Last week’s releases brought some form of salvation to an ailing record industry as it looks like Li’l Wayne is going to be able to do what Usher’s latest album couldn’t and shift in the neighborhood of a million units in it’s first week. There’s a chance that this can happen in consecutive weeks with the release that kicks of this new music roundup:
Coldplay-Viva La Vida or Death & His Other Friends: I like Coldplay enough that I’d be willing to forgive the uber-pretentious title. Now, will the music be the equal of the band’s three other well-received (and quite good) albums? The title track bodes well for the qualitative value of this album (I’ll admit that I haven’t heard “Violet Hill” yet), and it’ll be interesting to hear exactly how much like U2 Brian Eno makes the band sound. Plus, you’ve gotta give Chris Martin props for resisting possible temptation and not allowing Jay-Z or Kanye West (or Gwyneth, for that matter) to make cameo appearances on the album.
The Offspring-Rise & Fall, Rage & Grace: Um, wasn’t that the title of the last Foo Fighters record? Anyway, The Offspring are one of those bands that I find totally likeable. Lead singer Dexter Holland’s an MIT grad and a punk! Awesome! However, I think their sell-by date is at least five years past. The “Greatest Hits” collection they put out a few years back should have been a wrap, especially since “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” and “Why Don’t You Get a Job” essentially turned them into a novelty act. Remember when these guys were on the same qualitative and popularity level as Green Day?
Katy Perry-One of the Boys: So, yeah, this is the “I Kissed a Girl” chick. I’ve gotta admit hating this song based on two principles. Not only is she using homosexuality, a topic many people struggle with greatly, as kind of an “I’m so cute, hee hee” gambit to get attention, but she’s also doing so with a song that pretty much rips off Pink’s “U + Ur Hand”. And I’d drink Pink’s bathwater. Katy Perry? Not so much. Expect to see her on a future “One Hit Wonders of the 00s” compilation.
Chante Moore-Love The Woman: Speaking of women whose bathwater I’d happily sip, here’s the first album in quite some time from Chante Moore. Unless you’re a hardcore R&B fan, you probably don’t know who she is, and that’s primarily her fault. She started out as an Anita Baker-esque jazz/soul siren with some younger-demo appeal, but as R&B started to skew younger and younger, her image started to change to the point where she started making records with Jermaine Dupri and guest-starring in Bow Wow videos. It didn’t work-she got dropped from her label, MCA. After two duets albums with her husband, fellow star-crossed R&B singer Kenny Lattimore, “Love the Woman” is her first album on new label Peak. It promises a return to her familiar mellow soul sound, with production from the likes of George Duke and Raphael Saadiq.
Rihanna-Good Girl Gone Bad Reloaded: I hate when labels re-release perfectly popular albums with one or two “new” songs on it. In an ailing market, what makes you think that someone is gonna buy an album twice? Anyhow, if you don’t already own “Good Girl Gone Bad”, it was one of 2007’s better pop albums. For someone who can’t really “sing” in the traditional sense, Rihanna works a pretty decent ice-queen vibe on this album’s best songs. This new edition adds the boring-as-hell hit ballad “Take a Bow”, plus a new version of a Maroon 5 song that was perfectly good without her (“If I Never See Your Face Again”) and another song intriguingly titled “Disturbia”. Hopefully they’re all available a la carte on iTunes.
Elsewhere, there’s the first solo album from Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall, which somewhat inexplicably finds him covering tunes by blues great Bobby “Blue” Bland. If, after that, you’re still in the mood for former Eighties superstars, you might want to check out “TwentyFourSeven”, which will be the last go-round for UB40 with longtime lead singer Ali Campbell, who is breaking South, apparently to count the money he’s made from years of reggae-fied remakes. Old schoolers might dig the new record from Judas Priest (if metal is your thing), or, if they’re hip-hoppers, might want to check out the new LP from Juice Crew heavyweights Craig G and Marley Marl (with Marl apparently deciding to make an album with every MC who had hits before 1990 in light of his KRS-ONE collaborative effort from last year). There’s also a set from comedienne Patty Griffin, a new album from jokey punksters Reggie & The Full Effect, and if you’re one of the 10 Sister Hazel fans left, there’s also a live record hitting stores today from them.
As usual, get the complete list of new releases here http://www.pauseandplay.com/cdfront.htm