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AMON AMARTHBERSERKERReleased Friday, May 03, 2019
Price: $11.99 (sale priced)Metal / Goth
Part of the appeal of any Amon Amarth record is the album name, and Berserker isnt an exception. In Norse mythology, the top god Odin and the God of War, Tyr, picked the bravest and meanest warriors in human battles to possess and imbue with their godlike battle-moxxy dubbing them the Berserker. The fans of Viking mythos will not be disappointed with many of the song titles on Berserker either, opener, Fafners Gold based off the legendary dragon guarding a dwarven treasure horde, only to be slain by Sigurd, a story often cited as one of the major influences for Tolkiens The Hobbit. Skoll and Hati is based on the cosmic wolves that are said to keep the sun and moon in motion around the earth, and their catching up and eating the Sun will signal the beginning of the end, Ragnarok! Other song titles made popular by pop culture are Valkyria and Mjlner, Hammer of Thor, neither of which need any explanation. The music on Berserker is surprisingly and unexpectedly, different. Many have accused Amon Amarth of running the genre tropes into the ground, and they have taken that feedback to heart, attempting to innovate as much as they can within an extremely confined subgenre.


BAD RELIGIONAGE OF UNREASONReleased Friday, May 03, 2019
Price: $12.99Punk / Hardcore


MAC DeMARCOHERE COMES THE COWBOYReleased Friday, May 10, 2019
Price: $12.99Rock & Pop
Following 2017s This Old Dog and 2014s landmark album Salad Days, Canadian singer-songwriter Mac DeMarco continued to elaborate on his established qualities. Folky guitar and introspective lyricism have come to define his self-proclaimed jizz jazz, but Mac DeMarco always provides a fresh twist to push beyond his previous works. On his fourth album, DeMarco focuses on acoustic guitar, piano and sprinkles of outlaw country. Here Comes The Cowboy is a jazzy Western counterpart to its predecessors. The title track brings an interesting start, with DeMarcos crispy voice repeating its name as though hes singing right in your ear to let you know. Wooden percussion evokes a horses trot, supporting a twangy guitar riff. The distant horn sections and dainty guitar of Nobody achieve a similar effect, but this time coupled with a personal story of living with fame. DeMarco describes being seen as a creature on television, displaying maturity and sobriety within his rustic instrumentation.


GIDDENS RHIANNON / TURISSI FRANCESCOTHERE IS NO OTHERReleased Friday, May 03, 2019
Price: $12.99 (sale priced)Bluegrass
Rhiannon Giddens, whose collaborative project Our Native Daughters released its debut album in February, continues her exploration of world music with the May 3rd release of There Is No Other, an album recorded in Dublin with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi and produced by Joe Henry. The title (stylized as there is no Other) refers to the marginalizing practice of othering, which includes, but is not limited to, discrimination and prejudice on the basis of group identity. The music the pair has created explores how sounds moved from Africa and the Arabic world to influence music throughout Europe and the Americas. Its all about movement, for both of us. . . movements of human beings and how we affect each other, Giddens recently told The Irish Times. If you just look at our range of instruments, where theyve come from and how theyve traveled across the world, its pretty amazing. The way that both of us approach music is very similar because were both educated about where the music is coming from. But when it comes to playing, were both just playing what we feel.


HAGAR SAMMY & THE CIRCLESPACE BETWEENReleased Friday, May 10, 2019
Price: $14.99Rock & Pop
Sammy Hagar & The Circle will release their debut album of original material, titled Space Between on May 10 via BMG. The first single from the record, Trust Fund Baby, is available now. With the upcoming release of Space Between, the band harnesses the depth of their artistic experiences and seminal collaborative sound with Hagar's prolific writing vein to produce an album that builds and explodes, song after song, around the concepts of money, greed, enlightenment and truth. Lyrically and musically, the collection of songs on Space Between build from intimate and introspective eye-openers to heart-pumping anthems. The music draws on the bands' substantial careers independently and collaboratively; presenting a veteran band still at the peak of their game. Formed in 2014, the acclaimed supergroup featuring Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Sammy Hagar and bassist Michael Anthony, drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson, quickly established themselves as one of the most emphatic and exciting live acts on tour today, seamlessly ripping through career-spanning hits from Montrose, Van Halen, Sammy Hagar and The Waboritas and Led Zeppelin.


