Wednesday , May 22 2024
Cinco De Mayo Edition.

New Album Releases 05/05/09: Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band, New York Dolls, Ben Harper And Relentless7, Frank Sinatra And More

Welcome to our Cinco De Mayo edition of the weekly New Album Releases rundown. In the tradition of that ever-so-festive holiday, we begin this week by heading south of the border.

Few artists these days draw the once dreaded "new Dylan" kiss of death anymore, but with the numerous albums he has recorded under the Bright Eyes moniker, Conor Oberst is one of the handful who have done exactly that. So when Oberst emerged from the Mexican countryside with his first solo album using his own name last year, a lot of people didn't quite know what to expect.

On Outer South, his second album with his new mates in the Mystic Valley Band, Oberst has actually turned the tables by making things into a bit more of a democracy. His Mystic Valley bandmates share both songwriting and vocal duties on nearly half of the tracks here, making things much more like…well, like a band. And while Oberst may still be the only writer here who will ever come close to any of those Dylan comparisons, the rest of these guys sound pretty damned good too.

The ever musically restless Ben Harper also returns this week, and turns up the volume considerably on the new album with his band the Relentless7, White Lies For Dark Times, which arrives in both standard and deluxe double disc editions.

This week NAR welcomes Masked Movie Snob General Jabbo into the contributors circle to talk about a newly unearthed concert gem from Ol' Blue Eyes himself. But first, we coaxed Mark Saleski out of his hut long enough to polish off the spandex and stacked heels and give us the lowdown on the new Todd Rundgren-produced album from the New York Dolls.

Saleski's Choice: New York Dolls – 'Cause I Sez So

Yes, there's only David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain left from the original Dolls. So what? Did you give their previous One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This a listen? Great piece of work. Fun songs, grinding guitars, hooks that were impossible to remove from the ear parts. Todd Rundgren is back as the producer this time around (he produced their debut back in 1973). What does this mean? I have no freaking idea and frankly, I don't care. I'm picking this one up without hearing a single chord because I know it'll bring me back to when glam was in, songs were mostly not serious, and there wasn't so much cynicism dripping all over everything.

I'd try to construct a better argument here but I don't have the time…gotta go change the oil in the Camaro.

General Jabbo's Masked Music Pick: Frank Sinatra – Live at the Meadowlands

At 70 years old, most singers are long retired — or should be — which makes Frank Sinatra’s inspired performance on Live at the Meadowlands all the more impressive. Recorded in East Rutherford, NJ at the Brendan Byrne Arena in the Meadowlands Sports Complex on March 14, 1986, the album is a triumphant homecoming gig for ‘Ol Blue Eyes.

Backed by a crack band including long-time pianist (and at this show, orchestra conductor) Bill Miller, guitarist Tony Mottola, bassist Don Baldini, and drummer Irv Cottler, Sinatra thrills the crowd with nearly 50 years of his recorded history. The performance, packaging, and sound quality on this Concord Records release are top-notch and make Live at the Meadowlands a must-own CD for any Sinatra fan.

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

Fantasy Ride
Contemporary R&B, Pop

Ben Harper and Relentless7
White Lies for Dark Times
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, American Trad Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

The Horrors
Primary Colours
Indie Rock, Shoegaze

New York Dolls
'Cause I Sez So
Alternative Pop/Rock, Hard Rock

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
Outer South
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock

I Feel Cream
Indie Electronic, Electro-Techno

The Vaselines
Enter the Vaselines
Sub Pop
Indie Pop, Twee Pop, Alternative Pop/Rock

Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free
Dead Oceans
Experimental Rock, Indie Rock

Paul Carrack
I Know That Name
Carrack UK
Blue-Eyed Soul, Pop/Rock, Adult Contemporary

Toni Childs
Keep the Faith
Hanalei Music
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Chrisette Michele
Def Jam
Adult Contemporary R&B, Contemporary R&B

Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey
American Trad Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Country-Rock

The Devil Wears Prada
With Roots Above and Branches Below
Heavy Metal, Alternative CCM

Shooting Stars: The Dollar Collection [Bonus Tracks]
Pop/Rock, New Wave

Double Dagger
Thrill Jockey
New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Indie Rock

Electric Owls
Ain't Too Bright
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Pop

FS Studios
Neo-Electro, Alternative Dance, Club/Dance

The Gallows
Grey Britain
Post-Hardcore, Punk Revival

Richard Goode
Beethoven: The Complete Piano Concertos
Romantic Keyboard Concertos

Joel Harrison
Urban Myths

Jon Hopkins
Double Six/Domino
IDM, Ambient Techno, Experimental Techno

Stefan Irmer
Sigismund Thalberg: Piano Music
Romantic Keyboard Music

Fisher Price

Gidon Kremer
The Berlin Recital
EMI Classics
Romantic, Post-Romantic and Modern Music for Violin & Piano

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
Lonely Street
Contemporary Bluegrass, Bluegrass, Bluegrass-Gospel

Ralphie May
Standup Comedy

Mika Miko
We Be Xuxa
Punk-Pop, Indie Rock

Avant-Prog, Jazz-Rock, Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Experimental Rock

Invisible Cities
Experimental Rock, Post-Rock/Experimental

Anna Netrebko
Vincenzo Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi
Deutsche Grammophon
Romantic Opera

David "Fathead" Newman
The Blessing
Mainstream Jazz, Jazz Blues

Tara Jane O'Neil
A Ways Away
Indie Rock, Post-Rock/Experimental

Ol' Dirty Bastard
All in Together Now Raw: A Tribute to Ol' Dirty Bastard
Underground Rap, Hardcore Rap, Alternative Rap

The Pink Mountaintops
Outside Love
Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia

The World According to RZA: Instrumentals
Think Differently Music Group
Hardcore Rap, Underground Rap

Coming from Reality [Bonus Tracks]
Light in the Attic

El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez
Rodriguez Lopez Productions
Experimental Rock, Space Rock

Rusted Root
Stereo Rodeo
Jam Bands, American Trad Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

St. Vincent
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Pop

Shout Out Out Out Out
Reintegration Time
Normals Welcome
Indie Electronic, Alternative Dance

Frank Sinatra
Live at the Meadowlands
Vocal Jazz, American Popular Song, Vocal Pop

Rick Springfield
My Precious Little One

Contemporary Singer/Songwriter

The Toxic Avenger Musical
The Toxic Avenger Musical
Time Life
Musicals, Cast Recordings

Ike & Tina Turner
The Archive Series, Vol. 5: Pushin'
Funk, Soul, Rock & Roll

Ike & Tina Turner
The Archive Series, Vol. 6: Rollin'
Funk, Soul, Rock & Roll

Various Artists
2131 South Michigan Avenue: 60's Garage and Psychedelia from USA and Destination Record
Garage Rock

Various Artists
541, Vol. 3: Music from Stanford
Contemporary Chamber Music

Various Artists
The Best of Crest Records: Rockin' & Rollin'
Rock & Roll, Rockabilly

Scott Walker
Scott Walker: 30 Century Man
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock

Muddy Waters
The Johnny Winter Sessions 1976-1981
Electric Blues, Electric Chicago Blues

Elliott Yamin
Fight for Love
Contemporary R&B, Neo-Soul, Pop

Years Music
Indie Electronic, Ambient House

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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