Monday, January 25, 2010

Relevant releases for the week of January 24

Hey lobstaz!

The last time I blogged about upcoming releases, Aqua, Backstreet Boys, Everclear and KISS were on the calendar. It’s safe to assume that this entry will be more, say, relevant to most readers and music fans in general.

There are three release teases this week that have got me all but curious and anxious. Much-loved veteran rap group Three 6 Mafia was supposed to release its latest, Laws of Power, on November 10. Now, some sites are saying that the album will be released Tuesday while others are claiming a mid-March release. Quit playing games with my heart! (Ha, sorry. I promise I’m not hung up on that last entry.)

The other tease involves Jennifer Lopez’s new album, Love?, which was intended to be released this week. Sources are now claiming that we’ll have to wait until mid-April to hear more tracks like this fairly new single. Although, in my opinion, let’s just hope the rest aren’t quite as terrible and reliant on popular designer brands like Christian Louboutin to get them through the day.

Wrapping up the teases is American Idol fourth-place finisher Jason Castro, who was supposed to release his debut self-titled album this week. This, too, is apparently pushed back until mid-April. However, Castro did release The Love Uncompromised EP earlier this month. After listening to a bit of it here on Lala, I have concluded that the upcoming full-length will be sappy, generic and embarrassingly catchy, just as I’d expect any Idol contestant release to be.

Dream-like duo Beach House will release its third album, Teen Dream, this Tuesday. I tend to think Beach House is a bit too cinnamon applesauce for me – that is, mushy and sweet – but I actually enjoyed listening to this album. It’s a bit off the beaten path for them, carrying stronger beat and melody than previous albums. Check it out here on NPR.

I really wouldn’t consider myself a country music fan, but it’s worth noting that Grammy-nominated group Lady Antebellum is another mark on this week’s release calendar. Need You Now, the Lady’s second album, is highly anticipated by fans and critics alike due to the smashing breakout nature of their self-titled debut album, released in 2008.

British soul-pop sweetheart Corinne Bailey Rae continues with her soothing, saccharine balladry on upcoming release The Sea. This is her first album since the tragic 2008 death of her musician husband, the late Jason Rae. The Sea is available for a listen here on NPR. But be warned: The lyrics and general nature of the album refer to her struggle with the loss and ensuing emotions. If you’re in a mood to cry, go for it. If not, I’d hold off until you are.

This week also brings Romance Is Boring, the latest from indie poppers Los Campesinos! Again, I’m not the most avid Los Campesinos! fan, but I’m finding the snippets I’ve heard to be more likable than past songs. Unsurprisingly, the album can be heard in its entirety on YouTube. Have a listen to the title track and anticipated hit here.

Metal veterans
Fozzy are finally releasing their first album in a few years, Chasing the Grail, this Tuesday. I have a tough time referring to Fozzy as “metal” after hearing some of the new album. A bit too catchy and mild for most metalheads’ taste, I’m sure, and disappointingly so. Again, YouTube contains just about all of the songs on the album. One of which is riiiight here.

The enchanting
Charlotte Gainsbourg is technically releasing her third album, IRM, this week, though it leaked ages ago. A dark, eerie, soft indie album with its fair share of Gainsbourg whispers is lovely, of course, but not altogether surprising. Check it out here on NPR.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for you this week. Enjoy, and be sure to keep an eye out for ACRN album reviews - we’ll definitely be covering some of those releases.

-Courtney Baldasare, Reviews Editor

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Year - New Music

Hey Lobsters,

So, we know it's been a long, cold, lonely winter without Drop It Like It's Hot, but we hope ya'll were still finding some good new music to throw into the mix.

Anyway, we figured we'd just pick up where we left off. There was a fair amount of clamoring at the end of the year about 2009 being a bit of a down year in terms of stellar albums, but there is certainly a lot to look forward to in 2010.

Perhaps the most anticipated disc to drop this week is Spoon's Transference. The indie rockers have gone about two and a half years without an album, but early indications of the new record are mostly positive. Feel free to sample the new songs here, here, and here.

Another intriguing release for indie fans this week is the Behave Yourself EP from Cold War Kids. After their much-lauded Robbers and Cowards, they laid a bit of an egg with Loyalty to Loyalty. The new release has been pretty well kept under wraps, but one teaser has fans hoping for a return to the quality of the band's debut.

On the more electronic front, RJD2 will be releasing The Colossus, a new full-length album. It seems like the Columbus-based DJ will continue to stray away from the instrumental, beat-based tunes from his early album, to the dismay of some long-time fans.

As far as more mainstream hip-hop, Missy Elliot returns this week with her first new album in a half-decade. The new album, Block Party, will feature collaborations with Amy Winehouse, T-Pain, and Lil Wayne, to name a few.

In other genres, the aging acoustic-rockers of Eels release End Times, their eighth album in 15 years. The new album will apparently center around the recent divorce of front-man Mark Oliver Everett.

Lastly, the pop-punk outfit Motion City Soundtrack makes their major-label debut with My Dinosaur Life. According to Spin, the new album "strikes a radio-ready balance between mayhem and melody." If MCS is trying to get a little more experimental while maintaining their catchy, emo roots, it sounds like they just might succeed.

Damn, it feels good to be dropping things as if they were hot again.

-Greg Gallant, Copy Editor