Road Tunes: New Music Releases
What’s new in music for the week of August 21, 2012
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: August 21st, 2012
t’s back-to-school time again, which means all the kids are ironing out their mohawks, polishing their piercings, and loading up their iPods. Fall also brings a wave of new releases from all your favorite artists, and this week is no exception. Hopefully the passing of Phyllis Diller won’t cast too dark a cloud over the beginning of the semester, and kids will still be able to enjoy their careless youths.
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti / Mature Themes
THEY SAY: Latest release from L.A.-based psychedelic lo-fi pop artist Ariel Pink, whose last album Before Today was a hit with the Pitchfork crowd.
WE SAY: Ariel Pink has always bit of a genre-hopping musical chameleon, so it should come as no surprise that his new album has none of the ‘70s AM pop-hits-on-acid sound of Before Today. Mature Themes has a polished production, but the songs are goofy, early-Ween-esque novelties, recalling the worst aspects of Frank Zappa.
The Darkness / Hot Cakes
THEY SAY: Reunion album from British glam band The Darkness whose 2003 song “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” was a massive international hit.
WE SAY: We never really got the whole Darkness thing. Were they serious? Were they parodying glam rock excess or paying tribute? Wasn’t one Spinal Tap enough? We certainly thought so, and so did the rest of the world who cooled on the band after their second album. But now they’re back, and if you liked them the first time, there’s probably a 40-percent chance you’ll like them again.
Bill Fay / Life Is People
THEY SAY: Legendary singer/songwriter releases his first album of new songs in over 40 years.
WE SAY: Bill Fay released two amazing albums before dropping out of the music scene in 1971. His new album has a similar feel to the earlier two. It’s a mellow, introspective affair, and the arrangements are tastefully sparse (Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy provides backing vocals on one song). Fay’s voice has aged nicely and suits the new songs perfectly. A welcome comeback.
The Kinks / At The BBC: Radio & TV Sessions and Concerts 1964-1994
THEY SAY: Complete collection of all the Kinks’ BBC radio and TV appearances still in existence.
WE SAY: This box set is a treasure-trove for Kinks fans, featuring live performances from every era of the band’s long career. Needless to say, some eras fare better than others, but it’s a great way to look at a band whose evolution was always interesting, if not always great to listen to.
Los Lobos / Kiko Live
THEY SAY: Live album, released simultaneously with a DVD/BluRay, released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Los Lobos’ most acclaimed album.
WE SAY: Kiko Live was recorded at the House of Blues in San Diego, CA, in 2006. Los Lobos are a great band, and they never disappoint live, but we don’t really see the point of bands playing entire albums live. And we really don’t understand why you’d listen to this and not just listen to the original album, which still sounds great 20 years later.
Owl City / The Midsummer Station
THEY SAY: Fourth album from Minnesota’s favorite pop sensation Adam Young.
WE SAY: More auto-tuned pop pablum that’s sure to be a hit with the kids. Carly Rae Jepsen guests on one song, which is about all that needs to be said about this album.