Saturday , April 13 2024
Another week. Another blockbuster.

New Album Releases 05/19/09: Eminem, Clapton/Winwood, Tori Amos, Iron & Wine, Method Man/Redman & More

Another week brings another new round of new releases. On this particular week, it also brings another blockbuster. Last week it was Green Day; this week it's the return of Eminem.

More or less re-embracing his "Slim Shady" persona, Em's Relapse comes after a five-year layoff that saw the rapper remarry and re-divorce his wife Kim, mourn the death of his best friend (rapper Proof), and by most accounts seek to ease the pain by heading straight towards the medicine cabinet. NAR contributor Jordan Richardson is back with us for a second straight week to tell you all about Em and his Relapse.

Donald Gibson is also here to give us his thoughts on the new live recording by Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood, an historic performance that our man Gibson actually attended in person. But before we get to those, there's a few more items to run down on this week's NAR checklist.

Tori Amos makes a turn back towards more conventional songwriting on Abnormally Attracted to Sin, following the more weighty concepts of her last few albums — a move which should please longtime fans. Early reports say that the new album features some of the always quirky Amos' strongest songs in some time.

Method Man and Redman manage to play it for laughs, while at the same time always keeping it real on Blackout! Vol. 2, a ten years in the making followup to 1999's Blackout!. This one features plenty of guest turns from the usual Wu-Tang suspects like Raekwon and Ghostface Killah.

Indie darlings Iron & Wine are back with Around the Well, a two-disc compilation featuring the usual odds and ends like original demos, outtakes, and rare tracks drawn from throughout the band's career. Here's Jordan Richardson with the inside dope on Eminem…

Jordan "J-Rich" Richardson's Pick To Click: Eminem – Relapse

With his first solo album since 2004's Encore, Eminem returns. His emergence from the darkness created by an addiction to sleeping pills, a second divorce from Kimberley Scott following an eleven month remarriage, and the death of his closest friend couldn't have come at a better time. Relapse is less a pop-rap record and more a vital statement. Em spits with a purpose, unloading rhymes both of the expected and unexpected variety.

The singles, "Crack a Bottle" and "We Made You," stand as testimonies to what is expected, with Em haphazardly launching his usual salvo of celeb-oriented attacks and club bangers. But Relapse is more than that and so is Eminem, thank you very much. Relapse unlocks the last door keeping us safe from the madman, opening things up once and for all for the world to see. It is bold, ballsy, dangerous music. And it's about fucking time.

Donald Gibson's Prime Pick: Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood – Live From Madison Square Garden

It was deemed historic before it even happened. An evening with Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood – both men legends in their own right, each man a veritable encyclopedia of rock history and influence – marked their first full-length concerts together in nearly forty years, harkening back to their fleeting brush of Blind Faith.

Chronicling their three-night stand in February 2008, Live at Madison Square Garden recalls Clapton and Winwood consummately rising to the occasion, delivering a heavy, blues-powered set of unqualified classics. From expected performances (“Can’t Find My Way Home,” “Presence of the Lord,” “Had To Cry Today”) to those less expected (Clapton with “Forever Man,” Winwood with Traffic’s “No Face, No Name, No Number”) to the ones that make your jaw drop (“Voodoo Chile,” “Them Changes,” “Little Wing”), it’s a revelatory live document. Consider it essential from one who was there.

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

Tori Amos
Abnormally Attracted to Sin
Universal Republic
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Busta Rhymes
Back on My B.S.
Universal Motown
Hardcore Rap, East Coast Rap

Jarvis Cocker
Further Complications
Rough Trade
Indie Rock, Britpop, Alternative Pop/Rock, Hard Rock

Hardcore Rap

Iron & Wine
Around the Well
Sub Pop
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi

Method Man/Redman
Blackout! Vol. 2
Def Jam
Hardcore Rap, East Coast Rap

John Luther Adams
John Luther Adams: The place we began
Cold Blue Music
Contemporary Music for Electronics & Tape

Métropole / Un soir
Virgin Classics
Contemporary Chamber Music

Au Revoir Simone
Still Night, Still Light
Our Secret
Indie Pop, Indie Electronic, Dream Pop

The Beach Boys
Summer Love Songs
AM Pop, Surf, Early Pop/Rock, Sunshine Pop, Pop/Rock

Ed Bruce
The Tennessean/Cowboys and Dreamers
Outlaw Country, Progressive Country, Traditional Country

Johnny Burnette
Johnny Burnette and More Kings of Rockabilly
Rockabilly, Rock & Roll

The Complete Discography
Equal Vision
Punk Revival, Alternative Pop/Rock

Carver City
Alternative Metal, Post-Grunge

Carbon Leaf
Nothing Rhymes with Woman
Jam Bands, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Roots Rock

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
The Firstborn Is Dead
Post-Punk, Alternative Pop/Rock

Nick Cave
From Her to Eternity [Bonus Tracks/Bonus DVD]
Post-Punk, Alternative Pop/Rock

