Bloc Party Lead This Week's New Releases
ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Bloc Party -The Nextwave Sessions EP (Frenchkiss/Co-op): Bloc Party's best since Silent Alarm. So why not a big deal? Depends how much you care about indie-rock's Incubus, an obscenely popular bunch of rhythm addicts who know great sound effects more than they know durable songcraft. But you may be underrating them. Last album's "Octopus" kept it going on too, with the great novelty of a guitar that mimicked a springy doorstop, while the previous album's "Mercury" made an aggressive chant out of Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey" riff and Planet of the Apes redux video. The one before had two good songs too, the jangly up-ballad "I Still Remember" and the corkscrew-riffed Patriot Act smokeout "Hunting for Witches." So these five songs get in and out, indulging the novelty factor fast on "Ratchet" (LOL guys) and ace-in-the-hole drummer Matt Tong on "French Exit" and the clickity-clack atmospherics of "Montreal." The tender ones are called "Obscene" and "Children of the Future." Don't call it a comeback.
Luke Bryan – Crash This Party (Capitol Nashville): You'd be forgiven if you thought he was Luke Wilson instead—Bryan shares his goofy grin and tries to accomplish a similar effect in his music. "I got that real good, feel-good, stuff" he raps on the opener, as a preface for his aw-shucks-deluxe Droopy Dog schtick filling in for cleverness and detail; "Beer in the Headlights," "Drink a Beer" and "We Run This Town" (watch out JAY Z) are the limited party anthems you imagine. Except much, much slower.
Glen Campbell – See You There (Surfdog): Campbell's revisionism is grosser than most, considering Campbell has an actual Chris Brown-esque past with former girlfriend Tanya Tucker. His previous Ghost on the Canvas courted indie-rockers with selections from Paul Westerberg and Guided by Voices, but his 62nd album is likely to be his last, so he remakes his biggest hits in a McRick Rubin style ("Rhinestone Cowboy" over solo fuzzy electric, "Wichita Lineman" with the spaghetti western guitar amped up and the orchestrations gone the way of all Let It Be…Naked) alongside deathbed blues ("Waiting on the Comin' of My Lord") and minor-key tropicalia ("What I Wouldn't Give"). It doesn't not work; every piece of these arrangements is calculated to make us care, and the twisty accordion melody now appended to "Galveston" actually does. Everyone wants a shot at redemption, to paraphrase Paul Simon. Except at age 69, Simon's So Beautiful or So What had something to say about it. See what other new releases made the list.
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