So I still haven’t gotten the Hold Steady record yet. I was away all week and never made it to a record store that sells new music. When I finally did Saturday night (in a rush because I was on my way to a party), the place I went was sold out. Grr. I consoled myself with the new Nas record. So, this week, I’m gonna pretend that “Stay Positive” is a new release…because not much else here interests me. Here are the Top 5 picks.
*Miley Cyrus “Breakout”: If you’d told me five years ago that Billy Ray Cyrus’s teenage daughter was going to be one of the biggest pop singers in the country, I’d have laughed in your face. Shows you what I know. “Breakout” is the first album where Miley is not at least partially in character as Hannah Montana. If you’re under 16 and female and you want this, I’m cool with that because it means in five years you’ll probably be listening to metal to get that sanitized pop taste out of your mouth. If you’re over 16 and female and you listen to this, the last train to Adulthood is pulling out of the station! Better hop on! If you’re male and you want this CD, either you need your dick cut off, or you’re a creepy old man. In which case you need your dick cut off. So there.
*Nine Inch Nails “The Slip”: This is Trent Reznor’s third album of new material in a 16-month span, and it’s a 3-CD set. Shades of Prince circa 1997. “Year Zero” was an OK album, although I’ve sort of grown tired of 40-something year old Trent whining about how fucked up the world is. First single “Discipline” jams harder than any NIN single since “Only”,and the rest of the album (which was pretty much recorded on the fly) promises to at least be interesting. Those of you who are NIN superfans probably have this already, because it was made available on their site a couple of months back. (The CD version of this album is a limited release, folks. So get it while you can.)
*U2 “Boy”/”October”/”War” (special editions): Following last year’s successful 20th anniversary re-release of “The Joshua Tree”, U2’s first three albums are given the deluxe treatment, with an added disc each of live stuff, alternate takes and other bonus goodies. They’re all remastered, as well. If memory serves, this is the first remastering job that has been done on these albums, and the improved sound is sorely needed. Although I’m a major U2 fan, I started at “The Joshua Tree” and only went part of the way backwards from there (I don’t own “Boy”, and have only sparingly listened to “October”). That said, “War” is an absolutely must-have album with at least three stone-cold classics (“New Year’s Day”, “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, “Two Hearts Beat as One”). Might be worth the extra scratch for this special edition. Not that they need the money or anything.
*Sugarland “Love on the Inside”: Actually, this album comes out in earnest next week (which means, given the scarcity of quality releases next week, I may write about this again!). However, there’s a special edition “fan pack” in stores today as well as the vinyl version of the release (you haven’t heard, y’all? Vinyl is back!). You probably remember Sugarland as the country duo who sang with Bon Jovi on “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?” (the God-awful “s’awright, s’awright” song…it won a fucking Grammy, people). I read an Entertainment Weekly article on them over the weekend, and this album-allegedly inspired by artists as varied as Marvin Gaye and R.E.M.- sounds vaguely interesting. It would have to be damn good in order for me to forgive that damn Bon Jovi song.
*One Day as a Lion “One Day as a Lion (EP)”: Those of you waiting for that eternally-in-gestation solo debut from Zack De La Rocha are gonna have to wait some more. But in the meantime, the former Rage Against the Machine frontman releases this EP with some guy called Jon Theodore. Nope, I dunno who he is either.
Here are a couple of “WTF” releases for you: Candlebox (remember “Far Behind”? Well, you do know because I’m posting the video) are releasing “Into the Sun”, their first album in ten years. Cue the sound of interested fans numbering into the single digits. Also, apparently Danny Aiello (who the average person either remembers as Sal the pizzeria owner from “Do the Right Thing” or as the guy who played “papa” in Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” video), is releasing “Live from Atlantic City” today. Danny Aiello sings? Who knew?
Also…former Squeeze frontman Chris Difford releases the hilariously titled “The Last Temptation of Chris”, former Three Six Mafia associate La Chat is back in action with another album that’s gonna set female rappers back 25 years, blues stalwart Buddy Guy returns with another guest-star filled album (including the requisite Clapton spot), Jam frontman Paul Weller is putting something out, and for those of you who want to relive 1976, Led Zeppelin‘s “The Song Remains the Same” is being re-released on vinyl. Yep, you can still separate your sticks from your seeds in the gatefold sleeve.
A full list of this week’s releases can be found here.