Published Feb 23, 2010If you've been bummed on the lack of any good new music, you'll be pleased to know a blizzard of amazing new releases has hit. In this round-up alone, we've given four marks of excellence, and you can check those out and more in Exclaim!'s Recently Reviewed section.
Thankfully for Joanna Newsom fans, the folked-out songstress delivers on high expectations with her much-anticipated Have One On Me. The ambitious compilation of 18 epic tracks melds the accessible with the baroque, getting more strikingly personal than the enchanting singer has ever been. Equally magical is Jealous Girlfriend's Holly Miranda. She stands strong in The Magician's Private Library, as her distinct crooning combines with backup vocals from Tunde Adebimpe (TV on the Radio), horn flourishes and a wind chime-esque synth backdrop.
On the surface, Dear God, I Hate Myself may seem laden with depressing insecurities but the new album by a refurbished Xiu Xiu is full of sunny patches with its noise play, folk pop strums and synth tweaks. Similarly, Johnny Cash's American VI: Ain't No Grave implies morbidity but delivers unwavering hope with vivid existential lyrics sung in the way only Cash could.
Soak up some punk funk in the debut from Manchester's LoneLady. Nerve Up blends the right degree of pop, with post-punk gruff accompaniment, enlisting the help of engineer Guy Fixsen (My Bloody Valentine).
The Shout Out Louds' Work is another solid album of catchy pop songs with chiming guitars, excitable lyrics and enticing climactic progression, while DJ Rob Swift executes a more daring selection in The Architect, expertly layering classical music with snapping bass beats.
Possibly the best we've ever seen from Matthew Barber is his fourth release, True Believer, and High On Fire serve up intricately domineering dirges, scathing vocal patterns and power-driven rhythms through blunt passages that sometimes verge on the surprisingly serene in Snakes for the Divine.
In their tenth full-length, Aealo (meaning "catastrophe"), Rotting Christ top themselves, pairing rough, obliterating riffs with beautiful melodies, and successfully enlisting an unconventionally chosen Grecian choir as their backup.
Stay abreast of the anticipated outputs in our New and Forthcoming Release Dates page, and keep on perusing the Exclaim! Recently Reviewed section to know which ones stand out from all the rest.