Two artists who exploded with their debut sets return with their sophomore albums this week. Both Lady Antebellum and Corrine Bailey Rae put out their second albums this week. Also of note is singer/songwriter Patty Griffin’s intriguing “Downtown Church,” and Charlotte Gainsbourg’s collaboration with Beck.
Beach House,”Teen Dream (Sub Pop) Baltimore-based co-ed duo releases first effort for Sub Pop full of their energetic, whimsical pop.
Charlotte Gainsbourg, “IRM” (Because Music/Atlantic): Daughter of Serge Gainsbourg, collaborated with Beck on her third album. Initially, Beck was only handling production duties, but the loner the two worked together, the more collaborative the effort became with him writing many tunes.
Patty Griffin, “Downtown Church” (Credential/EMI): Every singer/songwriters’ favorite singer/songwriter returns with her seventh album and a truly original concept. Recorded at a church in Nashville, “Downtown Church” features Griffin singing from the pulpit while guests such as Emmylou Harris, Raul Malo, Shawn Colvin and Jim Lauderdale drop by.
Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” (Capitol Nashville): While Taylor Swift was getting all the attention as the new face of young country, this co-ed trio was out selling more than a million copies of their self-titled debut and picking up titles like CMA duo/group of the year. The title track spent five weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s country chart—that was longer than any other song in 2009. On its sophomore effort, the band expands upon its strength: strong country rock tunes and the gift of intertwining Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley’s voices.
Barry Manilow, “The Greatest Love Songs of All Time” (Artisa): What? You really thought we would ignore a new album from Barry? Manilow continues to mine the pattern that worked for Rod Stewart and their shared exec producer, Clive Davis, and cover hit songs with their own unique style. Here, Manilow takes on such classic love songs as “The Look of Love,” “Love Me Tender,” “I Only Have Eyes for You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun.”What? No cover of “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails?
Never Shout Never, “What is Love” (Loveway/Sire): Hot Topic poster boys release their debut effort for Sire Records. The set was produced by Butch Walker, who has worked wonders with such acts as Katy Perry and Weezer.
Corinne Bailey Rae, “The Sea” (Capitol): Soulful British singer returns with her first album since her 2006 debut and since the death of her husband. Given the latter tragedy, fans of her light “Turn the Radio On” will discover a deeper Rae on this project. Catch her on her North American tour which starts April 9 in Vancouver.