Wednesday , April 17 2024
A busy week... plus Saleski's Choice and Tom Johnson's Pick(s).

New Album Releases 02/05/08: Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson, k.d. lang, Bob Mould, Kenny G, KRS-One, Lenny Kravitz, Nick Cave/Warren Ellis, Iron Maiden, Killing Joke Reissues & More

If you've been waiting for a good time to venture back out into the record stores, this could very well be your week. It would seem the post-holiday lull is officially over, as the labels have lined up their fullest slate of brand spanking new discs for your ears since way back before Christmas.

So what we have here to lead February off, is a whole bunch of new music by such big names as Sheryl Crow, Jack Johnson, k.d. lang, Lenny Kravitz and — if you happen to be sipping one of those new one dollar lattes at Starbucks (or preparing for a trip to the dentist) — the ever somnambulant Kenny G. Throw in this week's edition of Saleski's Choice, and not one, but two picks from Tom Johnson, and I'd say we've got ourselves one barn burner of a new release party.

For Detours, her first new album in two years, Sheryl Crow reunites with producer Bill Bottrell, who she struck platinum with on her debut Tuesday Night Music Club. Sheryl's been through a lot since her last album — including a battle with cancer, a high profile celebrity breakup, and a call for the regulation of toilet paper (among other hot-button issues). So this CD should pack a lyrical wallop no doubt. I'd also think this will be a high profile release, as I half expect to see Sheryl stumping for either Obama or Hillary any day now.

Mellow Hawaii surf dude Jack Johnson is also back this week with Sleep Through the Static, which is said to represent the Adult Alternative singer/songwriter favorite's "darker side." Just try to imagine hanging ten with Darth Vader I guess.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, rocker Lenny Kravitz seems to be flirting with the idea of giving it all up to become a farmer. But for now Kravitz says that It Is Time for a Love Revolution on his brand new album.

k.d. lang's first new album in eight years is the self-produced Watershed, and this one also comes in one of those spiffy "deluxe editions" loaded with extras. So bring your wallet (or your purse).

Bob Mould's new District Line is said to combine the quieter nuances of his solo work, the poppier elements of Sugar, and the sonic assault of Husker Du. Hip hop pioneer KRS-One drops knowledge for the new generation on Adventures in Emceein.

And then there's our good friend and poster child for elevators everywhere, Mr. Kenny G. The human Sominex teams here with both Concord Jazz and Starbucks for his latest sax-tastic effort Rhythm and Romance. At the risk of drawing the ire of Mr. G's assistant — who has been known to frequent the comments section here at BC Magazine — I'll just say I'd expect a lot more "romance" then "rhythm" here.

And on that note, I relinquish the wheel to Mr. Mark Saleski…

Saleski's Choice 02/05/08: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – The Assassination of Jesse James (Soundtrack)

I came very, very late to the Nick Cave game. How late? 2004: Abattoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus. That album blew the top of my head clean off. I listened to almost nothing else for a couple of weeks, allowing the music to soak in deeply. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking that I've made a big mistake with too many Cave-less years. The next purchase was Murder Ballads. Yikes, this guy is scary good.

Not that I'm trying to make up for lost time or anything, but I've got so much respect for Cave's abilities that I'm taking a chance on this soundtrack. Heck, it doesn't even seem all that much of a risk, as Cave and Bad Seeds/Grinderman cohort Warren Ellis provide the atmospherics for a film I've never heard of.

Tom Johnson's Pick(s) Of The Week

Iron Maiden – Live After Death (DVD):

FINALLY! Held by many as the greatest live rock album of all time – me included – it seems ridiculous that it's taken this long to officially be released on DVD. The band apparently really wanted to do this one right. Not only do we get the legendary concert full of giant mummified Eddies and such, we also get a second DVD filled with archival footage including the show that is said to rival the Live After Death show, Maiden's 1985 Rock In Rio appearance (50 minutes), Behind the Iron Curtain (a 57 minute documentary shot in Poland and other eastern bloc countries,) the History of Iron Maiden, pt. 2 (50 minutes,) and a few other smaller things.

Killing Joke – Fire Dances, Night Time, Brighter Than A Thousand Suns, and Outside The Gate (Reissues)

There seems to be some confusion on which of these are coming out today, and which have actually already been released, so I'm throwing them all in at once. The Killing Joke remaster campaign has not been the most organized, but it has been one of the more respectful ones. Not only are they excellent quality remasters, the band has compiled intelligent and rewarding sets of bonus material for each album. In the case of Brighter, the album is almost entirely new – this version features the mixes the public never got to hear, which make it sound more like the traditional, ferocious Killing Joke and less like a synth-pop band. Also be on the lookout for a very limited edition of the band's Extremities, Dirt, & Various Repressed Emotions which features a bonus disc of extras, greatly expanded book, and a disc-sized box to house it all in.

