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Home » New Album Releases 04/01/08: R.E.M., Black Keys, Stones, Van Morrison, Joe Satriani, Sevendust, Moby, Dream Theater & More

New Album Releases 04/01/08: R.E.M., Black Keys, Stones, Van Morrison, Joe Satriani, Sevendust, Moby, Dream Theater & More

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So did ya’ miss us last week?

Because we are not only back — we also have lots of great new releases to talk about. For all who have been less than overwhelmed by the new music (or lack thereof) the labels have served up so far this year — it seems your train has just come into the station.

There is so much new music to talk about this week, it’s hard to even know where to start. The new R.E.M. would probably be about as good as any place though. Accelerate is being hailed by just about everybody as a return to form for the boys from Athens — and in just a little bit here, we’re gonna’ let our own Mark Saleski tell you all about it. Tom Johnson will also be checking back in with his thoughts on the new one by the Black Keys.

In the meantime, a certain little english rock and roll band called the Rolling Stones have a new movie (and accompanying live album) directed by Martin Scorsese out this week. The Stones have long claimed to be the world’s greatest rock and roll band. In his review of the soundtrack to Shine A Light, BC’s own Donald Gibson certainly seems to think so. Gibson calls the soundtrack a “brazen, balls to the wall” live album in his review, and based on the reports that I heard coming from the Bigger Bang tour, I wouldn’t bet against that claim. The CD out this week comes in both a standard and an expanded deluxe edition.

Van Morrison also releases his latest disc Keep It Simple this week. Despite the deceptive sounding title, Morrison is back writing a lot of the material here for the first time in awhile, which is reason alone to sit up and take notice. He also plays everything here from the harmonica to the ukulele. For those who worship at the altar of the guitar gods, Joe Satriani is back with his latest six-string opus, which carries the bizarre sounding title Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock.

Sevendust are back doing their post-grungy sort of thing on Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow. Moby mixes things up on Last Night, with elements of hip-hop and various other club music styles combining with his trademark pop electronica. Prog-rock cult favorites Dream Theater have an anthology of hits, rarities, and the like that arrives just in time for a stateside tour with Opeth on their Greatest Hit (….And 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs).

Saleski’s Choice: R.E.M. – Accelerate

There were a handful of nights back in the early 1980′s when me and my buddy Gene did little else but sit around in his folks’ living room, bliss out on the heat of the woodstove, and listen to Elvis Costello’s Imperial Bedroom and, especially, R.E.M.’s Murmur. I remember being completely amazed at what I was hearing — the weird part being that I had no way to articulate the “why” of the music’s greatness. Peter Buck’s jangly arpeggios and mashed chords, Mike Mills’ hyperactive basslines…these were surely part of the reason I was so entranced. They just sounded very new and fresh, this despite the supposed Byrds influence that I’m sure I didn’t pick up on at the time.

It’s also amazing to me that I’m here talking about the band so many years later. Longevity is a rare thing in the rock world, and given the direction the band had taken post-Bill Berry, R.E.M. sounded like there was nothing left in the tank.

Accelerate finds the band back squarely where they belong. Buck has rediscovered the electric guitar, Mike Mills is all over the place instrumentally and vocally, and Michael Stipe is singing as though his life depended on it.

Tom Johnson’s Pick Of The Week: The Black Keys – Attack and Release

There’s a good reason why that can of grease appears on 2003′s Thickfreakness: that’s exactly what the band sounds like. Greased up, fried up, and amplified, the Black Keys sound like direct descendants of swampy blues rock – Junior Kimbrough being one of vocalist/guitarist Dan Auerbach’s favorites, which figured heavily into the first album, The Big Come Up. Later albums find the band mining classic blues rock, with Cream, Hendrix, and early ZZ Top all figuring heavily into the equation.

To give an extra special spin to Attack and Release, the band brought in the hot commodity that is producer Danger Mouse (whose work in Gnarls Barkley could be heard last week with their latest album). But from what I’ve heard so far, his presence has had very little effect (and that’s a good thing, in this case.) It’s still the same basic dirty, gritty, nasty blues that’ll leave you pickin’ chunks out of your teeth for quite a while afterwards.

