Sunday , April 14 2024
It's that damned Friday thing.

New Album Releases 09/09/08: LL Cool J, Tricky, Jessica Simpson, Joan Baez, Patty Loveless, The Bittersweets, Dar Williams… Oh, and Metallica

I was a little bit surprised when I got this week's list of new releases from AMG to see Metallica's eagerly anticipated Death Magnetic mysteriously absent. How could the hands down biggest new release of the week — and possibly of the entire year — be missing I thought to myself?

Then it hit me. It's that damned Friday thing they insisted on. The record industry has made it a practice for years now of releasing new music to the record stores on Tuesdays (which is why this column appears every week on that day, for example). But Metallica has always liked to do things just a bit differently, and decided to shake things up by putting out Death Magnetic this Friday instead.

Anyway, no matter. We certainly weren't gonna ignore an album of this magnitude, and by next week it would no longer be new. So we made an executive decision and added it to this week's list. Everybody follow that so far? Good.

I haven't heard Death Magnetic yet. But the early word from practically everybody is that the Rick Rubin-produced album represents the return to form that Metallica's old-school fans have waited for going at least as far back as the glory days of And Justice For All. Think more Master Of Puppets and less St. Anger, or so the story goes.

Our own Jordan Richardson practically fell all over himself as he sang its praises in a review. By the way, congrats on hitting BC article #200 Jordan!

Elsewhere on the landscape this week, there are a bunch of albums which actually came out today (which would be Tuesday). Hip-hop veteran LL Cool J releases his 13th album for Def Jam, the appropriately titled Exit 13. In addition to hip-hop, there is also the trip-hop of Tricky's Knowle West Boy.

Jessica Simpson goes country (or at least makes the attempt) on Do You Know. Patty Loveless brings fans her "traditional country soul" on Sleepless Nights. And lefty folk icon Joan Baez has her Day After Tomorrow, ready just in time for the fall elections.

Regular NAR contributor Josh Hathaway is up this week to talk about the new one from the Bittersweets. But first, Mark Saleski has a better looking alternative to all of this week's Metallica mania.

Saleski's Choice: Dar Williams – Promised Land

Folk singer Dar Williams has an entry on my "Had To Sit In The Car After Arriving At Work To Get The Scoop On That Song!" list. Back in 1993, about 30 seconds before pulling into the parking lot, "When I Was A Boy" came on WERS, Emerson College radio. I was mesmerized. So I sat there through the end of the set (several songs) until the DJ thankfully revealed the artist's name.

I've been a big fan of Williams ever since. She's one of those songwriters who can bring a tear to your eye with her honesty and insight.

Oh, and she's a lot better looking than James Hetfield.

Josh Hathaway's Fanboy Pick: The Bittersweets – Goodnight, San Francisco

It was tough to decide this week whether to talk about the new Magic Slim & The Teardrops CD (produced by Nick Moss) or the new Bittersweets record. After going back and forth on this for awhile I decided to go with The Bittersweets because it is through a fellow BC Magazine editor (A.L. Harper) that I became familiar with the band in the first place.

I only heard about them a few months ago and their first LP The Life You Always Wanted has already made a sizable dent on my iPod. Now this Nashville act is back with a new album on a new label and that dent is growing. Goodnight, San Francisco pairs great stories with rustic, classic Americana sounds. Hannah Prater's voice gives a humble, genuine feel to these songs that balance poetic ambition and comfortable accessibility. Download the first single "Wreck" for free but be advised: it will only make you want the whole album.

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

Death Magnetic
Warner Bros.
Metal, Hard Rock

Carried to Dust
Americana, Indie Rock, Alternative Country-Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Pop/Rock, Post-Rock/Experimental

Gym Class Heroes
The Quilt
Fueled By Ramen/Decaydance
Alternative Rap, Indie Rock

Okkervil River
The Stand Ins
Indie Rock, Indie Pop

Jessica Simpson
Do You Know
Adult Contemporary, Pop/Rock, Contemporary Country, Country-Pop

Cities of Glass
Skin Graft
Experimental Rock, Noise-Rock

Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez
Why Is Bear Billowing?
Free Folk, Indie Pop

Robert Ashley
Concrete: An Opera by Robert Ashley
Lovely Music
Contemporary Opera

Joan Baez
Day After Tomorrow
Bobolink/Razor & Tie
Contemporary Folk, Political Folk

Ramin Bahrami
Bach: The Art of Fugue
Baroque Keyboard Music

Eric Benet
Love & Life
Contemporary R&B, Urban

Carla Bley & Her Remarkable Big Band
Appearing Nightly
Avant-Garde Jazz, Modern Big Band

