The best new music of the week: Jennifer Lopez, Noel Gallagher, soundtracks on vinyl and more

By Nicholas Jennings

As music columnist for, each week I’ll bring you my selections for the best and most notable new music, albums you’re going to want to add to your collection plus a five-song playlist to try out. Happy listening!


Noel Gallagher’s High Flying BirdsChasing Yesterday
The former Oasis member wears his past influences proudly on his sleeve. His second solo album features plenty of references to his usual favourites, like the Beatles on “Riverman” and Led Zeppelin on “The Girl with the X-Ray Eyes.” There's even a dose of the classic Oasis sound on “Lock All the Doors.” Teaming up with ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr on the roaring gem “Ballad of the Mighty I,” Gallagher has released his best post-Oasis work to date.

Randy BachmanHeavy Blues
The Canadian rock legend re-tools himself with a brave new project. Paired with an all-female rhythm section of bassist Anna Ruddick and drummer Dale Anne Brendon, he blasts his way through songs inspired by The Who and Hendrix, featuring such stellar guests as Neil Young on “Little Girl Lost” and the late Jeff Healey on “Confessin’ to the Devil.” What Bachman lacks in the vocal and lyrical department, he more than makes up for with some of his fiercest riffs ever.


The vinyl resurgence is resulting in some goodies for fans of great movie music. Out this month are picture discs of soundtracks for Jonathan Demme’s Oscar-winning Silence of the Lambs, composed by Canadian Howard Shore, and Frank Oz’s adaptation of the music in Little Shop of Horrors. But the real gems are the ones for Amy Heckerling’s Clueless, featuring the Beastie Boys, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Counting Crows and others, and the Coen Brothers’ O Brother Where Art Thou?, which became a GRAMMY-winning Album of the Year for its performances by Ralph Stanley, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch. Although the characters in both films were clueless, the music was pure genius.


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