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Home » New Album Releases 06/03/08: Weezer, Fleet Foxes, Jewel, Radiohead, Aimee Mann, Gavin Rossdale, Dr. John & The Lower 911 & More

New Album Releases 06/03/08: Weezer, Fleet Foxes, Jewel, Radiohead, Aimee Mann, Gavin Rossdale, Dr. John & The Lower 911 & More

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With big releases from Coldplay and My Morning Jacket on the horizon for the next few weeks, this week brings another one of those short lists we've gotten so used to seeing this past May. The good news here is that short as it is, there are some very tasty morsels to munch on here.

Weezer is back this week giving nerds and other lovers of quirky pop everywhere a reason to celebrate. Their new self-titled release follows the habit of color coding their albums based on the cover, and is appropriately being referred to as The Red Album.

Culled from various sessions with producers like Rick Rubin and Jacknife Lee, Rivers Cuomo and company do what they do best here — which is nerdishly fun, post-alterna-pop. With the ever-catchy single "Pork And Beans" already leading this set out of the gate, the rest of these new songs, such as the said to be "weird" "Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" should re-establish Weezer's well-earned reputation as one of the best purveyors of modern pop.

Here in Seattle, a lot of people are looking to the softer, folkier sounds of bands like Grand Archives and Arthur & Yu as potentially being the next big thing to come out of grunge-land. The band from this erstwhile scene (some are calling it "grange") that is making the most noise nationally is Fleet Foxes, who release their official debut on SubPop this week. The sounds on their self-titled disc range from California folk-pop to appalachian flavored mountain music, and they've already been compared favorably to their musical forefathers the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield.

Rounding out this week's highlights, Jewel goes country with the help of Big & Rich's John Rich on Perfectly Clear. Radiohead blow off their association with Capitol with a two-disc Best Of compilation. Gavin Rossdale turns down the loud guitars of the Bush years (no, not those Bush years) on the more adult-alternative leaning Wanderlust.

El Bicho will be along shortly to talk about Dr. John's new one, but right now here's Tom Johnson with the lowdown on the new Aimee Mann.

Tom Johnson's Pick Of The Week: Aimee Mann – @#%&*! Smilers (Special Edition)

Few can make the state of human despondency sound quite as lush and beautiful as Aimee Mann, there is no doubt about that. Mann has been doing basically the same thing for seven solo albums, which is okay for most of us who enjoy her storytelling. Much of the focus on this album seems to have been on the fact that Aimee opted to go sans electric guitar, opting for various keyboard-equipped instruments, which is a sound that already dominated her songs to begin with — so it's pretty much par for the course, just minus a little guitar wail.

If there's a gripe to be made, it's that Mann opted to go the "regular edition/special edition" route, but made the "special edition" in terms of packaging alone — saving the extra songs for iTunes. She's not the only artist to do this obviously, but most have had the pressures of a major label forcing these options upon them. Not so in Mann's case. Superego is Aimee's own label, and this kind of move is only aimed at hardcore fans who will obviously want both the beautifully packaged special edition, which comes in a hard-bound, 32 page, die-cut book featuring illustrations from Gary Taxali. Of course you want it, who wouldn't? But why wouldn't those bonus tracks be tacked on, since it is the "special" edition? Lots of fans are asking the same question and, yeah, they're feeling a little despondent – perfectly suited for Mann's music.

El Bicho's Masked Music Pick: Dr. John and the Lower 911 – City That Care Forgot

The world's attention to natural disaster relief efforts are understandably drawn to recent events like the cyclone in Myanmar and the earthquakes in China, and will move on before life in those areas returns to normal. But what about those people left behind after the news teams leave and the spotlights go out? Americans need look no farther than New Orleans, which is sadly still in recovery almost three years after Hurricane Katrina. It has no doubt slipped off the radar for many, but Dr. John and the Lower 911 draw attention back onto the Crescent City with a collection of songs that cover a range of emotions surely felt by the current residents.

The titles "Keep On Goin'" and "We Getting' There" capture the spirit required by those
who survive a crisis and need to move forward. Anger is directed at those who exploit the situation ("Black Gold" and "Land Grab"), and those who were in charge, ("Say Whut?"). At times, the politics gets a little heavy-handed, but the outrage at failed leadership and broken promises is quite understandable. Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Ani
Difranco, and Terence Blanchard lend a helping hand to the effort.

