Music Monday: Spring 2011 New Albums

Lots of new albums have been released in the last month, including two new ones today. Here’s my breakdown of the four I recently have acquired.

Foster The People “Torches”

Torches

Both Kevin Apgar [also known as KevinIL] and Dave2 had mentions of this band on Twitter. Took me a while to get past the constant radio play of “Pumped Up Kicks” and to finally hear the two other songs – “Houdini” and “Helena Beat” – that came out before the official album was released.

The album doesn’t go official until tomorrow is officially available today, which I bought via pre-order from their official site a couple week back and got an email today that it was available via download.

Call me a fan now. Very pop and indie cred bleeding all over the sounds of guitars and keyboards. Reminds me a lot of MGMT, but they have their own sound that separates them from the rest of the hipster crowd of bands.

My only minor disappointment is that the same three songs above that were on their EP are also included in this album. I was hoping for three newer songs, but alas, not to be. Regardless of that, Foster The People is still fucking awesome for a brand new band from Los Angeles. They are on tour now, so on top of getting this new album, go see them live. I know I plan on it.

The Cars “Move Like This”

Move Like This

Nothing, and I mean nothing, can touch the first two Cars albums as being brilliant pieces of rock music. In 1978, there was “Best Friend’s Girl”, “Moving In Stereo” and “Good Times Roll” that were played so much. On the other hand, just about every track from 1987’s “Door To Door” – not so much.

Fast forward 24 years and we have a new album from all of the original members of The Cars, minus of course Benjamin Orr, who died in 2000. Which means all lead vocal duties are handled by Ric Ocasek. And while there is that vocal difference that Orr put into the songs of past, Ric’s vocals are familiar enough to make this album seem like they weren’t even apart. “Sad Song”, “Blue Tip” and “Drag On Forever” have that trademark sound that makes you want to relive the late 70’s and early 80’s. I like this new venture and hope it turns die-hard Cars fans on, too.

Fleet Foxes “Helplessness Blues”

Helplessness Blues

This band’s second album is very like it’s first, which for Fleet Foxes, that’s a good thing. Their debut self-titled album is like a cross between Beach Boys “Pet Sounds” and classic Simon and Garfunkel. Very folk like and calming. My daughter turned me on to them and they have lasted past the “new and hipster” music that they’ve been rated at previously. Songs like “Sim Sala Bim” and “The Cascades” showcase the melancholy and tight-knit music together for a grand effect. If you are into independent music and something different than the general rock and pop sounds, they are very much going to be appreciated.

Lady Gaga “Born This Way”

Born This Way

I admit to not being much of a Lady Gaga fan, but for 99 cents to buy the latest album on Amazon [Monday 5/25/11 only]… Sure, why not.

It’s a pop album. It’s a dance album. It’s got some bizarre lyrics (“It doesn’t matter if you love him/or capital H. I. M.”). The album cover is pretty wild. But for this 25 year old pop star, today’s release is all about her. I give her props for her mega marketing efforts. And I have to admit she was pretty damn funny in some of the skits from this last weekend’s Saturday Night Live.

If you are already a Gaga fan, then this album is a no-brainer. Otherwise, it may not be your style if you are shelling out more almost $10 for it.

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