Tuesday , April 23 2024
J-Rich breaks down Green Day, Steve Earle pays homage to Townes.

New Album Releases 05/12/09: Green Day, Steve Earle, Paul Wall, The Church And More

The big news this week is of course Green Day's much-anticipated punk-opera 21st Century Breakdown. Green Day's album is one which is sure to be carefully watched by industry bean-counters.

Their last album, American Idiot, was an all too rare modern-day multi-platinum selling physical CD in the MP3 era. But decades from now it may well also be remembered as symbolizing the Bush era in the same way that people like Bob Dylan are considered synonymous with the sixties.

Our own Jordan "J-Rich" Richardson will be along shortly to provide his own 21st century breakdown of sorts on whether or not Green Day have once again delivered the goods.

As uncompromising in his personal life as he is in his music, Steve Earle is one of the few guys left from the original era of outlaw country who has managed to survive despite his excesses with his artistic integrity intact.

But then again, you couldn't ask for a better role model in that regard than Earle's personal idol Townes Van Zandt (well with the possible exception of those excesses anyway). On his new album, Townes, Earle pays homage to his inspiration by covering some of the late songwriting great's best tunes from "Pancho & Lefty" to "To Live Is To Fly."

Paul Wall rises from the mean streets of the dirty south once again with his latest rap opus, Fast Life, where he gets ample support from the likes of Too Short, Yung Joc, and Blink 182's Travis Barker. Australia's The Church are also back with what BC's Greg Barbrick calls their best since the band's eighties heyday.

We'll be back next week with the new one from Eminem, but in the meantime here's Jordan Richardson with the breakdown on the new Green Day.

Jordan "J-Rich" Richardson's Pick To Click: Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown

With blistering anger, Green Day assesses the post-American Idiot era with maturity. A little older and a little wiser, Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool, and Mike Dirnt slay 'em with a trilogy of sorts on 21st Century Breakdown. With Butch Vig production, this concept album compartmentalizes the unbridled epic-ness of Idiot with shorter quick hitters and maximizes impact with clear arrangements and punchy lyrics.

It is now clear that Green Day is set on challenging the throne as one of the most relevant, exciting, entertaining bands of our modern age. How did this happen? How did these mud-slinging pop punk jackasses come this far? At this point, it doesn't matter. Green Day has become shockingly relevant, amazingly necessary, and staggeringly good.

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

Steve Earle
New West
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Americana, Alternative Country-Rock

Green Day
21st Century Breakdown
Punk-Pop, Alternative Pop/Rock, Punk Revival, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Maxïmo Park
Quicken the Heart
Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Britpop

Paul Wall
Fast Life
Hardcore Rap, Gangsta Rap, Dirty South, Southern Rap

The Amazing Rhythm Aces
Their Very Best
Varese Fontana
Country-Rock, Soft Rock

Forged in Fire
Speed Metal, Heavy Metal, Thrash

Apartment House
Peter Garland: String Quartets
Cold Blue Music
Contemporary String Quartets

Arctic Monkeys
At the Apollo
Warner Bros.
Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Better Than Ezra
Plays Paper Empire
Better Than Ezra
American Trad Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Kaoru Bingham
Chopin: 24 Preludes; Busoni: Ten Variations on a Chopin Prelude; Mompou: Variations on a theme of Chopin
Romantic & Modern Keyboard Music

New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Indie Pop

Crime Pays
Diplomatic Man/Asylum
Hardcore Rap, East Coast Rap

Hard Times Hanging at the End of the World
Heavy Metal

The Church
Untitled #23
Second Motion
Neo-Psychedelia, Alternative Pop/Rock

The Stanley Clarke Trio
Jazz in the Garden
Heads Up
Contemporary Jazz, Mainstream Jazz

The Crystal Method
Divided by Night
Tiny e
Electronica, Club/Dance, Funky Breaks

DJ Vadim
U Can't Lurn Imaginashun
Left-Field Hip-Hop, Underground Rap, Downbeat, Ambient Breakbeat

James Luther Dickinson
Dinosaurs Run in Circles
Memphis Int'l
Contemporary Blues, Memphis Blues

Candy Dulfer
Funked Up!
Heads Up
Smooth Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Instrumental Pop, Jazz-Pop

Jeremy Enigk
OK Bear
Lewis Hollow
Chamber Pop, Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

Hanne Hukkelberg
Blood from a Stone
Indie Rock, Post-Rock/Experimental

Shout at the Döner
Experimental Techno, IDM

Bpitch Control
Club/Dance, Techno, Left-Field House, Techno-Dub

The Louvin Brothers
Tragic Songs of Life
Traditional Country, Close Harmony, Traditional Bluegrass

Manic Street Preachers
Journal for Plague Lovers
Sony BMG Europe
Indie Rock, Britpop, Alternative Pop/Rock

Meat Puppets
Sewn Together
Meat Puppets
Alternative Pop/Rock

Alecia Nugent
Hillbilly Goddess
Contemporary Bluegrass, Alternative Country

University New Mexico Wind Symphony
Fascinating Ribbons
Modern & Contemporary Music for Wind Ensemble

Ann Peebles
I Can't Stand the Rain
The Right Stuff/Hi
Memphis Soul, Soul, Pop-Soul

Peppermint Trolley Company
Beautiful Sun
Now Sounds
Sunshine Pop, AM Pop, Psychedelic Pop, Bubblegum

Prins Thomas
Live at Robert Johnson
Robert Johnson
Club/Dance, Ambient Techno, Left-Field House, Techno, Disco, Prog-Rock/Art Rock

Hikaru Utada
This Is the One
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Japanese Pop, Club/Dance

Various Artists
Kitsune Tabloid
Album Rock, Pop/Rock, Indie Rock

Various Artists
Marc Blitzstein: First Life — Rare Early Works
Other Minds
Modern Chamber Music

Various Artists
Phil Kline: John the Revelator
Cantaloupe Music
Contemporary Chamber Music

Wooden Birds
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Rock, Indie Pop

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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