This week’s release schedule had more than its share of shake-ups, as One Republic’s Native shifted to next week, and 50 Cent’s Street King Immortal slouches its way to 2013. With Taylor Swift’s Red set for a third consecutive week atop the charts, does a surprise hit rest among the remaining 2012 releases?
Green Day had high hopes for Dos!, the second release of their planned three-album punch, but with a lead singer in rehab, it’s tough promoting new material. Christina Aguilera earned plenty of press for Lotus, thanks to her role judging The Voice, but the album’s songs aren’t building much buzz. OneDirection will get the teen girls hopping thanks to 2012’s boy-band resurgence, but the biggest battle this week has the Beatles and the Rolling Stones challenging each other for sales supremacy while Soundgarden releases its first album of fresh material since 1996.
With next week’s release window still swinging wide open, nothing’s a safe bet save for the likelihood that Adele’s 21, issued last year, stands to be this year’s most successful album by a wide margin.
– – – – –
Tuesday New Releases in Music
Aaron Lewis – The Road (Blaster Records)
Aaron Lewis’s second solo album fully transitions the former Staind front-man from by-the-numbers alt-rock to straightforward radio country. “Red White and Blue” aims for the Veterans Day crowd and hits the mark, though nothing quite has the lyrical punch of “Country Boy” off his debut Town Line.
Altered Five – Gotta Earn It (Conclave / Cold Wind Records)
Bambi Lee Savage – Darkness Overshadowed (Bambi Lee Savage)
Black Forest Fire – Transit of Venus (Sedimental)
Brian Eno – LUX (Warp Records)
Clinic – Free Reign (Domino)
Crystal Castles – III (Casablanca)
Deftones – Koi No Yokan (Reprise)
Green Day – Dos! (Reprise)
How to Destroy Angels – An Omen (Columbia)
Jozef Van Wissem and Jim Jarmusch – The Mystery of Heaven (Sacred Bones)
Lana Del Rey – Paradise (Interscope)
Whether you love or hate her overwrought “gangster Nancy Sinatra” pose, Paradise adds depth to Del Rey’s much maligned debut Born to Die, showcasing an artist still searching for her real hook. With months separating these new songs from January’s hype, they stand successfully on their own, boding well for her second wind.
Lust for Youth – Growing Seeds (Sacred Bones)
Midnight Magic – Walking the Midnight Streets (Midnight Sun Sound)
OneDirection – Take Me Home (Columbia)
Oneida – A List of the Burning Mountains (Jagjaguwar)
Soundgarden – King Animal (Universal Republic)
Chris Cornell and Soundgarden haven’t put out fresh material since 1996, yet King Animal and the lead single “Been Away Too Long” prove you can pick up right where you left off. Forget ‘90s nostalgia – Soundgarden’s making great alternative music in the here and now.
Stephen Lynch – LION (What Are Records)
Stumbleine – Spiderwebbed (Monotreme Records)
Sufjan Stevens – Silver & Gold (Asthmatic Kitty)
The Babies – Our House on the Hill (Woodsist)
For fans of both the Beatles and vinyl in general, there’s no better holiday gift than this newly reissued collection. Reproduced in 180-gram audiophile-grade vinyl, this collection includes all 14 of the Beatles’ original studio albums, plus an elegant 252-page hardcover book showcasing a wealth of photographs spanning the band’s entire career. As a bonus, this is the first time the band’s four earliest albums will receive North American stereo vinyl treatment.
The Rolling Stones – GRRR! (ABKCO / Interscope)
Travis Barker and Yelawolf – Psycho White EP (Lasalle Records)
Vinyl Williams – Lemniscate (Salonislam)
– – – – –
While this week’s release slate gears up for Black Friday with heavy hitters, a number of albums from the last month still merit consideration as last-minute stocking-stuffers, including new pop-punk from All Time Low and a rarities collection from the best Athens, Georgia band not called R.E.M.
Popular Fall Hits
– – – – –
10/9: All Time Low – Don’t Panic (Hopeless Records)
The biggest pop-punk band to emerge from the Baltimore scene, All Time Low has overcome weak radio airplay, building its fan-base through constant touring. Their fourth album aims for new heights, with “For Baltimore” and “Somewhere in Neverland” bringing solid hooks.
10/9: Two Fingers – Stunt Rhythms (Big Dada / Ninja Tune)
10/16: The Luyas – Animator (Dead Oceans)
10/16: Anberlin – Vital (Universal Republic)
10/16: Chelsea Wolfe – Unknown Rooms (Sargent House)
10/16: Brandy – Two Eleven (RCA)
The R&B singer’s first album of new material in four years guns for chart success, co-writing with Chris Brown, Frank Ocean and Mario Winans, among others. Entertainment Weekly calls Two Eleven an “intimate, often ethereal, collection.”
