If you needed any more indication that the summer blockbuster season is upon us, just consider no fewer than four soundtracks come out this week, including for the dead-on-arrival "MacGruber," "Prince of Persia" and "Sex & The City 2." Otherwise, May 25 belongs to Stone Temple Pilots' return after nine long years.
[List of releases after the jump...]
David Cross, “Bigger and Blackerer” (Sub Pop): Actor/comedian and fave of many musicians releases an album of stand-up recorded at Boston’s Wilbur Theater last year.
Bettye Lavette, “Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook” (Anti-/Epitaph): The seed for this project was planted after Lavette, who’s had a hell of a career resurgence over the last several years, tore up the stage singing “Love Reign O’er Me” at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009 as part of the Who’s induction. She now tackles such tunes as “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Maybe I’m Amazed” and “Isn’t It a Pity,” with her lived-in, soulful voice. The New York Times heralded LaVette as her generation’s “most vital soul singer,” along with Aretha Franklin. See what the fuss is about.
Marina & The Diamonds, “The Family Jewels” (679 Recordings/Atlantic): Is Marina the next big thing from the United Kingdom? Welsh singer with a flair for new wave tries to make it on these shores after landing a Top 5 album back home. Don’t be fooled: she’s a solo act; the diamonds are her fans.
Smashing Pumpkins, “Teargarden by Kaleidyscope- Vol. 1: Songs for a Sailor” (Rocket Science): You’ve been able to download the tracks for free over the last several months, but if you want them all in one place, here’s your chance to hear Billy Corgan follow his musical vision with players you’ve never heard of before. It’s safe to say that Courtney Love had nothing to do with any of these songs.
Stone Temple Pilots, “Stone Temple Pilots” (Atlantic): Scott Weiland-led quartet returns with first album in nine years. Read review here:
Various Artists, “Sex & The City 2” soundtrack (WaterTower Music/UMG): What is there to say about a soundtrack that boasts an instant camp classic such as Liza Minnelli’s take on Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” and the four main girls’ cover of “I Am Woman” other than “buy it.” There are a few other new tracks here, including Dido’s “Everything to Lose” and a Jennifer Hudson/Leona Lewis duet, “Love is Your Color,” as well as some great previously released material from Cyndi Lauper, Erykah Badu and Alicia Keys. Oddly enough, there are no tunes from Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey or Victoria Beckham, all of whom appear in the movie.
Various Artists, “True Blood: Music from the HBO Original Series, Vol. 2” (Elektra): Put a little bite in your summer music with the second soundtrack to the hit HBO series. In addition to previously unreleased tracks by the likes of Beck, it also contains cut from Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Lucinda Williams, Stone Temple Pilots and more. Read about it and stream it here.
Widespread Panic, “Dirty Side Down” (ATO): Jam band releases its 11th studio album. In addition to the originals, WSP includes a haunting version of “Cruel Thing,” written by the late Vic Chesnutt. The band and Chesnutt recorded two albums under the name Brute.