John Dowland's Lachrimae or Seven Tears is a series of seven instrumental pavans in five parts, based on the melody of his lute song, Flow, My Tears, followed by a collection of diverse dances. This famous book of chamber pieces is presented complete by the viol consort Phantasm, which is joined by lutenist Elizabeth Kenny, and their expert interpretations have the characteristic mix of poetic melancholy and courtly elegance that define Dowland's music.
There is nothing wrong with providing retro music as long as the artist does it convincingly, and singer/songwriter Eilen Jewell is quite convincing on Sea of Tears. The era that she sets out to re-create on this 2009 release is the 1960s; this is '60s-flavored roots rock with elements of '60s blues (Chess Records' electric Chicago blues is an obvious influence), '60s soul and '60s country. And not only does Sea of Tears emulate the '60s stylistically – even Jewell's production recalls that decade. But Jewell's ability to make a 2009 release sound like it could have been recorded in 1967 or 1968 wouldn't mean much if she didn't know how to get her points across emotionally; Jewell is quite expressive, which isn't to say that she is an aggressive or forceful type of vocalist.
Best remembered for their 1978 hit "Driver's Seat," London-based new wave combo Sniff 'n' the Tears emerged from the remnants of the little-known Ashes of Moon, which disbanded in 1974 after failing to stir up much label interest…
Sometimes, a greatest-hits set is timed perfectly to gather together a group's most successful and familiar performances just at the point when that group has passed the point of their maximum exposure to the public, but before the public memory has had a chance to fade. That was the case when Columbia Records assembled this compilation for release in early 1972. At that point, Blood, Sweat & Tears had released four albums and scored six Top 40 hits, each of which is heard here. But lead singer David Clayton-Thomas had just quit the group, so that the unit that recorded songs like "You've Made Me So Very Happy" was not working together anymore. And even when Clayton-Thomas returned, the band would continue to decline commercially. As such, BS&T's Greatest Hits captures the band's peak in 11 selections–seven singles chart entries, plus two album tracks from the celebrated debut album when Al Kooper helmed the group, and two more from the Grammy-winning multi-platinum second album.