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Summer Soul Men Q-Music 

Summer Soul Men

Every Maxwell studio album – and there have only been five in 20 years – is treated like an event of great musically historical significance. The neo-soul forefather’s latest, black  SUMMERS’night (Columbia) is no exception. Arriving seven years after its predecessor BLACKsummers’night, the 12-track disc doesn’t vary much from the formula that made what came before so appealing and enduring, including drawing on the influence of the late Prince. Maxwell looks towards club play with the soulfully sexy “All The Ways That Love Can Feel” which could benefit from just…

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Queer Throughout The Year Q-Music 

Queer Throughout The Year

Lesbian singer/actress/comedian/writer Lea DeLaria has been challenging our preconceived notions of what an entertainer is for more than 25 (!) years. Queer folks probably knew her first as a raunchy comedian of the highest order (“whack a butt plug,” anyone?) and will also remember her from the gay movie Edge of Seventeen, as well as her show-stopping performance on Broadway in On The Town. Of course, once we heard her sing, we knew exactly what she was born to do. Over the course of her first three musical albums, DeLaria left her distinctively jazzy mark on show-tunes, standards and punk…

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Soul Sisters Q-Music 

Soul Sisters

by Gregg Shapiro When Janet Jackson says, “Hello, it’s been awhile…I’m glad you’re still here,” on the title track to Unbreakable (Rhythm Nation/BMG), her first studio album in seven (!) years, she sounds like she means it. Separated into two “sides,” Unbreakable, on which Miss Jackson once again teams up with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, is one of the great comebacks of the year. The hot and suitably titled “Burnitup,” featuring Janet’s close personal friend Missy Elliott, is a scorcher. “Great Forever ” is a sweet pop tune and…

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Dance Feverish Q-Music 

Dance Feverish

by Gregg Shapiro These days, dance music is showing up in some unexpected places. Of course, the title of Glaswegian group Belle and Sebastian’s splendid new record, Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance (Matador), should have been a clue as to the direction they’ve taken at the moment. Belle and Sebastian are no strangers to danceable pop, but a number of the songs on Girls In Peacetime… are downright clubby. The exhilarating electro of “Enter Sylvia Plath,” for instance deserves to be a tea dance standard, beginning now throughout the…

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