Welcome to February. Here are some new or upcoming releases worthy of checking out:
M83 – Before the Dawn Heals Us
Release Date: Jan. 25, 2005
All KCRW fans were in love with 2003′s Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts from French electronica duo M83, named after a galaxy in the constellation Hydra. Naturally Pink Floyd references apply. On the new album Before The Dawn Heals Us, M83 (with Anthony Gonzalez as the sole member) mixes a masterpiece of Blade Runner type futura. It is one of the best releases of 2005 so far. A major step forward for M83 with a classic album of cinematic electronica. Thanks to classic 70s organs and low key vocals, there are organic tendencies that add a layer of depth not usually found in electronic music.
The Mars Volta – Frances the Mute
Release Date: March 1, 2005
Hearing “The Widow” a lot on Indie Radio or MTV2, you might think that The Mars Volta are reaching out for pop appeal. But when you listen to the new album you realize that they are fully embracing their Rush comparisons. On Frances the Mute the trio of eccentric musicians time-trip back to the prog rock era of yesteryear with 30 minute songs and multi-part suites of instrumental rock genius.
The Game – The Documentary
Release Date: Jan. 18, 2005
The debut by L.A. rapper The Game is produced by hip hop pioneer Dr. Dre and released on his Aftermath record label. In case you forget, each song on the The Documentary reminds you of that and praises Dre. In search of making a classic rap album, The Game attempts a link up with the golden age of gangsta rap through references to NWA, Ice Cube, 2Pac and Biggie. Overall, a well-produced and smooth album, with a laid-back rap style reminiscent of 50 Cent. The Game is a promising artist but he should try to find some broader material.
Motley Crue – Red, White and Crue
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2005
Another greatest hits collection (remember “Decade of Decadence”) from the masters of pole dance anthems and Sunset Strip glam. The tunes are spread over two discs, but the first one is all that you need, except for the Crue’s biggest hit, “Home Sweet Home” for which the 1991 remix appears on the second disc. There are three new songs, including the single “If I Die Tomorrow,” co-written by pop punkers Simple Plan.