Hi InterWeb friends! By some trick of the cosmos, a lot of good bands are putting out albums this month. A few arrive today, others on different Tuesdays this month. (Sidebar: Does anyone know why albums and DVDs always come out on Tuesday? I'd love to know).
Through means both nefarious and completely on the up and up, I got a hold of a lot of these albums early. Some like, crazy early. So allow me to suggest what you should let into your ears in the coming weeks:
Broken Social Scene: Forgiveness Rock Record The Canadian band that has literally had 25 members over the course of its existence - the most famous being Feist, the girl from Metric and the two singers from Stars - releases its fourth (and possibly, in my opinion) best album today. If you get only one rock album with lush instrumentals and soaring choruses this year, make it this one!
The Hold Steady: Heaven is Whenever Listen, I love me some Hold Steady. Me and Red are going to see them tonight, in fact! But ... I was just the tiniest bit disappointed in the band's fifth album, which comes out today. The sound is somewhat flat and tired. It has its moments, like the song "The Weekenders," which includes the line: "She said, 'The theme of the this party's the industrial age / And you came in dressed like a train wreck.'" But if you don't know the band, I'd suggest picking up previous efforts like Separation Sunday or Boys and Girls in America first.
The New Pornographers: Together Here is an example of a band that's been doing it for a while but still making it sound fresh every time. Yet another Canadian super group, The New Pornographer's latest, Together, comes out today, and is awesome. I'd explain more, but this thing is getting long. But I mean, just look at that cover art! Highly recommended.
The National: High Violet The National writes what I like to call "grower songs." They usually start kind of slow and build. Sometimes they just stay slow. They might not grab you the first time you hear them, but pretty soon they've wormed their way into your brain and heart. Their third album High Violet comes out next week, May 11, and while it might not be as good as their last effort (my Best Album of 2007), it's pretty darn good.
LCD Soundsystem: This is Happening This album comes out in two weeks, but I expect you'll hear a lot about it, especially at the end of the year when people start doing "Best Of" lists. Despite the desperate pleas of main guy James Murphy, I got a copy early (sorry, dude) but at least he can find solace in the fact that most of us who have heard it early are talking about how freakin' great it is. More dancy, electronic-rock music with witty lyrics, that somehow keeps getting better with each record.
So that's what I got. Did I forget anything? Do you have differing opinions on these collections of songs? Do you know why new albums always come out on Tuesdays? The people must be told!