Well, shit-considering that it seemed as though every artist in existence released an album last week, aren’t you surprised that there’s another ton of superstar releases headed your way this Tuesday?
While there won’t be the logjam there was on September 18th, there’s still a healthy group of big names to choose from, spanning genres from pop/rock to hip-hop with the greatest of ease. How about we skip the pleasantries and just get right to business, eh?
No Doubt Push & Shove: Can you believe it’s been 11 years since Rock Steady was released? Considering how contemporary No Doubt’s last studio album sounds (it’s pretty safe to say that it sounds fresher than frontwoman Gwen Stefani’s two subsequent solo efforts,) it’s hard to fathom that a decade has passed. At any rate, even if Push & Shove sounded like Rock Steady Part II, it would still be fairly in the pocket of what passes for state-of-the-art pop music these days. Danceable beats, rubbery bass, and Gwen’s signature hand-wringing lyrics are still front and center. Call it a comeback, although it kinda feels like they never left!
Mumford & Sons Babel: Mumford & Sons are kinda like the little band that could. They’re proof that you don’t need big-name production or even a contemporary sound to be popular and sell records. Without a top 40 hit, their debut album, Sigh No More, sold 2.5 million copies and was nominated for several Grammys. A starmaking Grammy performance alongside Bob Dylan (you may have heard of him) may have actually been the catalyst for the foursome’s jump into superstardom. Fast forward two years, and Marcus and his boys are ready to side step the sophomore jinx with Babel. They performed on SNL last weekend (and participated in one of the night’s funnier skits) so expect this one to be a big’un.
Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album: I will not deny this: Lupe Fiasco is a talented cat. Two things about him put me on the Lupe fan exit ramp last year: 1) he referred to President Obama as a terrorist in song as well as in interviews, and 2) his 2011 album, Lasers, was a piece of shit, incendiary comments aside. Lupe remains a sharp lyricist (his political beliefs have no bearing on that) but he was saddled with weird electronic production that sounded positively wrong. I’m going to assume that the shitty beat-making was a record company decision and give him another chance with his latest, the title of which references his near-classic debut. If this one sucks, I’m probably off team Fiasco forever.
deadmau5 <Album Title Goes Here>: So, it’s “Deadmau Five” and not “Deadmouse?” Well, shit. This is what I have recently heard referred to as “wubba wubba music.” The only wubbas I like come from Downtown Julie Brown, so I’ll respectfully pass. You might dig this album, though. Maybe?
Green Day Uno!: To catch up, Green Day are releasing Uno!, the first volume in what’s planned to be three CDs released over the course of the next year or so. Lead single, “Oh Love” sucks. They played the iHeartRadio festival over the weekend and lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong pitched a hellafied bitch when the band had to cut their set short. After his rant, he checked into rehab. Very convenient that all of this happens when the band is releasing the follow-up to their underperforming 21st Century Breakdown album. This will be the first Green Day album since 1995 that I am not buying upon release. There’s something to be said for quitting while you’re ahead. I’m certainly not a punk purist, but a 40 year old multimillionaire can’t play that game anymore. More importantly, I don’t think the guys really have anything new to say.
Yoko Ono, Kim Gordon & Thurston Moore YOKOKIMTHURSTON: The First Couple of alternative rock, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, announced their breakup earlier this year. So, what do they do? Collaborate with Yoko Ono (who needs no introduction) on a new 6-song LP (EP?) Well, OK, guys…I don’t know if this is meant to be swan song or what? Stop confusing me!!
Angie Stone Rich Girl: Angie Stone is many things: pioneering female rapper, D’Angelo baby mama, “Celebrity Fit Club” contestant, neo-soul star. One thing she isn’t: a consistent album-maker. Angie’s albums are generally good for a handful of good songs-the rest of the tracks are never unpleasant, just anonymous. I can’t imagine that’ll change with the release of her latest, Rich Girl-and no, the title track isn’t a remake of the Hall & Oates song, nor is it a remake of the ’80s reggae jam that borrowed liberally from “The Fiddler On The Roof”‘s “If I Were A Rich Man.”
Also out this week: new music A More Perfect Union, an album by 93-year old troubadour Pete Seeger, plus Aftermath of the Lowdown, a solo album by Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora. Jazz/jam favorites Medeski, Martin & Wood have a new one out, as does metal band As I Lay Dying. On the reissue tip, there’s yet another hits compilation from the over-compiled Lionel Richie, a best of from DJ Shadow (whose music doesn’t really lend itself well to compilations, I don’t think,) and a 25th anniversary set commemorating the anniversary of R.E.M’s commercial breakthrough, Document.