Full article here! Rolling Stone has published their annual(?) Spring Music Preview. Seems a little late for a spring preview but whatever. There are like 15 albums that they cover, and I was only interested in these 4. Pretty weak season of music coming up, although seeing JM on this list makes the rest of it moot. Let’s get to it.
Jason Mraz – Love Is A Four Letter Word (4/17)
Eh. Notable only because Jason Mraz released one album almost 10 years ago that was really powerful and I was crazy about. Since then, he’s been forgettable to me. He fits into the reggae, island-flavored niche of pop music that is just slightly more radio-friendly than most of Jack Johnson’s latest work. But Mraz can sing like nobody’s business, so he’ll probably put out another album that’s nice to listen to but not worth really absorbing. We’ll see.
Norah Jones – Little Broken Hearts (5/01)
Each album she has released has stepped further and further away from her super-jazz infused debut album. Her last album didn’t even feel like a traditional “piano” album, which is what she really became famous for. This one promises to be even weirder. She’s been putting it together with Danger Mouse, who handles record production. They first worked on his joint album with Italian film score composer Daniele Luppi, where Norah did vocals on a few tracks. That was a weird album too, as most albums are with which Danger Mouse is involved. The dude is an multifaceted music genius. His influence on Norah’s already killer musical prowess promises to make for a compelling record.
Rufus Wainwright – Out Of The Game (5/01)
I used to listen to Rufus a lot more than I do now. His voice just sounds kind of forced and operatic which I don’t love. BUT this album was produced by Mark Ronson, and I tend to love most of what he does. Rufus also has said this album is a bit more poppy and radio-friendly so it might be a fun listen.
John Mayer – Born And Raised (5/22)
This is the one I’m really excited about. This is JM’s fifth studio album release, and his first spring/summer release. Each album up to now has had a fall release date, so I consume and digest his new music as winter is setting in. While this might not seem too consequential, I think it definitely has an impact on how the listener creates a musical home for the album in their head and heart. I am so excited to get to know a new JM album as summer kicks off. Also as exciting, this is JM’s first legitimate foray into the country genre. I have not heard anything off the album yet, but JM has stressed that these songs have much more of a western Americana feel. I believe he has used the phrase “organic cowboy music” to describe the album. During the album creation, he helped design a new JM-signature Martin acoustic guitar that he used to write and record songs for the record. He is also wearing lots of cowboy hats in promo pictures lately. So who knows. I certainly don’t think he’s getting into the honky-tonk south-east version of pop country music that has been so popular for about 20 years, but since I haven’t listened to the record yet, I will save review and judgement until a few weeks after the album comes out.