Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September 28 Album Releases

I look forward to so many things in the fall – knit hats, climate change and an excuse to order hot chocolate at the local coffee shops (though summer doesn’t usually stop me from ordering hot chocolate, despite the strange looks I often receive for doing so).

More than anything, though, I crave fall’s new music. I’m always looking for a good soundtrack to my brisk-weather walks, and preferably one that’s full of new material.

Because this week will mark the first truly fall weather week (in my opinion, at least), I’m looking for some suitable new albums to fill that soundtrack. But if nothing else, this week’s releases are a bit eclectic, if I may.

Deerhunter comes out with Halcyon Digest this week, and frankly, I love the album. I’ve always appreciated the band, but this album – dare I say it – may just turn me into a fan. Each song keeps an agreeable beat, but it’s full of lush instrumentals and catchy melodies that soften the thrust of the beat. Most songs on this album will be making the cut for my fall soundtrack, especially and most notably “Don’t Cry” and “Desire Lines.”

For a while, I’ve anticipated the release of Bad Religion’s The Dissent of Man. However, upon listening to the album, I’m pretty disenchanted. Each track runs together in one fluid rush of mediocre punk music. Despite the classic nature of the band and its seasoned status, The Dissent of Man just feels like an album for an album’s sake, not a piece of art with emotion poured into it. The Dissent of Man may be the descent of the band.

Another notable release for the week is Neil Young’s Le Noise. I’ve been a fan of the great Mr. Young since my diaper days, so the fact that I cherished every note of this album should not surprise anyone. Regardless of my bias, I really appreciate the modern, psychedelic sound the 64-year-old veteran accomplishes on parts of the album, all the while keeping his folk rock roots intact.

As for the last of the most-buzzed-about albums of the week, No Age is set to release Everything in Between this week. The band is a duo of newcomers that have made a noticeable footprint in the hypothetical noise pop/indie rock sand. I’ve grown pretty fond of the band, and much of what they’ve put out thus far has piqued my interest. Everything in Between is no exception – as long as you’re into that sort of music, you’ll probably be into this album.

Of course, the aforementioned releases just cover a few of the many albums coming out this week.

Other albums I’m anxious to hear (for some of them, I have no idea where my excitement is stemming from): Clapton by Eric Clapton, World Gone Crazy by the Doobie Brothers, No Chocolate Cake by Gin Blossoms, The Remedy by Jagged Edge, Incarcerated by Lil Boosie, Record Collection by Mark Ronson & the Business Intl, Commitment by Seal and the eponymous Pete Yorn by Pete Yorn.

Not sure if crustaceans look silly in outerwear, but this lobster is ready to get wrapped up in a scarf and the latest fall album releases.

-Courtney Baldasare, Editorial Director

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21 Album Releases

Not gonna lie, last week was a damn good week for album releases. Weezer, Of Montreal, Chromeo, Elemental Groove Theory... it was as if the music gods were after my own heart.

And while this week's releases tend to leave a little more to desire, they are not without points of interest.

Remember when you listened to Maroon 5 in middle school? High school? Last week? (Don't deny it; you totally did). The five-piece has a new album out, Hands All Over, which will likely prove to be... about the same as the rest of their discography, if lead single "Misery" is any indication. So if that's your thing (oh wait, that's right, it totally is), check out what singer Adam Levine calls "just great pop."

Frankly, I don't know much about Shit Robot. But I think the name is absolutely hilarious, and the project's album From the Cradle to the Rave will be out Tuesday on DFA Records.

Indiana's Margot and the Nuclear So and So's will release their third full-length, as well. It is reportedly the first with the band's new lineup, which still includes singer Richard Edwards fronting the group. Check ACRN.com later in the week for a review of the new album, Buzzard!

The Zac Brown Band is known for its country-friendly tunes that have a bit of a Jimmy Buffett swag (given Jimmy Buffett HAS a swag) with them. The band's first album, The Foundation, spawned four chart toppers on the US Country charts and another that hit number two. The band's newest single, "As She's Walking Away," has already climbed to number 16 and features country legend Alan Jackson. Fresh off an opening slot for the Dave Matthews Band this past summer, the band is ready to release album number two, You Get What You Give. The Foundation is one of my favorite country albums of all time. I have a good feeling You Get What You Give will be up there as well.

Remember Serj Tankian? How about System of a Down? If you answered "yes" to only the second question, Serj Tankian was the lead singer for that esteemed rock/metal band that graced the rock charts during the 2000's with singles such as "Chop Suey," "Toxicity" and "B.Y.O.B." The band has been on a hiatus since 2006, and Tankian has since taken to his solo project, which sounds... a lot like System of a Down. After Tankian's less-than-stellar Elect the Dead and Elect the Dead Symphony, Imperfect Harmonies is the singer's second full-length and third album overall. Here's hoping it's a good showing. And that System gets back together soon.

Oh, and Selena Gomez and her band The Scene will be releasing A Year Without Rain. Just in case we have any reader who watches the Disney Channel that isn't I.

Finally, possibly the most intriguing of the releases is a collaboration between soul crooner John Legend and The Roots, of Late Night fame. General praise for the album before its release has been pretty damn good, so if there's any album this week I'd say "HEY, GO BUY THIS. OR DOWNLOAD IT. OR SOMETHING.," it's this. If only to see how such a collaboration between such esteemed company turns out.

That's it for this week. Let me know how that Maroon 5 album turns out.

--Kevin Rutherford, Managing Editor