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Rickie Lee Jones, Jason Collett and more: Five new songs worth a listen

Pop troubadour Rickie Lee Jones romps through ‘the upper echelon of hell’ with her Rolling Stones cover.<137>Rickie Lee Jones Courtesy of the artist<137><137><252><137>


The Devil You Know

Rickie Lee Jones; streaming here.

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Perhaps what is puzzling you is the nature of her game. The curious Rickie Lee Jones, who is just as likely as cockroaches and Keith Richards to survive a nuclear war, goes deep-moan blue for a live acoustic take on one of the 10 tunes she chose for her new covers disc, The Devil You Know, produced by Ben Harper.

"It's kind of an evocation, and I do it by myself," Jones told NPR. "It's a powerful, frightening, fun romp through the upper echelon of hell." For her interpretation of the Rolling Stones classic chiller, the troubadour strips it down to a slurry drone reminiscent of the song's genesis, as filmed by Jean-Luc Godard in 1967. Dark, stark and eerie, call Jones "Lucifer," or anything else she wishes.


Where Things Go Wrong

Jason Collett, from Reckon (Arts & Crafts); streaming here.

Shimmering, hazy and downbeat, this one isn't cheery. It feels a little like Sea Change from Beck or something hashish-y by Kurt Vile, with someone – perhaps the Toronto singer-songwriter himself – relegated to love's go-stand-in-the-corner status.


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Girl on Fire

Alicia Keys with Nicki Minaj, from the forthcoming Girl on Fire (RCA); streaming here.

The "girl" may be on fire, but Keys herself is flame-free as he tries in vain to set off smoke alarms with a yelling empowerment ballad, set to a big crashing beat. Rapper Minaj does her thing, but overall the Fahrenheit here is faux.


Encyclopedia of Classic Takedowns

A.C. Newman, from the forthcoming Shut Down the Streets (Matador); streaming here.

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Is he singing about a book of time-tested wrestling moves? Probably not. The song-crafting New Pornographer leader teams up with the harmonic Neko Case for more patented pop-bounce and sweet shuffle.


Sweet Nothing

Calvin Harris, with Florence Welch; streaming here.

On the latest single from the Scottish DJ, an androgynous Florence Welch lets her hair down as a wailing, shirt-stripping lounge singer while a man receives a terrific beat-down outside in the alley. It's all very thrilling, what with its blood-pumping energy and sordid vibe. Really.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


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