PINKHURTS 2B HUMANReleased Friday, April 26, 2019
Price: $14.99Rock & Pop
Pink released a new track, Hurts 2B Human, the title track from her upcoming album due out this Friday. The contemplative pop ballad features guest vocals from 21-year-old rising star Khalid, and was co-written with Teddy Geiger, Scott Harris, Anna-Catherine Hartley, and Alexander Xplicit Izquierdo.Like other recent Pink tracks Can We Pretend, Hustle, and Walk Me Home, Hurts 2B Human is built on an EDM beat, plucky electric guitar chords and synths. Pink acknowledges the everyday pain and struggle that everyone goes through, while being able to find solace in human connection: Will you make it sound so pretty even when its not?/Didnt choose but its the only one weve got/And sometimes I get so tired/Of getting tired up my thoughts/Youre the only one that often makes it stop.


JOSH RITTERFEVER BREAKSReleased Friday, April 26, 2019
Price: $12.99Rock & Pop
The album sounds the most Isbellish on the country colored A New Man that sounds an outtake from Isbells Something More Than Free. Ritter also gets more politically pointed than is typical for him. As barbed as All Some Kind of Dream is, with references to children in holding pens and hours when we took them in, its all softened by a sunshiny folk melody that conjures up John Denver in a buckskin fringe jacket. But on the other side of that coin, the more cryptic and ominous The Torch Committee hits its intended mark. Though some may not take to the tone, the procedural gibberish that Ritter so staidly recites brings back a Red Scare squeamishness of man vs government. A time when manufactured evidence was so stacked against an individual as to make the glimmer of hope an ever dimming light. Juxtaposing that dark stain against todays political landscape becomes the nightmare we dont want to recur but might be living. No doubt Ritter covers a lot of ground, both in sound and content, on Fever Breaks. Its as if given the chance to front a band of The 400 Units caliber he wanted to make sure he touched all the bases. Even if Fever Breaks may not be a grand slam, its still the musical equivalent of a seasoned veteran hitting a shot where from the crack of the bat there is no doubt that the ball is going to clear the fence.


RODRIGO Y GABRIELAMETTAVOLUTIONReleased Friday, April 26, 2019
Price: $9.99 (sale priced)Rock & Pop
So I'm guessing that at some point there was a band meeting to ask, 'What do we do next?' The answer for Mettavolution, apparently, was to look within. Introducing the first single, 'Terracentric,' Rodrigo y Gabriela said, 'Sometimes we need to be self centered in order to be the best version of ourselves for us and for others. Meditation is a good example of an individual practice that in fact is the most compassionate action we can do for everyone. Clearing the mind is not only for your own benefit but for the benefit of all living beings.' For Rodrigo y Gabriela, the meditation is actually in the swirl of notes and rhythmic strums that circle around their music. And if we follow their lead, there is a meditative quality for the listener as well. Mettavolution closes with a 19-minute version of 'Echoes,' Pink Floyd's rock masterpiece famously performed live in an ancient Roman amphitheater in Pompeii, Italy. Like its masterful catalog, Rodrigo Y Gabriela gives the music new life with just two guitars.


