This week offers a slate of releases by acts that you used to care about, never cared about, or have always hated. Wait, that's me. If any of the following albums make you giddy, you're no friend of mine, bucko. One more time around might do it.
Soundgarden - Telephantasm - Do you ever get the feeling that Chris Cornell isn't the most pleasant fellow to be around? You take a successful band with members that know they're not going to get close to that kind of money again (Soundgarden) and they still choose to dissolve the band. Then, as always, comes the always unfortunate solo career. Through Rick Rubin pulling some strings he somehow manages to land the lead singing gig for Audioslave. Then the fellas in 'Slave decided Zack de la Rocha was more carefree and laid-back to be around, so they broke up the band to head back to Rage Against the Machine. So Chris made an attempt at unfortunate solo career Version 2.0. So what happens when everyone's bank account is running just low enough that you start to think back on the bad ol' days as not so bad after all? Reunion time! Basically a glorified greatest hits collection, Telephantasm only offers one new track, "Black Rain" taken off the Badmotorfinger recording sessions. There's really no reason to buy this.
Gucci Mane - The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted - Gucci Mane needs a hit. The man is starting to be known more for getting arrested than topping the charts, and that's not a good career path for anyone. The new CD features help from some of the biggest producers in the industry (Swizz Beatz, Pharrell, Wyclef Jean are among the names), and Ray J, Bun B, Estelle, and Nicki Minaj are featured on tracks. The only question is if anyone is really waiting for a new GM track to drop. We'll find out today.
Kenny Chesney - Hemmingway's Whiskey - It's hard to describe how much I hate Kenny Chesney. I grew up listening almost exclusively to country music, so when someone asks what made me stop he is almost always the first name I say. His song "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" is everything I find wrong with today's country. I understand it's a novelty song and they have been around since music was first recorded, but I have a hard time taking anyone serious that would put that on an album. Also, the way you have the phrase "studio gangsta" in rap, I drop the phrase "studio redneck" around country fans. I wholeheartedly believe the closest Mr. Chesney has ever gotten to a tractor in his life is watching the gardener cut his lawn from his front porch on the weekend. With that being said, the man has his fans. They know what he does and they like it. When they buy a Chesney CD or concert ticket they expect to here songs about beaches, beer, leaving work on Friday afternoon, calling in sick on Monday, chasing women on the weekend, hanging out with bros. Basically he's copying the Jimmy Buffett playbook. Looking over the new CD, you've got song titles like "Live a Little", "Coastal", and "You and Tequila". If you like Kenny, my guess is he's not going to start throwing you curveballs now.