It struck me the other day that on very rare occasions, some of the countless millions of readers of this blog find fault with it!
I guess they don't appreciate the hard work and research that goes into constructing this in-depth survey of the hottest releases on a weekly basis!
But rest assured I'm extremely sensitive to reader feedback! I want everyone to be satisfied!
So please--feel free to visit http://www.davedimartino.com/ and tell me exactly how you feel about stuff!
Brian Wilson: That Lucky Old Sun (Capitol) I was one of the fortunate few to attend a recent performance by Beach Boy founder and living legend Wilson at Yahoo's Live Sets sessions--which you can view here--and I have to say I was completely thrilled to be in the same room with the man! This new album--Wilson's significant return to Capitol Records, the label which produced the Beach Boys' biggest hits--is a lushly recorded tribute to Los Angeles and is, for the most part, thrilling throughout. Rock 'n' Roll has very few significant icons who are as interested in creating new music as they are in coasting on their laurels--and luckily for us, Brian Wilson is one of them. Buy this album and maybe he'll make more!
Young Jeezy: The Recession (Def Jam) Releasing a new album the same week as Brian Wilson has tremendous ramifications for the career conscious, so perhaps it's inevitable that rapper Young Jeezy has risen to the occasion and devoted the majority of his new album to fervent discussion about today's troubled economy! With tracks careening around such topics as inverted yield curves, government deficit spending, and the significant differences between a recession and an actual depression, Jeezy tells a powerful tale that will doubtlessly unnerve many of the top brass at the Federal Reserve! Additionally, many of his lyrics rhyme! Jeezy: He's hot--and topical!
New Kids On The Block: The Block (Interscope) Like today's biggest pop groups but older, the New Kids are back! And while they can still talk the talk, the big question is something with "walk" in it! Like them, we've all gotten older and can't remember today's hottest cliches! I'm betting that this record will sell to moms who still go to record stores in order to buy their kids CDs by the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus! I'm betting this stuff sounds exactly like everything else that's hot right now and no one will even notice! I'm betting the New Kids On The Block will carry on the fine legacy they've already established and sell oodles of tickets to their upcoming tour! I'm betting that JG Wentworth can help you receive all of the annuity or settlement cash you're owed in one lump sum--with a minimum of hassle and a maximum of convenience!
Hollywood Undead: Swan Songs (A&M/Octone) A thought occurred to me the other night when I pulled out this CD, opened it up, and noticed a slip of paper fall onto my lap. "Get your favorite track from Hollywood Undead as a ringtone by texting the information below," the slip of paper read. Then I flipped it over and saw, in big letters, "THIS CD UNLOCKS HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD'S ONLINE BONUS AREA." It got me thinking--hey, I wouldn't really mind getting a new phone with better texting ability! Plus, I'm not always very happy about the internet connection I get out here in the garage--I wonder if my computer will actually be able to connect to that URL they provided? Seems like there's always some new thing you need to buy to improve your way of life! It sort of bummed me out! So I put the CD case down on my desk, went into the house, poured myself a drink, and watched Delinquent Girl Boss: Blossoming Night Dreams! That was great!
Donnie Klang: Just A Rolling Stone (Bad Boy) With a title that vaguely recalls Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger, and the hotly anticipated participation of my personal hero Diddy, how could this album be anything less than a masterpiece? Klang--whose name may ring a bell--was of course part of Making The Band 4, the tremendous television show that finds America's hottest unsigned talent and then, oddly, loses it, hopes no one will notice, and finds someone else! I'm hoping that Klang won't upset the apple cart and continue the fine tradition that the show's predecessors--Making The Band 1, Making The Band 2, and Making The Band 3--has already established! If first single "Take You There" is any indication, it could happen!
Terrence Howard: Shine Through It (Columbia) Can't say I had major expectations for the recording debut of actor Howard, who some may know via his roles in Iron Man and Hustle & Flow--but I am positively impressed! A lush, well-arranged disc of jazzy orchestral song stylings, Howard's album is thoroughly classy, mature, and scarily unfashionable actually--and the sort of work that will resonate deeply with those who get a chance to hear it. Why is he messing with stuff?
Rodney Crowell: Sex And Gasoline (Work Song/Yep Roc) A top-notch talent who's been making quality records for years, Crowell here seems to be following Young Jeezy's lead and devoting his latest album to today's troubled economy! His take on the rising cost of living--apparently prices for sex and gasoline are really on the rise!--always rings true, and the fabulous musical sidemen--including Greg Leisz and Doyle Bramhall--polish every single note to perfection! Yeah, sure, I'd buy this!
Jefferson Starship: Jefferson Starship Presents: Jefferson's Tree Of Liberty (The Lab/Fuel) Four decades after Jefferson Airplane's inspired psychedelic rise, and a few less after their petering out as Jefferson Starship, it's now entirely possible to listen to this new album objectively and note: Hey--it's pretty good! Featuring original Airplaner Paul Kantner and later arrival David Freiberg and a host of newbies (and a hidden cameo by former bandmate Grace Slick), the music is as always politically topical, and includes timely covers of Phil Ochs' "I Ain't Marching Anymore" and Woody Guthrie's "Pastures Of Plenty." Right on, dudes! Time has certainly aged us all, but one must mention the included photo of the bushy- and now white-haired Freiberg bears an uncanny resemblance to George Washington, which--all things considered--is a resemblance one rarely notes! Revolutionary!
Southside Johnny with LaBamba's Big Band: Grapefruit Moon: The Songs Of Tom Waits (Redeye) First Scarlett Johansson and now Southside Johnny covering Tom Waits? In orchestral big band format? Sure, why not? Waits has always been a fine songwriter, but the sub-Beefheart croak he's been employing since Swordfishtrombones has made listening to his latest albums hard work! I want palatable versions of his stuff! Luckily LaBamba's Big Band consist of fab players, the music is tight, and the song selection is dynamite! To be fair, though, Scarlett Johansson is much better looking!
Underoath: Lost /In/The/Sound/Of/Separation (Tooth & Nail) Underoath are great despite what they say!