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New Music Monday(?!?) – November 24th, 2008 Monday, November 24, 2008

Posted by Jerkwheat in jerkwheat, Your Morning Rock.
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Well, wouldn’t you know it? Our major releases this week couldn’t even wait until Tuesday. The most notorious of these releases came out yesterday, exclusive to iTunes and a certain blue painted big-box store. The others are due out today and tomorrow, although my Target decided to go ahead and sell them yesterday. I’m thinking this wasn’t a planned release bump, since iTunes and Amazon were still showing them as not available yet. So kudos to the merchandiser at the 7 Corners Target who might be losing their job for filling out the new release endcap a couple of days early!

Axl and Brandon and Kanye this week! Oh my! Jump with me.

Guns N Roses – Chinese Democracy
There is pretty much no way any album can live up to a decade and a half of expectations. It’s straight up unpossible. And the reactions to this one have been very much hot or cold. I lean more towards the Klosterman camp in terms of my opinion here. I do like it. I don’t think it’s amazing, but I think it’s a lot closer to a solid B than a D. And here’s to thinking that the next album comes out within the next two years after this.

The Killers – Day And Age
When Sam’s Town came out a couple of years ago, it was another album that seemed to have a very split reaction. A lot of this can be attriubted to Brandon Flowers’ pompousness and declarations that the Killers were making the best album ever at the time. I liked the record quite a bit and, as time has passed, I’ve found that a few more people liked it than seemed to admit it at the time. The synths are back and the Springsteenian affectations have been toned down. An initial listen revealed a pretty solid album here.

Kanye West – 808s and Heartbreak
I find Kanye to be a pompous self-obsessed horse’s ass. But then again, I think Kanye probably feels that way about himself. Plus, I think he likes Fall Out Boy and that’s always a negative for me. That said, I’m more intrigued by this album than anything else he’s done to date. We picked it up at the ol Target (thanks again, stock boy!) and I’ve given it a cursory listen and I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it. The auto-tune thing, that gets old fast. The thought of Kanye getting all emo and taking a turn as a hip hop Chris Carraba an interesting concept though.

Scott Weiland – “Happy” in Galoshes
Oh, Weiland, you poor bastard. I’m really confounded by this coming out on New West though – home of the Drive-by Truckers, Old 97s, Vic Chesnutt, etc. Weird combo.

Death Cab for Cutie – Something About Airplanes Deluxe Edition
Great debut album turns 10. Which makes me realize how long it’s been since I started college. This time it’s got an extra disc featuring the band’s first Seattle concert. If you like Death Cab and haven’t picked up Airplanes yet (and if you like Death Cab and don’t have that one – please expand your listening immediately) go ahead and get this reissue, ok?

So, if you are picking up one, two, or more new albums this week, let’s talk about it in the comments as always…

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1. Matt_T - Monday, November 24, 2008

I went to Best Buy to purchase Kanye and the Killers. They had a display right when you walked in with 2 versions of the new Kanye, new Beyonce, new MudVayne and a couple others.

No Killers. So I look on the shelf. Nothing. Ask a guy, he can’t find it. I look in the computer, it says 10 in stock. He says well maybe its en route, and it will be here tomorrow. I tell him today is the release date.

20 minutes later someone comes from out back with a box of the Killers cd.

2. Rockabye - Monday, November 24, 2008

Ludacris also drops today; his Theater of the Mind comes with “co-starring” roles by Jay-Z, Nas, T-Pain, The Game, Chris Brown, T.I., Lil Wayne, and Floyd Mayweather (!?) and production from DJ Premier, DJ Toomp, The Runners, and a bunch of other people. It’s much better than Ludacris has been in a few years, and though there’s no breakaway hit on the album like “Moneymaker” or “Runaway Love,” it will be very well received in hip-hop circles.

And Kanye’s probably more aware of his ego than anyone else on the planet; 808s and Heartbreak, though, isn’t going to set anything on fire, despite a handful of good beats (“Amazing,” “Heartless,” “Love Lockdown”) that seem like singles and candidates for Freestylers’ Pick of Q4. It’s his first album that’s not very good-to-great.

And if you aren’t a fan of Kanye, Jerkwheat, I’ll hook you up with some of his early stuff and we’ll talk.

3. Rockabye - Monday, November 24, 2008

The Killers, for me, vacillate between generic and grand; I love “Somebody Told Me” and “Read My Mind,” but I could do without some of the album tracks from both of the first two albums. I would hope that Day and Age finds me feeling differently.

4. Jerkwheat - Monday, November 24, 2008

It’s not that I don’t have a great deal of respect for Kanye as an artist, I just think he’s a bit of a tool as a person. But yes, he’s a heckuva producer and has put out some excellent work as a solo artist. But I’ve never been, and likely never will be, a huge hip hop guy. So, to me, the idea of the biggest star in that genre making what is essentially an electronic singer/songwriter confessional album is way more intriguing than him putting out Good Ass Job instead.

5. Matt_T - Monday, November 24, 2008

I’m with Jerkwheat. This is the first Kanye album I’ve bought. I’ve downloaded several singles before, but this is the first album I cared to get. I want to hear the change in direction.

6. Greek McPapadopoulos - Monday, November 24, 2008

New The (International) Noise Conspiracy comes out Tuesday. I heard a stream, and it seems like Rick Rubin decided that cutting down the distortion was a good idea. It isn’t. But if you don’t have the album “A New Morning, Changing Weather”, pick that up immediately because it’s a stone-cold classic, and see the guys live too for a fantastic show.

7. Rockabye - Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I promise that if there are more than four or five singles on 808s, or if it wins any Grammys, I will buy you each a copy of Good Ass Job. It’s just not very good, Kanye’s voice being too thin to sustain much and his melodies and beats not entirely making up for it. He’s obsessed with taiko drums and Auto-Tune right now, and that’s fine, because as a one-off album, this is no worse than a C.

But I would imagine Kanye will return to some of his sped-up soul for both Jay’s Blueprint 3 and his own continuing series, considering he’s moved in that direction, and he’s at a point where anyone on Earth would be fool not to get on a Kanye hip-hop album.

8. Jerkwheat - Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I don’t think either Matt or I were declaring it a masterpiece – just saying that it’s a very interesting turn for him. As for its success being determined by Grammys and singles – well, a band like Nickelback has enormous amounts of hit singles off their albums and I certainly don’t think they are approaching greatness. And the Grammys are hardly an artistic arbiter of greatness. They surprise with a choice on occasion, but they are as much a commercial award as they are an artistic award.

it’s probably not going to have the continued commercial success of the last three albums. That’s almost a given. It does look like it’ll have a big first week and it’ll probably continue to sell well through the holidays. Will it continue to sell beyond the initial new release buzz and holiday season? We’ll see, but I’m doubtful and I imagine he’ll get back to his more routine work soon enough. However, I think this was a pretty noble experiment on his part. I wish more big commercial artists would take a chance, but most of them don’t have the pull at their label that Kanye does to get away with it. It certainly backfired on Kelly Clarkson last year.


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