Just a few days after so-called "Black Friday" and it's a sure thing that every record company in the world is wheeling out their hottest product, right?
One look at this week's new release schedule and it's obvious what's being wheeled out simply can't walk of its own accord!
Mind you, this "walking" stuff is just a figure of speech! Between you and me, it's a classy way to say this week's new releases sort of suck! You probably know what I mean.
The Boatlift (TVT) When the week's hottest new release may indeed be by a human being named Pitbull, truly life is good! The exciting Latin rapper is joined by Lil Jon, Trick Daddy, and T-Pain, among others, and many hilarious punsters are predicting it will sell by the boatload! With tracks like first single "Secret Admirer" and admirably monikered "Sticky Icky"--apparently a reference to ganja and not an ex-girlfriend, despite all the talk--how can this album fail to influence an entire generation?
Mudvayne: By The People, For The People (Epic) Released to satisfy hardcore Mudvayne fans--as opposed to dilettantes who only enjoy their many hit singles--while the group continues to work on their "actual" fourth album, this compilation is unique in at least two ways. First, the featured tracks were selected by fans of the band rather the band itself--a heartwarming gesture, you'll surely agree! Secondly, aside from the 16 featured tracks, there are 17 "interludes," including demos, acoustic versions, and a spoken introduction by Mudvayne's Chad Gray about how each song came into existence. That said, hearing "we recorded it" 16 times does get wearing, but at least they're trying!
Justin Timberlake: Futuresex/Lovesounds (Deluxe Edition) (Jive) Lately I've been playing Justin Timberlake's last album maybe five or six times a day--mostly, I suppose, because I enjoy his dancing so much. But such ardent fandom as mine is doomed to defeat in a world where our brightest superstars only release one album every few years! Thankfully, with this new "Deluxe Edition" of Justin's album, there's even more Justin material to enjoy than ever. And though some of it does sound similar to the album of the same name released last year, I won't feel personally exploited buying this new version because there are several "extras" here--including a duet with Beyonce and other megastar collaborators! Plus there's a bonus DVD! I'm hoping the next time this is reissued I can get the digital version!
Donald Fagen: Nightfly Trilogy (Reprise) One-half of the highly respected Steely Dan combo, Fagen here is featured in deluxe box set context via a collection of his albums The Nightfly, Kamakiriad, and Morph The Cat. But get this: Each album is actually included three times--as a single CD, and as a so-called "MVI" DVD disc, which features each album both in 5.1 surround sound and in downloadable MP3 form. Throw in a bunch of bonus tracks and an additional fourth CD titled Trilogy: 10 Extras, and this is a generous package indeed--especially for Donald Fagen fans. Perhaps accidentally, he's quite good!
Incubus: Look Alive DVD/CD (Epic) One year after the release of Light Grenades, rockin' dudes Incubus return with a hybrid package of performance footage showcasing the band's recent tour, and an additional CD including "musical interludes" by guitarist Mike Einziger plus six extra live tracks. Unusually, the DVD also includes a look at Einziger's operation for carpal tunnel syndrome, illustrating yet again that Incubus remain ahead of their contemporaries in offering an "inside look" at their doings! Coming in 2008: The Irritable Bowel Syndrome Tapes!
Common: This Is Me Then: The Best Of Common (Legacy) A nice retrospective featuring popular, respected, photogenic rapper Common back in the day--before that mandatory 24 consecutive hours of darkness thing took effect--you'll hear Common with guests like Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu, you'll see at least four bonus music videos, and you'll thrill to a seasonal greatest hits package being offered for sale during this pre-holiday period! Later, you'll go out for steak with your college friends, forget to call your mom back, and find someone's business card in your purse! Cool!
Garrison Keillor: Never Better: Stories Of Lake Wobegon (HighBridge Audio) When I think of Garrison Keillor--and admittedly I don't think of him that often--I wonder if he would have found any sort of personal gratification if he'd have quit his NPR gig to replace Stephen Pearcy of LA rockers Ratt during their commercial prime. Ultimately, I don't think he would have.
Kylie Minogue: X CD/DVD (EMI UK import) Apologies to American fans of Ms. Minogue, as the package under discussion here is sadly only available as an import at the moment. But what a package! Featuring collaborators such as Boy George, Teddy Riley, Calvin Harris, the Scissor Sisters and Groove Armada, the lithe 'n' lovely Kylie's first studio album in four years features her single "2 Hearts" and can undoubtedly be heard upon purchasing it and sticking it into your CD player! I'm betting it's a career high--and I'm not even talking about the album title!
Dusty Springfield: Live At The BBC DVD (Universal) Certainly one of the best and most distinctive vocalists in pop music history, Ms. Springfield is soon to be the subject of a fab tribute album by none other than Shelby Lynne. I suggest you first take a gander at this DVD--which shows the iconic singer in her prime on British TV several decades ago--to get an inkling of her major talent. Then go buy Dusty In Memphis, her best album ever. Then stop taking orders from some idiot on the Internet!
CREEM: America's Only Rock 'N' Roll Magazine by Robert Matheu and Brian J. Bowe (Harper Collins book) It would be the height of crassness to point out that this recently published book--which documents the fabulous magazine that was Detroit's own CREEM--contains fascinating material taken from the '60s, '70s, and '80s, is colorfully and lovingly assembled, and features spectacular pieces within, including profiles of Bruce Springsteen, the Clash, Pink Floyd, the Cure, and Bob Seger! Instead, let's talk donuts!