New Music Tuesday: Lady Gaga, Skylar Grey, Justin Bieber
This week in new music we see some new singles, a resurgence of existing material and some new releases.
As for the singles, it was actually in the later part of last week that Lady Gaga released her single “Born This Way.” The song shot straight to the top of the iTunes download charts. After their amazing Grammy Awards performance Dr. Dre’s “I Need a Doctor” featuring that haunting vocal hook from Skylar Grey jumped out of nowhere to the #2 spot and Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never” moved all the way up to #3. Cee Lo Green got in on the fun and jumped up into the #4 spot with his hit “F**k You.” Rounding out the top five was Mumford & Sons. Their song “The Cave” pulled them from obscurity into the #5 spot. The rest of the top ten most downloaded songs on iTunes read like the performer and winner’s list from the Grammys. Katy Perry, Rihanna, Bruno Mars and Lady Antebellum are all there. The only non-Grammy performer in the top ten is Avril Lavigne.
While the iTunes charts are all about the resurgence of acts from the Grammy’s some well-known acts also released new albums this week. Bright Eyes release The People’s Key this week. Bright Eyes singer and primary songwriter Conor Oberst has been mostly releasing solo material recently, but this album returns him to the band and kicks up a little rock and roll dust. Bright Eyes consists mostly of Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott, but at any given time can contain any number of more than a few dozen guest musicians. It is kind of like a halfway house for independent musicians. The People’s Key is the band’s first release in about three years and it finds them in good form. I enjoyed how the band can be soft one minute, loud and obnoxious the next then heartfelt and emotional seconds later. If you are a Bright Eyes or Oberst fan this album should make you happy, I feel it is their best since I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning.
While it has been more than 20 years since the huge success of The Caution Horses, Cowboy Junkies have continued to put out records and have occasional hits like “A Common Disaster.” Demons is their newest album and it is the second in what they plan to be a four album serious called the Nomad Series. This album features only songs written by the late, great Vic Chesnutt and it finds the band giving their melancholy turn on some of his classics. Margo Timmins’ voice is still the smooth, smoky swallow of bourbon it has always been. Cowboy Junkies make me want to get out the bottle, relax and wallow in my own sorrow. Few bands set a mood like they do and this album continues their storied career and showcases them doing what they do best.
In other releases the Christian rock band Stryper has a new album titled The Covering out. They have been around for a while, but seem to be going strong. Speaking of 80’s bands, Mr. Big is also back with a new album called What If. The band no longer has Paul Gilbert on guitar, but seems to be doing what they have done for many years and this album is getting some decent reviews. Also out this week is the gold remaster of Phil Collins No Jacket Required.
That’s about it for new music, enjoy and happy listening.
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