An interesting week for music releases, as there's no mass-market dross dropping, leaving nothing but interesting records for me to talk about. Thus, a bad week for jokes but a good week for ears. Let's pop on the headphones and listen.
Spoon - Transference - It's funny to think of Spoon as indie rock elder statesmen, but there's no bones about it - the Austin-born four-piece has been kicking out their cerebral, minimalist rock & roll for seventeen Goddamned years now. Transference, their seventh studio album, looks to be moving in a more self-consciously art-rock direction, with interesting results. Look for a review here soon.
Missy Elliott - Block Party - Missy Elliott always presents me with a conundrum. I like who she is, I like what she does and I like that she's still doing it. But I have never felt the need to actully buy a Missy Elliott album. Why do you think that is? Block Party is her seventh studio album, it's been delayed four times, and it features guest spots from Lil' Wayne, T-Pain, Mel B and Amy Winehouse. I - I probably won't buy it.
RJD2 - The Colossus - This Oregon-born producer has undergone quite an evolution over the course of his last three albums, from DJ Shadow-esque instrumental hip-hop to the more electronic pop of his latest records. And, of course, he composed the theme to Mad Men. This, his fourth album, looks to meld the lessons learned from the previous discs: less singing, more atmospherics. Pretty jazzed for it.
Charlotte Gainsbourg - IRM - The daughter of France's favorite songwriter, producer and sex pervert has seen her profile raised with an award-winning role in Lars von Trier's Antichrist, and her new album IRM was inspired by working with the monomaniacal German director. Produced and written entirely by Beck, this looks to be a serious grab for transcontinental stardom for the lovely Charlotte. I'll have a full review tomorrow.
Eels - End Times - This is a band with a huge cult following that I've never been really able to get into. Main man Mark Everett definitely has a way with a clever, literate pop hook, but there's always been something a little too NPR about his music for me to really bite. This, their eight studio album, was mostly recorded on a primitive four-track following Everett's divorce, so maybe some honest emotion can stab through the curtain of irony?
Editors - In This Light And On This Evening - The second-biggest British band of the decade (nice way to damn them with faint praise, Daily Mail) is releasing their third album. The dark indie rock of the previous two didn't do that much for me, but I'm prepared to give this one a shot from band statements that the biggest influence on the new record was the theme from Terminator. That's just crazy enough to work.