Here are all of this week’s new album releases courtesy of All Music Guide:

THE BLACK KEYS
Attack & Release
(Nonesuch)
Punk Blues, Garage Punk, Indie Rock

MOBY
Last Night
(Mute)
Electronica, Club/Dance, House, Techno

R.E.M.
Accelerate
(Warner Bros.)
Rock, Alternative Rock, Adult Alternative, Roots Rock, Pop Rock

THE ROLLING STONES
Shine a Light: Original Soundtrack
(Interscope)
Album Rock, Hard Rock, Blues-Rock, Rock & Roll, Pop/Rock

AHN TRIO
Lullaby for my favorite insomniac
(RCA)
Arrangements for Piano Trio

THE APPLES IN STEREO
Electronic Projects for Musicians
(Yep Roc)
Indie Pop, Neo-Psychedelia, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi

BLUE MAN GROUP
Canta Conmigo
(Rhino)
Tribal-House, Club/Dance, Dance-Pop, House

BLUE MAN GROUP
How to Be a Megastar Live! [CD/DVD]
(Rhino)
Alternative Pop/Rock

JAMES BROWN
Singles, Vol. 5: 1967-1969
(Hip-O Select)
R&B, Funk, Soul, Blaxploitation

BUZZCOCKS
Orgasm Addict Live
(Cleopatra)
British Punk, Punk Revival, Punk

LOS CAMPESINOS
Hold on Now, Youngster…
(Wichita)
Indie Pop, Indie Rock

JENNIFER CARDINI
Feeling Strange
(Kompakt)
Tech-House, Club/Dance, Techno, House

THE CARTER FAMILY
The Acme Sessions, 1952-56
(JSP)
Traditional Country, Old-Timey, String Bands, Appalachian Folk,
Close Harmony

COLOUR REVOLT
Plunder, Beg, and Curse
(Fat Possum)
Indie Rock

DREAM THEATER
Greatest Hit (….And 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)
(Rhino)
Neo-Prog, Progressive Metal, Heavy Metal, Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Hard
Rock

FALL OUT BOY
Live in Phoenix
(Island)
Alternative Pop/Rock, Emo, Punk-Pop

FAR CRY
Far Cry [Fallout]
(Fallout)
Jazz-Rock, Psychedelic, Blues-Rock

FERRAS
Aliens & Rainbows
(Capitol)
Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

JIM FORD
Point of No Return
(Bear Family)
Country-Rock

GREG GINN
Goof Off Experts & the Taylor Texas Corrugators
(SST)
Experimental Rock, Jazz-Rock, Instrumental Rock

JOSH GRACIN
We Weren’t Crazy
(Lyric Street)
Pop Idol, Contemporary Country, Country-Pop

MERLE HAGGARD
Hag: Concepts, Live & the Strangers — The Capitol Recordings 1968-1976
(Bear Family)
Bakersfield Sound, Honky Tonk, Traditional Country, Western Swing

ROBYN HITCHCOCK
Shadow Cat
(Sartorial)
Alternative Pop/Rock, College Rock, Folk-Rock, Neo-Psychedelia

JARS OF CLAY
Greatest Hits
(Essential)
Alternative CCM, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

KARL JENKINS
Karl Jenkins: Stabat Mater
(EMI Classics)
Modern Music for Chorus and Orchestra

NIGEL KENNEDY
Beethoven: Violin Concerto; Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 4; Horace Silver:
Creepin’ In

(Opendisc)
Classical, Romantic and Modern Music for Violin & Orchestra

DONNA LEWIS
In the Pink
(Peruzzi)
Styles: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Adult Contemporary, Pop/Rock

ALEXANDER LIEBREICH
Farewell
(ECM)
Classical and Contemporary Music for Orchestra

CHRISTA LUDWIG
The Art of Christa Ludwig
(EMI Classics)
Operatic Selections

KATHY MATTEA
Coal
(Captain Potato)
Americana, Country-Folk

MINISTRY
Cover Up
(Megaforce)
Industrial, Industrial Metal, Alternative Metal

VAN MORRISON
Keep It Simple
(Exile/Lost Highway)
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Blue-Eyed Soul, Singer/Songwriter,
Celtic Rock, Contemporary Blues, Adult Contemporary, Country-Rock, R&B

