Tuesday , April 23 2024
Some good new reasons to belatedly celebrate national record store day.

New Album Releases 08/22/08: Billy Bragg, Flight Of The Conchords, Replacements Reissues, Ashlee Simpson, Barry Adamson, Elbow, Stanley Jordan, Love, Marilyn Crispell and More

For those who hadn't heard, this past weekend was National Record Store Day, an event put together by independent music retailers, presumably in an effort to draw some traffic back into the stores. The event was marked here at Blogcritics in an article by our own Mark Saleski, which not surprisingly drew some debate in the comments section (by some of the usual suspects who often comment there).

The thing is, a lot of us old-timers who have been doing this record geek thing for awhile simply miss the old record store experience. As such, we are asking you download-happy young whipper-snappers to go easy on us, okay? Go ahead and download your hard drives out. Just grant us our right to wallow in a little record store nostalgia.

Of course, it would help an awful lot if the record labels would actually release something to give us a reason to venture back there, wouldn't it now?

Here at BC's New Releases column, we will be the first to admit that new music (at least in significant amounts) has been in somewhat short supply so far this year. Still, it is our obligation to point you, our readers, towards those few lights out there amidst the darkness.

So on that note, here are a few good reasons to visit your friendly neighborhood record store this week.

For starters, there is Mr. Love & Justice, the first new album from Billy Bragg since 2002. Bragg is always good for a few sharp political insights, and this album is said to be a return to form for the veteran.

Speaking of veterans, Ryko/Twin Tone are spearheading a catalog re-haul for the Replacements, including a deluxe edition of their seminal release Let It Be. Another notable reissue is the two-disc collectors edition of Love's Forever Changes. This often overlooked masterpiece — cited by many critics as one of the best rock albums ever made — gets an overdue deluxe overhaul here.

Some of the more noteworthy new music this week includes the debut from Flight of the Conchords, who are best known for the HBO series of the same name. Ashlee Simpson is once again busy reinventing herself as a retro/dance/wave-pop something or another on her third album Bittersweet World.

A few of our fellow Blogcritics also weighed in with some of their thoughts on this week's new music. Pico cites the "cinematic quality" of Barry Adamson's Back to The Cat, drawing comparisons to Issac Hayes and Ennio Morricone among others in his review. David R. Perry calls the dream-pop of Elbow's The Seldom Seen Kid "some of the best of their career." Jordan Richardson earlier this week enthused about the way Stanley Jordan's environmentally themed State Of Nature "celebrates life" while also exploring our part in the changing climate.

But speaking of Blogcritics scribes, it's time to check in with Mark Saleski:

Saleski's Choice: Marilyn Crispell – Vignettes

Never heard of pianist Marilyn Crispell? I was first exposed to her work via Anthony Braxton's momumental Willisau quartet recordings. Crispell has a unique style of play, which I put on the shelf next to Cecil Taylor and Keith Jarrett. This is her first solo record on the ECM label and I'm expecting great and interesting things. If you've never stepped "out," not even a little, this might be a safe place to start. (Remember, this is me using the word 'safe.' You've been warned.)

Tom Johnson did not contribute a pick this week.

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

Billy Bragg
Mr. Love & Justice
Cooking Vinyl
Alternative Folk, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Flight of the Conchords
Flight of the Conchords
Sub Pop
Comedy Rock

The Replacements
Let It Be [Deluxe Edition]
American Underground, College Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll

Ashlee Simpson
Bittersweet World
Teen Pop, Pop/Rock, Dance-Pop

Tokyo Police Club
Elephant Shell
Saddle Creek
Indie Rock

Barry Adamson
Back to the Cat
Central Control
Punk Blues, Retro-Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Retro Swing, Original Score, Film Music, Space Age Pop, Post-Punk, Cabaret, Jazz Blues, Modern Big Band

Lead Sails Paper Anchor 2.0
Punk Metal, Alternative Metal

Roy Ayers Ubiquity
Soul-Jazz, Jazz-Funk, Funk

Tab Benoit
Night Train to Nashville
Louisiana Blues, Modern Electric Blues, Swamp Blues, New Orleans Blues

Blind Melon
For My Friends
Alternative Pop/Rock, American Trad Rock

Terry Callier
Occasional Rain [Remastered]
Chicago Soul, Folk-Jazz, Singer/Songwriter, Progressive Folk, Soul

