Band of Horses' new CD, "Infinite Arms"

After a couple of weeks with barely anything to recommend, there’s a veritable cornucopia of quality new music in stores today. These releases cut across all genres, and as appreciative as I am to have good music, I’ve gotta ask: CAN Y’ALL SPREAD THIS SHIT OUT SO I DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT DROPPING SIXTY BUCKS ON NEW MUSIC IN ONE DAY???? DAMN! Just saying…

Anyway, these records come 100% Blerd Approved. If you don’t like ’em, maybe there’s something wrong with YOU.

Band of Horses “Infinite Arms”: I didn’t know a heckuva lot about these guys until fairly recently. I saw them perform acoustically the other day, and I’ve gotta say-I was blown the fuck away. What beautiful harmonies!! Totally CSN&Y-reminiscent. I actually have the album already (it was released in Boston a couple days early) and I’m looking forward to giving it a listen. Plus, I find the whole bearded-rocker look unbelievably sexy.

Janelle Monae “The ArchAndroid”: When was the last time a good album came out on Bad Boy? It’s been at least a decade. Thankfully, someone in Diddy’s camp had the foresight to sign Janelle Monae, who is definitely not your cookie-cutter R&B vocalist. Going against the grain is so taboo amongst black folk, I’d give Monae props for being herself even if the music wasn’t good. And based on the first single, “Tightrope”, I don’t think we’ll have to worry about the quality of the music.

Reflection Eternal “Revolutions Per Minute”: I fucks with Talib Kweli no matter what , and he’s almost never disappointed me (I’ll give him a free pass on that “Right About Now” mixtape mess). His Cincinnati homeboy Hi-Tek? Ehhhh…he kinda lost me when he started fucking with G-Unit. At any rate, it’s nice to see Reflection Eternal back (hell, it’s been ten years!), and now that “Revolutions” is out of the way, is it too much to ask for another Black Star album?

Tracey Thorn “Love and It’s Opposite”: For some reason, I have a thing for British female singers (um, look at my header). It’s a shame that Tracey Thorn is not a household name in the States. This woman drips soul. Her second effort apart from creative partner/husband Ben Watt allegedly turns away from the dance-based sound that she’s explored solo as well as with Everything but the Girl for the past 15 years and is more of a quiet, introspective effort. Sign me up. I would listen to this woman sing the ingredients on a box of spaghetti.

And that’s barely the tip of the iceberg, folks!! There’s the Nas and Damian Marley collaboration “Distant Relatives”, which I’m on the fence about (Nas, yes. Marley? Not so much). There’s two artists the critics love but I don’t care for putting records out today-British soul/dance vocalist Jamie Lidell and LCD Soundsystem (that album with “All My Friends”? Bought it used for two bucks in NYC…was bored to tears). There’s yet another collection of songs from “Glee” as well (timed perfectly with a new episode of the show tonight). On the reissue tip, there’s the massive “Exile on Main Street” deluxe job, with bonus tracks, as well as a super-deluxe edition which will set you back a pretty penny and continue to subsidize Mick Jagger’s many child support payments. Hip-O Select is reissuing a couple of old Rick James albums this week (“Fire it Up” and “Garden of Love”…can you guys put out “Cold Blooded” already?), and finally, Duranies can rejoice! Following the expanded packages of “Rio” and Arcadia’s “So Red the Rose” (and a Power Station repackage, if I remember correctly), EMI is putting out deluxe versions of The Fab Five’s 1981 debut as well as 1983’s “Seven & The Ragged Tiger”. These reissues contain everything from remixes and B-sides to unreleased tracks. Now, if the liner notes contain explanations for what the hell the lyrics to all these songs mean, we’ll all be good to go!

As usual, Pause and Play should be your stop for exploring what’s new and upcoming in the world of music. Happy Tuesday!!

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