You know what? I'm not going to bullshit you this week with witty anecdotes. We've got releases from some very important artists today, so let's get to it.
Foo Fighters - "Wasting Light" [RCA]
Dave Grohl has been boasting to anybody willing to listen about how "Wasting Light" will be their hardest record yet. I was able to listen to the album recently and Dave definitely does a lot of screaming. The guitars also have a heavier, bass sound than normal. Their single "Rope" sums up the mood of the album perfectly with the aforementioned attributes while maintaining their grunge roots. Still, the band doesn't stray too far to alienate old school fans.
TV on the Radio - "Nine Types of Light" [Interscope]
A band like TV on the Radio has an acute case of Multiple Personality Syndrome. Within one song they can be sweet, pissed-off, forgiving, an asshole and a saint. And it's this type of bi-polarity that attracts fans around the world to their music. Plus, the vocals ain't half bad either. Oh, and having David Bowie give you props and do guest vocals on your second album is definitely makes listeners stop and take notice. With "Nine Types of Light" they continue that direction, like on their track "Will Do" which uses their signature combo of smooth/harsh vocals and laid-back/creepy music that will get them either wide recognition or a trip to the insane asylum. Either way, they're going somewhere.
Atmosphere - "The Family Sign" [Rhymesayers]
Call Atmosphere anything you want, but you sure as hell can't call them lazy. Since the Minnesota group dropped "When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold" back in 2008, they've been doing a steady stream of touring and released a double EP ("To All My Friends" and "Blood Makes You Holy"). Now, Slug and Ant are ready to put out their first legit full - length album in three years. Ant really stepped up his game by using more live instrumentation that really complements Slug's delivery (this is no fluke -- Ant did wonders for Brother Ali's "Us" album). Check out the single "Just For Show".
Blueprint - "Adventures in Counter - Culture" [Rhymesayers]
Man, I'm slipping. Slipping really bad. Last week, when I was listing what was coming up, I forgot to mention one cat in particular. He goes by the name Blueprint, an emcee straight from Ohio who doesn't give a damn about pre-conceived notions of what a hip-hop artist should encompass. He speaks from the heart and the head, which is a refreshing alternative from all the drugs, bitches and bling that's still plaguing hip-hop. Anyway, he released an album last week and I totally forgot to mention him, so consider this my apology. Check out the cut "Radio In-Active" to see what the hell I mean.
Classified - "Handshakes and Middle Fingers" [Decon]
Last, but not least, we've got somebody from up north to lay down some rhymes for us yankees. In his native Canada, Classified has got three MuchMusic awards and thirteen nominations making it safe to say that he knows his shit. Not to mention guest spots from Brother Ali, Joe Budden and Kayo. "That Ain't Classy" is a track that derides all the douchebag rappers whose self-esteem is so shot that they feel the only way to validate themselves is to show off their bling. That ain't classy, dude. So not classy.