This week offers a smorgasbord of music. We’ve got your rock, we’ve got your hip hop, we’ve even got your rap-rock. Not only that, we’ve got a couple of country releases that you should take a few minutes to consider, a legend with a much buzzed about new release, and Weezer will trick us all into believing that they can release a CD as good as the Blue Album or Pinkerton one more time. Come sit next to me, pour yourself some tea.
Linkin Park – A Thousand Suns – The much anticipated new release from Linkin Park, the band has promised that this is their most experimental album to date. Co-produced by legendary producer Rick Rubin and Linkin Park’s own Mike Shinoda, two names that guarantees the listener an experience that makes this your must-own of the week. Many are saying this is the album that the Agoura Hills, CA band have been working toward their whole careers. Find out for yourself. Check out the video for “The Catalyst“.
Weezer – Hurley – The first release by Weezer for their new record label overlords Epitaph. Am I the only one that is picking up vibes that even Weezer doesn’t seem to care about their career at this point? For a band that has been around for 15 years, they are dangerously close to being a joke band. Produced by the same two guys responsible for their last album (Raditude), lead singer Rivers Cuomo and Shawn Everett, this may be the CD that decides whether Weezer remains relevant or if they join Barenaked Ladies on a nostalgia tour next summer. Here’s the video for “Memories“, featuring the cast from Jackass.
Brandon Flowers – Flamingo – The Killers frontman steps out by himself to release a solo album. Named after a street in his hometown of Las Vegas, Flowers has decided to go it alone while the rest of his band is taking a much deserved vacation. With songs of regret, spirituality, and Vegas’ famous seedy side, this could be the sleeper of the week. It will be interesting to see if this will continue the evolution that The Killers’ sound has had, or if it will be something totally different, like Flowers will take the opportunity to make his JT-ish dance pop album. Here’s the video for “Crossfire“.
Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song – Jamey Johnson is one of the new breed of country that came into Nashville over the last couple of years and knew who they wanted to be before they got there. In other words, no one had the chance to talk him into shaving and getting highlights. The idea behind this 2-CD concept album is the first CD is “The Black Album”, with every song very dark and sordid. The second disc, “The White Album,” features songs of a more positive, redemptive nature. Johnson is country music for people that think they hate country, but own the Walk the Line soundtrack.
Trey Songz – Passion, Pain, & Pleasure – The followup to Songz’ breakthrough album Ready, this will be Songz first release since winning ‘Best Male R&B Artist’ at the 2010 BET Awards. Many are wondering how well this album will do. With Ready, you had a ton of radio-friendly hits like the ridiculous “I Invented Sex”. As Trey himself even admitted in the press release for P,P, &P, “I’ve had three albums before this, but only one was really a hit.” In the world of R&B, there is always room for a male artist to have a long lucrative career, but just ask Usher how easy it is to sustain. Check out the video to “Bottoms Up“.
Robert Plant – Band of Joy – Robert Plant isn’t satisfied to take the easy money and go out on a world tour with Led Zeppelin. He wouldn’t even do the prudent thing and record a followup to his Grammy Award winning album Raising Sand with Alison Krauss. Instead, he took that love for roots music and ear for innovative sound and has snuck a new album out right underneath our noses. After an acclaimed 40 minute set that closed out the Americana Awards the other night, everyone is waiting for this one. The old man’s still got it. Here’s the video to first single “Angel Dance“.
Joey + Rory – Album Number Two – First breaking onto the scene on CMT’s Can You Duet?, this is the ACM award winning duo’s followup to their debut album The Life of a Song. That one debuted at #10 on Billboard’s Country chart, and managed to hang in there for 50 weeks. Country is a notoriously hard genre to break into, and to manage to do it as well as this duo has in such a short time on what is basically an indie country label (Sugar Hill Records) is outstanding. Expect big things out of these two in the future.