Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13 Releases, 2012

By: Sam Boyer, Blogs Editor / '90s Blogger

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, but I know you're all thinking about the rad album releases this week instead. No? Okay, fine. It's my job to think about those album releases for you, then. And boy, oh boy, do we have some awesome ones this week.

Let's start with the obvious. Green Day dropped part two of its trilogy, ¡Dos!, which is only slightly better than ¡Uno!. There are some pretty strong tracks, like "Wow! That's Loud" and "Stray Heart," but there are a handful of mediocre ones, too. And then there's "Nightlife," which is perhaps one of the worst Green Day songs in history. If a hardcore Green Day fan like me says a song is terrible, then it really is terrible. I can dig just about anything GD does, but having a female rapper on a track? That's just unacceptable. But there's still one more album in this trilogy, so here's hoping ¡Tre! is some kind of brilliant (wishful thinking, I know).

Look for my review of ¡Dos! on ACRN's website soon!

Since I am a '90s blogger, I have to give a shout out to my boys in Soundgarden for releasing their first album since 1996's Down on the Upside. King Animal is decent, but it sounds more like a warm-up album rather than a comeback album. This is the same band that released Superunknown, arguably one of the best albums of the '90s. So where's that earth-shattering metal sound from before? King Animal isn't bad, but it's a little too tame for Soundgarden. The casual fan might dig it. Hardcore fans might be a little skeptical.

Check out ACRN's review here!

Are you ready for some mainstream rock? The answer is always yes. Deftones released their seventh studio album, Koi No Yokan, and it's not bad. Not bad at all. It's more alternative than mainstream rock, but the Deftones have always avoided being shoved into one specific genre. If you're not into the whole alternative rock scene, I'd skip this album. But if you're like me and you still rock out to "My Own Summer," definitely check this out. 

Some other releases of note: Christina Aguilera's Lotus (shouldn't she just give up at this point?), Brian Eno's LUX and Crystal Castles' III. I don't know a lot about these artists, so I can't go handing out recommendations. But if something strikes your fancy, don't be afraid to give it a try!

Also, check Drop It Like It's Hot each week for new releases and witty commentary!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November 6 Releases, 2012

By: Kristen Spicker, Copy Chief 

Unless you live under a rock and next to a pineapple under the sea, I’m sure it’s been brought to your attention that it’s Election Day. And if you’re anything like me, you’re dreading the onslaught of “Did you vote yet?”s and political ads that run like clockwork when all you want to do is watch a YouTube video. So instead, lie in your bed, turn off the TV and listen to some new music.

Always fighting to stay relevant, Aerosmith released its 15th studio album, Music From Another Dimension, which is approximately the median number of DUIs the band’s fans have. Following the election theme, the album starts off with “LUV XXX,” which has a creepy, futuristic intro that basically tells listeners that they have absolutely no control and brings up repressed nightmares of that creepy tunnel scene from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Although that first minute alone gives people enough reasons to immediately turn the album off, if anyone tries to trudge through the 18-track album (coincidentally, the median number of failed marriages Aerosmith fans have) they’ll only discover Aerosmith sounding exactly like what the band is: a group from the '70s who think that it still has a place in modern music. Buy this album for your dad…if you want him to have a midlife crisis.

Speaking of irrelevant, Kylie Minogue also released an album: The Abbey Road Sessions, which is clearly named after the studio where the Aussie recorded the tracks. The album is a reworking of previous songs, and considering the only one I recognized was “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” I had pretty low standards for the album. Thankfully, the album is actually good. Minogue slows things down, uses real instruments and acts more like a lounge singer than a third-rate pop star. Unfortunately, nothing can make the “la la”s in “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” acceptable.

Also look for the score for the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall. But please note the word "score," which means the Adele song is not on this album. Ne-Yo (the R&B guy that didn’t beat up Rihanna) released R.E.D. today, as well as Prince Rama’s Top Ten Hits of the End of the World, which, based off the album cover, should never have been created. Metal groups ISIS and All That Remains also put out albums. If you want to actually listen to something good, maybe try Andy Stott’s electronic Luxury Problems, which ACRN writer Ross Lockhart adored (if it sucks blame him).

So sorry, I was wrong. You probably should go out and brave the poll bullies instead of subjecting yourself to this week’s lackluster new music.