After last week's over-the-top cheesefest, the record industry has seen fit to smile upon us with some actually good releases. Of course, there's some garbage music for Moms in there too, but we can't have everything. Hold my hand as I delve into the terrifying world of the "New Releases" pile and come out sweaty, deaf, but alive. Alive!
The Flaming Lips - Embryonic - The greatest band to ever appear on Beverly Hills 90210 drops their first new LP since 2006's At War With The Mystics. The new one is a double album with twenty-seven tracks and promises a more avant-jazz direction for the band, as well as guest appearances from MGMT, Karen O and some German mathematician. It will rule and you should get it.
The Roots - How I Got Over - America's most dependable hip-hop group puts out another disc, but the vitriol and (well-deserved) rage they felt during the Bush administration has been replaced with - dare I say it - hope? How I Got Over is being pitched by ?uestlove as a more positive album, which is fine by me - I can use some good times.
Lightning Bolt - Earthly Delights - This two-man outfit from Providence, Rhode Island, makes as much noise as a dozen lesser musicians. This album is going to blow the doors off of whatever shack, hovel or mansion you live in, but the real Lightning Bolt experience can only be had at their live shows, where they refuse to play on a stage but rather set up their equipment in the middle of the floor for an unholy tornado of rock & roll power. This will melt your face and you should get it.
R. Kelly - Untitled - Come on, R, you couldn't think of a damn name for the album? Here, I'll give you a half-dozen that you could use. Sexecution Day. Out Of The Closet. TP 4: Eternal Jamnation. Innocent As Charged. RSKy Business. Sexican Food. That seriously took me like three minutes. You're trying to tell me that the man who wrote "Sex In The Kitchen" couldn't even name his own record? I dunno, man. You might be losing me as a fan. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm buying two copies - one to listen to and one to give to my son when he gets married.
Shakira - She Wolf - I don't have a lot to say about this album but I wanted to put a picture of a hot chick up top there. Is that sexist? Apparently this is Shakira's electro album, which makes sense as electro is like three years ago. The dude from The Bravery wrote one of the songs. Good for him - I hope he buys himself a black Prius or something with the royalties.
Bob Dylan - Christmas In The Heart
David Archuleta - Christmas From The Heart - Ok, seriously, dudes, you just showed up at the party and you're wearing the same dress. This has to be so embarrassing for you, but I'm not sure who should be more embarrassed - Dylan for naming his Christmas album so close to an American Idol also-ran's, or David Archuleta, for being David Archuleta. If you play both of these albums at once, Satan will grant you six material wishes.