The music is beautiful and dark, which may pay tribute to the bigger meaning of where we stand as a culture. In a time of beauty all around us, there are the dark looming realities and atrocities of the world today.
As a music critic, perhaps a bit more creative effort would be appreciated. However, as a Noel Gallagher fan, I really couldn't care less that he didn't decide to make a jazz album or at least something even slightly more daring.
Certain artists, albums, or songs that are given the rare titles of "best of" or "greatest of all time." Tupac Shakur's 1995 masterpiece, Me Against the World, is the greatest hip-hop album of all time.
It's a week of reunions. Everyone wants to sing with Tony Bennett, the Jayhawks want one more shot at the Americana brass ring, and the superstars in SuperHeavy want nothing less than global domination.
Beyonce's baby bump is speaking louder than any of the new releases this month. So while we wait for the flood of fall albums to descend next week, I want to spend this week playing five records that got by me earlier in the year.
This week, the Muppets get some indie cred, Stephen Malkmus gets reined in, Barbra gets sentimental, Game gets vulnerable, and Beirut strips down. It's a perfect "Play" week. Thank God. I was starting to lose hope.
This week is full of funky flashbacks, false steps, and bad musical jokes. Sly Stone is still missing and Blue October can't get beyond the rage. Leave it to Jeff Bridges and his country heart to keep the week from being a total blow-out.
It's dudes only this week -- that is, if you consider 13-year-old Greyson Chance a dude. John Hiatt, Mat Kearney, Trace Adkins, and Richard Buckner are digging deep into American music roots and pulling out gold. Or at least shiny objects.
It's a week of musical fresh starts. Joss Stone flies as a free agent, alt-metal singer Ronnie Radke is free from prison, and Vanessa Carlton is the ultimate free spirit. Play 'em all after you give your favorite Amy Winehouse record one more spin.
This week Incubus reinvents itself, the Cool Kids rewind some classic hip-hop beats, Colbie Caillat reclaims pop music from the teases, and Blake Shelton wants to turn some of that "Voice" attention into country cash.
Women rule this week. Gillian Welch, Beyoncé, and Dolly Parton dig for Americana, country, and pop gold, while Selena Gomez gives the tweens another dose of Disney. Poor American Idol David Cook doesn't have a fighting chance.