I've been a bit absent from the blog lately working on some other things, but I thought I would take some time to do a couple of album reviews of some new music that's come around in the last few weeks. It'll give you something to do while you wait for the previously referenced announcement (which should be made tomorrow).
Patty Griffin has been widely recognized as a songwriter, which to some extent has overshadowed her performances. She's written songs that were taken and made famous by such artists as The Dixie Chicks, Jessica Simpson, and even Linda Rondstadt, but her latest release Children Running Through is a showcase not only of her songwriting but of her talent as a performer, as well. This is a great album for driving on an open road or for sitting outside watching the sun go down, but also holds up being played on an iPod in an office.Buy Patty Griffin - Children Running Through (iTunes)
Elvis Perkins is the son of two famous people in their own right. His father Anthony Perkins played Norman Bates in Psycho and his mother was an accomplished photographer and actress. She died as a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11 that was crashed into the World Trade Center. There's been a lot of buzz about Elvis' album on the internet, and Ash Wednesday finally hit stores on Tuesday. I'd heard most of it in leaks on the web, but I still made the purchase because it's a great album of a unique folk country rock.Buy Elvis Perkins - Ash Wednesday (iTunes)
As mentioned in the Julie Moffitt interview, Lucinda Williams has a new release. West hit stores a couple of weeks ago, and has made itself easily into my rotation. I find myself checking the screen of my iPod each time one of the songs comes up on shuffle reminding myself I need to spend some more time with Lucinda.Buy Lucinda Williams - West (iTunes)
The Frames quietly released The Cost recently. While I don't think it's as good as Glen Hansard's solo album or 2005's Burn the Maps, it's fairly solid. It might not be the Frames album I would suggest you introduce yourself to the band with, but if you're a fan, you'll like it and if you aren't a fan yet, you'll still enjoy it.Buy The Frames - The Cost (iTunes)
The new Arcade Fire album is just a few weeks away and the leaks are flooding the internet. For some legit sampling, check out the latest episode of NPR's All Songs Considered as it features a complete Arcade Fire live performance.
The new Kings of Leon album is even farther away from release, but all the advanced songs I've heard are very promising. I read an article on NME where the band described it as bigger music and it truly is bigger. The song currently on iTunes "On Call" was one that they played in the Fall when I saw them open for Bob Dylan and it's one of my favorite songs right now.