This week's batch of new album releases is a mixed bag to be sure. What you've got here is a little bit of just about everything you can imagine. There are the returns of a few faces who have been missing in action for awhile, some interesting new indie-rock releases, as well as your usual obligatory — but perhaps not-so-necessary — reissues.
In other words, it's business as usual.
The biggest buzz out there appears to be for The Black Crowes new album Warpaint, thanks in no small part to the controversy generated by a certain review in Maxim — which was written without the writer actually hearing the entire record beforehand.
The word from those who have actually heard Warpaint (and I'll confess here and now that I haven't received my copy yet), is that it finds the Robinson Brothers returning to the sloppy, yet endearing rock and roll form of early releases like Shake Your Money Maker. Personally, I always loved the Crowes take on the whole Faces-Humble Pie-Exile-era Stones thing, so I can't wait to hear this.
Carlene Carter's appropriately titled Stronger is being described as her most personal record to date, coming as it does on the heels of her experiencing the deaths of her famous parents (Johnny and June Carter Cash for those who weren't aware), as well as her longtime lover. The album is also said to be a return to her musical roots in the country tradition. It was recorded in Nashville, with much of it being a collaborative work with her brother John Carter Cash.
Two new releases that should excite fans of alternative or indie-rock are Real Emotional Trash from Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks, and the latest collaboration between Mark Lanegan and Greg Dulli as the Gutter Twins, Saturnalia. Country fans will likewise no doubt be anxious to hear if Alan Jackson has any new patriotic or 9/11-themed songs on his latest album Good Time. Jackson Browne has a second volume of his Grammy nominated live Solo Acoustic series of records.
There are also deluxe reissue editions of seminal albums by Lynyrd Skynyrd (Street Survivors) and Elvis Costello (This Year's Model) — which in Costello's case at least, makes this something like the 96th time this album has been brought back in a new "definitive version." The Doors vault of live recordings also continues to be scraped bone dry with this week's Live in Pittsburgh 1970.