Music Releases 05-06-22
WE is the new album from Canadian rock band Arcade Fire. This is the sixth Arcade Fire studio album, and is made up of seven songs that speak to this moment with unique directness. Written, recorded, and released during a critical historical juncture, they are divided into two distinct sides, “I” and “WE.” If the “I” side of the record evokes and embodies our holed-up anxiety and lack of physical connection, the “WE” side captures the excitement of new possibilities and the elevating thrill of committing to one another socially and personally. Produced by Nigel Godrich, Win Butler & Régine Chassagne, WE is a 40 minute epic as much about the forces that threaten to pull us away from the people we love, as it is inspired by the urgent need to overcome them.
From the anthemic “Virginia (Wind In The Night),” an ode to Russell’s native state to which he’s recently relocated (“If it was solely up to me, I’d live her for the rest of my life,” he says), to the minimal but momentous “Tiebreaker,” Every Shade of Blue showcases The Head and the Heart’s unique ability to dip its toes into a variety of musical genres. It’s the band’s knack for supreme melody, however, that remains a constant. And it’s why many of the songs on Every Shade of Blue, including the slow-rolling title track, “Every Shade of Blue,” which Russell says has “a Sinatra vibe,” are undeniable pop-radio missiles. The band’s ability to create music that appeals to listeners’ common denominator, Russell says, is something he not only won’t shy away from but is immensely proud of.
Ukulele Songs comprises a fine mixture of original material penned by Vedder that he initially performed live, alongside vintage classics and standards. A recast, uke-driven version of "Can't Keep," which originally appeared as the opening track on Pearl Jam's hard-charging November 2002 album Riot Act, opens the proceedings, while newer-bred original songs like the resigned lament of "Sleeping By Myself," the charming love orbit of "Satellite," the hopeful brightness of "Light Today," and the instrumental interlude "Waving Palms" all set the table for the 35-minute album.
Guest vocalists appear on a pair of key Ukulele tracks, both of them fine covers of notable standards. First, Glen Hansard (The Frames, Once) adds his Irish folk DNA to "Sleepless Nights," which was written by Felice and Boudreaux Bryant and remade by The Everly Brothers in 1960, in addition to later being covered by the likes of Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, and Elvis Costello.
Second, Cat Power lends her passionate tone to "Tonight You Belong To Me," a jazz standard written in 1926 by lyricist Billy Rose and composer Lee David. This track has also been subsequently covered by the likes of Frankie Laine, Patience and Prudence, and Dottie West. Versions of "You Belong To Me" were also recently featured in the acclaimed 2019 film drama Blackbird and in an episode of the 2020 HBO horror-drama series Lovecraft Country.
The LP's other noteworthy covers include stirring takes on Billy Rose and Edward Eliscu's "More Than You Know," Michael Edwards and Bud Green's "Once In A While," and the album-closing reading of Fabian Andre, Wilbur Schwandt, and Gus Kahn's "Dream A Little Dream."
Produced by Eddie Vedder and Adam Kasper (Foo Fighters, Soundgarden), Ukulele Songs peaked at No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard 200, hit No. 2 on the U.S. Top Rock Albums on Billboard, and achieved Gold status in Canada.
EDDIE VEDDER / UKULELE SONGS
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Released in 1965 My Generation was the debut album by The Who. The album peaked at #5 in the UK & launched the band into worldwide acclaim. Containing “My Generation”, “The Kids are Alright” & “The Ox” mastered by long time Who engineer Jon Astley from the original tapes. Packaged in original sleeve with obi & certificate of authenticity, this black vinyl version is engineered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios with a half-speed mastering technique which produces a superior vinyl cut.
A Quick One was released in 1966, containing experimental music Suite (a nod to Rock Operas that were to follow). The album contains “Boris the Spider”, “Don’t Look Away” & has been mastered by long time Who engineer Jon Astley from the original tapes. Packaged in original sleeve with obi & certificate of authenticity, this black vinyl version is engineered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road Studios with a half-speed mastering technique which produces a superior vinyl cut.
Grammy-winning hard rock band Halestorm announce Back From The Dead, their fifth studio album due out May 6, 2022, and follow-up to 2018’s Vicious. Produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Mastodon, Alice in Chains) with co-production by Scott Stevens (Shinedown, Daughtry, New Year’s Day), Back From The Dead quickly evolved from songwriting exercises into a matter of survival for the band, taking the listener through ‘a journey of navigating mental health, debauchery, survival, redemption, and rediscovery, while still maintaining faith in humanity’ says frontwoman Lzzy Hale. The album features the title track which earned the band their sixth #1 at Rock Radio, and current single, “The Steeple.” Halestorm has grown from a childhood dream of siblings Lzzy and Arejay Hale into one of the most celebrated rock bands of the last two decades. Halestorm’s music has surpassed a billion streams worldwide. Fronted by the incomparable Lzzy Hale with drummer Arejay Hale, guitarist Joe Hottinger, and bass player Josh Smith, Halestorm has earned a reputation as a powerful live music force, headlining sold-out shows and topping festival bills around the world.
!!! present Let It Be Blue ' spanning 11 tracks, the band's production forward album incorporates a multitude of styles and genres, easily becoming their most ecclectic release yet. The band have taken a new approach to recording over the past two years, primarily working in the box to start, as opposed to their usual studio focused approach. The result, a prominent electronic / dance-leaning edge prevades the band's familiar sonic motiffs and songwriting, pushing the towards new dynamic limits for the New York mainstays.
Featuring a diverse and spectacular cast of collaborators, "The Atlas Underground Flood" is a treasure trove of creativity, spanning many genres. The album is the surprise sister record released on the heels of "The Atlas Underground Fire”. “Fire” and “Flood” are a continuation of the Rage Against The Machine guitarist’s groundbreaking 2018 album, “The Atlas Underground.” Morello’s insane guitar playing is on full display taking the instrument into the future and forging an alternative/rock/EDM masterpiece with heavy metal legends, punk icons and cutting edge firebrands.
2022 release. Introduced to the world ten years ago, Emeli Sandé MBE has become an icon of British singer-songwriting; emotional, honest, and prolific in the kind of manner that cements you as a go-to artist for heartfelt pop sensibility. In 2021, it's time for a reintroduction. Newly signed to independent label Chrysalis Records, Sandé has freed herself from the expectations of others in order to make an album of expansive creativity, flexing her holistic skills as a songwriter, producer and vocalist in new, versatile ways. Something of an artistic rebirth, it draws on old familiarities and brave beginnings, uniting fans old and new in her endless drive to use music as a tool for inspirational lift.