CD Previews

There are many new releases to look for and many future releases to look forward to, but there have been a great deal of recent records that will make you cringe. An older-looking, long-haired version of the Backstreet Boys released “”Black & Blue.”” Limp Bizkit exposed their trite rap-metal sound with “”Chocolate Starfish & the Hotdog Flavored Water.”” And that Britney Spears keeps releasing those damn singles.

But, on the other hand, U2 finally released, “”All That You Can’t Leave Behind”” which is arguably the best U2 album to date, with its blend of past and present sounds. Radiohead’s “”Kid A”” may have been a bit difficult to digest for the pop world, but conceptually, the album is genius.

A number of greatest hits collections made it much easier for many to experience the sonic beauty of Lenny Kravitz, the wit of Blur and the nostalgia of The Beatles.

Therefore, your friendly hiatus editor has taken the liberty of highlighting some of the recent releases you should pick up and the albums that you should look for in the near future.

BS 2000 – “”Simply Mortified”” (Grand Royal)=

BS 2000 is the pet project of Beastie Boy Adam Horowitz and his old-time buddy and hardcore drummer Amery Smith. “”Simply Mortified”” was released earlier this week and, sonically, it is a turn to some retro-style dance music with outdated drum machines. All this is under Horowitz’ socially conscious lyrics, which also take the occasional jab at Eminem-style rappers.

David Gray – “”Lost Songs 95-98″” (IHT)

In case you have never heard of David Gray, he swept through the UK this year with his hit album, “”White Ladder.”” He is also beginning to climb the American charts under Dave Matthews’ record label. Gray is finally getting some acknowledgment, considering the fact that “”White Ladder”” was originally released back in 1998.

“”Lost Songs 95-98″” is a collection of heart-tugging acoustic songs that were recorded before the epic “”White Ladder.”” Even though it was only released this week, “”Lost Songs”” has already been nominated for this year’s Brit Awards, the across-the-Atlantic equivalent of the Grammy Awards.

“”Lost Songs”” is simple and sweet with just an acoustic guitar, piano and Gray’s vocals that evoke memories of Bob Dylan.

John Frusciante – “”To Record Only Water For Ten Days”” (Warner Brothers)

John Frusciante has recently released his third solo album, which may be difficult to swallow, but shows the true genius of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ guitarist. This collection of songs is raw and based on rambling riffs and rough drum patterns. Layered over these melodies is Frusciante’s husky voice, which often strains to a falsetto.

“”To Record Only Water For Ten Days”” is very honest and at times crude because it isn’t over-produced, but it shows the stark clarity of Frusciante’s talent.

Dave Matthews Band – “”Everyday”” (BMG/RCA)

“”Everyday”” is the title of Dave Matthews’ first LP with his band since “”Before These Crowded Streets,”” which was released in 1998. “”Everyday”” is slated to be released Feb. 27.

Between 1998 and 2001, Dave Matthews collaborated with Santana and went on a wildly popular tour across the country and back with longtime friend and collaborator Tim Reynolds. Matthews was able to keep fans happy with his 1999 all-acoustic release, “”Live At Luther College.””

“”Everyday”” is partly influenced by Reynolds’ eclectic musical style and will stand as one of the most anticipated albums of the year.

Depeche Mode – “”Exciter”” (Mute)

“”Songs of Faith & Devotion”” was released in 1993. Four years later, Depeche Mode released “”Ultra.”” Now, four years later, Depeche Mode will release their first proper studio album since 1997. Depeche Mode were able to tide their fans over with the release of their amazing singles collection from their early years up through “”Ultra.””

Depeche Mode’s new album, “”Exciter,”” is slated to be released in late May and members of the band have stated that they are very proud of their work in the studio. Vocalist David Gahan has expressed that the track “”Freelove”” is on par with the pop sensibility of “”Enjoy the Silence.””

The official Web site for Depeche Mode,, has offered small bits of their songs in MP3 format. The tracks reflect the catchy tunes of classic Depeche Mode along with a cutting-edge electronic sound.

Radiohead – “”Amnesiac”” (Parlaphone)

Radiohead followed up “”OK Computer”” with the very avant-garde electro-styling of “”Kid A.”” Now, less than a year after the release of “”Kid A,”” Radiohead are already set to release another studio album.

“”Amnesiac”” is expected to be released early in June. The set of songs found on “”Amnesiac”” are from the “”Kid A”” sessions, but the band consider the songs more radio-friendly and melodic. This album is sure to set off proper promotional duties for Radiohead, including the release of singles and a long-awaited world tour. Some of the songs expected to be released have already been performed live, and those live versions have been circulating around the Internet for months.

“”Knives Out”” is a Smiths-esque track that should be one of the singles on the album. “”True Love Waits”” is a deeply emotional song that was supposed to find its way onto “”OK Computer.”” “”True Love Waits”” has been one of the more popular songs among Radiohead bootleggers. “”Follow Me Around”” was introduced in their movie “”Meeting People Is Easy”” and it may find its way onto the album. “”Egyptian Song,”” “”Nude,”” “”Lift”” and “”Dollars and Cents”” are among the other tracks rumored to be on the new album.

Radiohead’s “”Amnesiac”” is guaranteed to be one of the most anticipated albums of the summer.

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