As fun as it is to complain about “music these days,” and how it’s all been downhill since The Chronic 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. (Banner via)
Today, we’ve got selections from Soundgarden, Green Day, and more.
King Animal by Soundgarden
The best compliment the first album by a band in 16 years can get is that it sounds like the old stuff. In that respect, King Animal, the first album from grunge icons Soundgarden’s in 16 years, sounds like the old stuff. Just with better production. It’s chunky, cathartic, and cocky, and never quite as good as Chris Cornell & Co. think it is. That’s not a bad thing — it’s their conviction and devotion that sells songs like the rugged “By Crooked Steps.” Soundgarden, and King Animal specifically, is an instance where self-seriousness isn’t such a bad thing.
¡Dos! by Green Day
A step back from September’s ¡Uno!, the second installment of Green Day’s three-part trilogy, ¡Dos!, suffers from exhaustion at times. Armstrong, who would check into rehab soon after finishing these records, doesn’t sound as engaged by his band’s found-again fascination with power pop and garage rock this time around. But the album’s not without its merits, either — the ironically spirited “Lazy Bones” has a killer hook, while the chunky “Wild One” finds the group not just making noise, but playing actual music. Let’s chalk the embarrassing funk-rap of “Nightlife,” with Lady Cobra, and the White Stripes-aping “Lady Cobra,” without Lady Cobra, up to a sophomore slump, and try again with ¡Tre!, due out in December.
Rare Chandeliers by Action Bronson and The Alchemist
For more on this mixtape (and its amazing album cover), which comes out on the 15th, check out the Smoking Section.
LUX by Brian Eno
A graceful, soothing, haunting reminder of why friend-of-David-Bowie Brian Eno is THE ambient god.
An Omen by How to Destroy Angels
Until Trent Reznor gets around to that whole “reforming Nine Inch Nails” thing, you’ll have to get your terror-glitch (new genre?) fix from his other group’s first EP, An Omen, featuring his wispy-voiced wife Mariqueen Maandig, Atticus Ross, and Rob Sheridan. It’s slowly destructive, creeping along at a pace once unthinkable for the man behind “Sin,” but no less destructive. And excellent.