Feature ·

[January 30, 2007] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.

Our writers highlight a handful of notable records scheduled to hit the shelves this Tuesday. Plus, check the full list of this week's releases:



Lily Allen

Alright, Still


A hearty congratulations to Capitol Records for releasing Lily Allen's debut domestically at the precise point at which we've all become tired of our import versions. (Seriously, way to strike while the iron was hot.) We'll have to brace ourselves for year two of the Lily Allen publicity machine, albeit in service of an undeniably sharp set of tracks. Still, anyone who treats Alright, Still like a discovery should be smacked. ~Michael Legat

Artist: http://www.lilyallenmusic.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/lilymusic 

Lou Barlow

Mirror the Eye


For all the music Lou Barlow has released in his career, I'm surprised he only has one solo album. Not that I expect him to have released more. But considering the particularities of his approach to music, I'm pleased to see how often he has embraced collaboration. So, consider the solo jawns from Barlow a welcome treat. Mirror the Eye is an appetizer sampler: five tracks that spin and yarn without any particular fuss. Typical Barlow? Perhaps, but isn't that the point? ~Dan Nishimoto

Artist: http://www.loobiecore.com/

Label: http://www.acuareladiscos.com/ 


Lon Gisland EP

Ba Da Bing!

What's a boy to do whose debut album garnered critical accolades early last year but got rather forgotten on end-year best-of lists? Sulk and disappear? Nope: Best move is to just keep churning out good music. That's what Zach Condon is doing. And when I wrote "boy" in the first sentence, I was being literal: Condon, the gypsy-rock-loving, Jeff Mangum-recalling centerpiece of Beirut, can barely drink a beer legally. Lon Gisland (move one letter and you get a New York neighborhood) builds on the momentum and sound of Gulag Orkestar. Opener "Elephant Gun" could create new fans of the band out of even the most hardened blog-hype haters. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.beirutband.com/

Label: http://www.badabingrecords.com/

Audio: http://myspace.com/beruit  

Lavender Diamond

Cavalry of Light EP


Buzz keeps building around the "band" Lavender Diamond-"band" in quotation marks because even Matador admits LD is simply a "vehicle for the astonishing vocals and buoyant worldview of Becky Stark." And that's not just label hyperbole. Stark has a set of pipes, and she keeps things mostly upbeat and uplifting on this four-song EP. Cavalry has been around for almost a year now and is getting reissued by Matador in advance of the band's full-length debut, Imagine Our Love, scheduled for May 8 release. ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.lavenderdiamond.com/

Label: http://www.matadorrecords.com/

"You Broke My Heart" MP3: http://www.matadorrecords.com/lavender_diamond/music.html

Audio: http://myspace.com/lavenderdiamond

Love of Diagrams

Love of Diagrams EP


Up from Down Under comes Love of Diagrams, a band whose name nicely suggests its angular, spiky, Wire-y sound. After making a name for themselves in their homeland, Matador is bringing the two girls and a guy trio to the States. This four-song EP serves as a placeholder until the band's new album, Mosaic, hits shelves April 10. Included are one song slated to appear on Mosaic, "Pace or the Patience," as well as "No Way Out," featured on a recent O.C. episode, and a cover of Athens rockers/R.E.M. peers Pylon's "Cool." ~John Zeiss

Band: http://www.loveofdiagrams.com/

Label: http://www.matadorrecords.com/

"No Way Out" MP3: http://www.matadorrecords.com/mpeg/love_of_diagrams/love_of_diagrams_no_way_out.mp3

Sean Price

Jesus Price Superstar

Duck Down

"Ruck was a wild dude, find 'em, fuck 'em and flee. ... And Sean Price got a plan, growth and development." ~Sean Price, in an interview with AllHipHop.com

Could it be that Sean Price, the rugged half to the rough Rock in Heltah Skeltah and the once self-proclaimed "brokest rapper alive," has turned over a new leaf? Perhaps not entirely. Price follows up his highly acclaimed 2005 solo debut, Monkey Barz, with more Boot Camp collabos, 9th Wonder production and Price-isms like the alliteration-happy "P Body." In the words of Nah Right, "If you fucks with Sean P, you won't be disappointed. If you don't, then you are a disappointment." ~Dan Nishimoto

Label: http://www.duckdown.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/scragbite 

