Saturday , February 24 2024
Lets hear it for the ladies...

New Album Releases 02/26/08: Here Come The Ladies With Janet, Erykah, And Dolly; Plus Cowboy Junkies, China Forbes, Death Angel & More

Whether by design or by accident, the ladies dominate the new releases this week, as three very high profile female superstars release much-anticipated new albums.

Janet Jackson — who apparently wants to be called just "Janet" these days — releases her first post Nipplegate CD Discipline. The record is said to be a broad mix of innocent sounding R&B/pop, frenetic dance numbers, and an extension of the steamier stuff that got her into so much trouble at the Super Bowl. Live and learn I guess.

Erykah Badu has been making intoxicating records that mix old-school flavored R&B with hip-hop for about ten years now. The provocatively titled New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War is reportedly her most hip-hop, yet most adventurous, release to date. The album will also be the first in a series of similarly themed (and titled) releases. Badu gets help here from Sa-Ra, Madlib, 9th Wonder, and mainstays Karriem Riggins, James Poyser, and Ahmir Thompson.

Dolly Parton's Backwoods Barbie returns the country legend to more mainstream pop territory, after recent experiments with a bluegrass sound. The album mixes new original material with a few well-chosen covers, such as her version of Betsy Ulmer and Craig Wiseman's "Jesus & Gravity."

The 20th anniversary of the Cowboy Junkies' landmark Trinity Sessions is celebrated with the band going back into church, and taking another crack at those songs. On Trinity Revisited, the Junkies are joined by several guest vocalists including Ryan Adams, Natalie Merchant, and Vic Chesnutt. Highlights here include a new, longer-than-the-original version of their classic Lou Reed cover "Sweet Jane" (which Reed himself famously called the best version of the song he had ever heard), as well as Merchant's take on "To Love Is To Bury." This new reinterpretation of Trinity Sessions comes in a deluxe CD/DVD package that also includes a documentary film.

Saleski's Choice: China Forbes – '78

Forbes is the silken voice that drives Pink Martini, the self-described "…Hollywood musical of the 40's or 50's – but with a global perspective which is modern." On this solo record, Forbes takes leave of the Martini's world lounge, picks up the guitar, and gets personal. I'm ready for it.

Tom Johnson's Pick Of The Week: Death Angel – Killing Season

It's so nice of Death Angel to think of me on my birthday. This San Francisco thrash band gave a fitting name to their third album, 1990's Act III (one of my all-time favorites, by the way), and promptly exited stage left when a tour-bus accident took them off the road long enough to splinter the band. Just as they were on top of their game, garnering praise for a fantastic piece of metal, they broke up and disappeared. Act III, lucky for us, was so solid and mature that it has stood the test of time. Maybe that's why, after nearly 14 years, the band responded to the unending praise for that long-ago career and returned for what many, including me, thought might be only a curtain call – 2004's killer The Art Of Dying.

Killing Season, like The Art Of Dying, sounds like the majority of the 90s barely happened at all, and comes packaged with a DVD of a 2003 concert in Strasbourg. You can't really go too far wrong here – if you somehow don't like the new music, the DVD will have much to offer, since the concert will feature a good amount of older material. They even thought of you on my birthday.

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

Erykah Badu
New Amerykah, Pt. 1: 4th World War
Universal Motown
Neo-Soul, Urban, Contemporary R&B

Carl Craig
Detroit Techno, Club/Dance, Techno, House

Seventh Tree
Alternative Pop/Rock, Electronica

Janet Jackson
Urban, Contemporary R&B

Dolly Parton
Backwoods Barbie
Traditional Country, Progressive Country, Honky Tonk, Country-Folk, Country-Pop

The Cardigans
The Best Of [Limited Edition]
Indie Pop, Alternative Pop/Rock, Swedish Pop/Rock, Twee Pop, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Carl St. Clair
Villa-Lobost: Symphony No 10 Amerindia
Modern Orchestral Music

Cowboy Junkies
Trinity Revisited [Bonus DVD]
College Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Country-Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

The Dirtbombs
We Have You Surrounded
In The Red
Garage Punk, Garage Rock Revival

The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull
Southern Lord

Mary Queen of Scots
Wounded Bird
Indie Pop, Jangle Pop, Indie Rock

Hayseed Dixie
No Covers
Cooking Vinyl
Contemporary Bluegrass

Chris Hicks
Dog Eat Dog World
Shout! Factory
Southern Rock

Missy Higgins
On a Clear Night
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Jefferson Starship
Timeless Classics Live
Album Rock, Arena Rock, Hard Rock, Adult Contemporary

The Judybats
Native Son
Wounded Bird
Alternative Pop/Rock

King's Singers
The Golden Age
Signum Classics
Renaissance & Baroque Vocal Music

You're Awful, I Love You
Indie Rock

Maria McKee
Live at the BBC
Alternative Country-Rock, Country-Rock, College Rock, Roots Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Tift Merritt
Another Country
Alternative Country, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Americana

Greatest Hits
College Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Dance-Rock

José Serebrier
Bizet/Serebrier: Carmen Symphony
Modern Arrangement of Romantic Orchestral Music

Robert Spano
Michael Gandolfi: The Garden of Cosmic Speculation [Hybrid SACD]
Contemporary Orchestral Music

Christian Tetzlaff
Brahms, Joachim: Violin Concertos
Virgin Classics
Romantic Violin Concertos

Original Cast Recording
The Little Mermaid [Disney Cast Recording]
Musicals, Cast Recordings

Punch Brothers
Contemporary Bluegrass, String Bands, Bluegrass, Progressive Bluegrass

Pete Rock
NY's Finest
East Coast Rap, Hip-Hop

Rocket from the Crypt
Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Diane Schuur
Some Other Time
Vocal Jazz, Contemporary Jazz

Shawty Lo
Units in the City
Southern Rap, Gangsta Rap, Party Rap

Conway Twitty
It's Only Make Believe: The MGM Years
Mercury Nashville
Country Boogie, Rockabilly, Rock & Roll

Various Artists
Blue Collar Comedy: The Next Generations
Standup Comedy, Country Comedy

Various Artists
The Golden Age of American Rock 'n' Roll: The Follow-Up Hits
Rock & Roll

Various Artists
Soulsville Sings Hitsville: Stax Sings Songs of Motown Records
Southern Soul, Soul

Various Artists
Stax Does the Beatles
Southern Soul, Soul

Lizz Wright
The Orchard
Verve Forecast
Vocal Jazz, Adult Contemporary

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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