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The National, The Dead Weather, Otis Taylor Headline New Album Releases May 11, 2010

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The spring has sprung, people, and the new release schedule is getting better each week. There are a couple noteworthy releases this week and we'll mention them but there's really only one that matters. We'll come back to that one. Let's quickly highlight a few of the other interesting new and noteworthy.

It might be time to start thinking of the White Stripes as Jack White's side project. The recent release of a live CD/DVD has led some to wonder if that was the final will and testament of one of the most important bands of this generation. A second album from Jack's second non-White Stripes Band is only going to fuel those fires all the more. Horehound, the first Dead Weather album, didn't do much for me. It didn't move me in any particular direction. I'm going to check out Sea Of Cowards but my expectations are tempered.

Among the other releases I want to touch on quickly are the latest from unconventional bluesman Otis Taylor. His new album is called Clovis People, Vol. 3 and to my knowledge there are no volumes one or two. I still want to hear this. We've also got a new album from Holy Fuck called Latin and an EP from Keane. I really liked their debut (Keane, that is) but they've steadily grown less interesting to me. I've read mixed reviews on this EP so I'll likely sit this one out. Now let's talk about what I really want to talk about

The National
High Violet

The National have become my new BFF and that was before I heard High Violet. Many critics, writers, and fans have openly wondered if there is a future for the album as an artistic statement in the emerging digital age. If the album is in its final throes — and I hope it's not — High Violet is one more powerful case for the survival of the album. High Violet is rich, elegant, articulate, and varied. The National haven't created a sound or style never heard before but the sonic terrain they mine is desolate, sparsely populated wilderness. There aren't 100 other bands out making this record. Fortunately, one is enough. High Violet is reaches for and nearly touches perfection.

Here is the list of less awesome records also being released this week:

4Troops – 4Troops
Amesz, Rene & Baggi Begovic – Nervous Nitelife: New Headline
Arturo Sandoval – A Time For Love
As I Lay Dying – The Powerless Rise
Beneath The Sky – In Loving Memory
Bon Jovi – 7800 Fahrenheit / [Special Edition]
Bon Jovi – Bon Jovi / [Special Edition]
Bon Jovi – Bounce / [Special Edition]
Bon Jovi – Crush / [Special Edition]
Bon Jovi – Have A Nice Day / [Special Edition]
Bon Jovi – Keep The Faith / [Special Edition]
Bon Jovi – Lost Highway / [Special Edition]
Bon Jovi – New Jersey / [Special Edition]
Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet / [Special Edition]
Bon Jovi – These Days / [Special Edition]
Boondox – South Of Hell / [Cd/Dvd Combo]
Browne, Jackson & David Lindle – Love Is Strange
Carney – Mr. Green: Volume I
Cattle Decapitation – Medium Rarities
Charice – Charice
Cocorosie – Grey Oceans
Crash Test Dummies – Oooh La La
Dive – Picture Perfect
Ella Fitzgerald – Performance / [2 Cd]
Everest – On Approach
Everest – On Approach
First Class – Beach Baby: The Best Of First Class
Francis, Sage – Li(F)E
Gayngs – Relayted
Guddal, Yngve & Roger T. Matte – Genesis For Two Grand Pianos V
Holy Fuck – Latin
Hoodoo Gurus – Purity Of Essence
Hunter Valentine – Lessons From The Late Night
Imagika – Portrait Of A Hanged Man
Indian Jewelry – Totaled
Japandroids – No Singles
Jennifer Knapp – Letting Go
John 5 – The Art Of Malice
Jonathan Butler – So Strong
Jonathan Singleton & The Grove – Jonathan Singleton & The Grove
Jones, Stuart & Margrit Coates – Connecting With Animals
Jose James & Jef Neve – For All We Know
Judas Priest – British Steel – 30Th Anniversary
Karma To Burn – Appalachian Incantation
Kaskade – Dynasty
Keane – Night Train
Kelly, Patrick – Zen Garden
La Bien Querida – Romancero
Lacrimas Profundere – The Grandiose Nowhere
Lacrimas Profundere – The Grandiose Nowhere (Ltd Ed
Louisa – Gentle Touch
Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts
Margret – Com Voce
Matt Kennon – Matt Kennon
Meat Loaf – Hang Cool Teddy Bear (Special Edition)(2Cd)
Meat Loaf – Hang Cool Teddy Bear
Morning Of, The – The Way I Fell In
National, The – High Violet
Occhipinti, Roberto – A Bend In The River
Open Mike Eagle – Unapologetic Art Rap
Otis Taylor – Clovis People, Vol. 3
Paul McCartney – Good Evening New York City / [2 Cd/2 Dvd Combo]
Phosphorescent – Here S To Taking It Easy
Portugal The Man – American Ghetto
Sing It Loud – Everything Collide
Solution .45 – For Aeons Past
Soundtrack – Lost: Season 5 (Michael Giacchino)
Soundtrack – Mother And Child (Edward Shearmur)
Soundtrack – Robin Hood (Mark Streitenfeld)
Stereophonics – Keep Calm And Carry On
Taproot – Plead The Fifth
Tenth Avenue North – The Light Meets The Dark
The Dead Weather – Sea Of Cowards
The Expendables – Prove It
Twilight – Pains Of Love
Twilight – Still Loving You
Univox – Univox
Unkle – Where Did The Night Fall
Vahdat, Mahsa & Mighty Sam Mcc – Scent Of Reunion: Love Duets A
Various – American Idol: Season 9
Various Artists – The Best Of Paris Volume 2
Various Artists – The Golden Age Of Bluegrass: 4
Wax Fang – La La Land
We Are The Fallen – Tear The World Down
Wilmington Chester Mass Choir – He S Been Good
Zs – New Slaves

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About Josh Hathaway

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    i really like the new Dead Weather, but i liked the first one two. might like this one better because it’s a little weirder.

    also want to put in a word for that Jackson Browne/David Lindley record. anything with Lindley on it (Lindley being a sort of unknown Ry Cooder) is worth checking out.

    The National. i am totally mystified by the hype.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/josh-hathaway Josh Hathaway

    I liked the second one a bit after listening to it yesterday, a bit more than the first. I’ll have to go back and relisten to both of them. Definitely weirder but I’m not sure there was enough beyond the weird to really draw me in.

    As for The National, ignore the hype and listen to the music. High Violet is masterful.

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    i have ignored the hype, i just can’t get by that guy’s terrible voice. sorry.

  • Josh Hathaway

    Matt’s voice took some getting used to for me, admittedly, but I did get past it. He also varies his delivery method a bit more on High Violet than on Boxer. You may not like any of them but with some changeups thrown in it’s possible you might not find it so off-putting (or not).

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    history has shown only one instance of me getting over a male voice that’s not to my liking (that would be Nick Cave).

    i actually listen to a bunch of this on the live stream and there’s just not enough going on musically for me to get past the voice. OR the voice is blocking what’s going on musically. either way, she’s a no go.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/josh-hathaway Josh Hathaway

    I find enough interesting in the music and lyrics and after awhile I actually developed an appreciation for Matt’s voice although that took time. I like their use of horns and strings in their compositions. Many bands who use those elements in rock do so to create something lush or bombastic. The National can add disparate pieces and still keep a minimalist sound and approach. I like it.

    11 and I went to Grimey’s to get this, showing solidarity with our indie Nashville brothers. They sold out of the 30 vinyl copies they’d ordered. Depraved, is what.