It’s Wednesday and Drake’s back again with a roundup of this week’s
slim pickins’ new offerings.
It’s a surprisingly thin week. I’ve been told it has something the fact that it’s the last day of the month, whatever that means. A few releases haven’t been scared away, including anticipated new ones from 1990s, Shivaree and Bat For Lashes’ latest finally sees it’s US release.
Playlist: New Releases 07.31.07
Album: 1990s – Cookies
For the handful of dedicated Yummy Fur fans, this release is a long time coming. Formed from the ashes of that Glasgow band (which also at one time featured two current Franz Ferdinand members,) the trio 1990s incorporates much of the ascerbic wit of their former outfit, and all of the fun. The album was produced by Suede‘s Bernard Butler, and the infectious first single “You Made Me Like It” had the added production of fellow Glaswegian (and Teenage Fanclubber) Norman Blake, so they’re certainly not afraid of a pop hook. Think of the lyrical bruntness of Art Brut, the swagger of T. Rex or the Rolling Stones along with the songwriting chops of Supergrass and you’re getting close here. It all may bring frontman Jackie McKeown up from the level of “Cult Status,” not that he needs it, as he relates on the track: “my cult status keeps me f*cking your wife!”
The (not so) inside joke in Shivaree‘s first album of covers (Tainted Love: Mating Calls and Fight Songs) is that while it’s an album of love songs, the original artists who performed the song don’t exactly have a great track record on the subject. Songs from R. Kelly, Ike Turner, Phil Spector, Rick James, Gary Glitter, Chuck Berry and Michael Jackson are linked together not just through their content, but also through their originator’s legal problems. Frontwoman Ambrosia Parsley and her cohorts tear apart the songs and present them in a barely recognizable fashion. Ike Turner’s “My Heart Belongs To You” is imagined as a New Orleans dirge, Jackson’s once funky “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” takes on a jazzy tone, and Motley Crue’s “Looks that Kill” gets the James Bond treatment. It’s a distracting first listen, but after awhile, all the pieces fit together and the underlying juxtaposition of misogyny and pedophilia against love raises the album to a level above just a fascinating listen.
Album: Bat For Lashes – Fur & Gold
I have to admit that I’m not sold on Bat For Lashes. This album came out last year in the UK and recently garnered a 2007 Mercury Prize nomination, so it has plenty of critical support, regardless of my ear. It’s a stylized offering, to be sure, toeing the line between Bjork and Kate Bush, and the song “Wizard” can induce goosebumps, but it doesn’t feel like there’s as much running under the hood as those influences. Also, it’s just hard for me to get past the new age-y fairytale lyrics running throughout, so knowing these things, I’m sure you can decide if it’s for you or not. I’ll pass on the crystal, thank you very much.
More going (or already in) the Sansa
Common – Finding Forever (Free album stream from AOL)
Josh Rouse – Country Mouse, City House (Free album stream from AOL)
Luka Bloom – Tribe
Oh No – Dr No’s Experiment