tinted-windowsWho the hell are Tinted Windows, you ask? Well, they’re the latest pop/rock supergroup to form, consisting of Bun E. Carlos from Cheap Trick, James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins/A Perfect Circle (was he in Zwan too?), Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger and…wait for it…Taylor Hanson. Nope, I’m not kidding.

Anyway, as a super-fan of Fountains of Wayne and someone who appreciates if not loves the other three bands, I’m pretty excited about this record. With Adam and Bun E. on board, there’ll definitely be some cool power-pop action here. Hopefully, Tinted Windows will end my streak of buying mediocre albums that’s lasted me all of 2009 so far.

Here’s what else you’ll find in stores this week.

Rick Ross “Deeper Than Rap”-Do you think the knowledge of Rick Ross’s stint as a corrections officer will hurt the sales of his third album? Probably not, because most gangsta rap is fake anyway, as are most of the people who listen to it (wannabes of the world, unite!). It’s completely unclear why someone as talented as John Legend would align themselves with this fool, but there he is on the album’s first single, “Magnificent”. Needless to say, if you go anywhere this record, I’ll be forced to make fun of your musical tastes for the duration of our friendship. And this is coming from a guy who freely admits to liking New Kids on the Block.

Cage the Elephant “Cage the Elephant”-Like Kings of Leon? Well, you’ll fucking love Cage the Elephant. These dudes were born in Bowling Green, KY and raised in a religious hippie commune. What is it about these cults (let’s call a spade a spade here) that produces good bands? Anyway, this album was released in the U.K. last year and their current single “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked”, is already in the Top 20 of Billboard’s Modern Rock charts.

Depeche Mode
“Sounds of the Universe”- If this was 1994, I’d be in front of the record store now to buy the new DM CD. (actually, that’s a lie. I worked in a record store in 1994, so I would have either bought it after I got to work or would have gotten a promotional copy, but saying that I would’ve been in a record store just sounds better). However, in 2009, I’m just not so sure. I mean, I still love the band, but I love them more as a relic from my teenage years than as a still-relevant band. The last album of theirs I bought was Songs of Faith & Devotion, and I’m on the fence here. If you buy it, leave a comment and let me know how it is, k?

Pet Shop Boys “Yes”-Another band that I would have been much more excited about if this was 1994. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have quietly inched up to their 25th year as a performing duo. Hell, who’d have thought PSB would still be around when “West End Girls” came out in ’86? I haven’t heard much about this one, but if you’re buying this album, I’d imagine you already know what you’re getting, yes? Here’s some classic Pet Shop Boys for ya.

Bonus Release: Asher Roth “Asleep in the Bread Aisle”-Here’s another white rapper, so the Eminem comparisons are inevitable. For what it’s worth, I like “I Love College”, but not sure if I like it enough to buy a whole album of the guy’s. Sounds a little novelty-ish to me. I saw this guy on MTV2 a couple weeks ago (or maybe it was MTV Hits…it’s the one that actually plays videos), and Asher was guest hosting. Seemed like a pretty nice guy, except that he had an unnecessary blac-cent. I honestly hate when white folks adopt traditionally black mannerisms and speaking styles. Well, I guess I can tolerate it if you grew up in a particular environment, but this guy’s name is Asher Roth. Ain’t one ounce of hood in this character.

For a more exhaustive list of this week’s releases, you know what to do. Click here.