‘The Abby Road Sessions’
With 68 million albums sold and an Order of the British Empire from the Queen, Kylie Minogue is, for all intents and purposes, the Australian Madonna. However, while Madonna dourly refuses to perform her early work because she’s now somehow above it all, Minogue revels in her pop roots and embraces the whole of her career. Now, after 25 years as Australia’s own princess of pop, Minogue completely re-invents some of her biggest hits, breathing new life into dance floor standards by simple virtue of being older. It’s not all perfect: The newly orchestral “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” sounds like an ad for an expensive watch. But for the most part, Minogue approaches each song like an old friend and synth-less instrumentals combined with Minogue’s matured, understated vocals make for an interesting listening experience that existing Minogue fans will adore. CV
‘The Past is Not Far Behind’
Having an incredibly successful family member is rarely a professional boon. Comparisons will be inevitable, and often the best course of action is to forge as different a path as humanly possible. To that particular end, Ben Draiman — brother of Disturbed frontman David Draiman — has been enormously successful. With his piano-infused, melodic rock, Draiman’s more likely to be compared to Daughtry than to his own brother. The EP is a little uneven: The guitars in “Avalanche,” for example, threaten to overwhelm the rest of the track. But Draimen has a beautiful, sincere voice that carries the album. Opening track “Soon Enough” is heartfelt and powerful, while “21 Seconds” is the best showcase on the album for Draimen’s songwriting. It can be a long way out of a sibling’s shadow, but Draiman hits the ground running. CV
“The Past is Not Far Behind” is available on a pick-your-price format through www.bendraiman.com.