Drake’s Take: New Releases 05.20.08

It’s Drake, a week late, more or less. This time, it’s my fault (blame the holiday). Personally, I would have made a bigger mention of the new Ting Tings record, which I like quite a lot. I’ve heard good things about the new Wedding Present record, but not actually heard it myself. Whereas, I’ve also heard bad things about the new Donna Summer album, but ditto on the not hearing it for myself. -ed.

Drake’s Take: New Releases 05.20.08

Another week, another pipin’ hot fresh batch of releases for your delicate ears. This week features the sophomore release from Islands, the latest from sludge purveyors Mudhoney, and more from Joan of Arc, Blackstrap, Retribution Gospel Choir, French Kicks, The Wedding Present, Free Kitten, The Ting Tings, and back from a long layoff, the queen of disco Donna Summer.

Playlist: New Releases 05.20.08

Album: Islands – Arm’s Way

Islands - Arm's WayA few times a year, I’ll mentally start making best of the year lists, and invariably imagine upcoming releases that will slide into my eventual top ten, based on expectations alone. Of course, not every album can meet those lofty expectations and instead turn out to be fine instead of great. There was every reason to believe that Islands sophomore release was going to impress: their debut (Return to the Sea) was a strange pop masterpiece, and they signed to Anti – the label to be on currently for critical success. Arm’s Way is certainly ambitious in scope, containing plenty of twists and turns. Unfortunately, it’s like a musical without a backing story to lead you through the album’s entirety. There are still flashes of genius, like in the songs “The Arm,” “Creeper” and “In the Rushes,” but for an album that requires a lot of concentration, the rewards aren’t as rich as they should be given the heights reached in their scattered debut. It’s a solid album, to be sure, but can I be blamed for wanting more?

Album: Mudhoney – The Lucky Ones
Album: Mudhoney – Superfuzz Bigmuff: Deluxe Edition

Mudhoney - The Lucky OnesThe sounds of indie rock circa ’88-’91 have enjoyed a resurgence, as demonstrated by the recent releases of No Age, Wye Oak and the slew of bands from the era making comebacks (The Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., The Breeders, Sebadoh, et al). Perfect time for Mudhoney to get their shit together and release something with teeth, sorely lacking from their last two releases. All it takes is one listen to “I’m Now” and you know the Iggy Pop sludge rock that we all know and love is back in full force. That song is followed by a couple more good-to-great numbers and then it sort of gets muddled until the ending, with stomper “New Meaning.” Lucky Ones really only suffers in that it’s paired on the shelve next to the deluxe edition of their classic Superfuzz Bigmuff, which still burns with the heat of a thousand dirty heaters in the basement of my brain. “Touch Me I’m Sick,” “You Got It (Keep It Outta My Face)” and “Sweet Young Thing Ain’t Sweet No More” sure take me back to studying in the stacks at UW’s libraries, buzzed on bad Boones and cough syrup. Just hearing it again makes my nose burn with the smell.

Full Album Stream from AOL
Download: “I’m Now”
From Reissue: “In and Out of Grace (Live in Berlin)”

More on the radar this week:
Joan of Arc – Boo Human / “A Tell-Tale Penis” [mp3]
Blackstrap – Steal My Horses and Run
Retribution Gospel Choir – Retribution Gospel Choir
French Kicks – Swimming / “Abandon” [mp3]
The Wedding Present – El Rey / Free album stream from AOL
Free Kitten – Inherit / “Seasick” [mp3]
Donna Summer – Crayons / Free album stream from AOL
The Ting Tings – We Started Nothing / Free album stream from AOL
Indian Jewelry – Free Gold!
Windsor for the Derby – How We Lost / “Maladies” “Hold On” [mp3]
Scarlett Johansson – Anywhere I Lay My Head / Free album stream from AOL
Foxboro Hottubs – Stop Drop and Roll!!!
Sybris – Into the Trees
Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet – Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet
Curt Smith (Tears for Fears) – Halfway, Pleased / Free album stream from AOL
The Takeover UK – It’s All Happening EP
The Dresden Dolls – No, Virginia
Douglas Armour – The Light Of A Golden Day, The Arms Of The Night
Foxboro Hottubs – Stop Drop and Roll!!!
French Kicks – Swimming
Explorers Club – Freedom Wind / “Do You Love Me?” [mp3]
Bun B – II Trill / Free album stream from AOL
Danielia Cotton – Rare Child / “Testify” [mp3]
Band Of Heathens – Band Of Heathens
Mason Jennings – In the River / Free album stream from AOL
Annihilation Time – Annihilation Time III: Tales Of The Ancient Age
Mogwai – Young Team (Exclusive in Rhapsody a week early)

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