Tuesday, April 26, 2005

You Oughta Know: Upcoming Releases That Matter

Summer is not only a time for Hollywood blockbusters but it is also a time when the biggest acts in music release their guns. Here are the upcoming albums that matter (to me at least):

Dave Matthews Band: Stand Up
Release date: May 10th
This is Dave Matthews Band's (DMB) 6th studio album since they first came onto the scene with their breakthrough album Under The Table And Dreaming in 1994. Comprised of frontman Dave Matthews, drummer Carter Beauford, bassist Stefan Lessard, violinist Boyd Tinsley and saxophonist/flautist LeRoi Mooore, DMB has been touring the US every summer and they are one of the most consistent and electrifying live acts around.

They have released more live albums than studio albums, a testament to their amazing musicianship, where they play a different set list every night. You could go watch 2 shows in the same town and you'll get 2 different sets of songs on both nights. I wonder how many bands can afford to do that.

Stand Up will be released as a standard CD as well as a dual-disc, which is a new CD technology that is fast gaining popularity in the music industry. According to the website, the dual-disc is a DVD that includes a short feature of the making of Stand Up plus the album in 24-bit stereo; the audio side contains the full-length album. This means that you get more value for your money and you have the best of both worlds, all on 1 disc. So make sure you get the dual-disc version!

Nine Inch Nails: With Teeth
Release Date: May 3rd
This 7th album by Nine Inch Nails (NIN) is very exciting because it features the amazing Dave Grohl as the guest drummer. I've never been a fan of NIN. In fact, I don't recall any NIN song at all. But Dave Grohl's presence has made me all excited about this album.

Look what he did with Queens of the Stone Age's (QOTSA) Songs For The Deaf. He guest drummed on it as well and it elevated QOTSA to superstardom. So I'll be watching very closely to NIN's With Teeth to see if Dave Grohl can work his wonders again. I'm not counting on him to disappoint me.

And With Teeth will be released as a dual-disc as well (see what I told you about dual-discs getting more popular?), so don't buy the wrong edition!

Coldplay: X&Y
Release date: June 7th
The 2nd biggest band in the world (after U2) releases its highly-anticipated 3rd album this summer. With just 2 albums under its belt, Coldplay has established itself as a credible rock act and survived the sophomore curse with their excellent A Rush Of Blood To The Head [which head? :0) ] 3 years ago.

First single Speed Of Sound premiered this Monday and early reviews describe it as being in the same vein as their previous hit Clocks, and a catchy melody to boot. Expectations are sky-high for this release and you can expect it to be one of the biggest sellers this year.

Anyway, there have been reports that the colourful album cover contains a secret code...trying to ride on the public's fascination with Da Vinci Code I guess...anything with a code sells! Let's see how it'll do.

Oasis: Don't Believe The Truth

Release date: May 30th
With an album title like this, it seems like Oasis is trying to make a statement about the world we live in today. The album appears in this column not because I am super interested in it, but it's more like a wait-and-see thing.

Oasis hasn't lived up to their claim of being the "biggest band in the world", especially after they flopped so magnificently with their Be Here Now album in 1997. Sure, (What's The Story) Morning Glory? still remains a great album, but Oasis has struggled to reproduce the form that catapulted them to success, with their past few efforts being mediocre at best.

However, fan anticipation for this album is still high, and surprisingly in the US, some of their tour dates sold out in an hour. Perhaps they will play Singapore again after their failed attempt 3 years ago, because of the unrest in the region (which I bought tickets to and had to get them refunded).

Foo Fighters: In Your Honor
Release date: June 14th
This album is right on top of my list following DMB's Stand Up. And fans will be rewarded with not one, but two CDs of new material from the Foos. Yes, In Your Honor will be a double CD album!

This is Foo Fighter's (FF) 5th album and it comes almost exactly 10 years after their debut self-titled album. FF has become a credible rock act and Dave Grohl has successfully emerged from Nirvana's shadow to be a rock genius in his own right. This multi-talented musician was the drummer for the biggest band in the 90's and he is now the frontman cum guitarist of one of America's most exciting bands.

FF has grown with each album release and they aim to break new ground with each new album. The first CD of In Your Honor will be a head-banging, no-holds-barred rock album, while the second disc takes a mellow turn. Gasp, Norah Jones even lends her vocals to one of the tracks! However, it should be very exciting to see how it turns out, and I'm very sure FF will not disappoint.


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