We’re rocking in the free world this week as rock and roll dominates the release slate. The Dead Weather howls back with its sophomore set, while the male, discarded part of Evanescence rises from the ashes as We Are the Fallen with “American Idol’s” Carly Smithson taking on the Amy Lee role. Indie rockers the National are poised to break wide open with its fifth set and even Meat Loaf, at 62, has another slice of paradise for us.
As I Lay Dying, ‘The Powerless Rise” (Metal Blade): Grammy-nominated metal band’s fifth album got a boost from Tap Tap Revenge 3, which tapped first single “Beyond Our Suffering” for the mobile game. The group re-teamed with producer Adam Dutkiewicz, who was behind the board for its last set, “An Ocean Between Us.”
Charice, “Charice” (143/Reprise): Oprah has already embraced this big-voiced, Filipina teen and now she’s off to conquer the rest of the world with her U.S. debut produced by David Foster. If you’re a Celine or Whitney fan and are looking for a pint-sized new diva to follow, Charice is your gal. She’s also hit No. 2 on the dance chart with the remixes of her tune, “Pyramid."
Dead Weather, “Sea of Cowards” (Third Man/Warner): Led by the White Stripes’ Jack White and the Kills’ Alison Mosshart, The Dead Weather howl through a new set of feral, blues-based rock.
Everest, “On Approach” (Vapor/Warner): Rock band on Neil Young’s Vapor label put out second set full of enigmatic rock tunes as it continues to build as a solid live act. After opening for Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Young, Everest is on tour with Minus the Bear.
Keane, “Night Train” (Cherrytree/Interscope): Keane keeps it upbeat on its piano-based pop but throws in a few twists, including the welcome addition of Somali-Canadian rapper K’Naan and even a nod to the “Rocky” theme, “Gonna Fly Now."
Jennifer Knapp, “Letting Go” (Graylin/RED/Thirty Tigers): Weeks before Chely Wright grabbed all the headlines by coming out, Dove-award winning Christian singer/songwriter Jennifer Knapp returns with her first album in seven years.
Meat Loaf, “Hang Cool Teddy Bear” (Loud & Proud/Roadrunner): Mr. Loaf, as the New York Times once memorably referred to him, is in good company here on an album the despite its strange title, is not a children’s album. Rob Cavallo, best known for his work with Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls and Dave Matthews, produced the set and gusts include Jack Black and Justin Hawkins from the Darkness.
The National, “High Violet” (4AD): Brooklyn music masters unleash another collection of often somber, elegiac tunes filled with beautiful dread. Read review here.
We Are the Fallen, “Tear the World Down” (Universal Republic): New group formed by Evanescence members Ben Moody and John LeCompt with “American Idol’s” Carly Smithson.