Canada gets a big push this week with the new ones from renown kalimbaist Laura Barrett, the “Dusty Foot Philosopher”, aka the Somali-Canadian K’naan, (whose music is certainly getting a lot more press stateside this time around), and Gentlemen Reg who makes Jet Black his first release on the Arts and Crafts label as well as his first release outside of Canada. Canadian artists aside, I suppose the release of the week is probably the Black Lips, and while their sound may appeal to some, it’s never really been my cup of tea. -ed.
Drake’s Take: New Releases 02.24.09
Compared to last week’s barrage, the current crop of new releases looks a bit anemic. It’s essentially a reaction to the post-awards show shadow, where new releases tend to suffer because focus turns to already released media getting a boost from the event (look for the Slumdog Millionaire soundtrack to get a bit of a boost). Even the Watchmen soundtrack was recently (and wisely) pushed to next week to allow for the shadow’s affects. This week features new releases from Black Lips, Kinky, K’naan, A. Armada and Laura Gibson.
Playlist: New Releases 02.24.09
The endearing mess that is 200 Million Thousand couldn’t be anything but a Black Lips release, and yet it is quite different in it’s scope and feel. Take for instance the standout track “Starting Over,” which sounds like the four-piece from Atlanta tried write their own version of The La’s classic “There She Goes.” It’s the sound of pure pop that’s about to fall over drunk. It seems to fulfill the (drunken) summery promise Good Bad Not Evil, along with the other highlight “Short Fuse,” but the rest of the album is drenched in a dense psychedelic cloud of Mary-J. It’s a fun place to hang out for awhile, as long as you step out to get some air now and then.
The problem that’s haunted Kinky their entire career is that their albums never quite meet the level of their live show, so every release feels more like a fakebook you use to prepare for their live show, than something of itself. Barricuda, I imagine, continues this trend. I say ‘imagine’ because I’ve yet to see these songs live, but history has proven that on stage they’ll be that much better. It’s not a terrible problem to have, and owes more to their stage prowess than a large fault of their recording, but I still wish for someone to capture the ‘magia’ of their live setting. Highlights here include “Hasta Quemarnos” and “TachiMariPedónCocongo.” Oh, I almost forgot the other thing that a Kinky release is good for besides prepping you for their live set: They’re always a great workout soundtrack. The Montery, MX band has latched onto the perfect BPM to get the heart pumping, which is the key for any good dance music, claro que si, no?
More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
K’naan / Troubadour / Free AOL Album Stream
A. Armada – Anam Cara / “The Moon Shifts The Sea The Sea Shapes The Shore The Shore Shakes The Sand The Sand Sinks The Ship” [mp3]
Laura Gibson – Beasts of Seasons / “Spirited” [mp3]
Steven Wilson – Insurgentes
JJ Cale – Roll On / Free AOL Album Stream
The Bran Flakes – I Have Hands / “Stumble Out of Bed” [mp3]
Gentleman Reg – Jet Black
Here We Go Magic – Here We Go Magic
Chris Isaak – Mr. Lucky
Laura Barrett – Victory Garden / “Bluebird” [mp3]
Pan”¢American – White Bird Release
The Alternate Routes – A Sucker’s Dream
Bill Frisell – The Best of Bill Frisell Vol 1 Folk Songs
The Wrestler: Soundtrack From the Motion Picture / Free AOL Album Stream
War Child presents Heroes (AOL Stream)
Ursula 1000 – Mystics (AOL Stream)
And Then There Were None – Who Speaks for Planet Earth? (AOL Stream)
Lamb of God – Wrath (AOL Stream)