New Releases for September 20, 2019
Herb Alpert – Over The Rainbow CD (Herb Alpert Presents)
On his latest album, Over The Rainbow, Herb Alpert began the same way he has done for all of his albums over the years: searching for great melodies. That search has resulted in the prolific trumpeter’s latest offering, a collection of 11 classics and one brand new, original track.
As I Lay Dying – Shaped By Fire CD/LP (Nuclear Blast)
Shaped By Fire is infamous metalcore outfit As I Lay Dying’s first record since 2012’s Awakened and vocalist Tim Lambesis’ controversial release from prison in 2016 after being convicted in a murder-for-hire plot to kill his estranged wife. The 12-track collection is preceded by the singles “My Own Grave”, “Redefined” and the title cut, “Shaped By Fire”.
blink-182 – NINE CD/LP (Columbia)
blink-182’s eighth studio album, NINE follows-up 2016’s California, the Grammy-nominated veteran pop punk trio’s first with guitarist/singer Matt Skiba after the departure of founding singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge. “I think we’re taking everything that we’ve done in the past and building on it. Which is what we want to always be doing,” Mark Hoppus notes. “I think it’s a good combination of fast punk rock stuff, modern production, and taking a lot of risks and experimentation.”
Darrin Bradbury – Talking Dogs & Atom Bombs CD/LP (ANTI-)
Darrin Bradbury writes about the way things really are in America – a singular perspective shaped by a natural gift for storytelling, a lingering battle with depression, and a sly sense of humor. A self-described folk satirist who has toured the country for more than a decade, Bradbury collects his oddball observations in Talking Dogs & Atom Bombs. Margo Price, a close friend and one of Bradbury’s biggest champions, sings harmony on “The Trouble With Time”, which captures the sadness, beauty, and wit found throughout Talking Dogs & Atom Bombs.
Chastity Belt – Chastity Belt CD/LP (Hardly Art)
With the luxury of spending several weeks in the studio with Jay Som’s Melina Duterte, Chastity Belt was able to experiment on their fourth record. The new self-titled collection is the work of the band playing “old songs, and trying new things on top of it,” like adding more dynamic harmonies and violin. Lydia Lund, Gretchen Grimm, and Julia Shapiro all share lead vocals on different tracks on the album as well. Many of Chastity Belt’s signature dynamics, from the silly to the sincere, have read as feminist gestures: the cool slut DGAF-iness, the shrugging off of the “women in rock” press gargle, the fundamentally punk act of creating music on your own as a woman, and being lyrically forthright.
Andrew Combs – Ideal Man CD/LP (New West)
On his new album, Ideal Man, Andrew Combs worked with producer/engineer Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby, Benjamin Booker) to achieve a more raw, direct sound. The collection was captured live in Cohen’s Brooklyn studio, with compact arrangements fueled by taut, elastic grooves. While Combs may be best known as a singer/songwriter in the classic 1970s Laurel Canyon sense, he demonstrates the true versatility of his work here, often setting the acoustic aside in favor of atmospheric synthesizers and distorted electric guitars.
Charlie Crockett – The Valley And Other Autobiographical Tunes CD/LP (Son Of Davy)
Charley Crockett’s been running nearly his entire life, but with the title track to his sixth album, The Valley, the Texas songwriter looks back at where he came from. “The Valley” chronicles his hard upbringing on the south Texas border, but it also distills the essence of Crockett’s fierce and restless independence. Recorded just a week before he went under the knife for life-saving open heart surgery, The Valley (And Other Autobiographical Tunes) stirs with an introspection and urgency to tell his story.
Exhorder – Mourn The Southern Skies CD/2xLP (Nuclear Blast)
“Never” is a word that has come up many times throughout the existence of Louisiana’s pace-setting thrash/hardcore pioneers, Exhorder. After two short-lived reformation periods following the 1993 breakup of the band, Exhorder returned to the stage in 2018. In addition to their long-awaited live return, which won over any skeptics and proved Exhorder indeed was back, the band has forged a new album, Mourn The Southern Skies.
Samantha Fish – Kill Or Be Kind CD/LP (Rounder/Concord)
Genre-bending guitarist, singer, and songwriter Samantha Fish offers up the edgy roots music album Kill Or Be Kind. Boasting eleven original songs ranging from the electric cigar box stomp of “Bulletproof” to the sweet Memphis R&B of “Trying Not To Fall in Love With You”, the album is sure to establish Fish as a potent force in roots music. The Kansas City-born-and-bred musician flirts with tradition but pushes genre boundaries to create a sound that’s distinctly her own.
Fitz & The Tantrums – All The Feels CD (New Elektra)
Multi-platinum artists Fitz And The Tantrums have quickly grown from independent upstarts to bonafide hitmakers. The L.A.-based band follows-up their double platinum eponymous 2016 effort and biggest hit to date “HandClap” with their much-anticipated fourth full length, All The Feels. Brimming with imagination, energy, and genre-smashing scope, the modern pop combo is at the top of their game on the album’s anthemic singles “All The Feels” and “123456”. [Vinyl edition due October 25.]
