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‘Storyteller’ little more personal – First single from new Adele album out

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This CD cover image released by Sony Nashville/Arista shows ‘Storyteller’, the latest release by Carrie Underwood. (AP)

LOS ANGELES, Oct 23, (Agencies): Carrie Underwood, “Storyteller” (Arista Nashville)

“Storyteller” is Carrie Underwood’s first album in three years — and her first since becoming a mother. That life-changing event rises most overtly on the touching “What I Never Knew I Always Wanted,” a beautiful song that delves into the life-altering changes new parents undergo.

The maturing process of marriage and motherhood also influenced the yearning “The Girl You Think I Am,” about wanting to live up to her parents’ expectations, and the ballad “Like I’ll Never Love You Again,” one of her most passionate love songs to date.

For the first time since her debut album 10 years ago, Underwood teams with more than one producer. Longtime collaborator Mark Bright works on five of the 13 songs, including the murderous revenge tale “Church Bells.” Hot Nashville producer Jay Joyce helms six songs, including the hit single “Smoke Break” and the swampy, southern gothic “Choctaw County Affair,” which pushes Underwood into a soulful new sound.

Much of the rest of “Storyteller” sticks with Underwood’s penchant for dramatic tales with big choruses, including two cuts produced by young, pop-country producer Zach Crowell. The result is an album that balances Underwood’s proven strengths with songs that show artistic growth by drawing more on the singer’s personal life.

The Dead Weather, “Dodge and Burn” (Third Man Records)

It’s easy to identify ‘70s antecedents with the Dead Weather, and we’re not talking about the Grateful Dead or Weather Report. “Dodge and Burn” is full of Led Zeppelin guitar work by Dean Fertita, but the riff references also range from Television (“Buzzkill(er)”) to ELP (“Lose the Right”).

And on its third album, the supergroup reaches back even farther for inspiration. Alison Mosshart’s vocals marinate in more reverb than early Elvis, and Jack White’s murder tale “Three Dollar Hat” sounds like an 80-year-old track from Harry Smith’s folk anthology, minus the gramophone crackle.

In this case, retro rocks. White produced, and his typically sparse arrangements give each note that much more punch, while his drumming provides plenty of propulsion.

Mosshart sings about negative feedback, grinding her teeth and going back to bed. She dials down her delivery with lovely singing on the closing ballad “Impossible Winner,” a testament to staying power. It’s potential sports arena fodder, an odd prospect for a band that does best when it has the blues.

The first single from Adele’s new album “25”, a title she announced in a tweet earlier this week, was released on Friday along with a video, the best-selling British singer’s record label said.

The single is entitled “Hello” and the accompanying video, filmed in the countryside around Montreal, was directed by Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan, whose films include “Mommy” and “Tom at the Farm”, XL Recordings said in a statement on Thursday.

It said the full 11-track album would be out on Nov 20.

Adele’s last album, “21”, released in 2011, became a runaway hit worldwide. It sold more than 11 million copies in the United States and was the best-selling album of the decade to date in Britain, according to industry statistics.

Adele won six Grammy awards for “21” and an Academy Award for her theme song for the last James Bond movie, “Skyfall”.

Elton John on Thursday announced his first album in nearly three years, on which the pop legend reunites with longtime backup artists.

The 68-year-old English singer said that “Wonderful Crazy Night,” his 33rd studio album, will come out worldwide on Feb 5.

A first song from the album, “Looking Up,” shows John going back to the blues-rock sound characteristic of his early work, with the song driven by a heavy rhythm guitar.

The song — with a chorus in which John sings, “I’m looking up more than I look down” — was released for fans who pre-order the album.

If the song — both musically and lyrically — is representative of the album, it marks a return to an upbeat feel for John after his last album, “The Diving Board,” a more stripped-down work consisting largely of John singing alone with his piano.

“The Diving Board,” released in September 2013, was the first album in more than 30 years in which the “Rocket Man” did not include any of his regular band members.

“Wonderful Crazy Night” marks a reunion with original drummer Nigel Olsson as well as with guitarist Davey Johnstone, who has been key to John’s sound since 1971 and has also played with other stars including Meat Loaf and Rod Stewart.

John, while regularly releasing albums, has made his name as one of the highest earning performing artists and maintains an active concert schedule, which includes a residency in Las Vegas.

One Direction, Mumford & Sons and Ellie Goulding will be performing at the BBC Music Awards this December, it was announced Wednesday.

Also slated for the awards show are performances from Hozier, Jess Glynne, Little Mix and OMI, with additional musicians to be announced closer to the show.

Now in its second year, the awards will be held in Birmingham, England at Genting Arena on Dec 10. BBC radio personalities Chris Evans and Fearne Cotton will host the event.

Five awards will be distributed at the event, including: British Artist of the Year, International Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist and Live Performance of the Year.

Last year’s ceremony, the inaugural event, was a performance-heavy event, featuring cuts by One Direction, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris, Clean Bandit, Ella Henderson and many more. Gwen Stefani, Idris Elba and Tom Jones were also on hand to dole out the trophies. Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” took home prizes for Song of the Year and Best International Artist.

More than 10,000 tickets will be available to the public. Those who can’t attend the show will be able to watch from home, as BBC will broadcast the event that same evening. The performances will also be broadcast on BBC radio stations.