Those of us on the East Coast probably aren’t paying too much attention to the new release schedule, seeing as we’ll probably be in the process of recovering from a hurricane. Hopefully everyone’s safe and dry. Buying records, is, of course, a tertiary concern, but…it is Tuesday, and there are albums to peruse. Shall we carry on?
So far, there’s been a slow trickle of holiday releases, but today marks the point when that trickle turns into a deluge. Given the trajectory of Rod Stewart‘s career, it would be expected that a holiday album would be next on the list, and the raspy rocker delivers with Merry Christmas, Baby. The former Rod The Mod puts a little ho ho ho in your season with help from Michael Buble, Mary J. Blige, Ella Fitzgerald (by way of technology, seeing as Miss Fitzgerald has been deceased for quite some time) and…Cee-Lo Green, who has his own holiday album to hawk. Cee-Lo’s Magic Moment doesn’t contain any raunchy ditties a la “Fuck You,” but the Goodie Mob rapper/singer-turned-reality judge plays it relatively straight on a selection of Yuletide classics. For me, the most interesting of the holiday albums comes courtesy of Everything But The Girl singer Tracey Thorn, who drapes her melancholy pipes all over standards and originals on Tinsel and Lights.
When it comes to non-holiday repertoire, there’s a virtual smorgasbord of releases to choose from. Singer/songwriter Matthew Ryan is a friend of ours. We’ve been fortunate enough to interview him, and he’s certainly helped us gain a few followers. While he refuses to share his coffee and pasta sauce recipes with us, he has blessed us with a new album, entitled In The Dusk Of Everything. Other Popblerd faves releasing albums this week include soul/funk/rock hybrid Cody ChesnuTT, whose Landing on a Hundred is his first album in a decade. There’s also new music from Canadian chanteuse Esthero. If you haven’t yet contributed to the Pledge Music campaign for her new album Everything is Expensive, it’s not too late. I haven’t gotten to listen yet (the mp3s landed in my mailbox yesterday,) but you can bet your sweet ass I will be doing so very soon!
Meek Mill is a rapper that’s gotten quite a bit of press over the past year or so. With the endorsement of one of the most popular emcees in the game, Rick Ross, Mill’s debut album, Dreams And Nightmares, is expected to be a successful performer. Will Mill pull Kendrick Lamar-type numbers? Doubtful, but he’s still one to watch. Meanwhile, The Coup has flown over the radar for quite some time. A radio hit is certainly out of the question for them, given the super-political nature of their music, but Boots Riley and company power on. Their latest album is entitled Sorry To Bother You, and with a presidential election only a week away, I’m sure their message will be as pointed as ever.
All of the above listed albums will probably be kept from chart-topping position by Taylor Swift, and the chart’s highest debut will likely come from a country artist as well. I think I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can say Toby Keith‘s name without wanting to wash my mouth out immediately afterwards, and his latest album, Hope On The Rocks, comes at a time when his profile is a bit higher than it’s been recently, thanks to the smash “Red Solo Cup.” Another one to watch is the latest set from DJ Calvin Harris, whose profile has been heightened thanks to his success producing Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been.” 18 Months features a cameo appearance from Ri-Ri. Ne-Yo (who seems to show up on every EDM release these days) is here too.
On the reissue tip, there’s a lovingly curated 45th anniversary edition of The Velvet Underground & Nico (one of those albums that’s highly rated and I have no idea why) and Sony’s Essentials series collects the hits of Jefferson Starship/Starship/Jefferson Airplane into one two-CD set. There’s also The Essential Run-DMC, which is certainly a worthwhile pickup if you’re a fan of classic hip-hop.
Finally, our WTFF? release of the week comes courtesy of Macy Gray, who follows up her covers album from earlier this year with a track-by-track tribute to Stevie Wonder’s landmark album Talking Book. You think I’m joking? Look it up yourself. And listen…if you dare.
Pause and Play has got the goods when it comes to new releases. Stop by, and tell ‘em Big Money sent ya.