This week's new releases are from an array of artists most of you probably know. The Genesis front man Peter Gabriel releases his latest solo album New Blood, and it looks like it will be another work comparable to his former band’s greatness. The Icelandic singer-songwriter Bjork is back with another sprawling record exploring her electronic, avant grade tendencies. With singles like “Cosmogony” and “Crystalline” having been in stores for nearly three months now, audiences are expecting her latest work Biophilia to achieve the same amount of praise as her singles did. The most shocking record being released this week though is from Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner. His latest sci-fi, of course, tinged album Seeking Major Tom is an ode to the best science fiction songs of all time. Let’s just say I wish this album came out last week before I wrote my Weekend Download column. Alas it didn’t, but it’s coming out now and I highly suggest listening to it. Here’s our latest installment of the LP Release Tuesday:

LP Release Tuesday
Evanescence Evanescence
Back in 2003, Evanescence was everywhere. Their hit single “Bring Me To Life” was played all over the world thanks to video game scores, commercials, movie trailers, emo kids, punk freaks and causal music listeners. It was a song that propelled them to fame and had millions of people waiting to see what they were going to come out with next. I’ll admit, even I spent some time in middle school bobbing my head to Amy Lee’s infectious singing voice. Yet after their success with Fallen, the album which “Bring Me To Life” comes off of, they came out with their 2006 sophomore effort The Open Door, which was lackluster at best. It wasn’t a disappointing album by any means, but counting the mixed reviews from critics and fans disappointment for Open Door not having any song similar to “Bring me to Life," the band quickly fell into the abyss.

After five long years of waiting, Evanescence has finally returned with their latest self titled album. Even though the reviews thus far are varied, it's doing fantastic in sales. Whether or not this record will send them back into the limelight, like they once were, is unlikely, but Evanescence will surely get their creative juices flowing again. We’re glad to have you back, guys.

LP Release Tuesday
Peter Gabriel New Blood
Before we start in on this LP, I'm going to talk about Genesis. No, I’m not talking about the end of time hoopla from the Bible, but the English Progressive Rock band from the 1970’s. Throughout the 1970’s, they released over ten albums that paved the way for prog rock, along with Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd and Traffic. Their albums like Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, Selling England by the Pound and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway were some of the finest records of the era, and Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins we’re the leading members of this quartet. Thirteen solo albums later, and the former has proven he's progressive rock star with or without the band.

Gabriel’s latest album New Blood is also pushing on every influence he’s done before. The album was made so that he could stretch his live show into orchestral arrangements as well. Even though this is not an orchestral album, he kept in mind during recording the idea of creating a live show that features an orchestra playing his music. What’s fantastic about this new record, and the musician as well, is that Gabriel has not let down his fans once. He’s always tried to top himself on every subsequent album, which is something that his former band Genesis was known for doing with their records. Personally, I can’t wait to listen to New Blood and see what’s in store for the future of this English rocker.

LP Release Tuesday
Ryan Adams Ashes and Fire
After the disbandment of the alternative country jam band group The Cardinals, front man Ryan Adams has spent his time working on a prolific solo career. His first group made over five albums together, spanning a time of eleven years. Since 2000, Adams alone released eight solo efforts, with each differing from his work with the Cardinals. On each of his solo efforts, the artist explored subjects from death, love, hate and everything classified under the ‘human condition.’ On his latest album Ashes and Fire, the multi-instrumentalist is taking up the issue of time.

In an interview with LA Weekly, Adams explains, in regards to the new album: “The record is obsessed with time. I believe that there is a kinder view of the self. I'm passing through my own life as a ghost, and looking at these pieces and places in my life. I'm looking at California, and the idea of being lost and found at the same time.” Not only am I excited to actually listen to this album, but it seems like I am growing accustomed to listening to country music, as I wasn't to pleased with the genre before. I guess if the album, or artist, doesn’t come off as a mindless drone, associated with a plethora of other musicians in the same genre who talk about the same subjects over and over again, then I’ll probably won't be too harsh on them. I guess not all country music is bad.

LP Release Tuesday
Bjork Biophilia
When thinking about Bjork, her exhilarating stage persona, bizarre behavior in real life and personality come to mind. The Icelandic artist is like Madonna, if she wasn’t so afraid to be crazy all the time, even if the paparazzi were looking. Her political views lie in anarchy, but she’s still mentioned on her website numerous times that she supports most liberation movements across the world. Like her political views, personality and stage presence, they’ve all translated well into her eccentric music. Her blend of electornica, industrial music, folk, jazz and alternative rock have made it hard to pin down her sound and influences, but when you hear a Bjork song, your know it’s distinctively hers.

On the ice queen's latest album Biophilia, she is continuing on her foray into avant grade music with another album exploring her electornica tendencies. On her last album Volta which explored Chamber Pop and Industrial music in 2007, Bjork was at a crossroads in where she wanted to take her career. Whether she wanted to stick with the more pop infused music that her fans became to like, or go down a more experimental route which was still accessible, her options were hard to choose from. Yet, on Biophilia she has definitely gone down the correct road, with continuing on her more experimental side, with long electronic jams and avant grade craziness.

LP Release Tuesday
William Shatner Seeking Major Tom
Oh William Shatner; like Bill Murray, you are an awesome individual. First of all, his work on Star Trek: The Original Series has been loved by fans for countless years, his commercial appearances have been epic, and his music career has also been an interesting affair. It all started with his first record The Transformed Man which was a spoken word album that featured Captain Kirk citing pieces of poetry, juxtaposed to other famous pop song lyrics. The 1968 album is remembered by audiences for its use of his famous vocal style, and his funny dramatic pauses he made famous during Star Trek. In 1978, the Shat took another foray into music with a rendition of Elton John’s famous song “Rocket Man” at the 1978 Science Fiction Convention which has been parodied and listened to a million times over. This wasn’t the last time he would delve into music that was based on sci-fi premises.

As I explained last week in my latest installment of the Weekend Download column, science fiction has been a large part of music. William Shatner has taken this concept to a whole new level by blending his goofy sensibility shown on his rendition of “Rocket Man,” by covering the most famous science fiction songs ever made. Called Seeking Major Tom, the record shows Shatner covering famous tunes like “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath, “Space Oddity” by David Bowie and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, among others. This is by far the best album coming out this week in my honest opinion. Nothing is better than watching the famous Captain Kirk covering songs with his remarkable, and cheesy, dramatic pauses and kitschy style of singing. I’m sure this album will be a dirty pleasure, but after he left the Priceline commercials a while back, I’m happy to see the Shat doing spoken word albums again.

Other albums being released this week:

Cymbals Eat Guitars Lenses Alien
Electric Six Heartbreaks and Brainwaves
Future Islands On the Water
High Places Original Colors
Joe Jonas Fast Life
Modeselektor Monkeytown(Awesome name)
Rocket From the Crypt Barfly

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