After new chart toppers from Ke$ha and Vampire Weekend came out the first two Tuesdays of 2010, things slow down for this week. Catch your breath now because it picks back up on Jan. 26. In the meantime, let’s look at the top releases of Jan. 19.
Editors, “In This Light and On This Evening” (Fader): British band releases what it calls its “rawest” album to date. Working with producer Flood, the group hit No. 1 on the U.K. album chart when “Light” was released domestically in October. Never as big in the U.S. as they are at home, the Editors, nonetheless, have a strong following stateside for their brand of moody indie rock.
Eels, “End Times” (Vagrant): Beloved group, led by Mark Everett (E), ended a four-year break between studio albums last May with the release of “Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire.” Now, less than eight months later comes the band’s eighth studio album, “End Times.” Recorded largely on a four-track recorder, “End Times” chronicles Everett’s divorce following in a long tradition of break-up albums such as “Blood on the Tracks,” “Rumours” and “Tunnel of Love.”
Motion City Soundtrack, “My Dinosaur Life” (Columbia): Pop punksters make the move from Epitaph to Columbia for their fourth studio album. The set reunites the band with Blink-182’s Mark Hoppus, who produced the group’s second album, 2004’s “Commit This to Memory.”
Spoon, “Transference” (Merge): Revered Austin-based indie rock band fronted by Britt Daniel follows up 2007’s acclaimed “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” (and two intervening EPs) with its first self-produced set. “Transference,” written by Daniel, continues the group’s lo-fi and quirky, but always charming, musical journey. We’ll see if it can debut in the top 10 as “Ga Ga” did.
Various Artists, “Crazy Heart” (New West): T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham snagged the Golden Globe on Jan. 17 for best original song from a motion picture soundtrack for “The Weary Kind.” Check out that gorgeous song and lots of other originals from “Crazy Heart,” the story of a down-and-out country singer seeking redemption. The film’s stars, Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell, deliver the goods on such songs as “Fallin’ & Flyin’” and “Hold on You.” They’re surrounded by classic tracks from Waylon Jennings, Buck Owens and Townes Van Zandt.
Various Artists, “2010 Grammy Nominees” (Capitol/EMI Music): Check out 20 tracks all competing for a Grammy on Jan. 31. The collection, sales of which benefit MusiCares and the Grammy Foundation, features hits from the Black Eyed Peas, Lady GaGa, Kings of Leon, Pink, Kelly Clarkson, Beyonce, Katy Perry and more.