Nick Cave
Kicking Against the Pricks [Bonus Tracks/Bonus DVD]
Alternative Pop/Rock

Nick Cave
Your Funeral…My Trial [Bonus Tracks/Bonus DVD]
Post-Punk, Alternative Pop/Rock

Kenny Chesney
Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
Contemporary Country, Neo-Traditionalist Country, New Traditionalist

Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood
Live from Madison Square Garden
Blues-Rock, Modern Electric Blues, Album Rock, Pop/Rock

Dane Cook
Isolated Incident
Comedy Central
Observational Humor, Standup Comedy

The Curious Mystery
Rotting Slowly
Neo-Psychedelia, Indie Rock

The Datsuns
Head Stunts
Cooking Vinyl
Garage Punk, Hard Rock

Gangsta Grillz: The Album, Vol 2
AMG/Grand Hustle/Atlantic
Hardcore Rap, Gangsta Rap

Drop Nineteens
Cherry Red
Shoegaze, Alternative Pop/Rock

Dusty Rhodes and the River Band
Palace and Stage
Side One Dummy
American Trad Rock, Alternative Country-Rock

Emerson String Quartet
Intimate Letters
Deutsche Grammophon
Modern Chamber Music

Family Force 5
Dance or Die with a Vengeance
Rap-Rock, Rap-Metal, Alternative Pop/Rock

The Field
Yesterday and Today
Ambient Techno, Experimental Techno, Techno

Jim Ford
Big Mouth USA: The Unissued Paramount Album
Bear Family
Singer/Songwriter, Country-Rock, Pub Rock

Johnny Griffin
The Best of Johnny Griffin
Hard Bop

Headless Heroes
The Silence of Love
Headless Heroes
Indie Pop

Hot Chip
A Bugged Out Mix
New State
Indie Electronic, Indie Rock, Alternative Dance

Mat Kearney
City of Black and White
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Lenny Kravitz
Let Love Rule [20th Anniversary Edition]
Album Rock, American Trad Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Pop/Rock, Rock & Roll

Jeffrey Lewis & the Junkyard
'Em Are I
Rough Trade
Alternative Folk, Anti-Folk

Frank London/Lorin Sklamberg
Jewish Music

Joe Lovano Us Five
Folk Art
Blue Note

Jason Lytle
Yours Truly, The Commuter
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Rock

Steve Martin
The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo
Contemporary Bluegrass, Progressive Bluegrass

Susanna Malkki
Michael Jarrell: Cassandre
Contemporary Opera

The Oak Ridge Boys
The Boys Are Back
Spring Hill
Country-Pop, Country-Rock

Original TV Soundtrack
True Blood [Original TV Soundtrack]
Swamp Blues, Neo-Traditionalist Country, Alternative Country-Rock, Indie Rock, Soundtracks, New Orleans R&B, Alternative Pop/Rock, Country-Rock

U.S. (United Soul)
U.S. Music with Funkadelic

Passion Pit
Columbia/French Kiss
Indie Electronic, Indie Pop

Roberto Juan Rodriguez
Timba Talmud
Jewish Music, Avant-Garde Jazz, Hebrew, Son, Rhumba, Klezmer, Latin Folk, Mambo, New York Salsa, Salsa, World Fusion

Savath & Savalas
La Llama
Stones Throw
Post-Rock/Experimental, Downtempo, Indie Electronic

Polly Scattergood
Polly Scattergood
Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

At Home We Are Tourists
Emo-Pop, Punk-Pop

Siouxsie and the Banshees
Hyaena [Bonus Tracks]
College Rock, Post-Punk, Alternative Pop/Rock, Dance-Rock

Siouxsie & Banshees
Kiss in the Dreamhouse [Bonus Tracks]
College Rock, Post-Punk, Goth Rock

Siouxsie and the Banshees
Post-Punk, Alternative Pop/Rock, College Rock, Punk

Siouxsie and the Banshees
Tinderbox [Bonus Tracks]
College Rock, Post-Punk, Alternative Pop/Rock, Dance-Rock

Wadada Leo Smith & Jack DeJohnette
Avant-Garde Jazz, Modern Free

Ruben Studdard
Love Is
Adult Contemporary R&B, Contemporary R&B

The Tractors
Trade Union
Neo-Traditionalist Country, Contemporary Country, Roots Rock, Country-Rock

Pat Travers
Travelin' Blues
Blues Bureau

John Vanderslice
Romanian Names
Dead Oceans
Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter

Kate Voegele
A Fine Mess
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter

The Warlocks
The Mirror Explodes
Tee Pee
Indie Rock, Neo-Psychedelia

Faron Young
Here's Faron Young/Occasional Wife
Nashville Sound/Countrypolitan, Country-Pop, Traditional Country

Hermas Zopoula
Asthmatic Kitty

John Zorn
Alhambra Love Songs
Contemporary Jazz, Jazz-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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