Stranded In Stereo: New Release Tuesday

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Release Tuesday

You can't buy it in stores for another two months, but the two John's (Flansburgh and Linnell) want you to have their new album slightly earlier. The Else, the 12th album from They Might Be Giants, is out today via the wonderful world of iTunes. It's packed full of their signature, zany, quirky, whatever you want to call it. The building opener "I'm Impressed" leads in to the funk of "Take Out The Trash." It's an album that I think of as top heavy: as the 13 songs go on , they kind of just lose their luster by the end of it. Maybe it's just because I'm a fiend for sequencing and felt it could be arranged differently? Either way, it's early in the game to break out my formal opinion on an album and filled with great tunes ("Contrecoup" and "With The Dark" are standouts) that are augmented by the production of the Dust Brothers and longtime collaborator Pat Dillett.

For those who rather just hold a copy of it so their CD collections look proper, The Else hits the shelves of stores on July 10th.

Download/Buy: The Else [Here]

Something that is more on the radar of today's release schedule is the 6th album from Chicago's famed Wilco, Sky Blue Sky. The album comes across (to me at least) as the most cohesive effort; this could be in part to the approach the band took to recording Sky. According to Jeff Tweedy, rather than him demoing the songs and presenting them to the band, this was the first time the songs were birthed by the entire band. Wilco found themselves jamming and feeling each other out to get the dozen songs. Rather than fill the album with the experimental moments found on A Ghost Is Born or the standout Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the album gels together as one of the better AM Gold records of the 1970s. "White Light" has a down home feel with the minimal slide guitar and piano sprinkles here and there; "You Are My Face" has choral harmonies throughout that keep the song moving along. They do take a brief pause looking at the more recent output with "Impossible Germany," with a lead guitar hook that could've been anywhere on Ghost. Pitchfork apparently didn't like this record, but I think it's just fine. Wilco enthusiasts take note: a special edition of Sky comes bundled with a DVD, featuring footage of the band performing their new songs and interviews with the band as well.

Stream: Sky Blue Sky [Here] /// [Buy Here] /// [Buy Special Edition Here]

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