fall music preview ’09.

just noticed that rolling stone has again released another seasonal music preview. let’s do it. artist name followed by album title in italics and release date in parentheses.

1. mika – the boy who knew too much (9/22)
this is almost certainly going to be the most fun record this whole season. now i’m not crazy for mika; his last album was great, and i just never really got into it. it’s just a good one to have on reserve in your ipod just in case you’re ever driving and want to start a party in your car. he’s got pop music down to a science, big sounds, colorful melodies, hooks like you wouldn’t believe. and he’s got the voice to sell it perfectly. he sounds like freddie mercury dashed with just a hint of gay. good joke jon.
2. the roots – how i got over (10/20)

torn on this one. i’ve got lots of roots records, but i’ve never fallen in love with any of them. and since i’ve never seen them perform live, i can’t actually lend any weight to the “best live band ever” title that they get all the time. i didn’t really give their last two albums more than a few listens as they seemed very dark and very unhappy about white people in general. their beats have always seemed pretty raw and not meant to draw the listener in by being easy to digest. that being said, i saw them perform their single “how i got over” off album of same name on late night with jimmy fallon, the show on which they are the house band (and really make the show watchable in my opinion), and it was super great. lots of fun, high energy, just a great tune. i’ve also heard the album version on okayplayer.com (the roots flagship website) and while it is different than their performance, it’s still a good tune. so i have no idea about this album. could be great, could be a pass-over for me.
3. creed – full circle (10/27)
hahaha. remember how awful these guys were back in 2001? when i mock a song by singing in a ridiculous “rock” voice, scott stapp is who i’m emulating. can’t believe they got back together to make more music. a real shame.
4. the swell season – strict joy (10/27)
looking forward to this album more than all of them except jm’s. the swell season are glen hansard and marketa irglova, the two actors/musicians from the 2007 movie “once”. i’ve never really written about this movie or it’s soundtrack, and i’d like to sometime because it is incredibly affecting to me. suffice it to say that both the movie and the music from it are real beauty, and what i’ve heard from this new album is very, very good. i’ve heard a few live versions of a couple tunes and the record version of the tune “low rising” and it completely blew me away. this album is going to be a year-end favorite for me.
5. john mayer – battle studies (11/17)

last and the one i’m most excited for, without a doubt. what’s up with jm releasing all his studio albums in the fall? he’s got a thing for autumn i think. as of yet, i haven’t heard a single thing except background snippets of tunes off this album, and i’m excited and anxious to hear where he’s going after one of my very favorite records ever continuum. it’s been three years since that album came out and lots has happened in his life since then. mainly he’s become a douchebag in the public eye. we’ll see how that translates to music. hopefully something great.
there we go. loads more albums were on the list, just nothing that really excited much more than these. and i’m probably only going to buy the last two when they come out, the rest i can wait awhile to hear.
i was looking back at my previous “music preview” posts and noticed that i said lots of things about albums i was excited about and then they let me down or they totally blew me away. i think what i’m gonna do from here on is every time i go over a new music preview, i’ll take a look back at the most recent preview and take stock of what i actually liked or didn’t like. that being said, i’m gonna do the last two spring previews from this year and last year to catch up. album title first followed by artist in parentheses.
– hard candy (madonna): didn’t even listen to it. heard the single with justin timberlake, thought “eh.”
– rising down (the roots): like i said earlier, very dark and raw. hard to listen to for me. didn’t love it.
– lay it down (al green): without a doubt one of my Top 5 Favorite Albums. of any genre. any artist. of all time. fantastic, brilliant, luminous album. can’t say enough good.
– we sing. we dance. we steal things (jason mraz): never really digested it. but it sounded alright.
– viva la vida or death and all his friends (coldplay): another brilliant album from coldplay. totally love this band, and this album, along with al green’s, was for sure my most played during 2008. such a great, great record.
– weezer (weezer): didn’t even bother. i wrote about it just to make fun.
– seeing sounds (n.e.r.d): definitely let down by this one. i loved the single but the rest was just too off-kilter for a n.e.r.d record. i was hoping for much more along the lines of fly or die and i got just something weird.
– way to normal (ben folds): loved it. listened to this a ton. really fun, great melodies, great hooks, great tunes overall. awesome album.
so those were all from the spring ’08 preview, and the four albums i wrote about for the spring ’09 preview were all duds, as in i didn’t listen or buy any of them so i have no follow-up at all.
have to mention one album that almost fell through the cracks here, since it wasn’t on the spring ’09 preview and it was just released so it missed the fall ’09 preview too. jay-z just released the blueprint 3 a week ago and i must say he has another winner. i am in love with this album right now. great beats, great rhymes, great collabos, everything on here is awesome. jay’s still got it. such a great record. definitely will tide me over until october 27th, which will then suffice until november 17th. come on autumn!
-jon
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