Just writing this to let you all know that there's a ton of new stuff available on the (somewhat legal) download services out there.
Don't trip out, we'll do full-length reviews on all of these. I could drop some names, but I'll make you a list, with "official" release dates in parentheses, but who waits for those anymore?:
Destroyer - Trouble In Dreams (next Tuesday)
Dan Behar of The New Pornographers, recording under his solo moniker of Destroyer, comes back after the stellar '06 release of Destroyer's Rubies with another solid offering of his brand of neo-folk.
She & Him - Volume 1 (next Tuesday)
Actress Zooey Deschanel writes and sings, too! Recording with producer M. Ward, this album is another early-'08 favorite of mine, as her debut sparkles with songs of love and loss. I can already say that this album will be near the top of my year-end list...
R.E.M. - Accelerate (April 1st)
Michael Stipe doesn't have to do all that much to get attention, he's a lot like Madonna in that respect. Reinventing themselves again, their approach here is not unlike the old R.E.M.
Gnarls Barkley - The Odd Couple (due April 8th)
Picking up where they left off, there's some excellent songs on here, like Run and Who's Gonna Save My Soul, which you've probably already heard. It's a much more confident approach, they sound really sure of themselves on here. In a nutshell; less introspective, more mature.
The Breeders - Mountain Battles (April 8th)
I love you, Kim Deal. You got me through high school with your first two albums, plus your output with the Pixies. This affair is right on par with what they do best, which is laid-back and shoegazey.
Man Man - Rabbit Habits (April 8th)
Yes! Man Man, you complete me. Keeping their trademark cabaret-meets-folk-meets-gutter punk sound, call-and-response but adding a conciseness in song forms, it's a tightening back of the patented "odd" sounds all over their last albums.
Tapes n Tapes - Walk It Off (April 8th)
Their last release, The Loon, sounded a lot like the school of Pavement disciples they are, which is probably why I loved it. But here on Walk It Off, they're coming into their own.
Portishead - Third (due out April 28th)
Wow. And I say that in a "this is really different" kind of wow. It's more like singer Beth Gibbons' stuff with Rustin Man. Less trip-hoppy, more acoustic, more worldly. Eleven years in-between records will do that to a band's sound...
Duffy - Rockferry (due May 13th)
I can't stop listening to this. She's soulful as all hell and she's Welsh (that place is so hot right now). Think of her as a Motown-esque throwback, like Dusty In Memphis. In response to all the comparisons, I think she has a better voice than Amy Winehouse, and she's way cuter.
These are all just preliminary reviews, except for Duffy and Destroyer I've only gotten through each of these albums once. Unlike Maxim Magazine, I'm not going to semi-review and rate anything until it's gotten a proper amount of listens...
Still no sign of:
Be Your Own Pet - Get Awkward (next Tuesday)
Spoon - Don't You Evah EP (April 8th)
Colin Meloy - Colin Meloy Sings Live! (April 8th)
M83 - Saturdays=Youth (April 15th)
Islands - Arm's Way (April 21st)
Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs (May 13th)
Ladytron - Velocifero (June 3rd)
My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges (June 10th)
That's news to me...