Taking a chance
Folks looking for an extension of Harry Connick Jr.'s recent popular work won't find it here there's nary a big band around, no Sinatraesque crooning, no jazz. "Star Turtle" isn't even R&B this is rock 'n' roll with a New Orleans twist.
It will, in short, alienate and annoy many of Connick's longtime fans.
But it will delight those of a more experimental temperament. This is good stuff, in the Crescent City tradition of Dr. John and Allen Toussaint with a dash of the hard funk of the Meters and even Paul McCartney's 1975 New Orleans-produced album, "Venus and Mars."
The music is so good that the listener can even overlook the fact that this is a concept album &I#150; uncomfortably reminiscent of Styx's "Kilroy Was Here" or anything by the Alan Parsons Project.
Connick deserves credit for taking a chance, for putting out something radically different from his past work, for stretching both his talent and the New Orleans tradition, creating a smart, funky new sound that reminds the listener why New Orleans remains the heart of American music.
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