New This Week: Damien Jurado, Bjork, Rihanna & More
Damien Jurado, Maraqopa (Deluxe Edition) – This is an ***eMusic exclusive***, everybody! Damien Jurado’s 10th solo album sees his solo career entering a creative flowering: as Stacey Anderson put it in her eMusic review:
On Maraqopa, his liveliest yet, he indulges in all the lush, psychedelic instrumentation that his modest prior efforts have only suggested; as the acidic opener “Nothing is the News” portends, the plentiful backing vocals and writhing guitar solos are the work of a brazenly confident artist.
This Deluxe Edition comes with six new tracks, and you can only find this version on eMusic. Already have Maraqopa? Then you can cop the Maraqopa Sessions, a standalone EP f the six new tracks from the Deluxe album.
Twilight Sad, No One Can Ever Know: The Remixes â€“ Liars, Com Truise, Optimo, The Horrors, and many more offer their refracted takes on the beloved Scottish indie-rock band Twilight Sad.
Bjork, Bastards â€“ A gang of remixers get their grubby hands all over Bjork’s Biophilia, and the result, as Ryan Reed tells it, is actually an improvement on the original:
bastards may seem like a frivolous concept on paper, but it’s the rare remix album that actually improves upon the original … “Sacrifice” was once a droning, ambient dead-end – in Death Grips’ hands, it’s borderline danceable, punched up by in-the-red beats and a demented bassline; the creepy, crawling 16-Bit version of “Hollow” sounds like Radiohead vacationing at Bowser’s Castle. But bastards is an improvement not only due to its bountiful beats, but also its diversity: These New Puritans layer BjÃ¶rk’s anguished cries over dubby sub-bass, stark piano chords, and Middle Eastern chants.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Live From Alabama – Former Drive-By Trucker continues his intrepid push into solo-dom. Stephen Deusner calls it “his finest and most persuasive solo release yet”:
Recorded in Birmingham and Huntsville, this concert album moves Isbell and the 400 Unit out of the studio and onto the stage, where they’re obviously more comfortable and more commanding. It also allows him to cherry-pick some of his best solo and Truckers tunes, with a few covers thrown in for good measure. Building off their southern rock foundation, he and his band show off an elastic Muscle Shoals rhythm section on”The Blue” and punch up “Danko/Manuel” and “Goddamn Lonely Love” with some exquisitely forlorn Stax horns.
Rihanna, Unapologetic â€“ The world’s biggest pop star continues her blitzkrieg with her seventh studio LP. Guys: over the last eight years, there has only been one — 2008 — without a chart-topping new Rihanna album. Here’s Dan Hyman on this one:
Last year’s dance-pop-heavy Talk That Talk rode bubbling Eurodance trends to delirious heights, and Unapologetic goes to apposite lows with this year’s downer cocktail of dubstep and Weeknd-style R&B. As usual, however, RiRi’s dumpster-diving yields of-the-moment earworms (see her latest guilty-pleasure of a single”Diamonds,” or”Jump,” a.k.a. Ginuwine’s “Pony” run through the Skrillex wub-machine). Even”Right Now,” with David Guetta’s ever-present synths working overtime, is destined for glory — if only for the next few weeks.
The 1975, Sex EP â€“ Manchester band channels Jimmy Eat World and writes the ridiculously anthemic song “Sex.” Here’s our man J. Edward Keyes with the rundown:
Thematically, the 1975 obsess over the Universal Questions of adolescence — chiefly, not getting laid enough and getting laid way too much. The former is the subject of “Sex,” a full-boil three-minute case of pent-up, jean-bursting frustration where the angel on the protagonist’s shoulder keeps yelling, “She’s got a boyfriend, anyway,” while the devil coolly assures him that this is no one’s idea of a deal-breaker. The next song, the gently-spiraling “You,” is almost the spiritual sequel, with Matty defensively insisting, “It’s not my fault I’ve fucked everybody here” as he and his date fumble their way through a loose tangle of silvery guitars … All of this would be awfully caddish except that The 1975 manage to convincingly sell meaningless sex as true romance, investing their pants-pawing basement makeouts with deep meaning and dogged determination. They are the Ben Gibbard of the dry hump.
Night Plane, Heartbeat â€“ A sticky-catchy melting together of indie rock, techno and house. Some of these have billowy house vocals on them, some of them have jabby, uncertain indie-rock guitars, some have arid, pistoning techno click drums on them. Many have all of them. An intriguing and fun hybrid vision.
Oneohtrix Point Never, Rifts â€“ A box set from Daniel Lopatin, of OPN, containing rare and out-of-print material as well as early tapes from his NNA, Utmarken, and Catholic releases.
Nicki Minaj, Roman Reloaded: The Re-Up â€“ Keeping track of Nicki’s releases is getting a little confusing: There was Pink Friday, then Pink Friday: Reloaded, then Roman Reloaded, and now this. This is her re-release of her second studio album, boosted with a full a new eight-song EP. This kind of release is pretty transparently positioned as a holiday cash-in, but there’s actually a pretty serious stash of material that should have been on the original here.
DVA, Fly Juice â€“ More joyfully chaotic dance music from the UK funky producer, who loves to smear the edges of his propulsive tracks so that they sound like they might just fall apart in front of you.
Adrian Belew, Desire Caught By the Tail â€“ Experimental album by King Crimson’s Adrian Belew, released in 1986, and popping up here today.
Christian Gerhaher , Romantische Arien â€“ Acclaimed baritone Christian Gerhaher, known for his penetrating work with lieder, tackles the songs of Schubert, the master of the lieder
Gang of Four, Mall â€“ Fifth studio album by Gang of Four, post-initial break-up, showing up on eMusic today. This one was starchier, stiffer, and slicker than their previous efforts .Definitely one of the weirdest moments in their career; At Home They Sound Like Erasure, am I right? (I’m aware this joke doesn’t make any sense.)