Drake’s Take: New Releas 03.08.11

I’m leaving for SXSW tomorrow (or today depending on when you read this), so it’s time to play a little catch up with The Drake. -ed.

Drake’s Take: New Releas 03.08.11

In past years, the second Tuesday in March has a big one for releases, coming in advance of SXSW and Spring Breaks, but we’re left with merely a tidy stack to choose from. There’s still to be pleased with, though, counting another release from the reunited Buffalo Tom, and the latest from Elbow. I’ve just started listening to the well received latest from Kurt Vile, and am also enamored. Elsewhere there’s new releases from Wye Oak, R.E.M., Beth Ditto, Ringo Deathstarr and the soundtrack to the Haruki Murakami adapted Norwegian Wood, by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood.

Playlist: New Releases 03.08.11

Buffalo Tom – Skins
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Buffalo Tom - Skins

When Buffalo Tom returned in 2007 with Three Easy Pieces after a decade’s absence, the amps seemed cranked to make up for time. Now fully settled into the 21st century, their eighth release, Skins, is a more subtle affair, harking back to mood and tempo of their peak from ’92-’93 (Let Me Come Over, Big Red Letter Day), mixing up-tempo rockers with heady ballads. Bill Janovitz’s voice is like an old sweater that’s immediately comfortable, and the older, wiser version still rings true, even as the subject matter is more grown-up. Songs like “Don’t Forget Me” and Bassist Chris Colbourn’s “Miss Barren Brooks” fit that mold, and even though they’re quieter, they pack as much punch as the up-tempo tracks, like “Guilty Girls.”

Free AOL Album Stream

Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys!
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Elbow - Build a Rocket BoysLike Buffalo Tom above, Elbow by this point has little interest in grabbing the brass ring. Even after winning the Mercury Prize and touring with U2, the Manchester outfit is more interested in crafting their albums for themselves and fans of the band, and if you count yourself in that select company, Build a Rocket Boys! will not disappoint. The album is centered on the gorgeous track “Jesus Is A Rochdale Girl,” where saving comes in the form of a girl and a stack of CDs. According to band leader Guy Garvey, that song was written first and everything on the album sprouted from that. Not a bad way to start.

More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
Wye Oak – Civilian
Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo / “Jesus Fever” [mp3]
R.E.M. – Collapse Into Now
Beth Ditto – EP / Free AOL Album Stream
Jonny Greenwood – Norwegian Wood OST
Ringo Deathstarr – Fading Parade / “Do What You Will” [mp3]
Rival Schools – Pedals / Free AOL Album Stream
Carol Bui – Red Ship / “Geisha Means Open Minded” [mp3]
Parts & Labor – Constant Future / Free AOL Album Stream
The Megaphonic Thrift – Decay Decoy / Free AOL Album Stream / “Candy Sin” [mp3]
Les Breastfeeders – Dans la guele des jours
Glee Cast – Glee: The Music, Volume 5
Daniel Tosh – Happy Thoughts

Neil Diamond – The Bang Years (1966-1968)