Jill Scott


Hidden Beach

On the road to singer-songwriter Jill Scott's upcoming album (The Real Thing, to be released this summer), Hidden Beach Records collects her past duets and collaborations. Hip-hop and neo-soul fans will likely be familiar with some of the material here, such as the two mixes of "Love Rain" with Mos Def and the more recent Lupe collabo, "Daydreamin'," but Scott's populist (and otherwise) forays also feature heavily: from the Starbucks-worthy "Good Morning Heartache" with Chris Botti and "I Wonder" with Darius Rucker to the gospel lean back on "God Bless the Child" featuring Al Jarreau and George Benson and "Kingdom Come" with Kirk Franklin. The collection demonstrates the extent of the singer's talent at a reasonable price: bless America, indeed. ~ Dan Nishimoto

Artist: http://www.jillscott.com/

Label: http://www.hiddenbeachmedia.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/theofficialjill

E-card: http://www.hiddenbeachmedia.com/jillscott/ecard/site.htm 

Lewis Taylor

The Lost Album


How sweet it is to let the cat out of the bag. Rhino continued to update its presence in the contemporary reissue market when it formed a distribution deal with boutique label HackTone Records late last year. Though HackTone is perhaps best known for unearthing alt-country nuggets from Steve Earle and David Allan Coe, Rhino struck solid gold with the work of soul slinger Lewis Taylor. The labels' arrangement worked completely in the fans' favor by making widely available the heretofore micro-press work of one of the best living singers and songwriters. The Lost Album follows 2004's fantastic Stoned but is in some ways a step further back in time. The album began as a follow-up to his self-titled major label debut in 1996. Though that first album earned him the reputation of soul savior of the moment, Taylor planned to stretch out stylistically on his second album. His label balked at his demos, and he subsequently shelved the songs until 2005, when he revisited them with collaborator Sabina Smyth. The results stretched from the positively pet sounds of "Let's Hope Nobody Finds Us" to the McCartney power-balladry of "One More Mystery" yet remained rooted in Taylor's sincere performance and humble writing. With such wide appeal (and standard reissue bonuses, like demos from his first album), how can you not tell a friend? ~Dan Nishimoto

Artist: http://www.lewistaylormusic.com/

Label: http://www.rhino.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/lewistaylorstoned

Afrika Bambaataa: Death Mix 2 
Alkaline Trio: Remains [CD/DVD] (Vagrant)
Armin van Buuren: State of Trance: Year Mix 2006 (Cloud 9)
B.B. King: Millennium Collection: 20th Century Masters (Geffen)
Beirut: Lon Gisland (Ba Da Bing!)
Bracken: We Know About the Need (Anticon)
Busdriver: Roadkill Overcoat (Epitaph / Ada)
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Some Loud Thunder (Clap Your Hands Say)
David Sylvian/Nine Horses: Money for All (Samadhi Sound UK)
Elisabeth Withers: It Can Happen to Anyone (Blue Note)
Ella Fitzgerald: Ella Fitzgerald and Friends for Lovers (Verve)
Gilby Clarke: Gilby Clarke (Spitfire)
Gill Landry: Ballad of Lawless Soirez (Nettwerk)
Grand Daddy I.U.: Smooth Assassin (Traffic Ent.)
Hella: There's No 666 in Outer Space (Ipecac)
James Yorkston: Year of the Leopard (Domino)
Lavender Diamond: Cavalry of Light (Matador)
Lily Allen: Alright, Still (Capitol)
Love of Diagrams: Love of Diagrams EP (Matador)
Lymbyc Systym: Love Your Abuser (Mush)
Mercury Rev: Back to Mine (Back to Mine)
Merle Haggard: Live in Concert: The Platinum Artist Series (St. Clair)
Natalie Cole: Love Songs (Rhino)
Ned Rothenberg: Inner Diaspora (Tzadik)
Norah Jones: Not Too Late (Blue Note)
Paolo Nutini: These Streets (Atlantic / Wea)
RZA: Afro Samurai (Koch)
Scott Johnson: Patty Hearst (Tzadik)
Sean Price: Jesus Price Supastar (Duck Down Music)
Shawn Lee & the Ping Pong Orchestra: Voices and Choices (Ubiquity)
Static Thought: In the Trenches (Hellcat)
Thomas Dolby: Gate to the Mind's Eye (Wounded Bird)
Various Artists: Afterhours 3: Mixed (Global Underground)
Various Artists: Afterhours 3: Unmixed (Global Underground)
Various Artists: Electro House Sessions (Ministry of Sound UK)
Xavier Rudd: Food in the Belly (Anti)
Young Dro: Young and the Restless (Oarfin)
Young Love: Too Young to Fight It (Island)
Youth Group: Casino Twilight Dogs (Anti)
Z Ro & Slim Thug: Boss King, Southern Lean, Vol.3 (Oarfin)

 *Release dates may change. E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with corrections or additions.

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