New Music Friday – 11/1/19

 In Best Movies of the Month, Entertainment, Music

Halloween has come and gone but there’s still some treats to be had. This week’s new releases include a lot of familiar names including two acts releasing studio albums for the first time in over 14 years. While you’re hunting down the 50% off Halloween candy and decorations, push play and enjoying some of the great new music this week has to offer. 

Gang Starr One of the Best Yet

The legendary hip-hop group Gang Starr is back with their first album in 16 years which is surprising to everyone. I don’t think anyone thought they’d hear new music from Guru and DJ Premier ever again considering the circumstances. It’s been over 9 years since Guru passed away and 26 years since his debut solo record Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 entered ears for the first time.  Gang Starr became one of the most influential hip-hop groups in the early ‘90s but it was the lyrical styles of Guru that set the group and himself apart from other M.C.’s.

The fact there’s a new Gang Starr record is astonishing since the duo had a huge falling out over the last few years of Guru’s life. Luckily for the listener all of the legal issues were rectified and Premier was able to give the chance to say goodbye to Guru one more time. Lead single “Bad Name” ponders where the so called ‘greats’ would be if Big and Pac were still alive today. The album features some heavy hitters on it including Talib Kweli, Q-Tip and Royce Da 5’9” leaving me to believe this will indeed be one of the best yet. @gangstarr

Miranda Lambert Wildcard

She is arguably one of the most unapologetic, honest voices in country music and her 7th studio album, Wildcard, finds Miranda Lambert with her most relatable release yet. Fast rising single “It All Comes Out In The Wash” finds Miranda not sweating what others think of her when it comes to the rumors and the way she lives her life because in due time everything comes out anyway.

Miranda co-wrote every song on Wildcard including “Wash” and 4 other tracks with the Grammy award winning the Love Junkies who also penned “Girl Crush” for Little Big Town and “Cry Pretty” for Carrie Underwood. The Maren Morris duet on the album came from a night of drinking with a girlfriend at her home in Nashville when the friend wanted to leave but was simply told she was “Way Too Pretty For Prison.” The very country “Tequila Does” is bound to be the next big singalong for the Woo Girls on Broadway.

If history repeats itself this will be the 7th straight album for Lambert to debut at number 1 on the country charts and you can hear songs from Wildcard and other Miranda classics when her tour hits Bridgestone Arena January 24th. @mirandalambert

Cold War Kids New Age Norms 1

Getting inspiration from Kanye West, Long Beach indie rock band the Cold War Kids return with the first record in their New Age Norms trilogy. The band wanted to break from the norm of  recording a full album and constant touring to promote it to rather follow in the footsteps of Kanye’s GOOD Music label where you had a new album every few weeks that sounded like it was recorded the night before.

The 8 song record including the lead single “Waiting For Your Love” is easy to digest and finds the band exploring new sounds from soul to disco. “Beyond the Pale” is a lighters up or in today’s world phone flashlight up song that is akin to Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” and Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home”. Keep your eyes out for part two in the trilogy and catch the Cold War Kids on their stop in Atlanta in February. @ColdWarKids

Hootie & the Blowfish Imperfect Circle

I spent a large part of the 1990s working in radio as a DJ and if I had a nickel for every time I played a Hootie & the Blowfish song I would be able to pay NBC to make a 6th season of Chuck. Unfortunately I don’t and I find myself 16 years since their last release reminiscing about my days at KZ-103 in Tupelo, MS in anticipation of Imperfect Circle. There was a stretch of time where Darius and the guys were the most popular band in the world to quickly becoming Nickleback before there was a Nickleback. Hootie backlash was real but time heals all wounds and ‘90s nostalgia is red hot right now.

Imperfect Circle sounds like it could have easily been the follow up Cracked Rear View and definitely will have you longing for a time long ago. “Rollin’” is a quintessential Hootie song co-written by Chris Stapleton that will take you back 25 years to when the band first hit the scene. “Half a Day Ahead” however is the one that most resembles early Hootie while also feeling modern and fitting perfectly with the group. “Wildfire Love” would definitely be the song Prince hated since it was co-written by Ed Sheeran and resembles more of Darius’ time as a mega-country star. If released as a single it would be easy to hear playing all over country radio.

Imperfect Circle sounds like it’s 1994 again and I’m fine with that since I was 80 pounds lighter and could actually drive with the windows down and have hair blow in the wind. @HootieTweets

Jeff Goldblum & the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This

Rock stars want to be actors and actors want to be rock stars. We’ve seen it a million times on both sides with mixed success. For every Lady Gaga there’s a Corey Feldman and the latest thespian to try their hand at music stardom is none other than Jeff Goldblum. Goldblum delivers a refreshing take on some of the best known jazz standards and does so with great ease. The album is an absolute delight and for me is shockingly so since I wasn’t familiar with his musical background before doing research on it.

The Jurassic Park co-star has been playing piano since his childhood days in Pittsburgh and has been playing jazz clubs with his Mildred Snitzer Orchestra throughout his acting career. Jeff gives the spotlight to some amazing female jazz vocalist including Inara George, Anna Calvi and Fiona Apple but really shines when he lends his vocals to “Little Man, You’ve Had a Busy Day”. 

Here’s some other great albums to push play on:

  • Yelawolf Ghetto Cowboy
  • Earl Sweatshirt Feet of Clay
  • Alphabeat Don’t Know What’s Cool Anymore
  • Like Torches Loves and Losses
  • Nile Vile Nilotic Rites

-Steven McCash (@MC_Cash75)

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