I never got around to putting this list together last week, so I'm combining it with this week's releases. It's the holiday shopping season, so there are tons of big releases coming out. Labels are raiding their catalogs and the monsters of hip-hop are releasing their albums. Will the labels hit their fourth quarter numbers?
Top Five Most Interesting Releases:
The Beatles: Love (Capitol) – George Martin produced this soundtrack of mash-ups and remixes for the Las Vegas Cirque de Soleil show. Some people love it and some people think he didn’t go far enough. The songs are so sacred there’s just no way to please everybody. You can listen to some tracks HERE.
Jay-Z: Kingdom Come (Def Jam) – He’s back after a three-year hiatus. Most critics find it disappointing. I mean, he teamed up with Chris Martin of Coldplay on one track and that first single is weak sister.
Sufjan Stevens: Songs for Christmas (Asthmatic Kitty) – This is a five disc (42 song) box set of the Christmas EPs Sufjan would make for his friends and family every year. He gives both traditional songs and originals the Sufjan treatment. I haven’t listened to it yet, because I’m just not in the Christmas mood, but his fans seem to love it. I really love Illinoise and like a few tracks off of Michigan so I’m sure I’ll like some of it. He’s one of those artists willing to release everything he records. If only Neil Young would do the same. Download “That Was the Worst Christmas Ever”
Summer Hymns: Backward Masks (Misra) – I’ve pretty much always liked these indie rockers but I haven’t heard this one yet. From their bio: “Imagine J. Mascis jamming with Galaxie 500. Envision My Morning Jacket produced by Phil Elverum. Jason Lyttle getting the Lambchop treatment.” Download “Pity and Envy” and “Start Swimming”
Swan Lake: Beast Moans (Jagjaguwar) – Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade), Dan Bejar (Destroyer, New Pornographers) and Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes) collaborate. Inexplicably I’m not really a fan of any of those guys, but I’m sure you are. Although I do like some of the songs Bejar contributed to the New Pornographers. Download “All Fires” and “The Freedom”
Big Sir: Und Die Scheibe Andert Sichimmer (GSL) – Listen “Get Off the B”
The Cassettes: Neath the Pale Moon (Buddyhead)
Clipse: Hell Hath No Fury (Re-Up/Star Trak) – The rap duo’s follow up to their 2002 album. The Neptunes are back to produce. You can stream it at AOL or Myspace.
Contriva: Separate Chambers (Morr)
Crime in Choir: Trumpery Metier (GSL) – Listen to “Trumpery Metier” At the Echo on 1/5/07. Dirty Faces: Get Right with God (Jagjaguwar) – Download “Somnambulist’s Vacation”
The Figgs: Follow Jean Through the Sea (Gern Blandsten)
Dave Fischoff: The Crawl (Secretly Canadian) – Mixes electronic music, hip-hop and orchestral pop. Download “Ghost of an Afternoon”
Josef K: Entomology (Domino) – Collection of songs from the Scottish indie-pop band.
Simon Joyner: Skeleton Blues (Jagjaguwar)
Mark Kozelek: Little Drummer Boy - Live (Caldo Verde) – Two disc live album with Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters songs.
The Manhattan Love Suicides: S/T (Magic Marker)
Midlake: Milkmaid Grand Army EP (Basement Front)
Mirah: Joyride Remixes (K Records) – Download “The Light”
New York Dolls: From Here to Eternity – The Live Bootleg Boxset (Castle)
Oasis: Stop the Clocks (Columbia) – This is a two-disc (18-track) overview of their career that was overseen by Noel Gallagher. It mixes greatest hits with b-sides. It ignores an entire album and mostly focuses on the Definitely Maybe / (What’s the Story) Morning Glory era.
The Shins: Phantom Limb single (Sub Pop) – The new single from one of the most eagerly anticipated records of 2007. The full length, Wincing the Night Away comes out on 1/23/07. Download “Phantom Limb”
Snoop Dogg: Tha Blue Carpet Treatment (Geffen) – This one’s for the street cred after the last one was for selling ringtones.Tom Waits: Orphans (Anti-) – It’s a three-disc collection of rarities, covers and a bunch of new songs. Critics are loving it and I’m sure all of Waits fans already have it.