Liam Gallagher – Why Me? Why Not. CD/LP (WB)
Liam Gallagher’s second solo album is a clear upgrade on 2017’s all-conquering debut As You Were but not a radical departure. Liam explains: “I wrote some songs on my own for the last album, but this time it’s all co-writes. Reason being is I want it to be even better than As You Were. I know my strengths and I know my limitations. I’m an ok songwriter, but I’m a great singer and frontman. I want the second album to be a step-up because the hardest thing to do is to make something the same, only better. So that’s what we’ve done.” The album showcases an edgy and hard tone similar to Oasis’ Dig Out Your Soul from 2008.
Brittany Howard – Jaime CD/LP (ATO)
As the frontwoman and guitarist for Alabama Shakes, Brittany Howard has become one of music’s most celebrated figures. In between albums and tours with Alabama Shakes, however, Howard grows restless. “To me, there is no time off – I’m a creative person and I need to create, or I just feel weird, not fully human,” she says. She’s channeled that relentless creativity into her solo debut, Jaime. While Howard admits it was daunting, stepping out alone from her work with Alabama Shakes and revealing so much of herself, it was a necessary step. “I turned 30 and I was like, ‘What do I want the rest of my life to look like?’” she recalls. “Do I want to play the same songs until I’m 50 and then retire, or do I do something that’s scarier for me? Do I want people to understand me and know me, do I want to tell them my story? I’m very private, but my favorite work is when people are being honest and really doing themselves.”
Life – A Picture Of Good Health CD/LP (PIAS America)
Produced by Luke Smith (Foals) and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer (Parquet Courts), with A Picture Of Good Health Life hone a bigger and more focused sound whilst also channeling the lyrical content inwards. Whereas the band’s debut album Popular Music was broadly political, the new album takes a more personal approach with beguilingly honest and brave lyrics that are bold in both sound and feeling, whilst also retaining the core DNA of their previous material.
One Eleven Heavy – Desire Path CD/LP (Beyond Beyond Is Beyond)
One Eleven Heavy’s brilliant second album Desire Path is a wry, occasionally biting, but always joyful celebration of human endurance and the ability to overcome. Nick Mitchell Maiato’s album opener, “Chickenshit”, deals with lazy acquiescence to attention-seekers. Pianist-cum-drummer Hans Chew’s first songwriting contribution to the band, “Fickle Wind”, externalizes the band’s raison d’etre by questioning society’s drive toward constant change. Meanwhile James Toth fires off image-laden witticisms about the unnecessary difficulty of human interaction in “Too Much, Too Much”, mocking fashion-conscious Marxists at the same time as he laughs at his own ‘cacti-withering row(s) with (his) old man.’ The musicianship is a step up from their raggedy, but already accomplished, debut, too. Desire Path is laced with lush three-part vocal harmonies and two-part harmonized guitar licks, recalling those classic Allman Bros runs at the same time as it recalls timeless classics by Hendrix, The Stones and, of course, The Dead.
The Shelters – Jupiter Sidecar CD/LP (WB)
The Shelters fan a fresh flame with classic fuel on their second full-length, Jupiter Sidecar. Ebbing and flowing between rock ‘n’ roll roots, surf swagger, synth swells, and unassuming pop ambition, the Los Angeles-based group thread it all together with catchy melodic hooks and handcrafted instrumentation.
Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators – Living The Dream Tour 2xCD+DVD/2xCD+Blu-ray/3xLP (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
Living The Dream Tour captures Slash and company’s incendiary performance on their sold-out 2019 tour in front of a rabid crowd at London’s legendary Hammersmith Apollo. The highly charged two-hour set features tracks from all four Slash’s solo albums, including “Call Of The Wild”, “Driving Rain”, “By The Sword”, “Back From Cali”, “Starlight”, “World On Fire” and “Anastasia”.
Zac Brown – The Owl CD (BMG)
The sixth studio album by country music band Zac Brown Band, The Owl is the follow-up to their 2017 album Welcome Home. On The Owl, the band worked with pop and EDM writers and producers such as Max Martin, Benny Blanco, Ryan Tedder, and Skrillex. The album also includes a collaboration with Brandi Carlile. [Vinyl edition due October 11.]
Bruce Cockburn – Crowing Ignites CD/LP (True North)
Another dazzling instrumental album that will further cement his reputation as both an exceptional composer and a picker with few peers. Unlike Speechless, which included mostly previously recorded tracks, the latest album-Cockburn’s 34th-features 11 brand new compositions.
Colt Ford – We The People CD (Average Joe’s Entertainment)
The country superstar’s new album is a seamless flow of modern country, southern rock, hip-hop/rap and pop. We The People is stacked with hits and features some of country’s hottest rising stars and beloved legacy artists.
