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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Upcoming albums to get you through the summer

    The heat of summer usually brings with it a slew of cinematic blockbusters, hot on the public’s tongues. With Hollywood in most everyone’s sights, it’s easy to forget that summer also marks the release of many high-profile albums. This summer is no different, as a diverse group of artists will be releasing highly anticipated music.

    May 18

    Infinite Arms by Band of Horses

    After releasing two albums on Sub Pop, Band of Horses bring their country-leaning brand of pop music to major label Columbia Records. If first single “”Compliments”” is any indication, Band of Horses may be leaning even heavier on fuzzed-out guitars and an alt-country sound. Details remain relatively sparse about the album. Singer Ben Bridwell’s voice is as crisp as ever, with generous overdubbing, suggesting a more produced sound that explores the band’s roots without abandoning them. After the near-genius of Cease to Begin, look for Infinite Arms to raise a lot of eyebrows in the coming weeks.

    Brothers by The Black Keys

    America’s shining blues-rock duo is set to drop their sixth album Brothers. Their previous album Attack & Release was solely produced by the eternally active Danger Mouse, who returned to do production duties on first single “”Tighten Up.”” On the track, the traditional Black Keys sound remains evident, as Dan Auerbach’s crooning howl dances across guitar licks. With the duo producing the rest of the tracks, Brothers has every reason to be a straight-up blues-rock album with filthy guitar work and hot, nasty grooves that make you want to get up on some strange.

    This Is Happening by LCD Soundsystem

    James Murphy, the one-man impetus behind LCD Soundsystem, made two grand claims about the upcoming release. First, he called it “”definitely better than the other two”” albums he has released. Second, he stated it would most likely be the final album released by LCD Soundsystem. After two incredible and damningly indescribable dance albums, both of his statements are hard to digest. Murphy has a penchant for bafflingly innovative yet catchy tunes along with a sophisticated palette of lyrical gems. Lead single “”Drunk Girls”” has been popping at my pool parties for the past month.

    May 25

    Stone Temple Pilots by Stone Temple Pilots

    After a nine-year hiatus, is the world ready for a new album by Stone Temple Pilots? Does the world care? Despite an overwhelmingly positive early response from ARTISTdirect.com, whose editor called it “”the rock record of the decade … a masterpiece that will officially solidify STP alongside the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time,”” I remain skeptical as the first single “”Between The Lines”” sounds like all of the terrible bands who emulated STP for the past decade. Besides, nobody wants to wear flannel in May.

    June 1

    The Bride Screamed Murder by the Melvins

    Cocktail party trivia: Kurt Cobain auditioned to play bass for the Melvins but was so nervous he forgot all the songs. Instead, he became great friends with the band and started Nirvana. Despite constantly being lumped in with the grunge rock of early ’90s Seattle, the Melvins are more of a sludge-rock band that leans toward bizarre song structures. Their music is inherently difficult to get into, but continually surprises, as the band’s style mutates with each release. The Bride Screamed Murder will be their 17th full-length release.

    June 8

    White Crosses by Against Me!

    White Crosses leaked in early March, so of course I … heard it at a friend’s house. Welcome to the era of journalism where I can review a preview. Crosses marks a logical and promising progression for the once anarcho-punk group. Continuing in the footsteps of 2007’s New Wave, Crosses has most in common with the canon of the legendary The Replacements. It is a marvel of late ’80s alternative rock with punk tendencies. While it often pursues anthemic choruses over subtlety, Crosses showcases impressive songwriting by the band and haunting lyrics from the typically aggressive Tom Gabel.

    How I Got Over by The Roots

    When it was announced they would be taking over as the house band on “”Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,”” The Roots seemed to be done for. However, in April, they released a mixtape of J Dilla covers called Dilla Joints and found time to record a new full length. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, How I Got Over features guest appearances from John Legend and Jim James, as well as a cover of Frank Zappa’s classic “”Peaches en Regalia.”” With a back catalog of classics, The Roots won’t get a free pass for their busy schedule, but I doubt they’d ask for one.

    June 15

    American Slang by The Gaslight Anthem

    After the critically lauded The ’59 Sound, The Gaslight Anthem’s third full-length has a lot to live up to. My friend, who immorally downloaded it, told me it is a great advancement for the band. With stronger guitar work and the actualization of singer Brian Fallon as the rightful heir to Bruce Springsteen’s crown, The Gaslight Anthem have captured the essence of American rock. Furthermore, the band continues to be an unbelievable selling force of vinyl records, as they sold out online store Vinyl Collective’s pre-order of the album in one hour, as well as record labels No Idea and SideOne.

    June 22

    Recovery by Eminem

    After the incredibly tepid work on 2009’s Relapse, buzz for an Eminem album is at an all-time low. With Eminem even dismissing his previous album as “”just rap records,”” and this new release as “”more emotionally-driven,”” I yearn for the Marshall Mathers who pushed people’s buttons because he didn’t know any better. While not the greatest performer, Eminem was great for music. He was exciting, uncompromising and mercurial. He was the greatest rock star who hated rock. I’d love to see him visit us one last time, but I don’t think he has any left in the tank.

    June 29

    (Untitled) by M.I.A.

    If first single “”Born Free”” and its accompanying ginger-kid massacre music video are any indication, M.I.A. does not want to write another “”Paper Planes.”” After lighting up clubs with her misinterpreted immigration anthem, M.I.A. fired back with the edgiest music video in two decades. Rejoice! M.I.A. is at her best when she holds a microphone against the sounds of the disenfranchised. As a student of world music, her indecipherably regional harmonies tear across the globe, infantilizing the xenophobia of the world. With a mid-summer release, look for this album to make your Fourth of July barbecue really cool.

    Sometime in June

    Good Ass Job by Kanye West

    The rumors circulating about this record claim West is in Hawaii recording with Pete Rock, DJ Premier, RZA and Q-Tip, with his influences including Maya Angelou and Gil Scott-Heron. Sure, those are just rumors, but could you possibly create a more exciting palette for West to work with? As one of the few remaining students of the Golden Age of hip-hop, West pushes the game harder than any other mainstream rapper, so a return to the roots could be just what the stagnant genre needs. Besides, it can’t be worse than 808s and Heartbreaks. That’s just science.

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