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.
Today, we’ve got selections from the Smashing Pumpkins, Scott Walker, Wiz Khalifa, and more.
Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness by the Smashing Pumpkins
Nearly 20 years ago, and before they became the unwanted Billy Corgan Experience, the Smashing Pumpkins put out THE documentation of 1990s alternative rock in Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, a massive two-disc, 28-song beauty that both soothes and shakes the soul. As far as albums with over two dozen songs go, there's shockingly little filler on Mellon (especially on disc one, which is nearly perfect, from the piano epilogue title track to the sad acoustic strums of "Take Me Down"), which seems even more remarkable these days, considering the bloated project known as Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music. For no particular reason, other than Christmas, most likely, EMI re-released the album today, in the form of a five-disc set made up of alternate Mellon Collie mixes and unreleased songs, as well as two live DVDs, filmed in 1996. It's a lot to digest, but early sketches of “1979" and "Tonight, Tonight" provide fascinating insights into one of rock's most productive recording sessions.
Bish Bosch by Scott Walker
Imagine Warner Herzog making an industrial album with Jim Jarmusch, with orchestration from a John Williams or Danny Elfman type. Such is Bish Bosch, an eternally difficult, back alley opera that doesn't try to win you over, but does so anyways, with brash stutters and wheezes and clanks and farts (yes, farts) working alongside Scott Walker's dry croon. It'd be pretentious...if it weren't so goddamn funny. “If shit were music, la la la/ You’d be a brass band/Know what/You should get an agent.” Classic Walker.
O.N.I.F.C. by Wiz Khalifa
For more on Wiz's disappointing, yet occasionally thrilling new album, check out the Smoking Section.
Grace/Confusion by Memory Tapes
In which Dayve Hawk's abilities to navigate up the steep peaks and down the haunting drops of a glitchy chillwave song are tested...and he succeeds.
Warrior by Ke$ha
If only to gaze upon this photo again:
But if bratty electronica is your thing, you could do a lot worse than Warrior.