LP Release Tuesday: January 31st, 2012

By Joseph Giannone 2012-01-31 21:41:08
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January has been a good month for music. With few disappointments around the table, so far audiences have been graced with solid releases from Ani DiFranco, Foxy Shazam, and Seal. Sure, electronic super star Steve Aoki’s debut album didn’t live up to expectations, and indie darlings Chairlift are still riding the hype machine all the way to mediocre stardom, but overall the output this year is looking up. This week is no different, because there are plenty of eclectic releases to fill the chilly void this winter.

Metalcore band Bleeding Through will surely pique some genre fans interests, but if you’re not into constant hammering guitars and unintelligible vocals then you might want to stay away from their latest album The Great Fire. On the complete opposite end of the genre spectrum is reggae group SOJA, and their latest record Strength to Survive is the perfect album to light a spliff to--if you’re into that sort of thing of course. Last but definitely not least, you’ve undoubtedly heard some form of music from the aging superstars Ringo Starr and Lenard Cohen. The Beatles drummer and the man who made “Hallelujah” famous are both putting out new full lengths this week and for those of you reading who might not know them, continue reading! Here’s this week’s installment of LP Release Tuesday:

LP Release Tuesday
5) Bleeding Through - The Great Fire
Orange County metalcore group Bleeding Through makes music that is perfect for some people, but might not be for others. It’s like any other type of music. But if you’re not into metalcore or you don’t even know what that genre is, it’s probably for the best that you stay far away from this group. Similar to those fans who wear goofy glasses and rave at the unintelligible music at a Lil’ Wayne or Wiz Khalifa show, it also takes a special type of person to enjoy metalcore. The only difference is that fans of Bleeding Through are more along the lines of Insane Clown Posse juggalos than a college frat boy who enjoys hip-hop.

Nonetheless, Bleeding Through is releasing their latest album The Great Fire today. The only difference between this and their previous work is that now they’ve taken on some symphonic elements to their music. Do not think for a second that this has anything to do with Bach or Beethoven though. Instead of using an orchestra, their symphonic sound is created through layering guitars and multiple sections of instrumental music that’s bumped up to unnerving decibels. The Great Fire will definitely work for some fans out there, but for the rest us, it’ll sound like that unpleasant white noise coming from your TV.

LP Release Tuesday
4) Jamie Woon - Mirrorwriting
Similar to indie darling’s Chairlift, who were basically the least known among those releasing albums last week, Jamie Woon is that indie artist this week who’s up against considerably more famous bands releasing albums. Though he isn't unknown, Woon is going up against Leonard Cohen and Ringo Starr. The British singer-songwriter began his rise to critical acclaim through his 2010 single “Night Air” which was produced by Burial. This came after his previous independent release, the 2007 EP Wayfaring Stranger, and was the reason behind his fourth place win in the BBC's Sound of 2011 poll.

Since 2006, Woon has been making a stir within the music industry, and he’s played countless shows, but now he’s finally released his debut album Mirrorwriting via Polydor records. Experimenting with rhythm & blues, soul, pop, and elements of electronica, the artist’s music is quite unique. His vocals have been described as a soulful reincarnation from the past, while he utilizes everything ranging from programming and samplers to create a groove based electronic beat, to a simple one guitar track. While his music varies styles and genres, his latest album has been said to sound like a “spiritual folk record” that embodies his earlier work, but has a heavier emphasis on pop. We can dig that.

LP Release Tuesday
3) SOJA - Strength to Survive
The Soldiers of Jah Army, also known as SOJA, play the type of reggae that’s obviously influenced, and has already been made famous, by that other reggae act Sublime. Most mainstream audiences won’t really get a kick out of what they’re selling anyways, because this group lacks the complexity of RX Bandits and The Police, and the group seems to know this. So instead, those partiers and midnight tokers who revel in the simpler forms of reggae music follow SOJA on whatever they deliver. Ingenious? Maybe.

With an impressive ten years worth of touring and a slew of albums proving they’re a force not to reckon with, SOJA’s resume is quite hefty. Starting out in 1997, the group’s been touring endlessly and putting out an album every few years, with eight records and two live DVD’s all together. Their latest effort comes in the form of Strength to Survive. Compared to their previous albums, Survive doesn’t break any new ground, but if you’re a fan of their type of music, you’ll probably enjoy this one too.

LP Release Tuesday
2) Ringo Starr - Ringo 2012
I told you in the opening paragraphs that if you’re not familiar with The Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, then you should probably go ahead and read this section. Well, here goes nothing. Ringo was always the odd man out in The Beatles. Whenever John, Paul, and George were singing their hearts out during a performance on some talk show, Ringo would either stand in the background banging on a cowbell or simply not even go on stage. Those days are now long gone. With Paul and Ringo as the last remaining Beatles, they both have quite a title to live up to. Paul has been doing just fine, but what about the goofy looking Beatles drummer who never got his due? Well, he’s been doing quite well actually.

His son Zak Starkey is a better drummer than he is, and he’s made his way into the famous brit-pop band Oasis without any trouble. Like his more famous ex-band mate Paul McCartney, his solo career didn’t start yesterday. Since 1971, the Beatles drummer has released fifteen solo records and has made countless guest appearance on other famous records; including Bob Dylan, The Who, and Tom Petty. Today, his latest solo effort Ringo 2012 is being released, and this time around he’s exploring stadium rock with a hint of that Ringo Starr silliness. Are you excited for another Ringo Starr solo album? Did you even know he made any solo albums?
LP Release Tuesday
1) Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas
Have you ever heard of the song “Hallelujah”? I’m sure you have. This famous track has been in movies like Lord of War and Feast of Love, and TV shows like Cold Case, House, and The West Wing. Leonard Cohen was the original creator, released in 1984 off his album Various Positions, but since then artists like Jeff Buckley, Bon Jovi, John Cale, and Rufus Wainwright have covered the song countless times. Though he is most known for “Hallelujah,” and it’s also the tune which helped him get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, by no means is this his most powerful and best work.

Leonard Cohen is a Canadian singer-songwriter who’s been making music since 1967. His albums range from exploring beat poetry, to genres like folk, rock, and spoken word. There are many themes that he discusses in his work, but Cohen most often explores topics like religion, sexuality, interpersonal relationships and isolation. Since 1967, Cohen has released twelve studio albums. Today is a special day though. His last album Dear Heather came out in 2004, and after seven years his latest effort Old Ideas is being released. Though he’s still exploring the same genres of music and old ideas, Leonard Cohen is so unique, that audiences are just happy to finally get another taste of his magical work.

Other Releases This Week:

Black Pyramid - Black Pyramid 2
Errors - Have Some Faith in Magic
Hospitality - Hospitality
Metallica - Beyond Magnetic EP
Radiohead - The King of Limbs: Live From the Basement DVD

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