It's time once more to see what the record industry has squeezed out of its grunting gears to bring joy to our ears. This week, we have more 90s nostalgia from Alice In Chains, 80s nostalgia from Mariah Carey, 70s nostalgia from Lynyrd Skynyrd, and 00s nostalgia from Paramore. Let's get to the new releases.
Mariah Carey - Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel: Well, that - that's quite an album title, Mimi. This actually leaked and I listened to it because I felt an obligation to do so and it further captures the transformation of Carey from burnished multi-octave virtuoso into some kind of bizarre perpetual teenager. Somewhere there's a Picture of Mariah Carey hanging on a wall in an attic that just keeps getting older as the real-life woman stays twentynothing. Also the picture's boobs are getting smaller. Footnote: why the hell is there a Foreigner cover on this?
Lynyrd Skynyrd - God & Guns: Okay, when there's only one surviving member left in a band, it might be time to hang it up. Guitarist Gary Rossington is the last man standing from this Southern rock band most famous for "Sweet Home Alabama," but he's ready and willing to tap the Teabagger market for this slab of greasy guitar heroics. With guest spots from... Rob Zombie? The Halloween guy?
Paramore - Brand New Eyes: It's kind of funny how bands get hyped these days - if you're lucky, you'll get one album that everybody on Earth buys and then the fickle finger of fate moves on, leaving you in a bizarre netherworld between stardom and county fair openings. So it is with Paramore, the eneregetic Tennessee band fronted by charismatic young babe Hayley Williams. First album blew up huge, sophomore slump, and now we're up for their third time at bat. Could be good.
Alice In Chains - Black Gives Way To Blue: Pearl Jam last week and now Alice In Chains? What's next, a new Candlebox record? I shouldn't joke about that, that would be terrible. AIC always presented a sort of darker take on the 70s fuzzbox sludge of the grunge era, and after lead singer Layne Staley was found ODd in his apartment in 2002 the world forgot all about them. But hey! New singer, first album in 14 years and I'm actually kind of psyched! By hibernating so long, they missed al the awful rap-metal and synthesizer abuse that claimed so many of their cohorts, and initial leaks have been pretty damn awesome.
Saigon - Warning Shots 2: How sad is it that this guy will always be "the rapper Turtle managed on Entourage?" Ah, if it wasn't for that, he'd always be "the rapper who threw a hissy fit on his Myspace blog and quit rapping in 2007 only to come crawling back to the game." Warning Shots 2 is his actual first major retail album, and coming off a feud with Joe Budden, might actually move some units. If it doesn't, keep an eye out for some sad Twitters from Camp Saigon.