It's the calm before the storm.
With the Christmas buying season just around the corner, the record labels have a lot of catching up to do if they have any hope of salvaging what has so far — to give it as polite a spin as possible — been a very quiet year.
In the weeks just ahead, we already know about the new albums on the way from Metallica and AC/DC. As we get further into fall, you can expect those to be followed by U2, The Killers, and Beyonce to name just a few. The rumor mill is also floating something from Eminem, the actual release of that decade-in-the-making Guns N' Roses record, and possibly an EP with the leftovers of Coldplay's Viva La Vida sessions with Brian Eno.
So this fall promises to be interesting if nothing else.
In the meantime, I can't think of a better way to soak up those last remaining rays of summer than with a new Brian Wilson album, and especially one with a title like That Lucky Old Sun. This one sounds particularly promising as it is being touted as another of Wilson's ambitious "theme works" along the lines of Pet Sounds and Smile.
Even better, the subject matter celebrates all those time honored Beach Boys things like summer and sunshine in songs like "Forever My Surfer Girl." That Lucky Old Sun comes in both standard CD and deluxe formats (the latter includes a DVD), as well as on vinyl. Wilson can be hit and miss at times, but this album sounds like it could be a great one.
Elsewhere in the record store this week, you'll find a brand new album from eighties boy band New Kids On The Block, who are all grown up now and back together for one last grab at the brass ring. Movie star Terrence Howard (Hustle And Flow, Crash) tries his hand at the music game with the R&B flavored Shine Through It. Young Jeezy gets a bit more serious than his usual mix of club and gangsta' rap on his politically themed The Recession.