Bound Stems
The Family Afloat
Indie Rock

Randy Brecker
Randy in Brasil
Post-Bop, Fusion, Crossover Jazz, Brazilian Jazz, Contemporary Jazz

The Broken West
Now or Heaven
Indie Rock, New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Pop Underground

Greg Camp
New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Don Chambers & GOAT
Alternative Country-Rock

Natalie Cole
Still Unforgettable
Adult Contemporary, American Popular Song

Albert Cummings
Feel So Good
Blind Pig
Blues-Rock, Contemporary Blues, Electric Blues, Modern Electric Blues

Catie Curtis
Sweet Life
Contemporary Folk

Daughtry [Deluxe Version]
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Post-Grunge, Pop/Rock, Hard Rock

Bart Davenport
Antenna Farm
Indie Pop, Alternative Singer/Songwriter

Kimya Dawson
Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Children's Folk, Contemporary Folk

Joey DeFrancesco
Joey D!
Hard Bop, Post-Bop, Soul-Jazz

Angela Desveaux
The Mighty Ship
Thrill Jockey
Alternative Country-Rock, Country-Folk

The Donkeys
Living on the Other Side
Dead Oceans
American Trad Rock, Indie Rock

Chris Duarte
Vantage Point
Blues Bureau
Blues-Rock, Modern Electric Blues, Modern Electric Texas Blues

The Ettes
Look at Life Again Soon [Bonus Track]
Garage Punk, Garage Rock Revival

Michael Franti & Spearhead
All Rebel Rockers
Political Rap, Contemporary Reggae, Alternative Rap, Dancehall

Fujiya & Miyagi
Deaf Dumb & Blind
Alternative Dance, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic

Gothic Voices
The Study of Love
Medieval Choral Music

All the Way
Social Registry
Experimental Rock, Noise-Rock, Post-Rock/Experimental

Mitch Hedberg
Do You Believe in Gosh?
Comedy Central
Standup Comedy, Observational Humor

Horse Feathers
House with No Home
Kill Rock Stars
Contemporary Folk, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Indie Rock, Americana

I Furiosi
Renaissance and Baroque Chamber Music

Kardinal Offishall
Not 4 Sale
Hardcore Rap, Dancehall

Indie Pop, Indie Electronic

Hal Ketchum
Father Time
Neo-Traditionalist Country, Contemporary Country, Americana

LL Cool J
Exit 13
Def Jam
East Coast Rap, Hip-Hop, Pop-Rap

Kenny Lattimore
Contemporary R&B, Urban, Adult Contemporary

Patty Loveless
Sleepless Nights
Time Life
Neo-Traditionalist Country, Honky Tonk

Bohuslav Matousek
Martinu: The Complete Music for Violin and Orchestra
Modern Violin Concertos

The New Year
The New Year
Touch & Go
Indie Rock, Slowcore

Original Score
Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Original Score]
Soundtracks, Original Score

Original Soundtrack
Mister Foe
Soundtracks, Indie Electronic, Instrumental Rock

Joan Osborne
Little Wild One
Time Life
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Pop/Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter

Parenthetical Girls
Indie Pop

People in Planes
Beyond the Horizon
Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock

John Phillips
Varese Fontana
Pop/Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Country-Rock, Rock & Roll

Sun on Sun
Thrill Jockey
Experimental Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Indie Rock

Some Small History
Indie Pop, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi, Alternative Singer/Songwriter

Sweaty Magic
Asthmatic Kitty
Indie Pop

Rare Earth
Fill Your Head: The Studio Albums 1969-1974
Hip-O Select
Acid Rock, Pop/Rock, Album Rock, Blue-Eyed Soul, Soul, Motown, Psychedelic

Josh Rouse
The Best of the Rykodisc Years
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter

Jules Shear
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Bobo Stenson Trio
Avant-Garde Jazz, Modern Free, Modern Creative

All or Nothing
Alternative Pop/Rock, Punk-Pop

Emiliana Torrini
Me and Armini
Rough Trade
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Folk

Knowle West Boy
Electronica, Post-Rock/Experimental, Trip-Hop, Alternative Pop/Rock

Chad VanGaalen
Soft Airplane
Sub Pop
Indie Rock, Lo-Fi

Various Artists
Don Letts Presents: Dread Meets Greensleeves
Contemporary Reggae, Roots Reggae, Dancehall, Political Reggae

Dar Williams
Promised Land
Razor & Tie
Alternative Folk, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter

Steve Wynn
Crossing Dragon Bridge
Blue Rose
Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Baroque Pop, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Pop/Rock, Folk-Rock

ZZ Top
Eliminator [CD/DVD]
Warner Bros.
Album Rock, Boogie Rock, Arena Rock, Hard Rock, Blues-Rock, Rock & Roll, Pop/Rock, New Wave, Dance-Rock, Southern Rock

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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