Saturday , February 24 2024
It's beginning to look a lot like...Christmas?

New Album Releases 09/23/08: David Gilmour, Kings Of Leon, TV On The Radio, Cold War Kids, Plain White Ts, Pussycat Dolls, Jackson Browne, Replacements, McCoy Tyner & More

It's beginning to look a lot like…Christmas?

Most folks haven't even broke out the pumpkins yet, and already this week's list of new releases brings the first holiday music of the season — from the Little River Band and Spryo Gyra. Incredible.

Other than the early "ho, ho, ho's" what we've got here is a solid, if not exactly earth-shattering selection of new music, including a couple of indie-rock darlings, some classic-rock warhorses, and another round of deluxe reissues from an underground institution.

David Gilmour's first ever live album outside of Pink Floyd carries with it a bit of a sad note, as it is probably the last appearance we will see on record by fellow Floyd-mate Richard Wright, who passed away last week. Wright's keyboards are prominently featured here on live versions of Floyd opuses like "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," "Echoes," and in a true "holy shit" moment, an updated version of "Astronomy Domine," as well as songs from last year's Gilmour solo album On An Island. Live In Gdansk comes in both CD and DVD versions.

Jackson Browne, who recently made news by suing Republican presidential hopeful John McCain's campaign over the unauthorized use of his music, returns with Time the Conqueror. Rhino/Sire has it's latest round of deluxe reissues from the Replacements, including the essential release Tim, replete with bonus and previously unreleased material.

Indie rockers Cold War Kids and TV On The Radio both have new discs this week. The Pussycat Dolls have a double CD featuring both a group effort and individual solo tracks (on the second disc). Plain White Ts hope to break the sophomore jinx on their new CD, Big Bad World.

Tom Johnson makes his return as a contributor to NAR this week to talk about a new McCoy Tyner release that features a lot of the sort of people that Mark Saleski likes. Speaking of Saleski, he did not contribute a pick this week. But before we get to Mr. Johnson's pick, regular NAR contributor El Bicho picks on the new one from Kings Of Leon.

El Bicho's Masked Music Pick: Kings Of Leon – Only by the Night

The Followill clan returns with their fourth album, Only By The Night.  As a fan, I was very much looking forward it, but it comes up short if you liked their previous efforts.

When “Closer” opens, strange atmospheric sounds will make think you there is some sort of labeling error until you hear Caleb’s distinctive voice wailing away. The fuzzed-out guitars on "Crawl" bring the band to more familiar-sounding territory and the music really cuts loose as the song closes.

I am fine with a band experimenting; however, Kings of Leon don't reach the ragged glory that made their sound so dynamic and dangerous. The songs here have become even more polished than before, a big mistake made by them and their producers. They aren't your band anymore; they are your younger sister's band. Hopefully they can salvage these tracks in a live setting and scuff them up a bit.

Only By The Night may grow on me eventually, but on initial listen it didn't immediately grab like their other albums did.

Tom Johnson's Pick Of The Week: McCoy Tyner – Guitars

There are certain names that signify quality in a musical release, and there's a bunch gathered right here – backing former John Coltrane pianist Tyner, there's bassist extraordinaire Ron Carter and drummer Jack DeJohnette, but along for the ride, and to make the title make sense, are guitarists Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, Derek Trucks, John Scofield and banjo-god Bela Fleck. Each takes a turn filling out a corner of a quartet with Tyner's band (some get more time than others.)

What makes this release even more rewarding than just the all-star cast is the inclusion of a DVD that features three hours of footage covering each of the guitarists from a variety of viewer-choosable angles, plus the ability to isolate any of the musicians to study them by themselves. For musicians and instrumental freaks, this is a very cool plus.

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

Cold War Kids
Loyalty to Loyalty
Indie Rock

Kings of Leon
Only by the Night
Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock

Jenny Lewis
Acid Tongue
Warner Bros.
Indie Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Americana, Alternative Country-Rock

The Hawk Is Howling
Experimental Rock, Indie Rock, Post-Rock/Experimental

Plain White T's
Big Bad World
Alternative Pop/Rock, Punk-Pop

Pussycat Dolls
Doll Domination [Bonus Tracks]
Club/Dance, Urban, Dance-Pop

The Replacements
Tim [Expanded Edition]
American Underground, College Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Hard Rock

TV on the Radio
Dear Science,
Indie Rock, Post-Rock/Experimental

John Adams
John Adams: A Flowering Tree
Contemporary Opera

All Girl Summer Fun Band
Looking into It
Indie Pop, Punk-Pop

Karl Blau
Nature's Got Away
Indie Pop, Lo-Fi

Blitzen Trapper
Sub Pop
Indie Pop, Alternative Country-Rock, Indie Rock

Brightblack Morning Light
Motion to Rejoin
Indie Rock, Jam Bands

Jackson Browne
Time the Conqueror

Cameron Carpenter
Revolutionary [Includes Bonus DVD]
Baroque, Romantic, Modern & Contemporary Music for Organ