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

Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes
Sub Pop
Indie Rock

The Futureheads
This Is Not the World
Nul
New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Indie Rock

Jewel
Perfectly Clear
Valory
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Pop/Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Country

Ladytron
Velocifero
Nettwerk
Indie Electronic

Aimee Mann
@#%&*! Smilers
SuperEgo
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Singer/Songwriter

Radiohead
The Best Of [US Limited Edition]
Capitol
Britpop, Alternative Pop/Rock, Experimental Rock, Indie Electronic

Gavin Rossdale
Wanderlust
Interscope
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Weezer
Weezer (Red Album)
Geffen
Alternative Pop/Rock, Punk-Pop

Ashanti
The Declaration
The Inc./UniversalMotown
Urban, Contemporary R&B

Bitter:Sweet
Drama
Quango Fontana
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Downbeat, Electronica

Herbert Blomstedt
Nielsen: Symphonies 1-6; Overtures; Concertos; Wind Quintet; Piano Music
EMI Classics
Modern Orchestral and Chamber Music

Bregovic, Goran
Goran Bregovic: Karmen
Mercury
Contemporary Opera

Chris Brown
Exclusive: The Forever Edition
CBE/Jive/Zomba
Urban, Contemporary R&B

Ulla van Daelen
Shalimar
Atracao
Classical, Romantic and Contemporary Music for Harp

Disturbed
Indestructible
Reprise
Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Rap-Metal

Dr. John and the Lower 911
City That Care Forgot
429
New Orleans R&B, New Orleans Blues, Electric Blues

Harvey Milk
Life…The Best Game in Town
Hydra Head
Experimental Rock, Noise-Rock, Indie Rock

Lalah Hathaway
Self Portrait
Stax
Neo-Soul, Contemporary R&B

Jaguar Love
Jaguar Love EP
Matador
Indie Rock

Brendan James
The Day Is Brave
Decca
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter

Keith Jarrett
Somewhere Before: The Atlantic Years 1968-1975
Warner Jazz
Contemporary Jazz, Post-Bop, Fusion, Modern Creative, Progressive Jazz, Mainstream Jazz

JoBoxers
Doing the Boxerbeat
Castle
Blue-Eyed Soul, New Wave, Pop/Rock

John 5
Requiem
Adrenaline
Alternative Pop/Rock, Guitar Virtuoso, Instrumental Rock

Elton John
Elton John [Deluxe Edition]
Mercury
Album Rock, Pop/Rock, Soft Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Rock & Roll

Elton John
Tumbleweed Connection [Deluxe Edition] [Bonus Tracks]

Mercury
Album Rock, Pop/Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Rock & Roll, Soft Rock, Country-Rock

The King's Singers
Simple Gifts
Signum Classics
Traditional and Popular Music for Vocal Ensemble

John Legend
Live from Philadelphia
Sony Japan
Neo-Soul

The M's
Real Close Ones
Polyvinyl
Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Indie Pop

Man Raze
Surreal
VH1 Classics
Post-Grunge, Alternative Pop/Rock, Hard Rock

Matmos
California Rhinoplasty EP
Matador
Ambient Techno, Experimental Techno, Electronica

John Mayall
Live at the Marquee 1969 [Special Edition]
Eagle
Blues Revival, British Blues, Electric Harmonica Blues, Blues-Rock

John Mayall
The Masters [Special Edition]
Eagle
Blues Revival, British Blues, Electric Harmonica Blues, Blues-Rock

Neal McCoy
The Very Best of Neal McCoy
Rhino
Neo-Traditionalist Country, Contemporary Country

Bret Michaels
Rock My World
Vh1 Classics
Hard Rock, Hair Metal

Opeth
Watershed
Roadrunner
Scandinavian Metal, Progressive Metal, Goth Metal

Oppenheimer
Take the Whole Midrange and Boost It
Bar/None
Indie Pop, Indie Rock

Original Soundtrack
Kung Fu Panda [Original Soundtrack]
DreamWorks
Original Score, Soundtracks

