It's usually a given albums will sneak out before their street-release date. But imagine my surprise [followed by immense joy] when the stars in the music universe aligned this week and three of the records I was most stoked for that were set to come out in the next two months dropped early.
But it wasn't love at first listen on the new Arcade Fire, Ra Ra Riot and Interpol offerings. But that has since changed. I'm sure it has something to do with listening to each record like 10 times a piece. But that's how I get a feel for music. If I don't dig it past listen number 10, it's probably not going to happen.
I don't expect or even want a band to replicate the sounds of previous albums because how boring would that be for the group and the listeners. But keeping some consistency while building off past success should be the goal. And I didn't hear that in any of the albums the first few times through.
Then something clicked. Maybe it was finally recognizing and appreciating the new direction each band has gone. Maybe I'm just sensitized to all the new sounds and they really do suck. For now, they're all in heavy rotation.
Arcade Fire - "The Suburbs" | Release date: Tuesday
Win Butler and company seem to have a fascination with geography. And the Montreal super group's latest record is no exception, with suburban expansion, sprawl and nostalgia being among the major themes.
And for the art and music lover, the album will be released in eight different covers.
Ra Ra Riot - "The Orchard" | Release date: Aug. 24
The anticipation for the sophomore album by the orchestra-savvy Syracuse indie pop group has been building in large part to all the goodies they have been sharing on their Web site. Get a free download for "Boy" and check out preview videos for "Keep It Quiet" and "Too Dramatic." The images are from the recording process in a Stillwater, N.Y., orchard ... hence the album name.
And that album art ... amazing. Just one more reason why I love them.
Interpol - "Interpol" | Release date: Sept. 7
New York's favorite brooding bunch is back with their fourth album and it's good, considering the group went from a foursome to a trio after "Interpol" was finished. Perhaps the album cover is a nod to said breakup? Nothing will come close to "Turn On The Bright Lights," but this is a solid effort.