Drake’s Take: New Releases 03.22.11

Once again, I’m caught playing catch up with The Drake. FWIW, I wholeheartedly agree with his take on Eulogies. -ed.

Drake’s Take: New Releases 03.22.11

The highlights from this week’s crop include three albums I’ve already delivered digital ink for: James Blake‘s haunting debut (was available digitally February 8), Duran Duran’s return to form (was digitally available back in December), and The Strokes. Beyond that, there are a couple fine albums dealing with mortality this week from Edwyn Collins and Eulogies, along with new releases from Datarock, The Lonely Forest, BOAT, and an opera from Pet Shop Boys.

Playlist: New Releases 03.22.11

Edwyn Collins – Losing Sleep
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Edwyn Collins - Losing Sleep

Losing Sleep is the third solo release for Orange Juice‘s Edwyn Collins, but it’s the first since he nearly died back in 2005 from cerebral hemorrhages. As such, just the fact that you can hold this release in your hands makes it an inspiration worth your attention, but Collins isn’t just resting on the human interest angle here. Sure, there are moments abound in the album where it’s tempting to assume a given track is about mortality, but Collins’ long trusted songwriting ability shines through and the death spectacle isn’t needed. As a bonus, Losing Sleep gets some great guest appearances from Johnny Marr, Roddy Frame, along with members of Franz Ferdinand, The Drums and The Cribs.

Eulogies – Tear the Fences Down
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Eulogies - Tear the Fences DownKeeping with the theme of mortality, Eulogies’ third release Tear the Fences Down was written in the wake of the death of a four-year to cancer, son to the best friend of frontman Peter Walker. Regardless of the album’s origins, Eulogies have never sounded so energetic, quite the opposite of the expected melancholy in the face of such a tragic death. Listeners unaware of the album’s intentions will likely hear the heartbreaking end to relationships, none the worse for wear. Highlights include the poptastic title track and the aching beauty of “How to Say Goodbye.”

More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
James Blake – James Blake
Duran Duran – All You Need Is Now
The Strokes – Angles / Free AOL Album Stream
Datarock – California EP / Free AOL Album Stream
Datarock – Catcher in the Rye
Datarock – Amarillion
Pet Shop Boys – The Most Incredible Thing / Free AOL Album Stream
The Lonely Forest – Arrows / Free AOL Album Stream
BOAT – Dress Like Your Idols
Richard Ashcroft – The United Nations of Sound / Free AOL Album Stream
Parenthetical Girls – Privelege,Pt III: Mend and Make Do / “The Pornographer” [mp3]
Karen Ann – 101 / Free AOL Album Stream
The Wilderness of Manitoba – Michel Poiccard
Sucker Punch: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack / Free AOL Album Stream
Soundgarden – Live on I-5 / Free AOL Album Stream
The Soundtrack of Our Lives – Golden Greats No. 1

Seu Jorge – Carolina