Pinetop Perkins & Friends
Pinetop Perkins
Telarc
Piano Blues, Chicago Blues, Acoustic Blues, Boogie-Woogie

Saxophone Summit
Saxophone Summit: Seraphic Light
Telarc
Post-Bop, Hard Bop

Shearwater
Rook
Matador
Indie Rock

Nina Simone
Tell It Like It Is
Sony/BMG
Vocal Jazz, Standards, Ballads, Torch Songs

Subtle
Exiting Arm
Lex
Experimental Rock, Alternative Rap

Art Tatum
Piano Starts Here: Live at the Shrine/Zenph Re-Performance
RCA
Swing

Thank You
Terrible Two
Thrill Jockey
Math Rock, Post-Rock/Experimental, Neo-Prog, Indie Rock

The Ting Tings
We Started Nothing
Columbia
Indie Electronic, Alternative Dance, Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival

Wayman Tisdale
Rebound
Rendezvous
Smooth Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Contemporary Jazz

The Traveling Wilburys
Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1
Warner Bros.
Pop/Rock, Adult Contemporary, Rock & Roll

The Traveling Wilburys
The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3
Warner Bros.
Pop/Rock, Album Rock, Adult Contemporary

Various Artists
The Jewish Songbook: The Heart & Humor of a People
Shout! Factory
Jewish Music

Various Artists
Malt Shop Memories [Box Set]
Time Life
AM Pop, Teen Idol, Girl Group, Pop, Rock & Roll

Various Artists
Wizards & Demons: Music Inspired by the Writings of J.R.R. Tolkien
Castle Music
Obscuro, British Metal, Folk-Rock, Psychedelic, Prog-Rock/Art Rock

Amy Winehouse
Frank [The Super Deluxe Edition US]
Universal Republic
Contemporary R&B, Vocal Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Contemporary Jazz

The Zombies
The Zombies and Beyond
Universal TV
British Invasion, Baroque Pop, Psychedelic Pop, Pop, British Psychedelia

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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://www.knownjohnson.com Tom Johnson

    Don’t forget that new Journey album, which is only available at Walmart and Sam’s Club. Scoff if you will, but that new boy can sing – not only does he mimic Steve Perry to a T on the old stuff, but he has his own style that he brings to the new material. (Yeah, that’s right, I bought this bitch! Crazy world, isn’t it?) If you ever liked Journey, chances are you’d probably like this – it’s stunningly awesome. And I don’t say that lightly. I really was prepared not too long ago to laugh this one off, but this is very, very strong. Now, snicker away while I go off and enjoy the new songs.

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

    No snickers here Tom. Not even for (excuse me while I cough) … Journey. Okay, I’m just kidding about that last comment.

    Seriously though, I really hate those exclusivity deals on principle. It’s just another nail in the coffin of the mom and pop retailer, who not long ago were still the backbone of the record industry, and really still are the only place where new and developing artists still get a fair shake (at least in the terrestrial, non “MySpace” world, but thats a whole different discusiion, isn’t it?)

    All that aside, as good as the new guy may be, I can’t see anything but nostalgic value in a guy who’s best quality is that he sounds so much like Steve Perry. Way too karaoke for my tastes.

    I do respect the other guys as musicians, particularly Neal Schon. And I haven’t heard the new material.

    In the meantime, I stick to the AMG list though. Like I said, I hate those exclusivity deals.

    -Glen

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Hold the wire! “Wizards & Demons: Music Inspired by the Writings of J.R.R. Tolkien”?! I am off to find my 20-sided die.

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

    Hmm…ya’ gotta wonder if they’ll have any classic Uriah Heep on that one…

    -Glen

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Unless there’s licensing issues, surely Zeppelin will make a few appearances. Misty Mountain Hop, Battle of Evermore, Ramble On…

  • http://daslob.blogspot.com/ Pico

    Slim pickins this week.

    Seeing how well the Wal-Mart route worked for the Eagles, it’s hardly a surprise that Journey went that way, too. It’s 2 CDs and a DVD for $11.88, right? That’s a steal, no matter how you slice it.

    Wally World might be the debil incarnate, but customers have been clamoring for an end to exhorbitantly priced records, and they’re delivering.

