For her new album, Joni Mitchell has chosen to look back upon one of her most interesting musical periods, in my opinion. Shine reminds me a lot of her mid-70's albums like Hejira or Don Juan's Reckless Daughter. Time will tell how well this stands up to her classic material, but it sounds very good so far.
Paul McCartney's new album Memory Almost Full may very well remind all of us of all the elements that made this guy such a talented, celebrated composer and performer in the first place. Let's face a few facts: Sir Paul has let us down in the past. Quite a bit of his solo output of late (he used to be in this band called The Beatles, ya see...) has been disappointing to say the least. Memory Almost Full (great title, by the way) will bring back fond memories of mid-70's Wings, the best parts of his solo albums, and even harkens back to the creative juggernaut that was the "Fab Four".
Sweetheart is an excellent collection of covers of love songs featuring many favorite XPN artists. Recorded especially for this collection, it includes a mix of classic love songs and more recent tunes.