If you’re a fan of singer/songwriters, have I got a deal for YOU! OK, I lied, I don’t have a deal. But there might be a few things coming out today that you may be interested in. We’ll start with Ryan Adams’ latest, Ashes & Fire. Considering we’ve been making Ryan/Bryan jokes for over a decade now, I’m not gonna go that route, but it does seem as though married life to Mandy Moore may have mellowed our boy out a little bit. I’m all about mellow, so good for Ryan. For a similar vibe (although he’s been happily married to Madonna’s sister for ages), you might want to check out Joe Henry’s latest album, Reverie, which is all acoustic.
Ryan and Joe are joined on this week’s release schedule by a motley crew of artists from a variety of genres. Blue-eyed soul man Mayer Hawthorne is back with his second album, entitled How Do You Do? The Detroit native is stepping his guest artist game up as well as jumping from an indie to a major-apparently, people still do that nowadays. Snoop Dogg (is there anyone’s album he WON’T appear on?) is one of the featured artists here. If you’re looking for something a little less organic and a little more flossy, you might wanna check out the first solo album from Joe Jonas (of the formerly-a-big-deal Jonas Brothers). Joe appears to be going the Jesse McCartney route with his latest, Fastlife, a contemporary pop/R&B set which features a guest appearance from Chris Brown.
Bjork is back. After taking a four year back, the Icelandic superstar is unleashing Biophilia on us. This album’s calling card? It was partially recorded on an iPad. Having not been terribly fond of anything Bjork’s released since the Nineties, I might pass this one up. Also on the comeback trail, Evanescence. The Grammy winning outfit, fronted by Amy Lee (who is now the band’s sole original member), are going the self-titled route with their latest album. I’m wondering how much of an audience these folks have left vs. how many of their fans have defected over to Team Paramore.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks. Today also brings new releases from Aussie singer/songwriter Ben Lee, country superstar Martina McBride, synth-pop duo Erasure, borderline frightening electro-rock outfit Electric Six, “American Idol” runner-up Lauren Alaina, pianist Rachael Yamagata, and The Pixies’ Black Francis (Frank Black).
Of course, I want to show a little hometown love to Boston’s Munk Duane Band. Munk has been featured on this site before, and his new EP, Everywhere Is South of Somewhere, shows off a more rootsy, country-esque sound from him. If you’re local, you might wanna swing by the Hard Rock Cafe this Thursday and check the band out.
Finally, Ben Folds’ career retrospective, Best Imitation of Myself, is out. Featuring hits as well as rarities on three discs, it’s the set that Folds nerds (like me) have been waiting for, and comes just as Ben has announced that the Ben Folds Five are an active unit, recording music again.
For a full list of this week’s new releases, make sure you check out Pause and Play.com