The Cinematic Orchestra
Live at the Royal Albert Hall
Downbeat, Orchestral Jazz, Film Music, Contemporary Jazz

Ornette Coleman
The Art of the Improvisers
Avant-Garde Jazz, Free Jazz

Marilyn Crispell
Structured Improvisation, Avant-Garde Jazz, Modern Composition

The Jazz Crusaders
Old Socks, New Shoes…New Socks, Old Shoes
Soul-Jazz, Jazz-Funk

Dov Davidoff
The Point Is
Comedy Central
Observational Humor, Standup Comedy

Van Duren
Are You Serious?
Air Mail
Power Pop

Earles and Jensen
Just Farr a Laugh, Vol. 1 and 2: The Greatest Prank Phone Call Ever!
Prank Calls

The Seldom Seen Kid
Dream Pop, Britpop

The Feelies
Crazy Rhythms
American Underground, College Rock, Jangle Pop, Alternative Pop/Rock

Hello Destiny…
Side One Dummy
Ska-Punk, Punk-Pop, Alternative Pop/Rock

Marilyn Horne
The Complete Decca Recitals
Operatic Selections

Jorma Hynninen
Elämälle: Songs by Oskar Merikanto
Modern Vocal Music

The Jealous Girlfriends
The Jealous Girlfriends
Last Gang
Indie Rock

Stanley Jordan
State of Nature
Mack Avenue
Contemporary Jazz

Carole King
Tapestry [Legacy Edition]
Sony Legacy
Pop/Rock, Soft Rock

Magdalena Kozená
Ah! Mio Cor: Handel Arias
Archiv Produktion
Baroque Vocal Music

Erich Kunzel
Boléro: Music by Ravel, Borodin, Bizet [Hybrid SACD]
Romantic and Modern Orchestral Music

Ramsey Lewis Trio
Ramsey Lewis Trio at the Bohemian Caverns [Remastered]

Forever Changes [Collector's Edition]
Baroque Pop, Pop/Rock, Folk-Rock, Psychedelic

Lyrics Born
Everywhere at Once
Alternative Rap, Alternative Pop/Rock, Hip-Hop, Neo-Soul

Bennie Maupin
Early Reflections
Post-Bop, Modal Music

Stanton Moore
Emphasis! On Parenthesis
Jazz-Rock, New Orleans R&B, Soul-Jazz, Jazz-Funk, R&B

The Night Marchers
See You in Magic
Garage Punk, Indie Rock

Rolando Villazón
Cielo e Mar
Deutsche Grammophon
Italian Operatic Selections

Donny Osmond
From Donny…With Love
Universal Classics
Pop/Rock, Adult Contemporary, Dance-Pop

Nicholas Payton
Into the Blue
Post-Bop, Hard Bop, Contemporary Jazz

El Perro del Mar
From the Valley to the Stars
The Control Group
Indie Pop, Chamber Pop

H.N.I.C., Pt. 2
Aao Music
Hardcore Rap, East Coast Rap, Hip-Hop

Otis Redding
Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul [Collector's Edition]
Deep Soul, Southern Soul, Soul, Memphis Soul

The Replacements
Hootenanny [Deluxe Edition]
American Underground, College Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

The Replacements
Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash [Deluxe Edition]
American Underground, American Punk

The Replacements
Stink [Deluxe Edition]
American Underground, American Punk, Hardcore Punk

Jonathan Richman
Because Her Beauty Is Raw and Wild
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Kill Twee Pop!
New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Indie Rock

The Best of Scarface
Southern Rap, Hardcore Rap, Gangsta Rap

Story of the Year
The Black Swan
Emo, Punk Revival, Screamo, Post-Grunge

Tea Leaf Green
Roots Rock

Various Artists
Assemblage 1998-2008
Avant-Garde Jazz, Folk-Jazz, Modern Free, Modern Creative

Phil Vassar
Prayer of a Common Man
Universal South
Contemporary Country

The Weepies
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Folk-Rock

The White Tie Affair
Walk This Way
Dance-Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival

Good to Be Bad
Hard Rock, Album Rock, Arena Rock, Heavy Metal, Blues-Rock, Pop-Metal

Young Knives
Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival

Thalia Zedek Band
Liars and Prayers
Thrill Jockey
American Underground, Indie Rock, Post-Punk, Sadcore

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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