Saturday , April 20 2024
If there is any one thing which can be said of this week's crop of new releases, there is something here for everybody.

New Album Releases 11/13/07: The Return Of Duran Duran Plus: The Killers, The Hives, Alicia Keys, Led Zeppelin, Robyn Hitchcock, Queensryche, James Taylor, Celine Dion, And More

If there is any one thing which can be said of this week’s crop of new releases, it is that there is definitely something here for everybody.

From the return of some formerly huge names from the eighties (Duran Duran and Queensryche); to retrospective sets from the likes of Led Zeppelin and Robyn Hitchcock; to the broad cross-section of current music represented by new albums by the Killers, Alicia Keys, and even Celine Dion — the list of new titles hitting record stores this week is certainly nothing if not an eclectic mix.

Probably the biggest story here is the return of Duran Duran. Not that Duran Duran isn’t a band that has surfaced every so-many years since the days that they ruled MTV back in the eighties — they are, and they certainly have. What seems to be different about the new Red Carpet Massacre however, is that the former Fab Five seem determined here to embrace their former glory years as the kings of techno dance-pop.

Even the album cover here suggests vintage Duran Duran’s sexy MTV videos (which themselves recalled the seventies album sleeves of their idols Roxy Music), with its images of erotica and danger. The difference here is that Duran Duran have chosen to update their dance grooves by enlisting people like Justin Timberlake, Danjahandz, and Timbaland to give their own euro-pop a bit of a hip hop makeover.

From the modern rock side of the street come two interesting new releases. For their
Black and White Album, the Hives look to expand their trademark garage rock sound by enlisting producers such as Jacknife Lee and Pharrell Williams. The Killers on the other hand, offer more of an “odds and sods” sort of collection with their own Sawdust, an album largely made up of outtakes and unreleased songs from the sessions for their first two wildly successful albums.

Alicia Keys returns for her third album As I Am, making the move to fuller band arrangements, as opposed to the often sparser sounding R&B minimalism of her previous, critically acclaimed work. Keys still mines the same neo-soul territory with a touch of hip hop attitude here, while attempting to break out of the torchy solo piano stuff which won her worldwide recognition at a very young age.

As can always be expected this time of year, there are also some interesting new reissues this week.

Although the 2 CD/1 DVD Led Zeppelin collection Mothership doesn’t really offer up anything new in the way of previously unavailable material (that particular vault had to be picked dry some time ago), the remastering job here is said to reveal new clarity, and a sound mix not nearly so heavy on the high end. Besides, with interest in Zeppelin once again running high (did it ever really go away?) due to an impending reunion concert in England, and the reissue of The Song Remains The Same, yet another reissue collection certainly can’t hurt.

Indie label Yep Rock also begins an ambitious reissue campaign for college radio/alt-rock darling Robyn Hitchcock, by issuing a four disc box set, I Wanna Go Backwards, as well as three of his albums, Black Snake Diamond Role, Eye, and I Often Dream of Trains.

Before Seattle gave the world grunge, the last big band to come out of Starbucks-land was prog-metal heroes Queensryche. With a live album and a hits retrospective released earlier this year, the band has also enjoyed a revival of sorts. Queensryche’s new album, the appropriately titled Take Cover, finds the Seattle band offering up their versions of songs made famous by the likes of U2, Pink Floyd, and Crosby Stills Nash & Young.

On the softer side, veteran singer-songwriter (and the latest signee to Starbucks Hear Music label) James Taylor has the live album, One Man Band. On the combination CD/DVD set, Taylor performs several of his greatest hits in concert, while revealing the stories behind the songs in the more intimate format made famous by the VH1 Storytellers series.

Celine Dion also leaves Las Vegas long enough to deliver her first new album in several years, Taking Chances. It’s an odd title given Dion’s reputation for rarely doing anything of the sort, although she is actually leaving Vegas to embark on a lengthy world tour to support the release.