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

    Let me cast a vote for the new Weezer and also the Aimee Mann. My copy of Weezer arrived yesterday. I haven’t picked up the Mann (yet. It’s on the To-Do List).

    I saw Journey about 11 lead singers ago — I kid — on the joint venture they did with Def Leppard and I’m convinced they got it wrong, wrong, wrong. Steve Augeri had been sidelined already, replaced by Jeff Scott Soto. Soto was very average. The secret weapon? Drummer Deen Castronovo (formerly of Schon and Cain’s Bad English). Castronovo sang all the ballads and out Perry’d either Augeri or Soto. They should have promoted him and hired a new drummer (or re-hired Steve Smith). That said, I don’t like Journey all that much and I despise exclusivity deals even if I like the price on this set.

  • zingzing

    “Wally World might be the debil incarnate, but customers have been clamoring for an end to exhorbitantly priced records, and they’re delivering.”

    there are other ways to beat the evils of major label pricing, without having to lower yourself to stepping for in a fucking walmart. god, walking into that place is like walking into… oh, fuck it.

    i can’t imagine how getting in a car, sitting in traffic, driving out to the suburbs, going to fucking walmart, picking up a damn second-rate journey (how “second-rate” is that then?) album, standing in line for fucking ever, driving back from the suburbs and actually listening to second-rate journey wouldn’t make me dumber and poorer than if i just looking up the few decent guilty-pleasure tunes i want to hear journey for on youtube. honestly, isn’t that enough?

    or just download the fuckin thing. no need to pleasure walmart, and journey already got paid when they made the deal.

  • http://daslob.blogspot.com/ Pico

    zing, I’m not going to run out and buy this myself, I’m a snob like you.

    Just merely pointing out that they are the ones stepping in to give the masses what they want: cheap, nicely adorned physical media that they can pick up along with their groceries. That’s more than what you can say about the majors these days.

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

    I’m too old to be a snob. I don’t give a shit anymore. Being a snob takes too much energy. If they can turn out some decent stuff on disc one, and the other two discs are classics, then $11.88 is a bargain. I probably would not have taken the plunge were it not for the other two discs.

    Zingzing, I stood in line for approximately 8 seconds at a very busy Walmart. Remember, they have about 14 billion check out lines, not to mention the self check-out lines, which I used for this one item.

    It’s not really second-rate Journey when you consider that there really haven’t been any truly first-rate Journey albums on the whole – they’ve just had a bunch of great songs spread across a bunch of second-rate albums through their entire career. This is easily one of their most solid albums. It’s only in the later part of the second half of the album that it really starts going threadbare. I’m very surprised by it, as I said before.

    Josh, the new guy completely blows away Deen Castronovo. He is simply incredible.

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

    I’m not a snob, I’m a Fanboy! =)

    I have no real issue with Wal-Mart. I’ll often buy my shit from the asshole with the best price. I don’t like it when I don’t have a choice to buy my shit where I want. I don’t like exclusivity. Wal-Mart is no bigger an asshole than any other box retailer out there. They can all pound salt.

    Tom, you are right about Journey. They aren’t an album band, they’re a singles band. I like a few of the singles, but not a lot. I think I’m going to get the Aimee Mann but will probably pass on the Journey. I’m glad you’re enjoying it, though. It’s a hell of a good deal.

  • zingzing

    pico: “I’m a snob like you.”

    and there’s nothing wrong with being a snob. about music, anyway. or movies, food, etc.

    “Just merely pointing out that they are the ones stepping in to give the masses what they want: cheap, nicely adorned physical media that they can pick up along with their groceries. That’s more than what you can say about the majors these days.”

    see, though, that’s the problem. just because something’s cheap doesn’t mean you should buy it. in fact, it probably means you shouldn’t. why are they giving away 2 cds and a dvd for $12? something fishy there.

    tom: “Zingzing, I stood in line for approximately 8 seconds at a very busy Walmart.”

    well, you have had a different experience from me. i refuse to enter walmarts these days. i actually refuse to go to parts of town that have a walmart in them. (it’s not something i do BECAUSE the walmart is there… but there is a strange correlation between a walmart and me not wanting to be in that neighborhood.)

