Tuesday, December 1, 2020

First Listen: New Releases for 27 November

Artist: The Smashing Pumpkins
Album: CYR
Quick Description: Latest effort by the reconstituted alt-rock legends.
Why You Should Listen: It's a solid listen on a whole.
Overall Thoughts: Listen, Billy Corgan is who he is. The Pumpkins are better than their critics say they are in this new form. This album is absolutely more Adore than Siamese Dream. This is a double album and probably doesn't need to be. Put all that aside, and listen to this, and there's a solid album in here. Some songs are truly great, and a great reminded of how good a songwriter Billy Corgan can be. Hardcore fans might not dig this, and I don't count myself among them, so I may be approaching this differently, but it's a good album with some truly great moments.
Recommendation: Check it out.

Artist: Billie Joe Armstrong
Album: No Fun Mondays
Quick Description: Green Day lead singer with a compilation of COVID covers.
Why You Should Listen: Cover songs are fun, and this is a good reminder of Billie Joe Armstrong's musical capabilities.
Overall Thoughts: We here are old enough to remember when Dookie went top five on Billboard and some felt it was the end of civilization as we knew it. Green Day stopped being truly punk before American Idiot, and at some point became a beloved act, but this feels very back-to-basics for Armstrong. They're good songs done with equal parts fun and reverence, and that's all you can ask for from a compilation like this.
Recommendation: Definitely worth the time.

Artist: Nile Marr
Album: Are You Happy Now
Quick Description: Debut album from the son of Smiths legend Johnny Marr.
Why You Should Listen: While this won't let him escape from his father's shadow, it might be the first step of attempting to meet it.
Overall Thoughts: It's unfair to compare a musician to his father, and doubly unfair when said musician's father is an iconic songwriter and guitarist. Nile Marr makes a real go of it, though, and the result is a really great album. The vocal tones and songwriting is reminscent of Johnny in many ways, but this also has a modern sensibility that sets it apart. Especially in an era where we all wince whenever Morrissey opens his mouth, it's great to have music that's somewhat adjacent to be happy with.
Recommendation: A mandatory listen this week.

Artist: Various Artists
Album: No Cover: Carpark's 21st Anniversary Covers Comp
Quick Description: A covers compilation celebrating 21 years of Carpark Records.
Why You Should Listen: Covers compilations = fun.
Overall Thoughts: If you go down the roster of Carpark Records artists, you find plenty of our favorites around here on the list. Carpark benefits from having a pretty varied palate in terms of genre, and this compilation celebrates that reality and provides some great playlist fodder as a result. Also, not only is this a wonderful release, but Carpark put together a playlist with the songs and their covers back-to-back. A nice little addition to a fun release.
Recommendation: Have some fun with this one.

Of note:

* Petal Supply - Hey (Pretty good PC Music-style alt-pop.)
* The Queers - Save the World
* Belbury Poly - The Gone Away
* Taylor Swift - folklore: the long pond studio sessions
* Various Artists - Pop Ambient 2021
* Sundae Crush - A Real Sensation
* Scott H. Biram - Fever Dreams
* Aane Brun - How Beauty Holds the Hand of Sorrow

Christmas music:

* Kelly Finnigan - A Joyful Sound
* Lera Lynn - Love One Another
* Lights - Christmas Lights
* Jenn Grant - Forever on Christmas Eve
* Murder by Death - Lonely Holiday
* Poppy - A Very Poppy Christmas


* Sophia Bell - Princess of the Dead, Vol. II
* Daniel Avery - Into the Arms of Stillness
* Wonderflu - Bubblegum
* Grace Gillespie - After the Harvest Moon
* Me Rex - Triceratops
* Me Rex - Stegosaurus

Also out:

* Hatebreed - Weight of the False Self
* Electric Jaguar Baby - Electric Jaguar Baby
* Clutch - The Weathermaker Vault Series, Vol. I
* Purple X - Purple X

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