Drake’s Take: New Releases 12.02.08 – 12.09.08

I’ll admit, I dropped the ball on the last few Drake’s Takes from 2008, but because I always like what he has to say, I’m playing catchup tonight and posting the remaining new release reviews from November and December for your Monday morning perusal. Regularly scheduled programming in this space will resume on Tuesday (I think). -ed.

Drake’s Take: New Releases 12.02.08

This time of year, you have to wonder if it’s even worth the effort doing new release posts. There is some silver lining here, with the Neil Young reissue (Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House 1968) and an early (and exclusive) look in Rhapsody of the Lily Allen single “The Fear.”

Playlist: New Releases 12.02.08

More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week
Neil Young - Sugar Mountain Live at Canterbury House 1968Neil Young – Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House 1968 (Reissue)
Lily Allen – The Fear (Single)
Cyndi Lauper & The Hives – A Christmas Duel (Single)
Gary Louris & Mark Olson – Ready For the Flood EP
The Raveonettes – Wishing You A Rave Christmas
Britney Spears – Circus
Scarface – Emeritus
Music From The Motion Picture Cadillac Records
The Best of Chess Records Original Artist Recordings Of Songs In The Film “Cadillac Records”

Drake’s Take: New Releases: 12.09.08

Another week limping towards the new year, this one marked by a fourth Pavement special edition reissue, a live album from Justice, and new releases from the Sufjan Stevens conceived Welcome Wagon, Common (profiled a couple days ago) and DM Stith.

Playlist: New Releases 12.09.08

Pavement – Brighten the Corners: Nicene Creedence Edition
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Pavement - Brighten the Corners  Nicene Creedence EditionIn looking at the sequence of releases, Pavement has been zigging and zagging between slack art splash and something more mainstream. The artistic underground success of Slanted and Enchanted led to the more polished sound of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, followed by a retreat to the slapdash beauty of Wowee Zowee, which sounded like it should’ve been S&E‘s follow-up. The fourth proper album, reissued this week in a special edition titled Brighten the Corners: Nicene Creedence Edition, was a sharp turn back to the mainstream, sounding more like CR, CR‘s logical successor. This double CD edition captures some of the struggle with this zig zag, featuring plenty of left out songs that if edited together, could’ve made for a more WZ experience, if so inclined. The album, though, has a hint of maturity, as both SM and Spiral Stairs found themselves moving to the north side of 30 during the recording, and “Shady Lane” sounds like a reflection on that marker (and, not coincidentally, hints at Ray DaviesKinks during their Village Green Preservation Society days). Diehard fans really need all of these special editions, that much is true, but the casual fan trying to decide if they’re going “all in,” you need to start at the beginning with these, as the first two in the series, Slanted & Enchanged: Lux & Reduxe and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: LA’s Desert Origins are far more essential in their contents. As we move closer and closer to the end of Pavement in these special editions, the bonus material can try your patience a bit, but if like I said, if you’re a real fan, all of these are going to be essential (if only for the great liner notes!). Notable bonus songs include the b-sides “Harness Your Hopes” and “And Then (The Hexx)” which would’ve both made for great inclusions on the album — “Hexx” in fact pops up later on Terror Twilight, which begs the question: Just how much is left in the vault for that final special edition?

More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week
Justice - A Cross The UniverseJustice – A Cross the Universe
Welcome Wagon – Welcome to the Welcome Wagon / “Sold! To the Nice Rich Man” [mp3]
DM Stith – Curtain Speech / “Around the Lion Legs” [mp3]
Common – Universal Mind Control
Arrington De Dionyso – I See Beyond The Black Sun
Headlights – Remixes
Vampire Weekend – The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance (Single)
The Maine – …and a Happy New Year EP
Musiq (Soulchild) – onmyradio
Paul Weller – Weller at the BBC