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

    Well, I will say that the particular Walmart I stopped at yesterday was one of the most disgusting ones I’ve ever seen, complete with some dirty dude digging around in the trash outside, but I’ve never even seen this one before.

    I can’t possibly avoid Walmarts – they are everywhere, including parked right next to the very richest of rich areas in Scottsdale, and right in my neighborhood on the other side of town. Ours is a very nice neighborhood, and our Walmarts are pretty upscale – especially compared to the garbage-picker’s paradise that I went to yesterday. They’re along the lines of Target, not Kmart. Now Kmart, on the other hand, that is a dump.

    Back to music, so I’m somewhat relevant here: Aimee Mann’s album is fantastic. If you can get your hands on one of the “deluxe” editions, do so – they are selling out everywhere. For fear of getting screwed on my Amazon pre-order (which was ordered the day it became available, mind you) I stopped and picked up one of two copies at a local store. Now I find an email from Amazon stating that they’re out of stock on the deluxe and it won’t ship until at least next week. Or will it at all? 10,000 copies is what I read last night, so this may sell out before then. Thanks Amazon! What the hell good is preordering?!

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

    Tom, after reading that the deluxe edition has no additional music I think I’ll stick with the standard. Weezer’s deluxe edition had four additional songs. That’s deluxe.

    Pretty packages matter on some level to me. As we’ve often discussed, the physical object does matter to me. That said, the music matters more. I’ll look and see what SatanBestBuy has in stock at lunch. The deluxe is nice, though?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “and there’s nothing wrong with being a snob. about music, anyway. or movies, food, etc.”

    Quoted for truth.

    “Weezer’s deluxe edition had four additional songs. That’s deluxe.”

    That’s not deluxe. That’s four songs likely to be crappy that didn’t fit the album.

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

    I don’t think the four songs are (all that) crappy, myself. I don’t like all four uniformly, but I’m speaking in general that I’m far more willing to pay more money for more music. I paid an extra $2 for four songs. I can live with that.

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

    Given a choice, I’d pay more money for more music but not for a nicer sleeve or pictures. No matter what label (deluxe or whatever) they decide to label it with. The label is just a marketing ploy. The music is what matters.

    Although I will admit that when Bruce Sprinsgteen’s “The Rising” came out a few years back, I went for the cover with the booklet — and I hate that damn paper sleeve (it scratches the CD) to this day.

    -Glen

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    I do have to say the new material I heard was definitely good. I mean like old school Journey GOOD!! That new guy can sing, yet, he is still only a Perry sound-alike. BUT, that’s what made them awesome…Great Musicianship & Steve Perry. I give’em credit for finding a guy who can produce great vocals!!

    As for Wizards & Demons, I suggest picking up Demons & Wizards (S/T 1999) because Hansi Kürsch can sing circles around Perry & the new guy

  • JC Mosquito

    Someone needs to put out an album called Lemons and Lizards.

    Sorry – old news here and wrong thread, but did anyone hear that Blind Lemon album that came out a couple weeks back? Unearthly how that new guy sounds like the late Shannon Hoon.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Dude, I have to say that the new Blind Melon is pretty damn good! It shocked me, especially after how long since their last effort(which wasn’t so great). Another new singer who has some chops…

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

    I am very torn on the new Weezer. After getting burned on Make Believe, which I think I have listened to about 8 times total, I am extremely hesitant to invest. Yet I love the band’s music up to that point, and want to believe this is a return to form. But the bonus track issue has me even more hesitant to invest because I am certain there will be a deluxe-deluxe edition later on that collects all those extras in one package. I read somewhere that there are something like 22 tracks associated with this album, some slated for b-sides, 8 of which are immediately available as bonus tracks depending on where you buy it. I’m also a little peeved that the UK gets their cover of Talk Talk’s “Life’s What You Make It.” Great song, and I want to hear it. And I don’t want to invest in this one more than once. And yet I’ll probably buy the damned thing anyway and bitch in November when the deluxe-deluxe comes out. Mark my words.

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

    I’m fully expecting to get fucked on the deal, Tom. I gave up that fight long ago.

  • zingzing

    tom–buy the deluxe or whichever version you want. then go online. get soulseek. download the rest of the songs without getting screwed over. delete soulseek. problem solved.