Monday, October 21, 2019

New Music Roundup: The Cure, Big Star, Fastball, elbow

A sure-fire selection of fantastic new releases includes titles featuring The Cure, Big Star, Fastball and elbow are worth discovering.

Artist: The Cure
Title: 40 Live Curaetion  25 + Anniversary (Eagle Rock)
You might like if you enjoy: The Cure, The Church, Interpol 
Tell me more: The Cure celebrated the band's 40th anniversary last year with a series of special concerts, several of which are celebrated in their entirety on the newly-released 40 Live Curaetion  25 + Anniversary, a two-disc Blu-ray (the title is also available as a Limited Edition Deluxe Box). Each of the concert films on the set stands alone and distinctive form the other. The first film, "Curaetion 25: From There To Here / From Here To There" was filmed on the tenth and final night of the 25th Meltdown Festival at London's Royal Festival Hall on June 24, 2018. Directed by Nick Wickhamthe Cure (singer-guitarist Robert Smith, bassist Simon Gallup, drummer Jason Cooper, keyboardist Roger O'Donnell, guitarist Reeves Gabrels) performed a song from each of their 13 studio albums in chronological order, the idea being to showcase the evolution of the Cure's sound from 1978 to 2018. The band then performed two unreleased songs from 2018, and then journeyed backward to play an equal number of tracks and ending with a song from 1979. Directed by Tim Pope, "Anniversary: 1978-2018 Live In Hyde Park London" features The Cure's complete 29-song, 135-minute concert in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 65,000

All of the band's best-known songs are covered across the two full-length concert films. Early-era favorites "10:15 Saturday Night," "Jumping Someone Else's Train," "A Forest" and "Boys Don't Cry" are here along the British band's best-known radio hits ("Just Like Heaven," "Friday I'm In Love," "Why Can't I Be You," "Lovesong"). But more than any single song or moment, it is the depth, range and sweeping power displayed both marathon-length performances that impress to be sure; the concept-winning visuals and amazing immersive audio quality add to the experience across the two concerts. Information:

Artist: Big Star
Title: In Space (Omnivore Recordings)
You might like if you enjoy: Big Star, The Replacements, The Box Tops 
Tell me more: Big Star's enduring legacy has long been certified in the rock 'n' roll universe but it sure doesn't hurt to have the band's final studio album reissued via an expanded and glorious edition sure to please followers of the groundbreaking power pop heroes. Through a series of unfortunate series of events and ill-fated timing, the Memphis-spawned outfit's first three albums released in the 1970s failed to make an impactful commercial mark even while ultimately consistently landing on many rock aficionados "best of all time" lists. Few fans were anticipating the release of In Space in September 2005, a full-length studio LP featuring original members Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens joined by the Posies' Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow. Omnivore Recordings' 2019 remastered reissue of the album casts a spectacular and well-deserved spotlight on In Space"with the release featuring all dozen original tracks (10 originals, a soulful cover of The Olympics' "Mine Exclusively" and French Baroque composer Georg Muffat's "Aria, Largo"), as well as six bonus tracks. There are a slew of wonderful tracks on "In Space," notably the melodic opener "Dony," the enticing "Lady Sweet," the Beatlesque "Best Chance," the shimmering "February's Quiet" and the reflective "Hung Up With Summer." Notable among the bonus tracks is the soulful rocker "Hot Thing" (previously only available on the out-of-print "Big Star Story") and an acapella version of "Turn My Back on the Sun." In Space is set for release on Oct. 25; the reissue will be available on audio CD as well on translucent blue vinyl. Additionally, there are liner notes shedding all kinds of details on this important release. Information:

Artist: Fastball
Title: The Help Machine (33 1/3 Records)
You might like if you enjoy: Big Star, Del Amitri, Dada
Tell me more: One of the year's best new albums, Fastball's The Help Machine exudes a sonic landscape created with melodic song craft, nuanced arrangements, artful vocal harmonies and the talents of the band's all original lineup of Tony Scalzo (lead vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards), Miles Zuniga (lead vocals, guitar), and Joey Shuffield (drums, percussion). Anyone who loved the trio's seminal 1998 album All the Pain Money Can Buy (which featured the Grammy-nominated hit "The Way") will find plenty to love across the Austin, Texas-based band's seventh album. The ambitious genre-defying title track, elegant "Friend or Foe," rootsy "The Devil's Hand," gospel-tinged blues of "Redeemed" infectious confessional rocker "All Gone Fuzzy" and forceful "Doesn't It Make You Feel Small" are among the far-flung tracks that shine on "The Help Machine." Information:

Artist: elbow
Title: Giants Of All Sizes (Polydor/The Verve Label Group)
You might like if you enjoy: elbow, Peter Gabriel, Porcupine Tree 
Tell me more: Since I discovered elbow at Coachella in April 2011, I've continued to be impressed and dazzled by the Manchester, England-based band that blends the best of alternative and progressive rock styles into a sound that is their own. elbow  led by singer-songwriter Guy Garvey – has made a deeply personal and poignant album (the newly-issued Giants Of All Sizes) in tune with this moment in time. The luxurious and adventuresome seven-minute lead track "Dexter & Sinister" finds Garvey singing powerfully amidst middle age and mortality: "Loss is a part of life this long / But Dexter & Sinister / I've the heaviest heart jackhammering inside me / And I don't know Jesus anymore." The disc's second track, the beguiling "Seven Veils," takes aim at romantic disintegration: "There's no roses in this garden / No sun melting in the sea." Elsewhere, there is a wake for civilization via the soaring "Empires," a pulsating rock meets symphonic moodscape lures the listener across "White Noise White Heat," while "My Trouble" explores romantic loss with naked command. The dynamic and musically rich arrangements and use of diverse instrumentation make for an involving and rewarding listen throughout Giants Of All Sizes. elbow has several upcoming January 2020 concert dates in Southern California, including at House of Blues in San Diego, The Wiltern in Los Angeles and The Observatory in Santa Ana.  Information:

Robert  Kinsler

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