Pick Of The Week: New
Various Artists, This Is 40 soundtrack
This Is 40 isn’t in theaters until December 21, but writer and director Judd Apatow has already been hitting the media hard shilling for his new project. Part of his standard patter has been how thrilled he was to help reunite pub-rock icon Graham Parker with his band from the ’70s, The Rumour, specifically for the film. The band appears on this record, along with a bunch of other acts palatable to and memorable for people turning 40: Norah Jones, Fiona Apple, Lindsey Buckingham, and Wilco all contributed new tracks to the soundtrack, and Pauls McCartney and Simon also appear. While the soundtrack’s not going to set off any cool alarms, it’s pleasant enough to merit a listen or two.
Do Not Break The Seal
Green Day, ¡Tre!
Green Day’s third album this year, ¡Tre! is, according to frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, “more epic” than the first two. While that sounds promising, critical reception has been less than stellar. The band’s Occupy anthem (“99 Revolutions”) has been lambasted as simplistic, and the band even let long-silent bassist Mike Dirnt sing lead on “Sex, Drugs & Violence.” But even when the band attempts to do new things, Green Day songs are going to sound like Green Day songs, and there are already 200 Green Day songs out in the musical ether. Fans of the band should almost certainly buy future Green Day records, but even die-hards would agree that this one’s kind of a throwaway.
Big Boi, Vicious Lies And Dangerous Rumors
While it remains hard to reckon with, chances are pretty good at this point that Outkast isn’t getting back together for a long, long time—if ever. Thus, fans must satiate themselves with solo records from the duo’s members, including this pretty good new one from Big Boi, the group’s less crazy half.
Bruno Mars, Unorthodox Jukebox
After his recent turn as both host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live, the world has been forced to pay a little more attention to Bruno Mars as an artist. Though he’s appeared on and helmed several chart-topping hits—Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire,” B.o.B.’s “Nothin’ On You,” and his own “Just The Way You Are,” to name a few—that hasn’t made him a household name. Unorthodox Jukebox, his second record, aims to change all that. If first single “Locked Out Of Heaven” is any indication, things are looking up for the crooner.
The Game, Jesus Piece
While The Game’s last record, 2011’s The R.E.D. Album, was kind of a letdown, the rapper is convinced that Jesus Piece is going to turn things around for him, telling Complex that it will not only be the best record of his career, but also the best record of the year. (Sorry, everyone [link to ours] who made their lists already.) A concept album, Jesus Piece revolves around the conflict between religion and street life.
JK Flesh/Prurient, Worship Is The Cleansing Of The Imagination
As maybe the last new record from longstanding heavy label Hydra Head, Worship Is The Cleansing Of The Imagination isn’t a bad way for the company to go out. A split LP between JK Flesh (Napalm Death’s Justin Broadrick) and Prurient (Cold Cave’s Dominick Fernow), Worship covers the full spectrum of electronic music, from heavy industrial thuds to light ambient tones.