My Top 5 New Releases :: The Weeks of April 13 and April 20
1. Live at Carnegie Hall :: Ryan Adams
Three-Sentence Review: There is nothing like seeing Ryan Adams play live, and there are not enough words to describe the experience, you just have to be there and take it all in. This live album comes close to the experience, as close as I’ve seen/heard yet. I felt the all over emotionally charged skin-prickles and tears stinging my eyes as the first song started, and that was just the beginning, the rest, well, what can I say besides it is fucking amazingly brilliant and wonderful and full of wow, and go now go and listen to it.
Initial Favorite Track(s): All of them (no, I’m serious)
Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+++
Three-Sentence Review: A double dose of live albums on this list, and this one, a double dose of live Eels, a band that I’ve not had the chance to see live (yet). This is a gorgeous album, rich, lush, emotional, and brilliant. This plays like a greatest hits album with so much more to offer, a collection I would highly recommend as an introductory to Eels, just expect addiction afterwards.
Initial Favorite Track(s): When You Wish Upon a Star, My Beloved Monster, Last Stop: This Town and Can’t Help Falling In Love (and so many others)
Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+
Can’t Help Falling in Love (live)
3. Sound and Color :: Alabama Shakes
Three-Sentence Review: Soul and Blues extraordinaire, oh my stars does Brittany Howard have an amazing voice. These songs bleed emotion and not just make you feel things, they drag the feelings out of you, kicking and screaming and howling, and in the end, thanking the music for it. At times the songs are sensual and all-out sexy, at other times they are heartbreaking and soul-shattering, and at all times, the music is just incredible.
Initial Favorite Track(s): Don’t Wanna Fight, This Feeling and Miss You
Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+
Don’t Wanna Fight
4. Edge of the Sun :: Calexico
Three-Sentence Review: Back in 2009 I got the chance to see Calexico play at Coachella, it was in the afternoon, in that mix of heat and mid-day tired, but the music seemed to soothe and recharge me. They have been my go-to band, usually in the Summertime or late Spring, for when I need to get over myself and just let go and relax. This album is a little early in my own Calexico-time, but oh my stars was it needed, and this may just be my favorite of theirs, thus far.
Initial Favorite Track(s): Falling from the Sky, Tapping on the Line and Miles from the Sea
Rating (1-5 Stars): 5
Falling from the Sky
5. Jackrabbit :: San Fermin
Three-Sentence Review: Some days I come across a band, or artist, or album, that my initial reaction is “I want to write to this music”. San Fermin’s Jackrabbit is one of those albums. The songs are a bit unsettling at times (in the best way), a little off-kilter (again, in the best way), and chock full of stories told, and left to tell.
Initial Favorite Track(s): Emily, Astronaut and The Cave
Rating (1-5 Stars): 4+