Now Hear This
|Chaos In Bloom||Goo Goo Dolls||Warner Records||CD||2022-08-12||$14.98|
|Somewhere Between The Secret And The Truth||Wade Bowen||BOWEN SOUNDS||CD||2022-08-12||$12.98|
|Household Name [Red LP]||Momma||Polyvinyl Records||Vinyl||2022-07-01||$0.00|
|Will Of The People||Muse||WARNER RECORDS||CD||2022-08-26||$14.98|
|Phase Iv||Phase IV||MORIBUND RECORDS||CD||2022-08-26||$14.98|
|NATHAN||Brotherkenzie||Town Fox Records||CD||2022-08-26||$12.98|
Chaos in Bloom, arriving August 12th, 2022 via Warner Records. Marking the first album of their career to be produced by frontman John Rzeznik, the record finds the band at the top of their game and continuing to constantly evolve just as they have for nearly four decades together. Consisting of 10 tracks, Chaos in Bloom is an album of biting sarcasm, stadium-ready choruses, and the type of spear-sharp songwriting that’s led them to becoming one of the most influential alternative rock groups of all time.
While Chaos in Bloom isn’t necessarily an album borne out by the pandemic, many of the tracks reflect on all of the things in daily life that became amplified while everyone was isolated from one another and sequestered at home. “Chaos in Bloom reminded us how special this whole thing is and to cherish the relationships that we have together,” says Rzeznik about the album. “Where we’ve been, and where we’re going.” Oscillating from personal reflections on the state of the world to societal commentaries, the songs on the album grapple with observations about our dystopian modernity while searching for optimism and pushing for a more empathetic world. “I’ve been trying to have a relationship with the bigger picture,” adds bassist and songwriter Robby Takac, “and refining happiness and what it means from that perspective.”
To record the album, Rzeznik and Takac retreated to Dreamland Studios just outside Woodstock, New York during the pandemic. An environment as remote as it is rich with historic rock music roots, the location proved to be the perfect setting for clearing the noise and creating such a record, which carries a true live quality that the band captured by blending vintage instruments and gear with new-age recording processes and techniques.
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Twenty years and some 4,000 shows into his career, the name Wade Bowen has become synonymous with Texas country music – and for good reason. An artistic descendant of American icons like Guy Clark, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen and more, Bowen is another link in a Texan chain of roots-rock poets stretching back more than 50 years – but his ambition never ended at the state line.
“I will carry that flag proudly,” Bowen says of his well earned Red-Dirt distinction. “But I’ve always said I’m not a ‘Texas artist,’ I’m an artist from Texas, and I think there’s a difference.”
Indeed, Bowen has showed the world that difference since 2001 – by going big on integrity.
Seen as one of the genre’s finest and most authentic modern voices, Bowen’s approach stays rooted in tradition, but also stands on the creative cutting edge. His focus remains on writing unique songs with a literary quality, and shifting his sonic territory to match his life. And while the hard-touring troubadour is constantly breaking new ground, his course was set early on.
This album was created in Los Angeles and London and is influenced by the increasing uncertainty and instability in the world. A pandemic, new wars in Europe, massive protests & riots, an attempted insurrection, Western democracy wavering, rising authoritarianism, wildfires and natural disasters and the destabilisation of the global order all informed Will Of The People. It has been a worrying and scary time for all of us as the Western empire and the natural world, which have cradled us for so long are genuinely threatened. This album is a personal navigation through those fears and preparation for what comes next. - Matt Bellamy
Brotherkenzie is the solo output from Minneapolis producer and songwriter Nathan Stocker – and, through the project, lives in the shadows, operating on the outskirts of the music industry, something he’s grown increasingly less interested in as he ages. Brotherkenzie’s music is a chasm carved from honesty and earnestness, the result teetering between catchiness and pop, but with sharp edges.
On the cover of Nathan, Stocker is about to be enveloped by an enormous black box in a deadened Minnesotan sprawl, framed by the eeriness of placid blue skies, the suggestion of a cold wind. It’s like a snapshot of calm caught in a moment before something bad happens, but you don’t know quite what that bad is yet. The looming black mass is a physical manifestation of narcissism – and Nathan is an exhaustive exploration of that. It’s an artifact of what happens when you listen to, and obey, your demons. A final look-a-round at the dirt you’ve known your whole life before descending to the eternal what-have-you.
The record is a re-introduction to Stocker’s solo output as brotherkenzie; his last release, 2020’s BIG WHAT closed the first chapter of the project, while Nathan explores the afterlife of a creative death. The 12 songs collected here are intended to signify a new brotherkenzie era: one embracing sex and heathen ideals. Even the title vies for blasphemy; Stocker’s attempt to divorce his first name from its loaded religious meaning and instead take ownership of it. It’d be easy to say it’s in response to Stocker’s deeply religious upbringing, but that’s too simple – instead, it’s an exercise in “what if’s?,” leaning into the dark side, interested in exploring what it means to be satanic without ever mentioning a devil – or any type of God, or religion – by name. Instead, Stocker wonders what happens when you die and are reborn as a demon. When you operate without goodness in mind. Is that a mode for something true? Even if it’s evil?
Stocker wrote these songs from March to November of 2020. It was isolating in the usual ways for that time, of course, but he was also juggling a number of relationships that were unhealthy for a myriad of reasons. He was stuck in a cycle, unable to escape, and every time he sat down the self-loathing and demons came out. Here he examines that self-destructive tenderness, observant of the way he was then but not fraught over it. Instead, he’s like a documentarian of trying times; of what it feels like to grow a new epidermis instead.
Daddy Yankee’s farewell album LEGENDADDY combines all the styles that have defined him in one single album. It contains 19 tracks and has the most superb guest list yet including Bad Bunny, Rauw Alejandro, Nile Rodgers, Becky G and more. He also collaborated with some of the industry’s hottest producers including Play-N-Skillz, Luny (Luny Tunes) and Tainy. LEGENDADDY stands out as his first album in ten years and his boldest, brightest, and biggest musical statement ever.