Paul Clayton
Sings Homemade Songs and Ballads/Folk Singer!
Folksongs, Traditional Folk, Sea Shanties

Cowboy Mouth
Alternative Country-Rock, Jam Bands, American Trad Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford
Rap-Rock, Contemporary Blues

Ghetto Bootleg
Tommy Boy
Club/Dance, Dance-Pop, Party Rap, Pop-Rap, Neo-Electro

Heads Up
Smooth Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Jazz-Pop

Friendly Fires
Friendly Fires
Indie Electronic, Indie Rock

Kenny Garrett
Sketches of MD
Mack Avenue
Modal Music, Post-Bop, Jazz-Funk, Modern Creative

David Gilmour
Live in Gdansk
Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Album Rock

Golden Smog
Stay Golden, Smog: The Best of Golden Smog
Alternative Country-Rock

Parry Gripp
Do You Like Waffles?
Comedy Rock, Indie Rock

David Grubbs
An Optimist Notes the Dusk
Drag City
Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Experimental Rock, Post-Rock/Experimental

Charlie Haden
Family and Friends: Rambling Boy
Americana, Country Gospel, Progressive Bluegrass

High Places
High Places
Thrill Jockey
Indie Electronic, Indie Pop

Gundula Janowitz
Richard Strauss: Songs with Orchestra
Virgin Classics
Post-Romantic Music for Voice & Orchestra

Killah Priest/Chief Kamachi
Beautiful Minds
Hardcore Rap, East Coast Rap, Underground Rap

Jon Langford/Kat Ex
Carrot Top
Alternative Country-Rock

Alternative Pop/Rock, Chamber Pop

Little River Band
We Call It Christmas
Pop/Rock, Soft Rock, Adult Contemporary

Kenny Loggins
How About Now
Pop/Rock, Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Country

Demi Lovato
Don't Forget
Teen Pop, Dance-Pop

McCarthy Trenching
Calamity Drenching
Team Love
Alternative Country-Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter

Nicola Melville
Melville's Dozen
Contemporary Piano Music

Magic Monday
Ghostly International
Left-Field Hip-Hop, Indie Electronic

Bette Midler
Jackpot: The Best Bette
Adult Contemporary, Pop/Rock

Journey to the West
Experimental Rock, Original Score, Alternative Pop/Rock

Nagisa Ni Te
Indie Pop, Neo-Psychedelia

Graham Nash
Songs for Beginners [CD/DVD]
Folk-Rock, Soft Rock, Country-Rock

John Oates
1000 Miles of Life
Doyle Kos DK.E
Pop/Rock, Adult Contemporary

David Oistrakh
David Oistrakh: The Complete Recordings
EMI Classics
Orchestral & Chamber Music Featuring Violin

Old Crow Medicine Show
Tennessee Pusher
Neo-Traditional Folk, Jug Band, String Bands, Americana, Contemporary Folk

Original Soundtrack
Sex and the City, Vol. 2: More Music
New Line
Film Music, Soundtracks, Pop/Rock, Urban, Dance-Pop

Lee "Scratch" Perry
Scratch Came, Scratch Saw, Scratch Conquered
Contemporary Reggae

Otis Redding
Live in London and Paris
Deep Soul, Southern Soul, Soul, Memphis Soul

The Replacements
All Shook Down [Expanded Edition]
American Underground, College Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll, Singer/Songwriter

The Replacements
Don't Tell a Soul [Expanded Edition]
American Underground, College Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock

The Replacements
Pleased to Meet Me [Expanded Edition]
American Underground, College Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll

The Tony Rich Project
Hidden Beach
Contemporary R&B, Urban

Cliff Richard
They Said It Wouldn't Last: My 50 Years in Music
EMD Int'l
Early British Pop/Rock, Teen Idol, Pop/Rock, Pop, Rock & Roll

Max Richter
24 Postcards in Full Colour
Fat Cat
Electronica, Classical

Randy Rogers
Randy Rogers Band
Contemporary Country

Serena Maneesh
S-M Backwards
Smalltown Supersound
Indie Rock, Noise Pop, Shoegaze

Sing It Loud
Come Around

Spyro Gyra
A Night Before Christmas
Heads Up
Smooth Jazz, Crossover Jazz, Jazz-Pop, Holiday, Christmas, Fusion

Jazmine Sullivan
J Records
Urban, Contemporary R&B

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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