The best word to describe this week in new album releases is "interesting."
While there is nothing that really sticks out here as the sort of blockbuster that's going to send folks rushing back to the record stores — and let's face it, with Metallica out there, I think a lot of folks just wisely opted to stay the hell out of the way this week — there are still a number of interesting choices to consider.
So many, in fact that we couldn't cram all of them into the sort of mini-reviews we like to use here. So I'll just go ahead and mention that the new Rafael Saddiq, Nelly, George Clinton, and Marc Broussard releases are all probably just as worthy of your attention as the handful we are featuring here.
Did I miss anyone else?
Of the upper tier, Lindsey Buckingham's new one definitely looks like a winner. He's got John McVie and Mick Fleetwood lending a hand for starters, and the songs here are supposed to be smack dab in the Fleetwood Mac vein. Despite that band's near legendary status, Buckingham doesn't get near his due as both a guitarist and as a songwriter who writes some of the best pop melodies this side of Brian Wilson. Personally, I'm all over this one.
On the hard rock front, L.A. rockers Buckcherry are back after doing platinum business last time out. Avenged Sevenfold shred their way through the CD/DVD combo of Live in the LBC and Diamonds in the Rough.
Hootie And the Blowfish's Darius Rucker tries his hand at country on Learn to Live. Ne-Yo has more of the trademark hip-hop flavored R&B that struck gold and platinum on his third album Year of the Gentleman. Fans waiting for the new Cure album can whet their appetites with Hypnagogic States, an E.P. featuring four songs from that forthcoming CD remixed by members of Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance. Proceeds go to the American Red Cross.
Josh Hathaway is back for a second week in a row to tell us all about the poetic jazz soundscapes of Joy Harjo. As for our good friend Mark Saleski? Well the guy doesn't make this job easy, that's for sure. This week he's got two picks, both of which have something or another to do with Who Killed Thomas Newman, or something like that. Rather than try to figure that out, we'll just let the man himself explain here...