FRED NEIL
Trav’lin Man: The Early Singles
(Fallout)
Country Boogie, Honky Tonk, Rockabilly, Rock & Roll

WILLIE NELSON
One Hell of a Ride [Box Set]
(Sony Legacy)
Progressive Country

NO USE FOR A NAME
The Feel Good Record of the Year
(Fat Wreck Chord)
Punk-Pop, Punk Revival

THE OSMONDS
Live in Las Vegas 50th Anniversary Reunion Concert
(Denon)
Pop

WEBB PIERCE
High Geared Daddy
(Bear Family)
Honky Tonk, Traditional Country

POI DOG PONDERING
7
(BCD Music Group)
Alternative Pop/Rock

MATTHEW RYAN
Matthew Ryan vs. the Silver State
(2:59)
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

JOE SATRIANI
Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock
(Epic/Red)
Guitar Virtuoso, Pop/Rock, Fusion, Hard Rock, Instrumental Rock

SEVENDUST
Chapter VII: Hope and Sorrow
(Asylum)
Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Post-Grunge

GEORGE STRAIT
Troubadour
(MCA Nashville)
New Traditionalist, Contemporary Country

SUN KIL MOON
April
(Caldo Verde)
Indie Rock

THE SWORD
Gods of the Earth
(Kemado)
Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, Stoner Metal

TALLY HALL
Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum
(Atlantic)
Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Pop Underground

TRINA
Still da Baddest
(Sas)
Dirty South, Southern Rap, Hardcore Rap

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Bushspeak, Vol. 2: Fore More Years
(Shout! Factory)
Political Comedy, Speeches, Novelty

VARIOUS ARTISTS
In the Name of Love: Africa Celebrates U2
(Shout! Factory)
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Afro-Pop

VARIOUS ARTISTS
The Very Best of Outlaw Country
(Sony Legacy)
Outlaw Country, Americana, Country-Rock, Honky Tonk, Southern Rock

DIONNE WARWICK
Why We Sing
(Rhino)
Adult Contemporary

THE WOOD BROTHERS
Loaded
(Blue Note)
Alternative Folk, Americana, Contemporary Folk, Acoustic Blues

VICTOR WOOTEN
Palmystery
(Heads Up)
Crossover Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Fusion, Jazz-Funk, Jazz-Pop,
Progressive Bluegrass

About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at The Rockologist, and at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.
  • http://daslob.blogspot.com/ Pico

    Poi Dog Pondering is still around? Damn, I think I saw them at SXSW about 20 years ago.

  • http://donaldgibson.blogspot.com/ Donald Gibson

    Thanks for the link to my Stones review.

    I’ve heard a bit of In the Name of Love: Africa Celebrates U2 and I was really impressed with the couple tracks I heard. I may have to pick that one up.

    - Donald

  • http://www.themidnightcafe.org Mat Brewster

    Oh good, you’re back. I was worried that you had decided the music industry wasn’t releasing anything worth talking about anymore and gave up on this series.

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    No problem Donald. Your review said it better than I would have.

    -Glen

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    Had some conflicts last week Mat — something about this Springsteen guy being in my neck of the woods and all. But yeah, I’m back. Looks like the music industry finally decided to cooperate this week too.

    -Glen

  • http://theglenblog.blogspot.com Glen Boyd

    And besides, Saleski and TJ aren’t the only guys round here who get vacation days as part of the benefits package…

    -Glen

  • http://www.knownjohnson.com Tom Johnson
  • JC Mosquito

    New REM – well, so far, so good – what’s with all these old timers turning out top drawer recordings & performances over the last couple of years? To name a few: REM, Zep, Cheap Trick, Tragically Hip.

  • http://www.confessionsofafanboy.com Josh Hathaway

    Tom, where are you on The Black Keys? My brother has been trying to get me on board with them for a couple years now and I could swear I’ve read something you’ve written on them. I’m thinking of giving their new disc a whirl?