A lot of artists that I've always liked are putting out new stuff again, but I have to say none of it is jumping out at me.
Let's start with Live. Every song I previewed is totally forgettable, and I don't hear anything that hits me like "White, Discussion" or "Lightning Crashes." I'm not saying they need to remake those records, just give me something with a hook.
I was surprised to see that Def Leppard just put out an album of covers. The problem with making one of the best rock albums of all time, Hysteria in 1988, is that they can't possibly ever top it, and everything they ever do will be compared to it. The stuff they put out there after that wasn't horrible, though I have to say that Retro Active in 1993 had some brilliant stuff on it that was largely ignored. I think if they would've "explored" as much as they did on that album, they would've stayed relevant even in the "alternative" rock era.
Jewel put out a new album. I'm on the fence about what I've heard so far. A lot of fans were really pissed off at 0304 because it was very dance-pop, but I kind of liked it. The new album has at least two songs that I've heard live, including "1000 Miles Away" and the awesome "Satellite," both of which are probably eight years old. The problem with the latter though is that it was an amazing song as her and the guitar, and this cut is really layered and shiny. I have a great bootleg of her performing it live. There's also a remake of "Fragile Heart" on the new album. It kind of has a feeling of, "I've got all this shit out there, let's put it together on an album, and really over-produce it." I won't be one of those lame fans who give her shit for trying new things or hold it against her that she's tired of performing "Who Will Save Your Soul," but she just doesn't sound like she has her heart in it anymore. Success, fame and fortune I think changed her.
Good to see that Imogen Heap is still at the top of the iTunes Electronic chart, and they finally posted I Megaphone. (Rearrange the letters... the title is her name.) I also found a link on her site to the amazing cellist, Zoe Keating, who opened for her. How awesome is her hair, by the way?
I did find this amazing album from someone called Midival Punditz. It's electronic, with what I assume is a very heavy Indian influence. Very cool, very spiritual. I also submitted to the marketing machine and bought the Natasha Bedingfield album because, well, it's pretty fucking good. Very European pop, and a lot more edgy than the crap we generally see here stateside.