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Music reviews: C2C will get you dancing; Amanda Brecker pays tribute to Carole King, James Taylor

Amanda Brecker's new CD, "Blossom," features her mainly covering tunes from Carole King and James Taylor. (From The Associated Press)
Amanda Brecker's new CD, "Blossom," features her mainly covering tunes from Carole King and James Taylor. (From The Associated Press)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Thursday, February 28, 2013 12:01 am
C2C, “Tetra”(Universal Republic/Casablanca Records)

Get ready to dance. A lot.

“Tetra,” the debut album from French foursome C2C, is a multi-genre, beat-driven adventure that feels good throughout all 14 tracks.

C2C is a turntable group made up of 20syl, DJ Greem, DJ Pfel and DJ Atom. They've crafted songs that feel soulful (“Happy”), energetic (“Delta,” “The Beat”) and eerie (“Give Up the Ghost”).

“Because of You” is Gorillaz-esque and “Genius” is oh-so-fun, as is “Who Are You,” which samples The New Birth's “You Don't Have to Be Alone.”

“Le Banquet” even weaves in a speech from Ronald Reagan — and it works.

“Tetra” is flavorful and upbeat — it's hard not to jump around to these beats. C2C has meshed a sound that is wild, but still consistent.

Now dance.

Amanda Brecker, “Blossom”

(Decca)

This collection of James Taylor and Carole King songs marks Amanda Brecker's U.S. recording debut, but the singer has a rich musical pedigree. She's the daughter of noted jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker and Brazilian singer-pianist Eliane Elias, and has performed with her mother since she was 8.

Her background gives her the confidence to perform classic songs like “So Far Away,” “Something In the Way He Moves” and “Sweet Baby James” in a relaxed, respectful manner — with a few jazzy embellishments — that caresses the lyrics without over-the-top vocal displays.

Producer Jesse Harris brought in several King-Taylor collaborators, such as bassist Lee Sklar and drummer Russ Kunkel, whose tasteful accompaniment enhances but never overwhelms the vocals. Brecker gives her most impassioned performance on “You've Got A Friend,” tastefully backed only by jazz pianist Larry Goldings, a frequent Taylor partner.

The only original “You Were Mine” hints at Brecker's songwriting talent. While “Blossom” showcases her vocal talents, her next album hopefully will reveal more of her musical personality.

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