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There have been plenty of albums over the years that have been either reveled over for months after or forgotten about just as quickly. That’s the case for so many bands coming out with a variety of different records every month. When my parents were still finding new music, the limited amount of bands that were actually “famous” was dismal compared to the amount of groups that get attention today. During my era of rock stars, divas and musicians, there are ten of those acts for every one my parents listened to. Is that a good thing? Maybe so, maybe not. It really depends on who you ask.
There are obviously some albums that will go down in history as “the best” or “the definitive” of my era, like Radiohead’s Kid A or Nirvana’s Nevermind, but compared to albums like Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon and Led Zeppelin’s IV, maybe the quality of music is better when a lesser amount of groups are taking up the airwaves compared to the endless amount of music that is coming out week after week. Kanye West and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne, depending on who you ask, may have been a disappointment. Now is that a sign that the artist with an endless amount of fans will care less about their work? Or is it maybe that a group with less fans will care more about their releases? If so, then why did groups like Rush, Public Enemy and Metallica never cease to amaze fans no matter how many they had? Even Lady Gaga is not shy about topping herself, even when she doesn’t necessarily have too. This is just food for thought…
This week’s set of releases is a common story about groups taking their chances at making albums again. It features a number of groups who seem to be fond of their deteriorating motive for making creative efforts when fans will accept anything they put out but also others eager to make their marks. Does having a larger fanbase make a group more or less likely to succeed? The Zachary Francis Condon led Beirut is back with their latest album The Rip Tide. Also the Red Hot Chili Peppers, minus John Frusciante, have finally returned after a timely hiatus and will show whether or not the band is susceptible to not having many fans after their disappearing act. The most fascinating release this week is the fourth installment of Lil Wayne’s Carter series The Carter 4. And with his massive fan base, will the dreadlocked king of hip-hop make the grade? Here’s this week’s LP releases:
Beirut’s newest album, The Rip Tide, Channels his most creative work in a massive upbringing of indie pop. With the LP coming out today, it only begs the previous question even further. Does having a smaller fan base require, or even give the musician further ambition, to attempt to create a better work of art? I believe so.
Not only is that a pretty awesome idea for a band, which is similar to the likes of Billy Bragg, it also inadvertenly brings back the good ol’ political folk that Buffalo Springfield, Bob Dylan and Country Joe and The Fish made famous. His latest record is World Wide Rebel Songs. Besides having a perfect name for a political record, and album cover, sources say that this latest effort from the critically acclaimed artist is just as good or even better than his previous efforts under that moniker like The Fabled City and One Man Revolution. What’s even better is that this is also the second album made by him this year, with Union Town that came out in May. Be excited, people.
Yet, with his eclectic career, large fan base and status as a famous musician, Lenny has amassed a sensible size of hit records. His latest album has been highly anticipated for the past few months, called appropriately Black and White America, and will probably be just another entry into his already impressive career. The guitarist is a magnificent musician and hopefully his talent, and the money he makes from his records, will translate well into how progressive and unique this LP will be. Time will tell.
Though the group has experienced their fair share of fame, they haven’t been in the limelight since 2006’s Stadium Arcadium. Even then they didn't receive the same amount of massive acclaim when Californication was released in 1999, hopefully this dismal time for the group has passed, because they've finally turned over a new leaf. With their latest record out this week, entitled I’m With You, it shows the group evolving in real time. With John Frusciante swapped out for Josh Klinghoffer, the acclaimed California group will surely explore new territory on this latest effort. Will it be good? Who knows, but what's for certain is that it will surely sharpen their fan base once again.
His latest album to permeate from the long awaited third Carter album… The Carter 3, is well… The Carter 4. Despite repetitive album names, as I stated above they have a certain level of creativity that is bounded by his effort in these works. Everyone could tell that he half-assed his “rock album” Rebirth, but the eccentric rapper has given his special time and effort into this loved series. Maybe that’s for the best, though. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
With all of the efforts that have come out this week, maybe there is hope we'll find something worthwhile. Or maybe the summer is a time for a plethora of ailing records from bands who couldn't really care less find their way into stores. I guess we won't know until we listen.
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