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

Sheryl Crow
American Trad Rock, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Singer/Songwriter

Hot Chip
Made in the Dark
Indie Electronic, Indie Rock, Alternative Dance

Jack Johnson
Sleep Through the Static
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

k.d. lang
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Pop

Bob Mould
District Line
Indie Rock, Post-Punk, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, American Underground, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Kelley Stoltz
Circular Sounds
Sub Pop
Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Alternative Pop/Rock

Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Air Traffic
Fractured Life
Indie Rock

Jiri Belohlavek
Janacek: The Excursions of Mr. Broucek
Deutsche Grammophon
Modern Opera

Basia Bulat
Oh, My Darling
Rough Trade
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Pop

Terri Clark
Definitive Collection
Mercury Nashville
Contemporary Country

Natalie Clein
Elgar: Cello Concerto
EMI Classics
Post-Romantic Music for Cello & Orchestra

Jason Collett
Here's to Being Here
Arts & Crafts
Alternative Country-Rock, Indie Rock

Chick Corea/Gary Burton
The New Crystal Silence
Modern Creative

The Crystal Method
Funky Breaks, Electronica, Club/Dance

Taylor Dayne
Club/Dance, Adult Contemporary, Dance-Pop

Dead Meadow
Old Growth
Neo-Psychedelia, Indie Rock

Natalie Dessay
Italian Opera Arias [Includes DVD]
Virgin Classics
Romantic Italian Opera Arias

Bill Dixon/Exploding Star Orchestra
Bill Dixon with Exploding Star Orchestra
Thrill Jockey
Avant-Garde Jazz, Free Jazz

Kenny G
Rhythm and Romance
Concord/Starbucks Entertainme
Smooth Jazz, Latin Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Jazz-Pop, Adult Contemporary

Gwen Stacy
The Life I Know
Christian Metal

Paul Hardcastle
Hardcastle 5
Trippin N' Rhythm
Crossover Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Fusion, Electronic

J. Holiday
Back of My Lac' [CD/DVD]

Kiss Kiss Kill Kill
Psychobilly, Punk Revival, Alternative Pop/Rock

George Jones
She Thinks I Still Care: The Complete United Artists Recordings, 1962-1964
Bear Family
Nashville Sound/Countrypolitan, Honky Tonk, Traditional Country

Adventures in Emceein
Hardcore Rap

Lenny Kravitz
It Is Time for a Love Revolution
American Trad Rock, Pop/Rock

Kronos Quartet
Terry Riley: The Cusp of Magic
Contemporary Chamber Music

Lang Lang
The Magic of Lang Lang
Deutsche Grammophon
Virtuoso Piano Showpieces

Lightspeed Champion
Falling Off the Lavender Bridge
Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter

Brian McKnight
20th Century Masters: The Best Of Brian McKnight, The Millennium Collection [Canada]
Universal Music Canada
Contemporary R&B, Adult Contemporary, Quiet Storm, Urban

Charlie Monroe
I'm Old Kentucky Bound
Bear Family
Traditional Bluegrass, String Bands, Traditional Country, Old-Timey, Honky Tonk

Nada Surf
Alternative Pop/Rock, Pop Underground, Indie Rock

Original Soundtrack
Step Up 2: The Streets
Pop-Rap, Urban

Kelly Price
20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection
Urban, Contemporary R&B

Steve Reid Ensemble
African Jazz, Jazz-Rock, Folk-Jazz, Fusion, Jazz-Funk, World Fusion, Modern Creative

Dax Riggs
If This Is Hell Then I'm Lucky
Fat Possum
Alternative Pop/Rock

Josh Ritter
In the Dark: Live at Vicar Street
Contemporary Folk, Alternative Country-Rock, Folk-Rock

Shorty Rogers
Volume 1: 1946-1954 West Coast Trumpet
West Coast Jazz, Big Band

Adam Rudolph's Moving Pictures
Dream Garden
Justin Time
African Jazz, Avant-Garde Jazz, World Fusion, Modern Creative

20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection
Pop-Rap, Hip-Hop, Urban, Golden Age

Say Hi
The Wishes and the Glitch
Indie Pop, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic

School of Language
Sea from Shore
Thrill Jockey
Indie Pop

The Best of SheDAISY
Lyric Street
Contemporary Country, Country-Pop

Horace Silver
Live at Newport '58
Blue Note/EMI
Hard Bop

Sons and Daughters
This Gift
Indie Rock

Otis Taylor
Recapturing the Banjo
Contemporary Blues, Electric Country Blues, Modern Acoustic Blues, Acoustic Blues

They Might Be Giants
Here Come the 123's
Disney Sound
Alternative Pop/Rock

Various Artists
How Great Thou Art: Gospel Favorites from the Grand Ole Opry
Country Gospel

Paul Weller
Wild Wood [Deluxe Edition]
Yep Roc
British Trad Rock, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Soul

Two Kings of the Same Kingdom [CD/DVD]
Indie Electronic, IDM, Electronica

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, Ultimate Classic Rock, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.

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