10/16: Benjamin Gibbard – Former Lives (Barsuk Records)
10/23: P.O.S. – We Don’t Even Live Here (Rhymesayers)
10/23: The Sword – Apocryphon (Razor & Tie)
10/23: Titus Andronicus – Local Business (XL Recordings)
10/23: Cemeteries – The Wilderness (Lefse Records)
10/23: Of Montreal – Daughter of Cloud (Polyvinyl Records)
A rarities collection from the Athens, Georgia band, Daughters of Cloud brings together the best of their mixture of electronica, funk, glam and afrobeat via 17 tracks, ten previously unreleased and seven otherwise rare or out of print.
10/30: Chad Valley – Young Hunger (Cascine)
10/30: Menahan Street Band – The Crossing (Daptone)
10/30: Toby Keith – Hope on the Rocks (Show Dog / Universal)
11/06: Emeralds – Just to Feel Anything (Editions Mego)
– – – – –
This week features big names on the Blu-Ray front, including Pixar’s Brave, Ben Stiller’s much maligned The Watch and Oliver Stone’s crime thriller Savages. Plus: TV fans rejoice, as Friends gets the ultimate Blu-Ray treatment on 21 discs!
New Releases: DVD / Blu-Ray
– – – – –
Pixar’s latest blockbuster begs the question: “Can we change our destiny?” Discover the meaning of true bravery as headstrong princess Merida gets her ill-fated wish, fighting to undo a beastly curse in this family-friendly animated winner.
Friends: The Complete Series (Blu-Ray)
TV’s biggest ensemble blockbuster finally comes to Blu-Ray, featuring 110 hours of content including all 236 episodes on 21 discs, repackaged within a hard-cover collectible book. Let “The One With the Friends Marathon” begin!
The Island President (DVD)
– – – – –
Everyone wants the edge on perfect holiday gifts as the shopping season gets underway. Amazon’s latest Kindle brings the goods, plus an affordable digital media car stereo and the one item no driver should travel without.
PJ Lifestyle: Ultimate Holiday Gifts
– – – – –
Another year, another Kindle update. But wait! This one brings a real hook to the table – for the first time, Amazon’s flagship product delivers higher contrast, with crisp text against a bright white backdrop, finally echoing the experience of reading text on a page. The Guardian calls the Paperwhite the best e-reader on the market: “If you still prefer real books to electronic gizmos, the Kindle Paperwhite is a good reason to think again.” Though the two Kindle limit still remains in effect, Amazon has waived shipping costs on two-day shipping, so your gift should arrive in time for Christmas even with the product not shipping before December 21.
This portable, high-performance telescope brings advanced computerized stargazing to a level even novice astronomers can support. NightSkies.net gives this scope high marks: “The optical quality of the Chinese-made C6 Schmidt-Cassegrain tube assembly is very good for the price and delivers all one expects of a compact, obstructed optical system. The mount is solidly engineered, eminently portable, and reliably finds objects. The NexStar 6 SE gets a well-deserved thumbs up.” As a bonus, Amazon has this telescope discounted nearly 50 percent in advance of Black Friday.
This is the product for everyone who ever wanted to access a digital music collection while driving, without having to rely on a complicated new car stereo system. The 612UA contains all the essentials for enjoying digital media without the hassle of mechanical parts – no CDs or cassettes, just the simplicity of digital music wherever you go. Connect any mp3 player to the system via the 3.5 mm headphone jack, or simply load your music onto a USB drive you can plug directly into the front of the system. The Boss 612UA is even compatible with SD cards. You won’t find a less complicated system in this price range, making the Boss 612UA perfect for anyone on your list.
While you’re updating the car stereo, however, don’t forget the most important item every driver should have in the trunk, especially with winter hazard driving straight ahead:
For every driver who ever had a battery die in an inconvenient situation, this self-jumper allows you to jump-start your car with ease, no second vehicle required. The JNC660 delivers all the power you’ll need, and, weighing only 18 pounds, this product fits perfectly in your trunk along with those handy jumper cables. Normally the JNC660 will set you back at least $300, but in advance of Black Friday, Amazon has it priced under $130, making this a no-brainer purchase for any self-sufficient driver with an eye on safety and prudence.
– – – – –
That’s all for this week’s edition of Tuesday New Releases! We’re open to your suggestions as we develop this column to best serve you. If you have suggestions for future coverage, or if you have a product you’d like featured or reviewed here, simply email Jonathan Sanders at [email protected]