Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Music : September 07, 2010 - September 13, 2010

Interpol "Interpol"
The long awaited new album from the New York City indie favorites. Though their cover art leaves for a lot of raised eye brows and WTF remarks, the album cannot simply be judged by its outside looks. Mixed by Alan Moulder (Nine Inch Nails, the Killers, Placebo), the band's fourth full-length finds them back on indie label Matador and sounding more focused than on 2007's "Our Love to Admire." Completed before the departure of longtime bassist Carlos Dengler, the New York combo's new collection includes "Lights," a brooding anthem that builds at an almost agonizingly slow pace toward its dramatic climax, and the peppier, pulsating "Lights." The good news is, Interpol remain better and are more than capable of delivering another devastating album.

Sara Bareilles "Kaleidoscope Heart"
 There's always something about this lady with Francophonic name and the vocals soothing enough to put the most restless of all animals to bed for a while. Regardless, after spending nearly three years touring in support of her major-label debut "Little Voice," which spawned the 2007 pop smash "Love Song," the 30-year-old singer, pianist and songwriter is back with a slew of new originals. Diehard fans have already heard several of these tunes via a series of making-of Internet shorts that documented the recording process, including "Uncharted," "Gonna Get Over You" and "Bluebird." And the punchy, independent-minded "King of Anything," peppered with handclap accents and toots of brass, is as insanely catchy as "Love Song," while sounding distinct in its own right.

Robyn "Body Talk, Pt. 2"
Diminutive Swedish pop diva Robyn is dropping the second installment of her promised trilogy of EPs. This album actually starts out in a more cohesive manner than its idiosyncratic predecessor (which spawned the dance hit "Dancing On My Own"), with slick electro ditties like "Love Kills" that make you wonder what all the fuss over La Roux is about. But as the superlative eight-song set progresses, our heroine gradually gets her freak on. Diplo lends an assist on the jittery "Criminal Intent," while Snoop Dogg trades verses with her on "U Should Know Better," and between those two tracks, Robyn definitely seems like a lady you wouldn't want to piss off. Elsewhere, "We Dance to the Beat" features some of the most oddball lyrics we've heard on a club-banger in ages, while the "acoustic" rendition of "Indestructible" swathes the singer in a bed of lush strings.

The Weepies "Be My Thrill" 
This Los Angeles husband-and-wife duo of Deb Talan and Steve Tannen have always made kid-friendly music—the kind of record you buy because you enjoy it and kids can sing along in the backseat. They haven’t always been this chipper; they wrote much of their last record when they desperately wanted to have a baby, and the songs were shaded by loneliness and longing. It was called Hideaway, named after a song about how even the stars sometimes can’t bear to emerge. They finally became parents between the time they made Hideaway and released it, so even though their world had changed, they spent the last few years performing songs they’d written a lifetime ago. The new mom and dad were probably happier than their music sounded—and all that contained joy had to explode at some point—which brings us to this new album. The first track is just what you’d expect from a band called The Weepies—a simple waltz with wistful lyrics clearly enunciated by Talan’s sugary voice. Between the handclaps and lyrics like “We hold hands while we work and play / And hope tomorrow is a sunny day,” the ridiculously catchy “Hope Tomorrow” could be the theme song to a PBS Kids show.

Jerry Lee Lewis "Mean Old Man"
When it comes to being a badass, rockabilly icon Jerry Lee Lewis is on the top of the list. At a young 74 years of age, the man responsible for such incendiary hits as "Great Balls of Fire" and "Breathless" follows up his 2006 comeback "Last Man Standing" with "Mean Old Man." In addition to a title tune penned by the legendary Kris Kristofferson, the disc also features a roster of guests that makes Carlos Santana look positively friendless: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Tim McGraw, Kid Rock, Slash, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, John Mayer, John Fogerty and Jon Brion. And that's just on the standard, 10-song edition. Pick up the deluxe package, and you'll find eight more tunes, featuring contributions by Merle Haggard, Shelby Lynne, Gillian Welch, Solomon Burke, Mavis Staples, Robbie Robertson, and Nils Lofgren. With almost any other artist, we'd be worried about the star getting lost in the shuffle, but Lewis has rarely had trouble finding—and holding—the spotlight.

Helmet "Seeing-Eye Dog"
  It's been four years since their last record. The musical landscape has continued to change, but so has HELMET. With their seventh studio album from their label, Work Song, Helmet hopes to emerge their army of fans to support their leader once more. While this new album may not fully capture the same vibe as the band's earlier works, it's easily the best album to bear their name and above all it offers something new mixed with the old. What it proves is that at age 50, Page Hamilton can run rings around youngsters who weren't even born when most of their albums were yet to be released.One could easily over-praise the album. There's an ambiance with their album that likely stems from Hamilton's film work. Don't expect this to be rocked up and transformed, as it's a pretty straight-forward and sounds like nothing else in the Helmet catalog. Their familiar fury doesn't arrive until a few songs in. Throughout the album, when the vocals kick in from long intros, it's Page's vocals that bring you back to the song's roots and emotions.

Stonesour "Audio Secrecy"
The album title is a play on the term "idiosyncrasy," for the third studio full-length by this heavy metal crew from Iowa. The alt-metal quintet, which features vocalist Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root (both of Slipknot) and drummer Roy Mayorga (formerly of Soulfly), garnered Grammy Award nominations for Best Metal Performance two years in a row with selections from their previous record, "Come What(ever) May." Once again working with producer Nick Raskulinecz, Stone Sour recorded the album at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Tenn., during the city's historic flood earlier this year, which only heighted the emotional intensity of the performances; Taylor has described the disc as both darker and more melodic than their earlier work.

Other New Releases Worth Checking Out:
(Have not listened to, but please feel free to post a review) 

  • Dick Dale: "Guitar Legend: The Very Best of Dick Dale" 
  • Bachman & Turner: "Bachman & Turner" 
  • Film School: "Fission" 

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