ESPERANZA SPALDING12 LITTLE SPELLS (DIG)Released Friday, May 10, 2019
Price: $13.99 (sale priced)Jazz
It would be easy to compare Esperanza Spalding to Bjork, or Joni Mitchell, or Kate Bush, but that implies that there can Only Be One. Instead, Spaldings 12 Little Spells joins a long line of her goddess foremothers in their innovation. Each song is dedicated to a corresponding body part, which is weird but also delightful. On Until The Next Full, she sings, Our eyeballs are hollow/but presently hold shape/around a gooey filling is obviously dedicated to her eyes, as is the sultry Thang with its purring demand that you sink into your hip but others, such as Youre pouring into the mouth of a sober taboo/Truth slurring right out of you/And whoever youve half been, dedicated to her Solar Portal (?), are less obvious. Theres something inherently beautiful about a woman singing to each piece of her, examining the complications of existing within the female skin, rather than focusing on the flaws the way magazines/makeup ads/Instagram influencers constantly harp about. You can never be too magical, she sings on You Have To Dance (Feet). It rises up with a subtle and glittering joy to join other anthems, including Lady Gagas Born This Way and fellow Prince protege Janelle Monaes Django Jane in celebrating the indomitable female spirit, Black Girl Magic, our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, and all those who arent afraid to get onto the floor with their best shoes on.


TACOCATTHIS MESS IS A PLACEReleased Friday, May 03, 2019
Price: $11.99 (sale priced)Punk / Hardcore
You might guess that Tacocats first album after the election of Donald Trump would, with sharp snark, cut the administration to ribbons. While the local pop-punk quartet has always intermingled less political material with songs about, say, Horse Grrls (which you could, I guess, read as a clear-eyed expos on a subculture), this is also the band that gave us Men Explain Things to Me and I Hate the Weekend. The open hostility displayed in the news cycle certainly looms over Tacocats new album, This Mess Is a Place, which comes out Friday, May 3. Yet by the albums third verse, on opener Hologram, we get what sounds like a thesis: How did we come to be so jaded? / I guess its more that the rest has faded / But little by little its getting bright again. Lyrically the band is concerned less with the ongoing bleakness of things and more with how people might live through the darkness and contradict it. This optimism shades the music, too. Mess is the bands first album after graduating labels from Hardly Art to Sub Pop proper, their second working with producer (and local musician) Erik Blood, and it is Tacocats most polished work. The guitar work is less scrappy, the harmonies more prominent. We dont get a big hit of punk fuzz until the fifth track, Little Friend. Nevertheless, this is still emphatically Tacocat: hooks abound, so does wit and wisdom.


ROB THOMASCHIP TOOTH SMILEReleased Friday, May 03, 2019
Price: $12.99 (sale priced)Rock & Pop
Heres an indisputable fact: Rob Thomas is an expert at his craft. As a songwriter whos penned nearly a dozen hits with Matchbox Twenty, the band he co-founded in 1990 while barely out of his teens, and whos moved through collaborations like 1999s Smooth with Carlos Santana to his own solo career, launched in 2005 with the album Something to Be, Thomas knows his sound and his audience. But unlike most rock stars and he is one, despite having steered clear of leather, piercings, bandanas and similar accoutrements Thomas has never been one to chase sonic trends. You wont find Cardi B rapping on any of the tracks from Chip Tooth Smile, his fourth solo album. His chosen producer, Butch Walker, is of the vintage variety not in terms of age but certainly of stature, having fronted the under-appreciated late 90s group Marvelous 3 and later earning credits for hit songs by Pink, Katy Perry and Fall Out Boy. Even the cover art harkens to an earlier time in its nod to Bruce Springsteens Born in the U.S.A., released in 1984, and George Michaels Faith, which arrived three year later.


VAMPIRE WEEKENDFATHER OF THE BRIDEReleased Friday, May 03, 2019
Price: $15.99Rock & Pop
Father of the Bride is the highly anticipated new album from Vampire Weekend, and is the band's fourth full length release. It is the follow up to 2013's Modern Vampires of the City, which won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 2014. Father of the Bride is produced by founding band member Ezra Koenig, and Ariel Rechtshaid (Adele, Madonna, Charli XCX, Usher, HAIM, Solange, and others). The album features 18 songs, including 'Harmony Hall,' 'Big Blue,' '2021,' and 'Sunflower.'