Tuesdays are big in entertainmentville: not only do all the new DVD releases hit Netflix, but new music also pours into stores. So I take a spin through each week's music releases and pick out some albums and tracks worthy of a download.
Return of the King: The new Jay-Z album, The Blueprint 3, was supposed to be released on Friday but a leak prompted a last minute to move to today (which is why it may not be showing up on iTunes yet). The earlier release date is good news for fans, because this album is amazing. I've been listening to it nonstop, and during my first listen, I was surprised at how each song seemed to just get better and more epic.
I realize I'm gushing, so let me back it up: instant hits "Empire State of Mind" with Alicia Keys and "So Ambitious" with Pharrell are soulful groovers, while "D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)" and "On To the Next One" reassert Jay's self-proclaimed reputation as the Best Rapper Alive. (Update: the album is available to buy and stream on Rhapsody right now).
Go independent: Yo La Tengo's latest album, Popular Songs, promises some new sounds from the moody band, and I'd already gotten into preview song "Periodically Double or Triple". It's not the only upbeat track that hooked me; I want to listen to "Nothing to Hide" on repeat. Finally, the bonus track is a Carole King cover, "You've Got a Friend", and provides that slow, sweetly haunting feeling Yo La Tengo is known for.
Listen in on one more new download when you read more.
Let's jam: I know there's still a lot of you Phish-heads out there, and a listen to their newest, Joy, transports me back to my college days. I'm instantly sucked in by the lively Ocelot, and it's hard to not to comply with the lyrics of the appropriately named title track "Joy": "we want you to be happy". Oh, and don't worry, the band hasn't lost its affinity for epically long songs — there's a thirteen minute track, "Time Turns Elastic".