This week in new releases sees is one of the most varied in months, with new discs by Beyonce, Limp Bizkit, Dolly Parton, and Thievery Corporation hitting shelves and digital outlets today. By far though, the sexiest album cover is the Beyonce art for 4, and the most WTF one, possibly of all year, is the deluxe album cover of Limp Bizkit's first new album in six years, Gold Cobra, which you can see in all its glory above.
Is it the huge green cobra, the lithe and bikini-clad women who look Jerri Blank from Strangers With Candy, the pirate ship in the distance, or is it the dwarf smelling his finger in the weeds that so far make it our favorite album cover of 2011? We aren't lying when we admit that we will spend a great deal of money (OK, like $20) to frame a large version of this cover for display in our own home.
Fred Durst, if you are reading this, please, this writer implores you to send a print of this. Remember when you said you liked our Black Flag tattoo last year when we met you at BuzzFest? That must count for something. At least tell us who painted the thing. It's probably time we got to reviewing the new albums that came out this week, huh?
Beyonce, 4: What we like about this new Beyonce record, her first studio set since 2008's I Am...Sasha Fierce, is that she is finally showcasing her voice and not relying on pop gambles. Yeah, "Run The World (Girls)" is the shit, but you should hear "1+1" and "Rather Die Young." As Rocks Off Sr. just said in an email, it reminds him of early '80s Whitney Houston. [Ed. Note: Except sultrier.]
Limp Bizkit, Gold Cobra: If you are a fan of Limp Bizkit (all four of you reading this), you will be more than sated by this disc. If you hate the band, like most of you reading this, you will be once again disgusted. Now, let us a break your heart a little. It's produced really well, and over a decade since their initial heyday, the band is now a quaint relic of rap-rock. But we will say that they have a signature sound all their own, and now standing alone amongst the same Seether-style bands and emo-pop, they are actually sounding, gulp, interesting. Durst knows what he is doing, even if no one cares. Don't be surprised in ten years if this band is influencing more people than you want to admit.
Taking Back Sunday, Taking Back Sunday: Taking Back Sunday, who hit House of Blues on Independence Day, have reformed the original line-up from 2002's beloved Tell All Your Friends, and recorded a new album. Forget the last album, New Again, existed and enjoy a grown-up TBS. Initially, we were not big fans of the band, but the years have been kind to TAYF, and now its a reminder of when bands like this had beloved followings that were above drinking age.
Dolly Parton, Better Day: On Parton's 41st album, she lights the sunshine in on her classic country, and her voice is endearing as always. This is a hopeful record, referencing economic and social turmoil, and Parton's persona manages to soothe all wounds. She gets sorta gospel on this one too, but that's been a recurring theme of her past few albums. We are still waiting on her to collaborate with Jack White to really kick out the jams.
Thievery Corporation, Culture of Fear:: What is this stuff like live? Is it like a chillwave show were kids just stand around vibrating, sweating and throwing their hair back every now and then with a vodka and water? Not talking shit at all, just asking. We were supposed to see these guys one time at House of Blues but the girl who had the ticket for us was kinda scary.
Tame Impala, "Lucidity" single: Tame Impala opened up for MGMT the last time they were in town and we couldn't stop watching them, even as some kind of freaky Generation Z orgy was ramping up around us. The whole thing sounds like the White Album fucked The Bends, but in a good way. It's got a tint of psych, but it's not gimmicky. Like, these kids have probably heard of Pentagram and Hawkwind too.
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Various Artists, Rave On Buddy Holly: This is an all-new Buddy Holly tribute album, featuring stars like Paul McCartney, Modest Mouse, The Black Keys and My Morning Jacket interpreting the legendary Lubbock rocker. The man would have been 75 years old this coming September, and we are really sad we missed out in the shaggy, bearded, long-haired Holly, acid-drenched and experimenting with feedback at Woodstock. Our favorite cut off Rave On is Florence + The Machine's version of "Not Fade Away"