Road Tunes: New Music Releases
New albums released this week, August 7, 2012
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: August 7th, 2012
his week we would like to honor composer Marvin Hamlisch, who passed away at age 68, with a moment of silence. Admittedly, that’s about 59 seconds longer than we’ve ever spent thinking bout him before today, and several seconds longer than we’ve ever made it trough one of his songs (“Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows,” “The Way We Were,” and “Nobody Does It Better,” to name a few), but the man was famous, and he did die.
Now that that's out of the way, let's move on to this week's new releases.
Antony & the Johnsons / Cut the World
THEY SAY: Live album from ethereal singer/songwriter Antony Hegarty, featuring one new song.
WE SAY: Live albums tend to be dull affairs, comprised as they usually are of familiar songs done in a familiar fashion. Antony is one those rare artists whose performances justify a live album, his song’s arrangements change subtly, depending on who he has in his band. This recording was made in Copenhagen with the Danish National Chamber Orchestra, and it features one new song (the title track) and a seven-minute speech given to the audience that, while interesting, doesn’t bear repeated listening and could easily have been omitted.
Perez Hilton / Pop Up #1
THEY SAY: A various-artists collection compiled by celebrity gossipmeister Perez Hilton.
WE SAY: The good news is, Perez doesn’t sing. At least he’s not delusional enough to think he has talent. The bad news is that the unknown artists on this CD do sing. There are no future Lady Gagas to be found among this hodgepodge of pop and electronic artists. Hilton is hoping that people will fall for his clever promotional strategy: purchase a T-shirt with the album artwork on it and you get a code that enables you to download the album. That’s much easier than simply downloading an album, so we can’t imagine any reason why this won’t be a monster hit.
John Mayer / Born and Raised
THEY SAY: Fifth album from pop-rock superstar and former beau of Jessica Simpson.
WE SAY: Mayer is a talented guitarist and a capable songwriter, but we’ve always found this brand of middle-of-the-road rock to be forgettable at best. Still, fans of Mayer will be pleased by the album’s rootsy vibe.
Redd Kross / Researching the Blues
THEY SAY: First album in 15 years from this legendary psych-punk band that once included Ron Reyes and Dez Cadena of Black Flag and Greg Hetson of Bad Religion.
WE SAY: When Redd Kross burst on to the hardcore punk scene in 1982 (when they still spelled their name Red Cross, before being threatened with a lawsuit by the International Red Cross) they brought a welcome dose of psychedelia into what was already becoming a tired genre. They soon eased into a poppier, more polished groove, and their records became far less interesting. This reunion record is a continuation of that trajectory. It’s got some good pop songs, and some heavy grooves, but there’s a reason they performed their first album, and not this one, on their recent reunion tour.
Rob Zombie / Mondo Sex Head
THEY SAY: Album of remixed music by heavy metalist/horror filmmaker Rob Zombie.
WE SAY: Does the world need an album of Rob Zombie songs remixed by various DJs (including Korn’s Jonathon Davis AKA JDevil)? Of course it doesn’t. Is it any good? Well unless a dubstep remake of “Let It All Bleed Out” sounds good to you, the answer is no. Even the usually dependable Photek, whose take on “Living Dead Girl” is one of the album’s more interesting tracks, can’t make us want to listen to this album again.