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New Album Releases July 21, 2009: Bo Diddley, Brooke Hogan, Cheap Trick, Demi Lovato, Matthew Sweet, Sugar Ray, Susanna Hoffs, The Working Title

Each week I try to find at least one title I plan to buy, or at least one that mildly interests me.  Most weeks it's been easy.  Some weeks, like this week, it gets tougher.  When I can't find anything for myself, I try to find something for you.  When that doesn't work, I at least try to warn you away from the rubbish.  With that, we go once more into the void…

Cheap Trick
The Latest

I mention this one more for you than for me.  I know we have some regular readers who are Cheap Trick fans.  I find myself more casual about them.  I have Budokan! and a couple other albums.  I like a good fistful of singles from them.  That's about it, for me.  Anyway the album that was the latest before The LatestRockford, got some outstanding reviews when it was released in 2006 so these guys clearly haven't lost their touch.  If you're of a mind, you might need to check out The Latest.

Bo Diddley 
Ride On: The Chess Masters, Vol. 3 – 1960-1961 

Hip-O Select has been doing some great re-issues of some of the classic material from the classic artists who recorded for Chess.  We've gotten two massive volumes of Chuck Berry, a massive volume of Little Walter, and two big scoops of Muddy Waters.  Now we get the third installment of Bo Diddley.  This isn't going to be the place for beginners as this will drown listeners in alternate takes and previously unreleased material and this set is going to be pricey.  For the Bo Diddley devotee, those alternate takes and previously unreleased tracks are going to be pure gold.

Matthew Sweet/Susanna Hoffs
Under The Covers, Vol. 2

They put Vol. 1 in the title the first time they paired up so you had to expect a second installment would show up and indeed it has.  It was a pleasant collaboration but felt a bit unnecessary.  How much less necessary is this second outing?  The song selections are slightly less obvious than the first volume but not because Sweet and Hoffs got creative but because it would have been damn near impossible to get more predictable.  I can't imagine this actually being bad, nor can I imagine myself listening to this one.

The Working Title 
Bone Island

Another band who started independently, tried life with the majors, and is now back on their own.  The Working Title got some great ink from their debut EP, Everyone Here Is Wrong.  I never heard the EP but I love the title.  That's great.  It's the sequel to Neil Young's "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere."  Okay, they're not actually sequels, but I like the pairing.  They followed up Everyone Here is Wrong with a full-length for Universal called About Face and now return with a brand new album Bone Island

Brooke Hogan
The Redemption

Sugar Ray
Music for Cougars

I beg you, each and every one of you, please ignore these records with the same zeal and alacrity with which you crassly bought Michael Jackson records the week after he died.  The power and intensity of your indifference could save starving children.

Let's start with Brooke.  If you're wondering if the redemption she speaks of in the title is her apologizing for her family or previous attempts at music, you'll be disappointed.  In fact, if you've spent any time at all thinking about this record you're going to be disappointed because I'll bet everything in my wallet versus everything in your wallet no one aligned with this project put any thought into it either.  What separates this heavy dose of AutoTune'd vocals (because she can't actually sing) and canned beats from previous Brooke Hogan songs?  How about a clip of an argument between Brooke and Mommy Dearest?  I shit you not.  

As for Sugar Ray, they were harmless enough the first time with a couple dumb, disposable hits in the '90s.  I don't know what they were on about and neither do they, but Mark McGrath was eye candy for the female crowd so no one bothered to ask.  They cleverly titled one of their records 14:59, a seeming acknowledgment they knew their 15 minutes of fame were just about up.  That was 10 years ago.  Rather than naming this record 15:20, they've named it Music For Cougars.  I'm sorry, but that's vile.  I know, I know.  I have no sense of humor. I'm sure Mr. McGrath is being funny and ironic.  Folks, it's not that I don't get the joke.  It's that it's just not funny, and neither is Sugar Ray anymore.  If we ignore them, maybe they'll go away for good this time.

Here's your full list of New Album Releases for 7/21/2009:

The Fiery Furnaces 
I'm Going Away 

Brooke Hogan 
The Redemption 

Ian Hunter 
Man Overboard 

Michael Jackson 
Hello World: The Motown Solo Collection 

Jordin Sparks 

Matthew Sweet/Susanna Hoffs 
Under the Covers, Vol. 2 

American Steel 
Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts 

The Average White Band 
Warmer Communications [Bonus Tracks] 

Beat Farmers 

Book of Love 
Book of Love [Bonus Tracks] 

Book of Love 
Candy Carol [Bonus Tracks] 

Book of Love 
Lovebubble [Bonus Tracks] 

Book of Love 
Lullaby [Bonus Tracks] 

Cheap Trick 
The Latest

Totems Flare 

Crooked Fingers 
Forfeit/Fortune [CD+DVD] 

Bo Diddley 
Ride On: The Chess Masters, Vol. 3 – 1960-1961 

Bill Frisell 

Gary Go 
Gary Go 

Lorne Greene 
Lorne Greene: The Man 

Hartmut Haenchen 
Haydn: Symphonies Nos. 60, 94 & 103 

Her Space Holiday 
Sleepy Tigers 

In the Country 

Jay & the Americans 
The Complete United Artist Singles 

Jonsi & Alex 
Riceboy Sleeps 

Dejan Lazic 
Liaisons, Vol. 2: Schumann & Brahms [Hybrid SACD] 

Demi Lovato 
Here We Go Again 

Magnolia Electric Co. 

Maher Shalal Hash Baz 
C'est la Dernière Chanson 

Mighty Sam McClain 
Betcha Didn't Know 

David Robertson 
John Adams: Doctor Atomic Symphony 

Jan Vogler 
Mendelssohn: Cello Sonatas; Variations concertantes; Song without Words 

Original Soundtrack 
Bonnie and Clyde [Collectors' Choice Soundtrack] 

Our Lady Peace 
Burn Burn 

Our Lady Peace 
Burn Burn [Bonus Tracks] [CD/DVD] 

John Phillips 
Andy Warhol Presents Man on the Moon 

RX Bandits 

Ty Segall 

Set Your Goals 
This Will Be the Death of Us 

Ricky Skaggs 
Don't Cheat in Our Hometown [CD/DVD] 

The Skygreen Leopards 
Gorgeous Johnn

The Starlight Mints 
Change Remains 

Sugar Ray 
Music for Cougars 

Robin Trower 
What Lies Beneath 

Various Artists 
Kontra Wagner 

Moritz von Oswald Trio 
Vertical Ascent 

Brooke White 
High Hopes and Heartbreaks 

Wye Oak 
The Knot 


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