The best of the best new music is at San Diego County Library! From an ultra-classic release remastered to some of the most cutting-edge, genre-busting future classics to the most fun release of the year so far, we have it all!
Originally released in 1972, Exile on Main Street is arguably the Rolling Stones’ greatest album. Fusing grimy, sleazy rock & roll with blues, gospel, and country, the album is solid and cohesive, creating a dark world unto itself. The newly remastered version makes it possible to distinguish the sound from each instrument, which further cements the glory of the Stones’ phenomenal musicianship. However, one could argue that wiping the murk off this masterpiece makes it too shiny and clean — the opposite of the original feel of the album. You’ll just have to decide for yourself! Click here to request the remastered version. Click here to request the original.
The National; High Violet
The National have been quietly making excellent anthemic indie rock with post-punk, country rock, and britpop influences since the late 90s. Their 2007 breakthrough album, Boxer, thrust them onto the national (no pun intended) stage with its tales of quiet desperation set to gorgeous piano and guitar melodies and expert drumming. Now they are back with a new album, High Violet, which, while not a radical departure, is more immediate and vital than previous releases. This is one of the year’s best new albums.
Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley; Distant Relatives
What do you get when you combine one of the greatest rappers of all time with the son of the greatest reggae legend of all time? You get the most innovative rap album and the most innovative reggae album in recent memory all rolled into one. You also get the most effective rap collaboration since Mos Def and Talib Kweli teamed up as Black Star. Distant Relatives blazes out of the gates with “As We Enter,” and doesn’t stop there. The live instrumentation is funky, world-influenced reggae that is the perfect canvas for Nas’ rhymes and Marley’s meditations. The lyrics are provocative without being preachy and the song composition is stellar. You won’t find a more original release anytime soon.
LCD Soundsystem; This is Happening
James Murphy, the disco-punk auteur who records as LCD Soundsystem, has become a star by doing the seemingly impossible: making his midlife crisis danceable. The songs on his latest, This is Happening, reveal Murphy’s bottom-line agenda: He’s still a dance guy at heart, but he approaches dance music more like a folkie singer-songwriter than a DJ, as a vehicle for storytelling and confession. The album explores late 70s Bowie/Eno territory and tops his 2007 breakthrough, Sound of Silver.
The latest release in the Glee empire is The Music, Volume 3 – Showstoppers. Fusing cast performances of classic songs like “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” with a truly unforgettable performance by Neil Patrick Harris on “Dream On,” this latest soundtrack is fun, fun, fun!!! You’ll also love the Glee kids version of Lady Gaga’s hit Bad Romance and the duet Idina Menzel and Lea Michele Phillips belt out when they perform a toned-down, moving version of Gaga’s Poker Face. When you are not watching the hit show, this is the next best thing! Don’t miss the earlier soundtracks: Volume 1 and Volume 2.
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