As fun as it is to complain about “music these days,” and how it’s all been downhill since The Chronic or something came out, it’s even MORE fun to listen to — wait for it — good music. Every Tuesday, a.k.a. Music Release Day, we’ll highlight five albums worth (legally) downloading or driving to the local Best Buy (lolz) for.
Today we’ve got albums from a Canadian rocker reuniting with his American backing band, a rapper releasing his first full-length record for a major label, and one of the loudest two-member groups you’ll ever hear.
Celebration Rock by Japandroids
Loud, chaotic, brash rock ‘n’ roll, made by two guys, a guitarist and a drummer, who grew up on the Replacements and care about living in the moment and making every “whoa-oh-oh” in a chorus count the way Paul Westerberg did beer. I didn’t think Japandroids could improve upon Post-Nothing -- I was wrong.
WIXIW by Liars
As with every Liars album, which always sounds different than the one before it (hey, remember when they were a dance-punk band?), it’s going to take a bit to fully register WIXIM (pronounced, “Wish you”). That’s exactly the point, too. WIXIM is mysterious and distant, electronic synth-pop, minus the pop; no song on the album would sound out of place coming after the title track from Kid A. By the time we’ve finally figured WIXIM out, Liars will have released their next album, and the game begins anew.
The Stoned Immaculate by Curren$y
New Orleans-based rapper Curren$y's eighth full-length album (and first for major label Warner Bros), The Stoned Immaculate, is his most accomplished record to date. The tracks remain as hazy and finely produced as ever, but it’s the guest roster, including 2 Chainz, Big K.R.I.T., and Pharrell, that makes Curren$y step his game up. It’s more restrained than his past efforts, yes, but also better.
Pop Tune by Shonen Knife
My favorite music subgenre that I know not enough about is “Japanese all-girl punk band.” But I do know that Shonen Knife, who have toured with Fugazi, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and Mudhoney, are kick ass, and sound more accomplished with a simple guitar-bass-drums, Ramones-like vibe than other bands do with more complex set-ups. Sometimes it’s the simplest songs that sound the best.
Americana by Neil Young & Crazy Horse
It’s Neil Young and Crazy Horse; you know what it sounds like (the lyrics are but a precursor to long, wobbly fuzzed-out guitar jams), and even if Americana is just a not-to-be-taken-too-seriously warm-up for a rumored album of originals, you should listen to it. Because it's Neil Young and Crazy Horse.