After a bit of a hiccup, the surprisingly robust release schedule that’s been par for the course these past few weeks is back. If you’re a rock fan, you obviously know that the Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light hits stores today (reminder: we’ve reviewed it). This album reunites Butch Vig with Dave Grohl for the first time in nearly twenty years, reunites Dave Grohl with Krist Novocelic for the first time on record since Kurt Cobain’s suicide, and also reunites Pat Smear with the Foo Fighters after well over a decade. So it’s a time for joyful reunions. It’s also a kick ass record that many are calling the Foos’ finest.
If you like your rock a little dancier/”indie”, then you might want to pick up Nine Types of Light, the new joint by my Brooklyn brethren TV on the Radio. This album just might be the record to lift this band up to the next level-not that they’re doing badly for themselves or anything. Early reports have it that this album is more melodic and radio-friendly than previous efforts. Meanwhile, if you want some legendary singer/songwriter action, you might want to pick up Paul Simon’s So Beautiful or So What. I hadn’t paid much attention to this album’s impending release (although one of my great discoveries of last year was Simon’s excellently groovy first few solo albums), but I got a taste of the album via NPR’s First Listen and was completely wowed-so this has been added to my must-buy list. So much for going through April without buying a lot of music.
If you like your rock of the Spanish variety (wanna see how long we can go with this), then you might want to pick up the latest album by Mana, rock en espanol’s biggest selling act. Drama Y Luz is their first album release in five years and is quite highly anticipated. Also highly anticipated? The debut album from Jessie J. The U.K.-based pop singer co-wrote Miley Cyrus’ maddeningly catchy “Party in the U.S.A.” (no shame, I love that song) and has already appeared as the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live”. We’ll see if she can catch a Winehouse/Adele-style buzz on these shores (although she’s a totally different artist).
I’ve really tried to get into Atmosphere, but for some reason, I just can’t. The midwestern hip-hop duo is probably the most successful “alternative” hip-hop act out right now, but someone’s gonna have to convince me that their latest, The Family Sign, is worth getting. A similar case would have to be made for perennial Grammy winner Alison Krauss and her latest, Paper Airplane, although I’m positive that they’ll both do just fine without my fandom.
But wait…there’s more! k.d. lang is releasing her first album of new material in quite some time, and she’s doing it with a new band called the Siss Boom Bang. k.d. has recorded pretty much as a solo artist since the late Eighties, and from what I hear, Sing it Loud also returns her to a more country sound after two decades as a singer of relatively straightforward (or not) pop. Also on the Nashville tip? John Oates. Pop music’s most beloved mustache-wearer has headed down to Music City for his latest solo effort, Mississippi Mile.
Not a heck of a lot going on as far as reissues go, but Bob Dylan fans will definitely want to check out the recently unearthed recording of a concert he recorded back in 1963 at Boston’s own Brandeis University (OK, it’s in Waltham, let’s not split hairs). Rolling Stone magazine co-founder Ralph Gleason recently located the recordings and now they’re out for all of your folk-singing, harmonica-tooting pleasure.
As always, make sure you check out Pause and Play for the complete lowdown on this week’s (and all) new releases.