As far as November weeks go for music, this is a pretty light one, but there’s still some pretty high-wattage stuff going on in terms of releases. A light week for me means that I’ll go to the record store and walk out with 2 CDs instead of 5. Here’s what you’ll find on the new release shelves when those doors open.
Bon Jovi -“The Circle”- I was just reading a review in the New York Daily News by Jim Farber (who makes me throw up in my mouth usually) in which he calls “The Circle” Bon Jovi’s “serious” album and says that it’s basically a letter to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame asking for induction (Jovi’s first album came out in ’84). Farber apparently wasn’t listening to “Keep the Faith” when it came out in ’91). Anyway, I think Bon Jovi is basically a singles band-I own “Slippery When Wet”, “New Jersey” and their greatest hits and am totally fine with that. Nevertheless, they have some serious diehard fans, including one in particular that will probably come to Boston and shoot me in the face if I say anything bad about the album. So, um, yeah! New Bon Jovi album! Woohoo!!
Wale -“Attention: Deficit”: I always get this guy and Kid Cudi confused. DC-reared Wale is the latest of the Kanye disciples to release an album. Allegedly, this guy’s a pretty good lyricist. I say “allegedly” because I’ve never heard the guy rap outside of his stint as the house entertainment at the VMAs earlier this year. This does look pretty eclectic for a hip-hop album though-among the producers are Mark Ronson (of Amy Winehouse fame) and Dave Sitek (the white dude from TV on the Radio) and the guest features include Lady GaGa. Interesting.
The Jackson 5- “I Want You Back!: Unreleased Masters”: It amazes me that there is still unreleased stuff in the Motown vaults. You would think that Berry Gordy would have cashed in and released all that stuff ages ago. Anyway, this-the first worthwhile musical thing to be released in the wake of Michael’s passing-contains a heap of previously-unearthed music alongside alternate takes of “Dancing Machine” and the Motown hits medley that Mike and his brothers have trotted out for just about every public appearance. Some of this stuff is available for listening on the J5 website and it’s pretty darn good.
Dashboard Confessional -“After the Ending” : Dashboard Confessional’s music has always struck me as, basically, “whine whine whine whine whine”. Do I really need to hear Chris Carrabba crying on every single album. I tried to get into Dashboard once when “Screaming Infidelities” was a hit and then again after a song made its’ way onto “Scrubs”, but no dice. As emo as I may be in real life, I don’t want to hear that shit coming out of my stereo. Anyway, this album is produced by Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne and Tinted Windows fame. This unholy alliance actually piques my interest a little bit.
Switchfoot-Hello Hurricane: These guys are still around? The quasi-Christian band who brought us hits like “Meant to Live” and “Dare You to Move” are back (and still on a major label, too! Good for them!). Their new album is produced by an unlikely collaborator-Mike Elizondo. Elizondo first gained fame as a Dr. Dre associate before moving on to produce for acts ranging from Fiona Apple (and where is she?) and Jason Mraz. If you’re into this type of thing, it might be worth checking out.
After those titles, the pickin’s get slim. There’s a Tori Amos Christmas album (which is apparently not a Christmas album and more of a solstice album. Fuck you, same shit). There’s also a Wyclef Jean collaboration with noted mixtape king DJ Drama (I guess ‘Clef executive-producing that T.I. album paid off). Let’s see, what else…ah yes! Overseas, Spandau Ballet is releasing their first album in twenty years! Perfect reason for me to close this column with a Spandau video. Enjoy, kids!!
Oh, and a full list of this week’s releases can be found here.