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New Album Releases Sept. 22, 2009: Pearl Jam, Richard Hawley, Harry Connick Jr., BarlowGirl, Monsters Of Folk

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New Release Day started early this week with Pearl Jam's new record being released on Sunday rather than the traditional Tuesday.  There are fewer buying options for those seeking the new record but it's not difficult to find.  The album is available through the band's web site.  As for retail, your options are independent music stores and Target.  Because Huntsville has few indie choices, I went to my wife's favorite place on earth and got it at Target.  It's also available digitally through the normal means, and no, I don't mean file sharing.

Pearl Jam
Backspacer

Backspacer is an album for the multitasker with a short attention span.  The band intentionally scaled the record back, turning in a brief record of 11 tracks and 36 minutes.  Pearl Jam is now old enough to wear the classic rock clothes they've always had in their closet and this kind of approach fits them well.  These guys love bands like Buzzcocks and The Ramones, punk bands who gave you three chords and the truth.  While Pearl Jam has made great music by stretching, this leaner approach also suits them. 

What caught me on my first few listens to the disc is that in addition to about 15-20 minutes, Backspacer is also missing some of the angst of past records.  Maybe it's a change in the weather.  Maybe it's a change in administrations.  The venom of past records is downplayed and we're often left instead with an optimistic feistiness.  Eddie Vedder isn't ready for a rocking chair and he's not declaring "mission accomplished," but this record feels less angry. 

Richard Hawley
Truelove's Gutter

I might have chosen to write about this album even if I didn't like Hawley because I love the title of it.  I admire songwriters (and writers of any stripe) who can take words that don't belong together and use them to create an image or an idea.  Truelove's Gutter is a great combination of words from an artist who makes brilliant, understated, meditative records that belong in another time and place.  Once again, I tip my cap to the great Aaron "Duke" McMullan for introducing me to the wonders of Richard Hawley.  American listeners probably have no idea who Hawley is.  They should rectify that with all due haste.

Here are your new releases for Sept. 22, 2009:

Basement Jaxx
Scars

Harry Connick, Jr.
Your Songs

Mika
The Boy Who Knew Too Much

Pearl Jam
Backspacer

Various Artists
Where the Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968

Alarm Will Sound
a/rythmia

BarlowGirl
Love & War

Beastie Boys
Hello Nasty [Bonus Disc]

Joshua Bell
The Best of Joshua Bell: The Decca Years

The Big Pink
A Brief History of Love

Billy Talent
Billy Talent III

Jahdan Blakkamoore
Buzzrock Warrior

Brand New
Daisy

Castanets
Texas Rose, The Thaw and the Beasts

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis
White Lunar

Vic Chesnutt
At the Cut

Guy Clark
Somedays the Song Writes You

Alan Cumming
I Bought a Blue Car Today

Early Day Miners
The Treatment

Five Finger Death Punch
War Is the Answer

Renee Fleming
Verismo

Girls
Album

Robert Gordon/Link Wray/Chris Spedding
Live Fast, Love Hard

David Gray
Draw the Line

Hawk Nelson
Live Life Loud!

Richard Hawley
Truelove's Gutter

Hornet Leg
Ribbon of Fear

I'm OK You're OK
Presents…

Islands
Vapours

Sean Kingston
Tomorrow

Diana Krall
Quiet Nights [Deluxe Edition]

Larry the Cable Guy
Tailgate Party

Le Loup
Family

Mae
(m)orning
Cell/Tooth & Nail

The Majority
The Decca Years 1965-1968

Rose Melberg
Homemade Ship

Amy Millan
Masters of the Burial

Monsters of Folk
Monsters of Folk

Múm
Sing Along to Songs You Don't Know

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Speed of Life

Noisettes
Wild Young Hearts [Bonus Track]

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band
Between My Head and the Sky

Original Game Soundtrack
Halo 3: ODST

Original Soundtrack
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure [Original Soundtrack]

Pastels/Tenniscoats
Two Sunsets

Rain Machine
Rain Machine

Sea Wolf
White Water, White Bloom

Manassas
Manassas Pieces

A Sunny Day in Glasgow
Ashes Grammar

Angel Taylor
Love Travels

Thee Midniters
Thee Complete Midniters: Songs of Love, Rhythm and Psychedilia

They Might Be Giants
Here Comes Science

Three Days Grace
Life Starts Now

Times New Viking
Born Again Revisited

To Kill A Petty Bourgeoisie
Marlone

The Twilight Sad
Forget the Night Ahead

Various Artists
Crayon Angel: A Tribute to the Music of Judee Sill

Vertical Horizon
Burning the Days

Volcano Choir
Unmap

Rufus Wainwright
Milwaukee at Last!!!

Why?
Eskimo Snow

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About Josh Hathaway

  • http://everythingisamess.wordpress.com Tom Johnson

    Some might be interested to know that reportedly buying the PJ album at indie stores gets you a book-style package with the book bound inside, rather than the cardboard LP-style sleeve that Target sells. Kind of annoying, if you ask me, a nose-thumbing to those of us who bought it at Target over the weekend.

  • Josh Hathaway

    Yeah, I hate to hear that even though I’m good with indie support.

  • MM

    The Target release of the PJ album comes with 2 concert downloads. The indie verion is not suppose to have that. So it is pick your poison between downloads or cooler package. I went with extra music.

    Josh, I agree with you that Backspacer seems less angry. Initial impressions of the album are good, but I haven’t listened to it enough to know if happy Eddie is a good thing. We’ll have to see how it holds up over time