What's the best way to celebrate the elimination of Osama Bin Laden? Listening to the Foo Fighters' latest album Wasting Light for the fourth week straight, of course. Send help, or at least the announcement of a late-summer or early fall tour date. Come on, man, just one hit.
This week's new releases are a solid bunch, with the Beastie Boys' long-awaited return following MCA's cancer scare, and Fleet Foxes leading the Mayday charge with Helplessness Blues. Also on the list this week you will find the return of Donny and Marie Osmond, Fleetwood Mac earth mother Stevie Nicks, the inexplicably continuing musical career of one Jennifer Lopez, and the reissue of one of the best anarcho-punk records of all time.
Next week brings new stuff from comedy trio The Lonely Island, an intensely-awaited Tyler, The Creator solo disc, another Okkervil River slab, and the first new Cars material since 1987's Door To Door. What we have heard of the Cars stuff isn't exactly the fluffy New Wave stuff you might expect. This time around they have a harder post-edge, or at least that was our first impression.
Beastie Boys, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two: Easily the best Beastie Boys set since 1998's Hello Nasty, with the band hitting all the bases around the diamond for the first time since the last Clinton administration. Well, it wasn't that hard to beat To The 5 Boroughs, was it?
There are way too many standouts here to list, so we suggest just grabbing a copy. You may be dissecting it for the next year, and have no doubt already seen the epic, star-studded video for "Make Some Noise" by now.
Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues: This album sounds the like early morning sun, with the Foxes seemingly in league with the Lord to soundtrack all of creation. Most every song sounds flowers blooming, dew forming onto leaves of grass, and birds chirping in the near distance. It's nothing groundbreaking from the band's 2008 self-titled debut, but it will satisfy the roots tooth of the beardo in your life.
Crass, Christ The Album : This reissue of Crass' 1982 album includes special outtakes and an extra disc that brings you a June 1981 gig at London's 100 Club. If you were a punk in junior high or high school, you either love Crass and have a Crass tattoo, or you hate Crass and beat up people who liked Crass, while dodging liberty spikes aimed at your eyeballs. Funnily enough, the last copy we bought of this album was from a Christian thrift store that didn't get the irony.
Architecture in Helsinki, Moment Bends: To the untrained ear, it's hard to differentiate Architecture In Helsinki with all the rest of the chill-wave and relaxed, pillowy indie going on. Moment Bends is catchy, with "Contact High" a highlight, but you won't find much here that you won't get out of Of Montreal on any given release.
Donny & Marie Osmond (Self-Titled) Monday night on Jay Leno the reformed Osmonds performed the lead-off track from their first album together since 2009. The pair are just as cuddly as ever, with Marie filling out nicely into the hottest Mormon MILF going these days.
Stevie Nicks, In Your Dreams: As time has passed, Nicks' voice has weathered into a calm growl, with the highs now almost shorn off the top. She's witchy alright this go-round, with songs about New Orleans, ghosts, and vampires, and not all of the conventional variety. "Ghosts Are Gone" sounds like aged Dixie Chicks, and we mean that in the best way possible. Lindsey Buckingham also makes a guest appearance.
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Jennifer Lopez, Love?: Nobody we know of asked for this, and if you did, click off this blog and delete us from your browser (please). And yes, it's really called Love? J-Lo's question mark, not ours - why would we lie?