I might as well just walk into my local record store and empty my wallet out on the counter today. I’m sure you’re aware of the term “saving the best for last.” Well, this week’s release schedule brings forth a handful of releases from some of my favorite artists, which makes me happy and a little bit sad.
A little bit sad because this will most likely be the final Tuesday that we see a release from Amy Winehouse. The British singer passed away this summer, and while she didn’t leave a ton of unreleased material behind, there was enough to compile Lioness: Hidden Treasures. Producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi (who provided the brain trust for Amy’s breakthrough album Back To Black) helmed most of the tracks on this set, and even though the album is mostly covers and alternate versions, it should provide an appropriate postscript to the career of an artist who left us too soon.
One of the artists who appears on Lioness is Roots drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, who, as I’m sure you know, is very much appreciated on this site. We’ll have a Discography Fever dedicated to The Roots sooner than you may think, but in the meantime, Philly’s finest are releasing their thirteenth (THIRTEENTH!!!) album, entitled Undun. While the term “concept album” (which Undun is purported to be) would ordinarily send me running for the hills, in The Roots’ case, it doesn’t even matter. It might actually make me more excited, which says a lot about the quality of this band’s music.
The Black Keys entered my radar a bit later than it did for a lot of folks. While I knew *of* them for a while before the release of last year’s Brothers, I’d never paid much attention to them (beyond the Blakroc project that they’d done with Dame Dash and a bunch of rappers the year before.) Then I saw the “Tighten Up” video and it all changed-as I imagine it did for many people. Brothers sold almost a million copies, won the duo a bunch of Grammys and made them superstars. Now it’s follow-up time, and judging from the general excitement that surrounds El Camino (as well as the good reviews it’s gotten), it looks like Dan and Patrick have more than enough ammunition to maintain their status atop the rock world.
The last of the four albums that will likely be rocking my world this week is Robin Thicke’s Love After War. The blue-eyed soul singer’s fifth album is sure to contain a slew of jams that will test the durability of boxsprings across this great country of ours-let’s just say that the man probably knows his way around a bedroom. Let’s also hope that he doesn’t stay in the direction of 2009’s Sex Therapy, which found Robin in sellout mode, working with Jay-Z (that song was OK), Kid Cudi (meh…) and Nicki Minaj (I need 100 more showers to wash the stank of that song off of me.) Robin may not sell as many records on his own as he would with all-star accompaniment, but he certainly makes better records without a cast of thousands.
In our Grammy nominations report, I noted that I was unfamiliar with a Skrillex and what it was. Well, I did some research and I found out that Skrillex is a DJ that specializes in dubstep. Well, guess what? I might have to do some more research to find out what the hell dubstep is. However, after reading some savage reviews of Korn’s new dubstep experiment, entitled The Path Of Totality, I think the best thing might be to just stay away. They are joined on the release schedule by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones (still huge in this particular neck of the woods), metal band Chevelle, and robo-singer T-Pain. He hasn’t released anything new since Jay-Z officially declared Auto-Tune dead a couple of years back, spawning one of the more ridiculous hip-hop beefs in recent memory. Will Revolver return T-Pain to chart glory? Anything’s possible, but I wouldn’t exactly count on it.
As always make sure, you head on over to Pause And Play for a full listing of this week’s (and every week’s) releases.