Maybe it’s because the labels decided to hold back on the big guns knowing that the election probably means smaller crowds than usual at the record store. Whatever the reason, there is no way to sugarcoat the fact that this week’s lineup of new releases is a likely frontrunner for weakest we’ve seen this year.
No way around it. This is gonna’ be a short column.
Brad Paisley is probably the strongest contender of the lot to make any kind of impact on this year’s holiday sales chart. The country guitarist extraordinaire sticks to what he does best on his new one, which is appropriately titled Play. This is an instrumental album which allows Paisley to show off his considerable chops on both solo and duet performances with people like B.B. King, Keith Urban, and Steve Wariner.
Q-Tip makes his return to the record store with The Renaissance, which is the first album in nearly a decade from the celebrated hip-hop producer and founding member of A Tribe Called Quest.
Lou Reed’s Berlin: Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse is the CD companion piece to his concert DVD where Reed performs the Berlin album live for the first time in 30 years. Travis’ new album Ode to J. Smith is reportedly the result of a whirlwind recording session which finds the Brit-popsters sounding edgier.
ZZ Top are, well ZZ Top on Live from Texas, which is also the companion to a live DVD. This week’s holiday greetings are brought to you by Harry Connick Jr. and Sarah Brightman.
Before we turn you over to Mark Saleski, NAR reminds you that if you aren’t going to be in the record store, make sure you at least go vote.
Here’s what I know: this is saxophonist Peter Brötzmann with cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm. It was recorded in an “industrial urban warehouse district.” It’s on the Atavistic label (read: not easy listening).
Brötzmann scares me. He claims to be playing a saxophone but half the time it comes out sounding like a flame cutting machine gone wrong. You should be scared too.
This will in no way sound like Kenny G with Yo-Yo Ma.
Here are all of this week’s new album releases courtesy of All Music Guide:
Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Take It to the Limit
Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Experimental Rock
Play: The Guitar Album
Arista Nashville/Sony BMG Nas
Neo-Traditionalist Country, Instrumental Country, Contemporary Country, Guitar Virtuoso
East Coast Rap, Alternative Rap, Hip-Hop
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Rock
Brahms: Piano Quartets Nos. 1-3
Romantic Chamber Music
A Winter Symphony
Holiday, Adult Contemporary, Christmas
The Brain of the Dog in Section
Free Improvisation, Modern Free
The Best of Dennis Brown: The Niney Years
Roots Reggae, Smooth Reggae, Lovers Rock
Solo Acoustic, Vol. 1 & 2
Soul and Blues
Retro-Soul, Soul-Blues, Deep Soul, Southern Soul, Soul, Chicago Blues, Chicago Soul
Harry Connick, Jr.
What a Night! A Christmas Album
Get on Our Swing/Hassles in My Mind
Grieg, Schumann: Piano Concertos
Romantic and Post-Romantic Music for Piano and Orchestra
Experimental Rock, Indie Rock
Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs; Songs with Orchestra
Post-Romantic Vocal Music
Alternative Country, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Crossover Jazz
Silence Is Wild
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Rock
Sound Art, Electronic, Indie Electronic, Ambient Pop
Johnny Johnson & the Bandwagon
Breakin’ Down the Walls of Heartache: The Best of 1968-1975
Little Willie John
Nineteen Sixty Six: The Axelrod and H.B. Barnum Recordings
Early R&B, Urban Blues, Soul
Za Bakdaz: The Unfinished Opera
Alternative Dance, Euro-Pop, New Wave, Dance-Pop, Synth Pop
Leroy Anderson: Sleigh Ride and Other Holiday Favorites
Orchestral Christmas Music
Tippett: String Quartets, Vol. 1
Modern Chamber Music
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Soundtracks, Film Music, Pop/Rock
Neo-Soul, Soundtracks, Soul
Twilight [Original Soundtrack]
Summit Ent/Chop Shop/Atlantic
Emo, Pop, Soundtracks, Alternative Pop/Rock, Punk-Pop
One on One
Contemporary Country, Country-Pop
Post-Rock/Experimental, Experimental Rock, Indie Rock
Berlin: Live at St. Ann’s Warehouse
Proto-Punk, Singer/Songwriter, Album Rock, Rock & Roll
Shiny Toy Guns
Season of Poison
New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Goth Metal, Alternative Pop/Rock
Live: Hope at the Hideout
Spirituals, Traditional Gospel, Black Gospel, Soul
Tea for the Tillerman [Deluxe Edition]
Pop/Rock, Folk-Rock, Soft Rock, Album Rock
Teaser and the Firecat [Deluxe Edition]
Album Rock, Pop/Rock, Soft Rock, Singer/Songwriter
Stiff Little Fingers
Live and Loud/Fly the Flags
Punk, British Punk
The Best Yet
Alternative CCM, Post-Grunge, Alternative Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Illbient, Ambient Techno, Club/Dance
Ode to J. Smith
Red Phone Box
British Trad Rock, Britpop
Break-A-Way: The Songs of Jackie DeShannon
Brill Building Pop, Folk-Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Early Pop/Rock, Sunshine Pop, Folk-Pop
J&S Harlem Soul
Malt Shop Memories: Dancing in the Street
AM Pop, Teen Idol, Girl Group, Early Pop/Rock, Rock & Roll
SuperFunk, Vol. 6: The Mighty SuperFunk – Rare 45s and Undiscovered Masters 1967-1978
Beat Goes Public
Titan: It’s All Pop!
Limbo, Panto [Bonus Tracks]
When the Haar Rolls In [#1]
Alternative Folk, British Folk-Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Progressive Folk, Contemporary Folk, Folk-Rock
Live from Texas
Boogie Rock, Hard Rock, Blues-Rock