Published Mar 08, 2011Like a light at the end of a cold, frozen tunnel, festival season is starting back up and we can barely contain our excitement. With Canadian Music Week in Toronto and SXSW kicking off in Austin this week, there is no shortage of great music to be heard. But if you're sticking to at-home listening, today is new release day. So here are just a few of the write-ups included in our Recently Reviewed section.
First off, Lupe Fiasco has returned with his latest, Lasers, after a long three-year struggle with the suits to maintain his artistic vision. And although the album may not be what longtime fans were expecting, flashes of Lupe's brilliance for quick wit and rhetoric still remain, making this a decent attempt at a pop rap album.
As band names go, Ringo Deathstarr isn't the pinnacle of clever, but certainly not the worst we've even heard. Hailing from Austin, the three-piece's debut, Colour Trip, pays effortless homage to noisy post-hardcore and '90s fuzzed-out shoegaze, reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine and the Swirlies. Up next, Exene Cervenka of the '80s punk band X, returns with her third solo effort, The Excitement of Maybe, a collection of soulful folk songs rooted in Americana. Musically, this album, like 2009's Somewhere Gone, is a departure from her bold punk roots of X, but exemplifies how musicians, like good wine, get better with age.
Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon also has a new album out this week, titled Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang. The record marks Raekwon's fifth solo effort and features guest appearances by Rick Ross, Estelle and Black Thought. Finally, Kurt Vile has returned with Smoke Ring for My Halo, his forth solo album that has earned our Exclaim! Mark of Excellence.
Check out these reviews and more at the Exclaim! Recently Reviewed section, and visit the New and Forthcoming Release Dates page to see what's on the horizon.