Anton Newcombe has turned his operation into a bursting warehouse of sound, opening the floodgates to deliver a torrent of new music over the early 2010s. Bearing the name of a song from 2016's Third World Pyramid, the 14-track Don't Get Lost offers a pretty wide cross-section of BJM's various modes, with a particular emphasis on electronic experimentations.
Freddy Cole is a marvelous singer, combining consummate ease with a lyric and acute sense of melodic and rhythmic phrasing. Whether it's the lost love of the title song or the reliable romance of Cole Porter's "I Concentrate on You," Cole's warm baritone creates the impression that everything he sings has been made up on the spot, as if every lyric is the current sum of his thoughts and experiences. That conversational art is much in evidence in this mix of Brazilian and jazz tunes, extending to the way Cole interacts with his sidemen and they with him. There are two basic groups here, an all-star Latin septet with arrangements by pianist Arturo O'Farrill and Cole's own working quartet, but there are also several permutations in between. O'Farrill's work is tailor-made to Cole's throaty voice, mixing it with contrasting flute and guitar and complementary trombone timbres, the latter provided by Angel "Papa" Vazquez, just one of several superb soloists. Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander adds inventive, hard-swinging tenor to "I Concentrate"; Joe Beck's guitars define the delicacy of Jobim's "Sem Voce," sung here in the original Portuguese; and O'Farrill's piano is a dancing delight whenever it comes to the fore.
Lost in the New Real (also referred to as Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Lost in the New Real) is the second solo studio album by Dutch songwriter, producer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen. It is Lucassen's first solo album since Pools of Sorrow, Waves of Joy released 18 years ago under the name Anthony, before he reached fame with his progressive metal/rock opera project Ayreon. He sang lead vocals for the first time since the first album, and played most of the instruments himself including all guitars, bass and keyboards.
On Lost in the New Real, Lucassen does a very good job at creating some wonderful sound textures, by mixing the melodic progressive rock with some guitar metal riffs and adding some excellent keyboard works, a solid drumming and some folk music amidst.
It's hardly a criticism of Freddy Cole to say that he sounds almost eerily like big brother Nat. They share an unmistakable vocal timbre that can only be attributed to incredibly fortunate genes. This 1997 Fantasy album is one of his best. A swinging collection of standards delivered with elegance, emotion, and a mature confidence. Few singers know their way around an old tune like Cole. An outstanding pianist (again like his brother), Cole bows out on the keyboards on all but one tune here in favor of soulful young phenom Cyrus Chestnut.