LP Release Tuesday: July 27th, 2011

By Joseph Giannone 3 years ago
fb share tweet share
Being a music journalist is my dream job. I get to write about my opinions on music, and there is nothing more satisfying than the instant gratification of submitting an article. It's a fulfilling career, but with all the immediate publishing, there is always a downside to the dream, you have to wake up. You see, it's required of me to report breaking news as quickly and accurately as possible plus posting about new albums, which I'm happy doing, but what dismays me is more often than not is discussing music I have no real interest in personally.

Trust me when I say that my work is not affected by this disinterest, but long editorials like this are daunting when the subject matter isn't appealing nor easy to listen to. Unlike last week’s LP Release Tuesday, I am lackluster on these releases to say the least. The albums are not bad; they’re just not my style. The releases this week are coming from a wide variety of artists that all seem to fall under my radar. R&B singer Joss Stone is coming out with her fifth record and the group who has my attention, Rival Sons, are throwing Pressure & Time out there to see where it sticks. You want to know something, though? The singer sounds exactly like Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin, which immediately throws me off. Against Me! is reissuing their latest album White Crosses, only proving they don’t have new material to shuffle around the indie circuits. Without further ado, here is this week’s releases:

LP Release Tuesday
5) Joss Stone LP1
When stated that I’m not interested in a band, this doesn’t mean their tunes aren’t worthy. If you’ve read my previous LP columns, I make it obvious so that you know what groups are incapable of pleasurable listening and worthy for your ears. Joss Stone has proved time and time again that she is more than capable to create delicate soul singles that garner lots of attention. Hits like "You Had Me" and “Free Me” have explored the most personal issues in this English starlet's life, and these confessions have propelled her to national fame. She is an amazing singer that entertains masses easily with the gorgeous instrumentals and her equally aesthetic voice.

LP1 is the next highly anticipated record that showcases her soulful R&B style, even though critics are jaded about it. This is not from a lack of continuation in her nearly flawless neo-soul repertoire either. The singer hasn’t lost that voice which made her famous, but there has to be some reason why critics feel this new record is mediocre at best. With all of the possibilities, the simplest answer actually comes from Damon Albarns who instituted a quick production style in his latest effort, with Stone following suite in this endeavor with only six days in the studio. This might be devastating for most artists, but Stone has yet to garner any bad reputation for her music.

LP Release Tuesday
4) Eric Church Chief
I was light on Joss Stone because I respect the formula she brews, but if listening to a song can remind me of eating BBQ, or at Rib City, I just can’t bear the pain. Country music reminds me of old men who laugh at twenty somethings for their instability in life, but the joke is really on them. These “artists” sing about the same subject matter relentlessly and still expect people to buy their records. And we do because country is widely listened to. I’d be a liar to say that I’m above this biased rant, because it’s quite apparent how I feel about this genre. But to say the least, I don’t think all country tunes give you tumors.

Eric Church might be one of those artists who can really inspire a crowd to say “yee-haw,” though I assume he's like the rest of his kin. The southern boy's first two albums Sinners Like Me and Carolina were taken by billboard and shoved to the top of rankings. The “Love Your Love the Most” hit-maker has over 6 top singles from those past efforts and he is probably hoping the newest record Chief stays suite. The first single from this romp “Homeboy” resembles every single country song produced. Twangy guitars and chilly violins overhaul this rodeo, and maybe that is why I don’t like country. I've never like watching a horses ass run around and around.

LP Release Tuesday
3) Vanessa Carlton Rabbits on the Run
There are plenty of famous pop singers that can stop making music and I’ll never realize it. Many fans of the catchy music love Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Lupe fiasco and others in that genre. The catchy sound bites and formulated vocals on love and heartbreak recall close to many, and while Vanessa Carlton might be categorized amongst those acts, she is surely an outcast. The changes in her style among the three prior records she heralds has challenged the listeners with intelligent pop music. Evolving like a true artist, Carlton is still trying to find that niche by adapting her style once again to accumulate this newer creepy, honest, dreamy, fantastical sound that she's wanted on Rabbits on the Run. Her new album’s title and concept was inspired by books like Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, and Richard Adams's Watership Down. She proves that outcasts can perform better than their more “famous” counterparts.

Lady Gaga tickles my fancy because her style is controversial and leans towards the eccentric end of pop that hits that inner rocker in me, but Vanessa Carlton in all her dreamy and eloquent sounds is far too beautiful for my taste. Great pop music should piss people off, not catch the glimpse of beauty. Personally I believe that’s why Madonna is remembered among all those other 80's pop familiars. She took a chance. Does anybody still talk about Whitney Houston?

LP Release Tuesday
2)Rival Sons Pressure & Time
It is very hard to find a blues rock group that can be deemed worthy of listening to. There are so many imposters, look-a-likes, and rehashes that attempt to convince audiences their music sounds different from their influences, but it's not always the case. When I first read about the blues rock group Rival Sons my hopes were high, and while their sound is a bit grungy with blues guitar riffs that’ll melt an ice cube, the singer sounds like Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin. Maybe this doesn’t bother some of you, but this is my article and I’ll cry if I want to.

I consider a band "selling out" when the sounds they explore and spend frivolous hours molding make no attempt to steer away from the sounds of old. Pressure & Time is the new installment of Rival Sons and while I’m looking forward to experiencing this record, I can’t get past that “voice” on the single “Pressure and Time.” Take a look at this song and let me know what you think. Developing a universal sound around the singer’s distinct Zeppelin voice is never a good idea. Most people want to listen to new music. If I wanted Led Zeppelin, I’ll listen to them, not Rival Sons.

LP Release Tuesday
1) Against Me! Reissue: White Crosses
Against Me!... What can be said about this group that hasn’t been sold, bought and packaged a million times over? The Gainesville, Florida via Naples band plays the typical “folk-punk” style that is affluent amongst the college town’s streets. But if the drunken twenty year olds crawling home yelling at random passersbys after a night of drinking prove anything, it's that being obnoxious in music doesn’t appeal to those who aren’t associated with it. Against Me’s angst laden and melodramatic lyrics being out the cynical in most of their fans and singer-songwriter Tom Gabel is like a baby drawing pictures on the wall. It’s amusing to watch them, but it’s just scribbling and attempts for attention. This punk band has received a large amount of undue attention, and those who enjoy Gabriel’s music will be supremely pleased with this once local band’s accomplishments.

The group's fan base is not at fault here for the music they create, hell they actually enjoy it, so that’s why this is happening. Instead of creating a new album, Against Me! Is reissuing their massive hit White Crosses . Melancholy and a false sense of superiority abundantly showcase in each of their albums. Against Me! as the Eternal Cowboy was a smash hit amongst fans for its departure from the lower quality production of Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose. Crosses still has the same superiority complex. The problem here is that I am a fan of punk, The Clash is one of my favorite groups, but taking themselves too seriously creates an image that makes the group look unfriendly and mean. That’s when you really look conceded and nobody wants’ to be that guy. Nobody wants to listen to music like that, right?

The bands this week are lackluster at best. For me a great group is something that breaks the mold, but you already know this. So whether or not you like my opinions, and some of you will hate them, I can only say that to truly love music, you need to have a real cynically subjective view on what to listen to. In order to really appreciate a certain genre of music, you need to appreciate everything it holds. These genres do nothing for me, so that's why I stick with my opinion. Till next week...
discussion
Blended From Around The Web
Comments
Back to top
RELATED
FEATURES
HOT TOPICS