Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Release Highlights for January 11, 2011: Cake is back with a Showroom of Compassion

Posted By on Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 8:00 AM

(New albums are typically released on Tuesdays, i.e., today. What can you spend your hard-earned pennies on this week? Find out below.)

click to enlarge British Sea Power's Valhalla Dancehall
  • British Sea Power's Valhalla Dancehall

*British Sea Power, Valhalla Dancehall Prefix said of Dancehall, "Regarding this record, the band spoke of making musical nods to 'Lee 'Scratch' Perry, Kraftwerk, and Serge Gainsbourg,' as well as drawing influences from 'vintage Playboy magazines, population control, crazy golf, Dadaist artist Kurt Schwitters, hedonism, nature and 'French Hitchcock' Henri-Georges Clouzot.' Listening now, the album comes out the gate with a familiar blast of power pop." Stream Valhalla Dancehall here.

click to enlarge Cage the Elephant, Thank You Happy Birthday
  • Cage the Elephant, Thank You Happy Birthday

*Cage The Elephant, Thank You, Happy Birthday LA Times reviewed Happy Birthday, saying "The twang in Shultz's voice and in Lincoln Parish's lead guitar betrays the band's Southern influence. Like the Kings of Leon, Cage the Elephant gains benefits from being rooted in a region where plain old rock still has wide appeal. There's no pretentiousness to this band, and no tricks in the clean production by versatile Nashville vet Jay Joyce. And though Shultz's lyrics betray much self-doubt, his wildfire yelp overcomes it." Stream Thank You Happy Birthday here.

click to enlarge Cake's Showroom of Compassion
  • Cake's Showroom of Compassion

*Cake, Showroom Of Compassion Consequence of Sound reviewed Compassion, saying "This is not a band evolving so drastically over each album, to a point that the early die-hards will flag the premiere coming of Cake as its only truly great accomplishment, no; as an avid listener, I'm prone to enjoy Comfort Eagle a great deal more than Motorcade, though that original muffling in John McCrea's vocals does bring me back to the days of a burgeoning Beck. In the past seven years, I'm wagering that members of Cake were either going through a collective mid-life crisis, or they wrote this album as more of a direct reflection of headline news omens, than a riffing analysis of them." Read the Rolling Stone interview with Cake's John Mccrea and stream the album here.

*The official video for "Sick Of You" by Cake

click to enlarge Tapes N Tapes' Outside
  • Tapes N Tapes' Outside

*Tapes N' Tapes, Outside Pitchfork said of the new album, "Outside, the band's third album, again finds Tapes 'n Tapes not only self-releasing and self-producing but redoubling their efforts at indie rock homage. The melodies and the influences are more defined, as are the poses; Outside is a fine but ultimately feckless return to form, an attempt to rebuild The Loon's simple charms." Stream the album in full here.

click to enlarge Wire's Red Barked Tree
  • Wire's Red Barked Tree

*Wire, Red Barked Tree The Guardian reviewed Red Barked Tree, saying "What's admirable about original art-punks Wire is not that they're still going after more than 30 years but that they rarely stoop to playing the nostalgia card. Their 12th album, and second since the departure of founder member Bruce Gilbert in 2004, also sees the core trio somewhat reinvigorated, discarding their electronic sound in favour of a bracing guitar-based tack. The acerbic declaration on 'Two Minutes' that 'coffee is not a replacement for food or happiness' suggests they've remembered what it is they do best: look askance at the modern world while making a clever racket." Stream the album in full here.

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