New Music Releases: Weezer, N.E.R.D. and Elvis Costello!
Today marks the release of brand new albums from Weezer, N.E.R.D. and Elvis Costello.
As we head into November the official Christmas shopping season is starting to get underway. A lot of artists are releasing new material now so that holiday shoppers can pick it up for themselves or others. The next handful of weeks should have some pretty good stuff for us to check out. This week marks the release of new albums from N.E.R.D., Weezer and Elvis Costello.
Here is what you can expect from this week’s releases:
Weezer‘s new record “Death To False Metal” comes not too long after their most recent album “Hurley”. Death is not so much an actual new studio album, but is made up of never before released or heard tracks that didn’t make it on to other albums. For some bands this might make for a terrible album. Normally, there is a reason that a song doesn’t make it on to an album, but here the songs are actually really good. They have nine never before released songs and one cover. The cover is of the Toni Braxton hit “Unbreak My Heart” It is interesting to hear River’s almost flat voice moan out the lyrics to a song all of us know as a large, over the top balled. It brings a different energy and desperation to the song that didn’t exist before. Maybe my favorite track is “I Don’t Want Your Loving”. In this rocker Rivers tells a girl he doesn’t want to be with her and she is clearly not used to being dumped. It is a cool flip on the normal break up song. Weezer is one of those bands that people love or hate (as evident by the guy who is trying to raise 10 million dollars to give them so the will stop recording music). If you are not a Weezer fan, or you are unfamiliar with their work, skip this one and get the Green album or “Pinkerton” (the “Pinkerton” deluxe edition was released this week as well). If you are into Weezer, this one fits nicely along with your collection and should make you very happy.
N.E.R.D.’s fourth album “Nothing” finds the band doing what it does best which is jumping all over the musical spectrum and infusing their hip hop sound with rock, pop, soul and even some big band swing. Pharrell Williams has long been sought after as one of the best hip hop producers in the game and his vocal style also makes him a frequent collaborator on other people’s songs. Here he reunites with Chad Hugo and Shae Haley and as the band celebrates its 10th year together they are in fine form showing off their imaginations and studio prowess while making some wild, catchy sounds. They are still at times angry and at time silly, but the sound is always compelling and keeps your head bobbing. There are two versions of this album coming out this week. The deluxe edition features an extra four songs but will cost you an extra$4-$5.
Elvis Costello has been around for a long time, but his new record “National Ransom” finds him in fine form doing what he does best. This album shows off what has made Costello an icon. He seems to effortlessly hop genres while keeping a firm grasp on the earnest lyrics and storytelling that fans have come to enjoy. Jumping between rock, country, jazz, and acoustic pop, Costello flexes his musical muscle and takes us on a journey with him. Maybe the best track on the record is “ Bullets For the New-Born King” that is just Costello, his acoustic guitar and his voice. When he is good, Elvis Costello is great and while “National Ransom” is not as good as “Armed Forces” or “This Year’s Model” he is no longer the post-punk singer/songwriter he was back then so you can’t expect him to recreate those records. This album does him justice and shows how he has changed, yet remained intact over the years. It shows that Costello is still relevant, at times still angry and still very talented.
A couple of smaller mentions here as well. Mariah Carey has a new Christmas album out. While I’m not a huge fan of hers she has a great voice that works well with these songs, some of which she gives a little modern flavor to. There is also a big boxed set for the heavy metal fans that is worth checking out. It features Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax who put on a huge show in Bulgaria over the summer. This boxed set captures all four of their sets on CD, DVD’s of all four bands complete shows and plenty of bonus footage. It is on the expensive side, but well worth it for fans of these bands.
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