Hiss Golden Messenger – Terms Of Surrender CD/LP+MP3 (Merge)
Songwriter and bandleader M.C. Taylor’s music is at once familiar, yet impossible to categorize: Elements from the American songbook-the steady, churning acoustic guitar and mandolin, the gospel emotion, the eerie steel guitar tracings, the bobbing and weaving organ and electric piano-provide the bedrock for Taylor’s existential ruminations about parenthood, joy, hope, and loneliness-our delicate, tightrope balance of dark and light-that offer fully engaged contemporary commentary on the present. And then there’s an indescribable spirit and movement: Hiss Golden Messenger’s music grooves. There’s nothing else quite like it.
Ethan Iverson Quartet with Tom Harrell – Common Practice CD (ECM)
Former Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson heads his own quartet in a program of standards and blues, recorded live at Manhattan’s famed Village Vanguard. Tom Harrell whom Iverson extols for his quality of poetic vulnerability provides the prime melodic voice but the album courses with an effervescent swing, thanks to the top-flight rhythm team.
Keane – Cause And Effect CD/LP (Island)
Cause And Effect, the long-awaited follow-up to 2012’s Strangeland, sees the much-acclaimed English alternative-rock outfit Keane returning after a five-year hiatus. The birth of this new album came as something of a surprise even to the band. Produced by David Kosten, the 11-track offering is informed by ageing, but also in the depth of friendship between Tom Chaplin and Tim Rice-Oxley.
J.S. Ondara – Tales Of America: The Second Coming CD (Verve)
Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, J. S. Ondara fell in love with Bob Dylan and moved to Minneapolis when he was 20 to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter. He notes other musical influences as Neil Young, Noah Gundersen, Damien Rice and Ray LaMontagne. His debut album, Tales Of America, is an examination of the American Dream from an outsider’s perspective; an introspection on a universal matter.
Robbie Robertson – Sinematic CD/2xLP (UMe)
Sinematic is an enthralling set of songs that explore the darker corridors of human nature. The 13-song collection is his first since 2011’s How To Become Clairvoyant and themes sprang from his recent film scoring for Martin Scorsese’s organized crime pic, The Irishman and his forthcoming documentary Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson And The Band. The album features guest stars Van Morrison, Glen Hansard, and many more.
Various Artists – Imaginational Anthem Volume Nine: Ryley Walker Presents CD/LP (Tomkins Square)
Tompkins Square’s Imaginational Anthem compilation series has introduced the world to many great guitarists. For volume 9, the label recruited Ryley Walker to compile the set. As with past Imaginational Anthem compilations, Volume Nine represents the vanguard of acoustic guitar mastery in 2019.
Five Finger Death Punch – The Way Of The Fist [Reissue/2007] LP (Prospect Park)
Five Finger Death Punch – War Is The Answer [Reissue/2009] LP (Prospect Park)
Vinyl reissues of the first two albums by the heavy metal band. [Vinyl reissues of American Capitalist and The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell, Volume 1 due October 4.]
Gerry Mulligan/Ben Webster – Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster [Reissue/1960] LP (Verve)
Recorded in two sessions during November and December 1959, this historic summit meeting between the baritone and tenor sax masters produced some classic Mulligan compositions (“The Cat Walk”, “Tell Me When”) and also unique takes on Billy Strayhorn’s “Chelsea Bridge” and “Jule Styne’s Sunday”.
My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade [Reissue/2006] 2xLP (WB)
My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys [Reissue/2010] LP (WB)
Limited vinyl reissues of the rock band’s third and fourth (and final) albums.
Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie – Bird & Diz [Reissue/1952] LP (Verve)
This 1952 collection is one of bebop’s key artefacts and represents two milestones: the only and only time that pianist Thelonious Monk recorded with the dynamic duo, and the last time Gillespie and Parker appeared together in the studio. It also features the red-hot rhythm section of bassist Curly Stewart and drummer Buddy Rich.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication [Reissue/1999] 2xLP (WB)
Limited 20th anniversary double picture disc vinyl pressing of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ seventh studio album.
Thee Oh Sees – Face Stabber CD (Castle Face)
Recently released on CD – now available on vinyl. Face Stabber is Soundcloud hip-hop reversed, a far-flung nemesis of contemporary country and flaccid algorithmic pop-barf. No songs about money or love are floating in the ether. Just memories, echoes, foggy blurs, blip-blop goes the scope, heavy funk, dystopia-punk canons, long jams, bloated solos dribbling down your caved-in chest. For fans of fried prog burn-out, squished old-school drool, double drums, lead weight bass, wizard keys (now with poison), old-ass guitar and horrible words with daft meanings.
Type O Negative – None More Negative [Reissu/2011] 12xLP (Run Out Groove)
Deluxe box set featuring the band’s complete studio albums across six double colored vinyl LP sets remastered for maximum fidelity. Features the albums Slow, Deep And Hard (1991), The Origin of Feces (Not Live At Brighton Beach) (1992), Bloody Kisses (1993), October Rust (1996), World Coming Down (1999), and Life Is Killing Me (1999). Features a newly designed and band-approved outer slip case, as well as a fold-out poster, insert with credits and backstage laminate – all exclusive to this set. Pressed on band-approved green and black mixed colored vinyl. (Due in next week)