My Top 5 New Releases :: Weeks of May 11, 18 and 25

My Top 5 New Releases :: Week of May 11, 18 and 25

1. The Desired Effect :: Brandon Flowers

brandon-flowers-The_Desired_Effect

Three-Sentence Review: The album feels like an 80’s flashback (especially Lonely Town) meets Hot Fuss-era (The Killers), infused with Brandon’s brilliant showmanship that you can even hear in the recording, and his mix of whimsy and reality in his songwriting. This is definitely a pop soaked effort, but it works, oh yes, it really does work, and you will be singing-a-long before you know it. The songs seem bigger than life and dying to be performed live, especially with opener Dreams Come True and Can’t Deny My Love; I hope to get the chance to catch him live sometime soon (maybe Life is Beautiful).

Initial Favorite Track(s)Lonely Town, Can’t Deny My Love and Untangled Love

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Lonely Town (live)

Can’t Deny My Love

2. Dark Bird is Home :: The Tallest Man on Earth

tallest-man-on-earth

Three-Sentence Review: Lush and melodic, personal and intimate, and chill-inducing, Dark Bird is Home soars through my headphones, and finds me longing to blast it loudly through my car speakers and drive up the coast with the windows down. Reminiscent of Bon Iver and Iron and Wine, as well as a little Sufjan Stevens, and even a little Tom Petty, all with a little more jangly guitars and upbeat instrumentation, this is incredibly listenable and sonically addictive. I want to swirl around in the songs on this album, lose myself in them, then find myself, afterwards.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Darkness of a Dream, Little Nowhere Towns and Seventeen

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5+

Seventeen

3. The L-Shaped Man :: Ceremony

Ceremony_L-Shaped-Man

Three-Sentence Review: Shoegaze meets Goth meets New Wave/Punk, with an unmistakable “inspired by Joy Division” haze wrapped around every song. This is good, damn good really, and so reminiscent of music I listened to, and danced to, in the very late 80’s/very early 90’s that I have to check my reflection to make sure I’m not wearing my gothed-up best pale palor meets black as night eye make-up (well sometimes I still do, but that’s no the point). I don’t think I will ever outgrow this kind of sound.

Initial Favorite Track(s): Exit Fears, Your Life in France and The Understanding 

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Your Life in France

4. Peanut Butter :: Joanna Gruesome

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Three-Sentence Review: Though I’d argue this album should have held off a few weeks to be a Summer release, it is close enough that I find myself wishing for the longer days and sweltering heat, because this is definitely an album full of Summertime songs. Part pop, part punk, part grunge, part indie, part part throwback 90’s alternative rock and riot grrls, Joanna Gruesome is a sound I’ve been missing big time, and needing right about now in my life. I can’t stop listening to this one.

Initial Favorite Track(s)Last Year, Honestly Do Yr Worst and Hey! I Wanna Be Yr Best Friend

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Last Year

5. English Graffiti :: The Vaccines

The_Vaccines_English_Graffiti_Album_Cover

Three-Sentence Review: The album, at first listen, reminds me of Arctic Monkeys AM album, with a little Queens of the Stone Age mixed in, as well as something akin to Bastille and The 1975, the latter a more updated edge than I’ve heard previously from The Vaccines. I’ve always been a little on the fence where The Vaccines were concerned, but I am really digging this album. This is another set of songs that I feel are ready-made to be played live.

Initial Favorite Track(s)Dream Lover, 20/20 and Maybe I Could Hold You

Rating (1-5 Stars): 5

Dream Lover