A wise old man once declared that people who see patterns where others see none are typically brilliant or psychotic. Then, tragically, he was killed!
And so it is that moments ago, when I sorted this week's new releases into piles and entered their titles in the appropriate column of my review-writing program, I noticed something significant.
Among this week's new releases are albums entitled No End In Sight, Object 47, Stay Positive, and--perhaps most significantly--Mediocre.
In short? It's the best week ever!
David Banner: The Greatest Story Ever Told (SRC/Universal) 1) David Banner is the character Bill Bixby played in the TV version of The Hulk! 2) The Greatest Story Ever Told is the name of a movie made in 1965 about the life of Jesus Christ! 3) This new album features guest appearances by Akon, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, and a billion other people who have appeared on everyone else's album this year! 4) In the Bizarro World, this would be considered the most original album of the year! 5) That world doesn't really exist!
Get Like Me - David Banner Featuring Chris Brown
: Life, Death, Love And Freedom
(Hear Music) While some stars carry on about The Greatest Story Ever Told
and other grandiose topics, leave it to Indiana's good ol' boy J. Mellencamp to bring us back to earth with the one-two punch that is Life, Death, Love And Freedom!
A rock opera about a young Midwestern rocker glommed on by the management firm of a famous '70s glam star until he changed his name, hit the big time, and eventually sold his soul to a major automobile manufacturer would admittedly be intriguing--but instead this baby's produced by T. Bone Burnett and is about other stuff entirely! Hey, I could use
a new car!
My Sweet Love - John Mellencamp
Nas: Nas (Def Jam) When it comes to high-credibility rappers, Nas--in the parlance--takes the cake! Yes indeed, the follow-up to the boldly titled Hip-Hop Is Dead, this is the very same album that was once going to be given an extremely provocative title--no, not about Hula Hoops, the other title!--until wisdom prevailed and the world was saved! Nas's decision about the title is explained in "Hero," but mysteriously the verbose rapper has very little to say about the fact that one of the producers of his album is Green Lantern! Shoot, how cool is that?
Hero - Nas Featuring Keri Hilson (Edited)
Elisa: Dancing (Sugar/Universal) How can this gal fail? She's Italian! Her music's been heard on So You Think You Can Dance--a show which actually features a human being named Kameron Bink! It's a top seller at iTunes according to a press release! She's a multi-platinum, award winning superstar in her native country! Italy! She only has one name! She's produced by Glenn Ballard, who's worked with Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion, Anastacia and Shakira! She's from the Province of Gorizia! Plus...she sings!
Dancing - Elisa
Hold Steady: Stay Positive (Vagrant) In keeping with this album's delightful title, I won't bother concocting some outlandish tale about how this popular alt-rock combo's new album takes its name from a mean-spirited song aimed at the band's mortal enemy--who's leaving their apartment and is about to get a second opinion from a new doctor about a horrifying diagnosis he received a week earlier! No, instead I'll mention that the album's really pretty cool and features a track called "Joke About Jamaica" which--when you think about it--would be a great name for a song by Bunny Wailer or someone like that, but they didn't think of it and the Hold Steady did! That's just part of their charm!
Constructive Summer - The Hold Steady
Foreigner: No End In Sight: The Very Best Of Foreigner (Rhino) For kicks, several of us here at Yahoo once played an exciting game in which we each privately ranked the following four artists from best to worst: Styx, Kansas, Journey and Foreigner. Guess who always won? That's right--these poor dudes, always on the receiving end of vicious slams from rock critics over the years, have now in retrospect been deemed ultracool by those in the know! This two-CD collection features massive hits "Cold As Ice," "Hot Blooded," "Double Vision," "Waiting For A Girl Like You," "I Want to Know What Love Is," and a bunch of previously unreleased tracks that now seem the work of absolute masters! If these discs weren't inanimate objects, I'd take them to dinner and a show!
Cold As Ice - Foreigner
Wire: Object 47 (Pink Flag) Like Foreigner, Wire are a rock band, but even cooler! Their 11th album overall, this set reinforces that they remain intellectual, melodic, sharp, snarky, and better than nearly every other band that came out of England during punk rock's heyday! That's right, heyday! They are masters at what they do and deserve all your support, financial and otherwise! Lyrical highlights include the question "Are you fighting for Jesus, Apple or Dell?" something many of us have asked ourselves but never dared voice! Poor Sony and their VAIOs!
Original Soundtrack: American Teen (Almost Gold/Columbia): Wow! Look at the artists here! The Ting Tings, Black Kids, Does It Offend You, Yeah? MGMT, Patrick Watson, and even Cat Stevens! That plus John Paul Young's "Love Is In The Air"? It's hard to argue with an ultrahip collection like this, especially since when CDs actually speak, it's jarring! They're not supposed to be able to!
Great DJ - The Ting Tings
Ximena Sariñana: Mediocre (WEA International) I would conservatively estimate that in my lifetime I have held in my hands at least 100,000 albums or CDs--probably many more--and have gotten pretty good at guessing what an album will probably sound like and, oddly, whether it will actually be good or bad. It's great! That said, I must now point out the one album that as a total package--its title, the artist's name, and the absolutely staggering album cover--has completely stumped me for the first time in my life! I can't take my eyes off it! I would be willing to bet it is the finest album ever made--and it's out today!
Mediocre - Ximena Sariñana
O.A.R.: All Sides (Everfine/Atlantic) O.A.R. is one of those bands that's been playing for years, has a very loyal following, can fill Madison Square Garden, takes USO tours in the Persian Gulf, and is all-around admirable however you look at it! I look at it like this!
This Town - O.A.R.