Wonderful new releases highlighting groundbreaking Canadian art rock ensemble Arcade Fire, British alternative rock outfit Elbow, Americana songstress Whitney Rose and composer Hans Zimmer are among the strongest releases of early 2017.
Artist: Arcade Fire
Title: The Reflektor Tapes (Eagle Rock Entertainment)
You might like if you enjoy: Arcade Fire, U2, David Bowie
Tell me more: With more than four hours of content, Arcade Fire's The Reflektor Tapes is simply a dream come true for fans of the seminal Canadian rock ensemble. The terrific release (available on blu-ray as well as a 2DVD release, the latter reviewed here) is anchored by The Reflektor Tapes, an insightful two-hour documentary directed by Kahlil Joseph about the making of Arcade Fire's acclaimed 2013 No. 1 Billboard album Reflektor. While that film fills one disc, the second disc features a fantastic full-length concert filmed at Earl's Court in London on June 6, 2014, captured during the band's Reflektor tour. Additionally, that disc features bonus features including promo videos and director's cut tracks of "Flashbulb Eyes," "Here Comes the Night Time," "Reflektor," "Sprawl II" and "The Suburbs." Information: eagle-rock.com.
Title: Little Fictions (Concord Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Elbow, Peter Gabriel, Keane
Tell me more: Elbow's Little Fictions is one of the first important masterworks of 2017. The expansive textures across the album enthrall, always bringing infinite depth and beauty to singer Guy Garvey's literate and engaging lyrics. On the sweeping string section-enriched "Magnificent (She Says)" he sings "The echoes slow to nothing on the tide / And where a tiny pair of hands / Finds a sea worn piece of glass / And sets it as sapphire in her mind / And there she stands." The 10-song"Little Fictions" is filled with songs that are simply magnificent, with the tranquil "Gentle Storm," hypnotic "Trust The Sun," intimate "Montparnasse" and luxuriant "Kindling" among the glorious tracks that immerse the listener. Information: concordmusicgroup.com.
Artist: Whitney Rose
Title: South Texas Suite (Six Shooter Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Nikki Lane, Lindi Ortega, Patsy Cline
Tell me more: Austin-based songstress Whitney Rose's new six-track EP South Texas Suite boasts a wonderful sound that recalls classic country singers Patsy Cline and Kitty Wells, yet also bristles with the energy of modern day artists such as Nashville's Nikki Lane and Lindi Ortega. The playful "Three Minute Love Affair" is bolstered by a accordion and Rose's own sweet soprano; "My Boots" starts with the artist singing acapella before the band comes in on a spirited old school country romp. The original ballad "Lookin' Back On Luckenbach" is a beautiful ballad, fully displaying Rose's lovely and distinctive voice. Rose in scheduled to perform at Don The Beachcomber in Huntington Beach, CA on Saturday, March 4, 2017. Information: WhitneyRoseMusic.com.
Artist: Hans Zimmer
Title: The Classics (Sony Classical)
You might like if you enjoy: Hans Zimmer's soundtracks, Lindsey Stirling, Lang Lang
Tell me more: One of the most popular and gifted composers working in Hollywood today, Hans Zimmer has scored countless popular movies since the mid-1980s. Now Sony Classical has issued a special collection, The Classics, that showcases some of the German composer's best-known works with versions that feature well-known guests bringing new dimensions to his movie themes. Violinist Lindsey Stirling adds firepower to "The Dark Knight Rises: Main Theme," the popular Piano Guys bring a buoyant touch to "Themes From Pirates of the Caribbean" and pianist Lang Lang is featured on "Gladiator Rhapsody" and later on "Man of Steel: Flight." Hans Zimmer will bring his highly-anticipated "Hans Zimmer Revealed" live tour to the upcoming Coachella festival in Indio on Sunday, April 16 and again on Sunday, April 23, 2017. Information: hans-zimmer.com.