Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Usually I start off my quarterly music preview by complaining about the lack of good albums, but something strange happened last month, there was actually a dearth a good music released. And though the summer months may not see as many as we did in May, there may still be plenty of worthy music to bump at you cookouts and bonfires this year. Here are the five I am most looking forward to followed by a rundown of what else is coming your way soon. Click the album name (or cover art) to preorder on Amazon or click the artist's name to be taken to their iTunes page.
1. Handwritten – The Gaslight Anthem (July 24): Nas (who is also on this list) famously declared a couple years back that hip-hop was dead. Of course it was not dead, it was just bastardized by ringtone rappers and people who thought Lil’ Wayne, T.I. and Rick Ross were credible rappers. Rock on the other hand has been on life support for a couple years, basically since the month and a half when Kings of Leon was the biggest group in the world. The Black Keys (who also had a theory of why rock was dying revolving around people being fine with Nickleback being the biggest band in the world) brought rock back somewhat with their last two albums and if there is any justice The Gaslight Anthem will have their breakout with their upcoming album.
2. TBA – Mumford & Sons (September 25): Of course sometime the death of rock is not because no one listens to rock anymore, just the mainstream does not talk about it. I am sure everyone would think Katy PerryKaty Perry actually has sold the same amount as Teenage Dream since both were released two years ago. Of course this is what happens when you let teenage girls control the pop culture zeitgeist. It is doubtful the banjo strumming band will become “cool” after the release of their next album, but I bet they have a longer career than Katy Perry.
3. Life Is Good – Nas (July 17): But back to Nas. You want to feel old? The MC is releasing his tenth album this summer. Sure his albums have been hit or miss and sometimes uneven since his seminal debut Illmatic, but Nas has had four years to record a record so hopefully that was time well spent.
4. Write Me Back – R. Kelly (June 26): Kells last album was his best since the nineties and Write Me Back is a thematic sequel of more classic soul music of Love Letter, sharing a similar name. Hopefully more chapters of Trapped in the Closet, which Kells said were “coming soon” back in March will soon follow.
5. Uncaged – Zac Brown Band (July 10): As I grow older, I have been listening to more country music, especially the folksier side of the genre and the debut album from Zac Brown Band was heartfelt in the right place and fun in others. With any luck that continues on their follow up.
The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do – Fiona Apple
Rhythm And Repose – Glen Hansard
Oceania – Smashing Pumpkins
Attractive Sin – Del The Funky Homosapien & Parallel Thought
View From the Bottom – Lit
Cherry Thing – Neneh Cherry
The Crossing – Sophie B. Hawkins
LIVING THINGS – Linkin Park
Overexposed – Maroon 5
Suzie Cracks the Whip – Blues Traveler
Invisible Stars - Everclear
Days Go By – The Offspring
Mindy Smith – Mindy Smith
The Flaming Lips & Heady Fwends – The Flaming Lips
The House That Jack Built – Jesca Hoop
Murdered Love – P.O.D.
Loma Vista – Family of the Year
Channel Orange – Frank Ocean
Ol Razzle Dazzle – Missy Higgins
Delayed Reaction – Soul Asylum
A Thousand Miles Left Behind – Gloriana
The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2 – Joss Stone
Play Rock Music – Toadies
Based on a T.R.U. Story – 2 Chainz
Mature Themes – Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
Fragrant World – Yeasayer
Havoc and Bright Lights – Alanis Morissette
Music From Another Dimension – Aerosmith
North – Matchbox Twenty
Centipede Hz – Animal Collective
The Spirit Indestructible – Nelly Furtado
Sun – Cat Power
Coexist – The xx
Ludaversal – Ludacris
Tomorrowland – Ryan Bingham
I Bet on Sky – Dinosaur Jr.
Food and Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 - Lupe Fiasco
Uno! – Green Day
TBA – Fitz & The Tantrums
Wrote a Song For Everyone – John Fogerty
The Haunted Man – Bat for Lashes
Dos! – Green Day
Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors – Big Boi
Tre! – Green Day
No Release Date
Born Battle - The Killers
James River - D'Angelo
West Coast Time – Michelle Branch
Indicud – Kid Cudi
Age of the Machine – Goodie Mob
Undisputed – DMX
The Diving Board – Elton John
Country God, or the Girl – K'naan
Rooted - Scarface
Cruel Summer – G.O.O.D. Music
Dave Matthews Band
The Avett Brothers
Ben Folds Five
Alice In Chains
And of course let me add the obligatory, maybe we will finally get to hear Detox by Dr. Dre this summer.