Now Hear This!Music reviews (10.22.07)

Every week Now Hear This! gives away three copies of each album reviewed to lucky winners. To enter, send your name, mailing address and daytime phone number to with NHT in the subject line. Winners will be drawn at random and notified via e-mail.

Annie Lennox – Songs of Mass Destruction
Sony BMG
Grade A-

Iconic as she is, the long awaited fourth album from Annie Lennox is of a disappointment as she seems to have opted to stay in familiar territory musically.

The album seems to lack some of the adventurous spirit found in previous offerings such as Diva and Medusa. That said, it’s not a bad album at all. Lennox ably tackles some big subject matter like only she can. One of the biggest standouts on the album is the HIV anthem Sing, which Lennox recorded with an incredibly ambitious line-up of 23 internationally renowned female recording artists including such luminaries as Madonna, KD Lang, Faith Hill, Fergie and many others.

Also of note is the mournful first single Dark Road and the vocally explosive Womankind that proves once and for all that a voice as big as Lennox’s cannot be easily contained.

While Songs of Mass Destruction may find Annie Lennox in familiar territory musically, it is still a sterling exemplary example of what a good pop album should be.

Angie Stone – The Art of Love and War
Stax Records
Grade: B+

When venerable R&B label Stax records was “reactivated” earlier this year, they made a wise choice in making “Nu-Classic Soul” leading lady Angie Stone their figurehead with her fourth studio album.

Stone’s vocal ability is unsurpassed in the modern R&B world and the album boasts an upbeat attitude that permeates each song. Recorded after undergoing surgery to drain fluid from around her heart, Stone’s presentation is one of grace and beaming beatific inspiration. The Art of Love and War is filled to the brim with funky beats and sweeping strings that reference Stax Records classic sound while remaining true to Stone’s modern outlook on music. Groovy and uplifting even at its lowest point (the acapella Go Back to Your Life) this is Angie Stone as she was meant to be heard.

Standout tracks include the first single Baby featuring a duet with the legendary Betty Wright and the inspiring My People which ends with Stone’s well-known wit declaring Bill Clinton “The first black man in the White House."

Reba McEntire – Reba: Duets
MCA Nashville
Grade B-

With her 25th studio album and her first since 2003’s Room to Breathe, Reba is finally back at the top of the country music heap.

While some might say that Reba is trying too hard by trying to ride the coat-tails of popular performers like Kelly Clarkson, Rascal Flats and Justin Timberlake by specifically releasing a duet album featuring these pop powerhouses, those who make those claims can be ignored for their idiocy. The fact is Reba is and always has been a powerhouse in Country music (despite her lackluster offerings during the run of her much lauded television show).

 Now that her focus is once more music, Reba is back at the top of her game delivering incredible versions of Because of You with Kelly Clarkson, She Can’t Save Him with Trisha Yearwood and Break Each Other’s Hearts Again with Don Henley. While there are a couple of duds on the album (Everyday People with Carole King) Reba is at her best when there is pain in her voice like the first track with LeAnn Rimes When You Love Someone Like That.

That’s the Reba I grew up with and that I still love to this day.

WhistlePig + Alfa Romeo F1

SHOREHAM, VT (September 13, 2023) — WhistlePig Whiskey, the leaders in independent craft whiskey, and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake are waving the checkered flag on a legend-worthy release that’s taking whiskey to G-Force levels. The Limited Edition PiggyBack Legends Series: Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is a high Rye Whiskey selected by the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake drivers, with barrels trialed in their wind tunnel to ensure a thrilling taste in every sip.

The third iteration in WhistlePig’s Single Barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Barrel is bottled at 96.77 proof, a nod to Valtteri Bottas’ racing number, 77, and the precision of racing. Inspired by Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese F1 driver, this Rye Whiskey is finished with lychee and oolong tea. Herbal and floral notes of the oolong tea complement the herbaceous notes of WhistlePig’s signature PiggyBack 100% Rye, rounded out with a juicy tropical fruit finish and a touch of spice.

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by Spectrum Medical Care Center

Nurse Practitioner Ari Kravitz

When I started medical transition at 20 years old, it was very difficult to get the care I needed for hormone replacement therapy because there are very few providers trained in starting hormones for trans people, even though it’s very similar to the hormones that we prescribe to women in menopause or cisgender men with low testosterone.

I hope more providers get trained in LGBTQ+ healthcare, so they can support patients along their individual gender journey, and provide the info needed to make informed decisions about their body. I’ve personally seen my trans patients find hope and experience a better quality of life through hormone replacement therapy.

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Descanso Resort swimming pool and lounge area

Descanso Resort, Palm Springs' premier destination for gay men, just received Tripadvisor's highest honor, a Travelers' Choice "Best of the Best" award for 2023. Based on guests' reviews and ratings, fewer than 1% of Tripadvisor's 8 million listings around the world receive the coveted "Best of the Best" designation. Descanso ranked 12th in the top 25 small inns and hotels category in the United States. Quite an accomplishment!

Open less than two years, Descanso Resort offers gay men a relaxing and luxurious boutique hotel experience just minutes away from Palm Springs' buzziest restaurants, nightclubs, and shopping. Descanso has quickly established itself as a top destination for sophisticated gay travelers, earning hundreds of 5-star guest reviews and consistently ranking in Trapadvisor's top positions alongside brother properties Santiago Resort and Twin Palms Resort.

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