The Man in Black sings to us from the grave on the last of his American Recordings series, American VI: Ain’t No Grave. Produced by Rick Rubin, Cash’s wavering baritone voice and choice of songs remind us he wasn’t haunted, he was ready to go.
Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach is as eclectic as the album’s guest list – Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed, Mos Def, members of The Clash, Bobby Womack, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, De La Soul, Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals and The Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music. Ironically, Womack originally declined the offer until his daughter stated “you got to do this – they’re awesome.” She’s right – it is awesome.
Jimi Hendrix may be more symbolic now than at the time of his death 40 years ago. As one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, he pioneered the explosive possibilities of the electric guitar. Valleys of Neptune is a complete studio album featuring 12 previously unreleased recordings totaling 60+ minutes of unheard legend.
Peter Gabriel’s 40+ year career has passed a variety of musical signposts – from prog-rock radical to international pop superstar to world-beat saviour. His latest return features his own interpretation of classic tracks by Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Lou Reed, Bon Iver and more. As the singer/songwriter reveals, Scratch My Back is “a very personal” record.
The wait is over…and man was it worth it. Massive Attack awakens from a 7 year slumber with 10 amazing tracks on Heligoland. Reminiscent of their organic dub roots, the album trips the senses with guest artists Tunde Adebimpe of TV On the Radio, Damon Albarn of Gorillaz, Hope Sandaval of Mazzy Star and Adrian Utley of Portishead. Like a psychedelic drug, Heligoland takes awhile to hit, but when it does – it’s an exhilarating ride.
With the release of The Colossus, innovative RJD2 takes you on a hip hop voyage you won’t want to return from. Each track unfolds beautifully with the beat smith’s mad sampling skills, multi-instrumentalist talents, and sick turntablism – not to mention, the soulful guest vocalists.
You and your better half won’t be leaving the bedroom as long as Tricky’s Maxinquaye spins in the background. The trip hop classic’s two-disc deluxe edition includes digitally remastered original tracks, B-sides and previously unreleased material. Though great for late night romps, its sonic production is experienced best through a nice pair of phones.
If you’re a jazz newbie, Medeski, Martin, & Wood’s Radiolarians: The Evolutionary is your gateway. Rooted in improvisational jazz, the 3-disc recording branches off into segments of rock, folk and funk. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. Once you hear it, you’ll be a jazz junky forever.
Supergroup, Them Crooked Vultures – Dave Grohl, on skins; Zep’s, John Paul Jones, on bass; and Queens of the Stone Age’s, Josh Homme, offering his pipes and guitar riffage. This power trio exceeds expectations with their melodic hooks, deep grooves, tight passages and imaginative song writing on their debut self titled album.