Pick Of The Week: New
Scott Walker, Bish Bosch
The notoriously thorny, reclusive Scott Walker has only released 14 records in his 40-plus-year career, so it’s always news when a new one drops. 2006’s The Drift was unrelentingly dark and disturbing with its talk of torture, 9/11, and disease, so it should be interesting to see whether, in the six years since, Walker has lightened up a little. If nothing else, Bish Bosch should at least be interesting.
Reissue Of The Week
The Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness
Billy Corgan doesn’t seem to be all that into restraint. He runs his mouth on Twitter and to the press, opened a ridiculously over-the-top tea room this year, and has given the public access to just about every musical note he’s ever written. Hence the Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness reissue, which makes a double LP into a quintuple CD set, with two live shows thrown in on a DVD for good measure. It’s a little much—106 total tracks, including several that just aren’t that interesting—but the reissue is a reminder of how good the original is, so maybe just go listen to that instead.
Do Not Break The Seal
The Monkees, Pool It!
After Davy Jones’ February 2012 death, it’s understandable that the remaining Monkees would want to revisit some old material and celebrate their friend. That’s sweet. What isn’t sweet, though, is reminding the world that Jones—along with Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz—made a sad little record called Pool It!, which was originally issued in 1987 as the band’s reunion LP. Featuring lackluster tracks like “Heart And Soul” and “Every Step Of The Way,” Pool It! didn’t make much of a splash in the marketplace or with critics upon its initial release, so why it would need a new, deluxe 180-gram LP reissue is beyond comprehension. Just listen to The Monkees or More Of The Monkees instead.
Ke$ha doesn’t get a lot of respect, what with her horrible, disaffected rapping voice and ill-advised wardrobe choices, but she actually isn’t a bad songwriter. Her pop hits are hits for a reason, and Warrior proves that. Tracks like “Die Young” will worm their way into listeners’ ears almost as easily as Ke$ha slithered her way into America’s collective side-eye.
Mogwai, A Wrenched Virile Lore
Mogwai has been around for almost 20 years, but it’s only released one remix album, 1998’s Kicking A Dead Pig. A Wrenched Vile Lore makes two. Consisting of remixes of tracks from 2011’s Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will, Wrenched features work from Tim Hecker, The Soft Moon, and Zombi.
Wiz Khalifa, O.N.I.F.C.
Hip-hop albums tend to have fairly fluid release dates. What was supposed to come out in April gets pushed to September and then to December and so on. O.N.I.F.C. is no exception, having been moved around the release calendar at least three times. The first single, “Word Hard, Play Hard” came out all the way back in April. Still, O.N.I.F.C. should become a fairly big deal in the overall music marketplace, as Khalifa is not only a known commodity, but a fairly marketable one. Throw in guest verses by 2 Chainz, Cam’ron, The Weeknd, and Khalifa’s fiancée Amber Rose, and things could be looking up for this slighted release.
Memory Tapes, Grace/Confusion
Chillwave might be on the way out, thankfully, but Memory Tapes endures. With Grace/Confusion, though, Dayve Hawk may have found a way to spread his musical wings just a little, dabbling in EDM, synth-pop, and even pure pop.