[Janauary 15, 2008] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.
Each week, we preview a handful of notable albums scheduled to hit the shelves, plus offer a full list of the current new releases.
Chino XL Something Sacred Illuminated Entertainment Group In the mid-'90s, underground emcees like Ras Kass and Chino XL made headlines collaborating or battling with established stars like Dr. Dre and 2Pac. As the mid-2000s come to a close, brothers like Ras and Chino remain stuck undercover and resort to tired dis tactics or cameos on Reno 911! to remain in light. None of which diminishes their prowess on the microphone, so thankfully they stick to their "day jobs" and release albums every once in a while. Chino is on album number five and still leaning to the left (coast) by collaborating with Colorado-born producer Playalitical. ~Dan Nishimoto
Artist: http://www.myspace.com/chinoxl Raheem DeVaughn Love Behind the Melody Jive The neophyte who damn near pulled the rug out from underneath every veteran male soul slinger with his 2005 debut, The Love Experience, Raheem DeVaughn steps forward assuredly with this early valentine gift. As evidenced by lead single "Woman," his old-school hooks and welcome vulnerability remain intact. Hopefully, his finger-on-the-pulse sensibilities (as displayed in his constant "covering" of R&B/hip-hop jawns like "Promise" and "Roc Boys") will play a greater role, so he can move past the neo soul tag. ~Dan Nishimoto
Artist: http://www.theloveexperience.com Label: http://www.zombalabelgroup.com Audio: http://www.myspace.com/devaughnenterprises Eels Meet the Eels: Essential Eels 1996-2006, Vol. 1; Useless Trinkets: B-Sides, Soundtracks, Rarities and Unreleased, 1996-2007 Geffen Throughout the myriad problems that have informed his music, Mark Oliver Everett has continued to churn out plenty of product with his main musical project, Eels. To celebrate the group’s longevity, Everett (or just simply “E,” as you may know him better) is emptying his vaults with this massive release. Meet the Eels features some favorites like “Novocain for the Soul” as well as a remix of “Climbing to the Moon” by Jon Brion and a cover of Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On.” Other oddities include covers of Prince and Daniel Johnston, BBC performances, and a DVD of the band playing Lollapalooza in 2006. Add to that original artwork and copious liner notes by E. ~John Zeiss
Marvin Gaye Here, My Dear [Expanded Edition] Hip-O
Here, My Dear is a break-up album of enormous proportions, even for a megastar of Gaye's stature. The album is a farewell/fuck you to his ex-wife, who was also his boss's daughter (an understandably complicated situation, as he was still recording for the man). Remastered and expanded, the album is a prime candidate in the Gaye discography to receive reassessment. ~Dan Nishimoto
Jean Michel Jarre Oxygene: 30th Anniversary Edition
Caroline For all its futurist aspirations, electronic music never took off as the preferred genre of the next generation. That said, the field's instruments and ideas continue to appear in today's art forms. Which explains why Jean Michel Jarre, a pioneer in electronic music, deserves such a lush look back. His 1977 debut album, Oxygene, broke from the small pack by making the seemingly avant-garde aspirations of electronic music readily palatable. Subsequently, the album -- specifically lead single "Oxygene (Part IV)" -- was a rare hit of its day. Per the usual, this anniversary edition also includes a bonus DVD of a live performance. And, not to be outdone, the footage is shot in 3D HD. ~Dan Nishimoto
Nonesuch Stephin Merritt and company’s eighth full-length arrives just in time for when most nor’easters' mid-winter-time malaise sets in. The band has excelled in crafting delicate pop nuggets that both explore and explode the affairs of the heart, so a new album naturally promises more navel-gazing pageantry. ~Dan Nishimoto
Rings Black Habit Paw Tracks The New York City-based all-female trio Rings used to go by the band name First Nation; the band members were going to call their debut Rings, but they decided that name better fit the band itself. Hence the name change. Black Habit was recorded in Kentucky with Kria Brekken, formerly of the band Mum and currently the wife of Animal Collective’s Avey Tare. Animal Collective, of course, helps run Paw Tracks, so it’s not surprising to find Rings’ music described as “a loose tribal-pop sound.” ~John Zeiss