Music! Makes the people come together! Or at least it used to - now, in the era of the iPod, it makes the people retreat further into a private cocoon of sound. If you want to retreat into a private cocoon of sound, there's plenty of new albums this week to do it with. Let's get on it!
Jason Castro - Jason Castro - This was the hippie on that one season of American Idol who got people behind him because he wasn't afraid to kind of suck. A lot of his performances were kind of loosey-goosey, but he at least seemed like an honest dude who wasn't in it to get all Lou Pearlman'd up. As befits all Idol wash-outs, here's his first solo album.
Jennifer Lopez - Love? - Oh, I'm sure Mark Anthony feels great about that album title, the rat-faced weirdo. J-Lo gets back in the studio to focus on uptempo dance jams that her fans are clamoring for. Collabs include rapper Pitbull and producers Darkchild and The-Dream. Can anybody name me a single Jennifer Lopez song? I can't.
Beach House - Teen Dream - Baltimore-based dream-pop indie darling duo drop their third album on Sub Pop. Looks to contain more of the drifting, languid soundcapes that have made them the makeout music of choice for hipsters worldwide.
Gorevette - Lustfully Yours - Best band name of the week. Amy Gore and Nikki Corvette are two of Detroit's finest sleaze-rockers, and this is a supergroup in every sense of the word. Their first EP is hitting stores and should be a dirty good time.
Los Campesinos! - Romance Is Boring - What is in the water over in Wales that makes so many quirky pop bands? This seven-piece is energetic and exciting live, and they're only getting better as they get older, so hop on the train now.
The Magnetic Fields - Realism - Bring on the hate mail: I never got this band. It all just seems so fake and calculated to me, with each new album pushing the gimmickry in a different direction and main man Stephin Merrit's singing voice bordering on the unendurable. Apparently their last album was all "rock and roll" which I guess means they turned the volume up on a guitar? I don't know. I know a lot of people will eat this up with a spoon. Haters gotta hate.
Three 6 Mafia - Laws Of Power - OK, that's more like it. Legendary Memphis hip-hop group has been in the game for fifteen years now without slowing down, and this latest album, their tenth, is so good it will probably rule even with an Insane Clown Posse guest spot. Seriously, what were they thinking?