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

Duran Duran
Red Carpet Massacre
Dance-Rock, Pop/Rock

Robyn Hitchcock
I Wanna Go Backwards [Bonus Tracks]
Yep Roc
College Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Jangle Pop, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Folk-Rock

The Hives
The Black and White Album
Retro-Rock, Garage Punk, Garage Rock Revival, Punk Revival, Alternative Pop/Rock

Alicia Keys
As I Am
Neo-Soul, Contemporary R&B, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock

Trisha Yearwood
Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love
Big Machine
Contemporary Country

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
Hardcore Rap, Gangsta Rap, Midwest Rap

Boyz II Men
Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA
Tribute Albums, Urban, Adult Contemporary

Vashti Bunyan
Some Things Just Stick in You Mind: Single and Demos 1964-1967
Fat Cat
British Folk

Don Cherry
Thinking of You
Traditional Pop, Vocal Pop

Club 8
The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Dreaming
Indie Electronic, Swedish Pop/Rock, Indie Pop

Dane Cook
Rough Around the Edges: Live from Madison Square Garden
Comedy Central Rec.
Standup Comedy, Observational Humor

Brian Dewan
Words of Wisdom

The Dillinger Escape Plan
Ire Works
Experimental Rock, Post-Hardcore, Grindcore

Celine Dion
Taking Chances
Adult Contemporary, Pop/Rock

Ian Dury
The Best of Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
The Great American
British Punk, Pub Rock, New Wave, Punk, Disco

What Are?
Indie Pop, Pop Underground

Aretha Franklin
Jewels in the Crown: All Star Duets with the Queen
Smooth Soul, Pop/Rock, Contemporary R&B, Adult Contemporary

The Goo Goo Dolls
Greatest Hits, Vol. 1: The Singles
Warner Bros.
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Post-Grunge, Hard Rock, Pop/Rock

Manuel Göttsching
Live at Mt. Fuji
MG Art
Kraut Rock, Experimental, Electronic

David Gray
Greatest Hits
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock

Angela Hewitt
Schumann: Humoresque; Sonata in F sharp minor [Hybrid SACD]
Romantic Piano Music

Robyn Hitchcock
Black Snake Diamond Role [Yep Rock]
Yep Roc
College Rock, Neo-Psychedelia, Folk-Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Rock & Roll

Robyn Hitchcock
Eye [Yep Roc]
Yep Roc
Alternative Pop/Rock, College Rock, Folk-Rock, Neo-Psychedelia

Robyn Hitchcock
I Often Dream of Trains [Yep Roc]
Yep Roc
Alternative Pop/Rock, College Rock, Folk-Rock, Neo-Psychedelia

John Lee Hooker
I’m John Lee Hooker
Detroit Blues, Country Blues, Electric Delta Blues, Electric Blues, Acoustic Blues, Juke Joint Blues

Dream Pop, Indie Rock, Post-Rock/Experimental, Indie Pop, Experimental Rock

The Killers
New Wave/Post-Punk Revival, Alternative Pop/Rock

Ton Koopman
Buxtehude: Opera Omnia V: Vocal Works, Vol. 2
Challenge Classics
Baroque Vocal Music

LCD Soundsystem
Indie Electronic, Alternative Dance

Led Zeppelin
Album Rock, Arena Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Blues-Rock, British Metal, British Blues

Dave Liebman
Blues All Ways
Progressive Jazz

Os Mutantes
Live at the Barbican Theatre 2006
Brazilian Pop, Tropicalia, Psychedelic

Peter Schickele
P.D.Q. Bach: The Jekyll & Hyde Tour
Contemporary Vocal & Chamber Music

Tokyo String Quartet
Beethoven: String Quartets, Op. 18, Nos. 1-6
Harmonia Mundi
Romantic String Quartets

Dominique Visse
Takemitsu: Songs
Haenssler Classic
Contemporary Vocal Music

Take Cover
Progressive Metal, Arena Rock, Heavy Metal, Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Hard Rock

Jimmy Reed
Live at Carnegie Hall
Shout! Factory
Blues Revival, Electric Harmonica Blues, Electric Chicago Blues, R&B

Warner Bros.
Club/Dance, Pop/Rock, Adult Contemporary, Urban, House, Dance-Pop

Dancehall, Contemporary Reggae, Reggae-Pop

Michael Showalter
Sandwiches & Cats
Standup Comedy, Observational Humor, Musical Comedy

George Strait
22 More Hits
MCA Nashville
Neo-Traditionalist Country, New Traditionalist, Honky Tonk, Contemporary Country

Streetlight Manifesto
Somewhere in the Between
Third Wave Ska Revival, Ska-Punk

James Taylor
One Man Band
Hear Music
Pop/Rock, Soft Rock, Singer/Songwriter

McCoy Tyner
Afro Blue
Post-Bop, Latin

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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