Look Out! It’s the return of the dinosaurs! Last year David Bowie returned in fine form with one of his better albums in years- which as they say wasn’t saying much. Now we get word that some of Rock and Roll’s aging royalty is about to do the same.
The list of artist preparing finishing touches on fall releases looks like 1979 all over again. Record companies are gearing up for promotional blitzs for Paul McCartney, Elton John, Elvis Costello and Sting. All of this in a season expected to have some of Pop’s biggest names release music as well, like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Couple that with monster releases from reigning rock icons Arcade Fire and Kings of Leon and you have yourself a puzzling array of sounds to capture your attention. Consider yourself warned.
The excitement is always on over kill whenever one half of the world’s greatest songwriting duo readies a new release and this time the excitement might just be worthy. This is Sir Paul’s first album of original new material in six years. His last few releases included a live album, a score for a ballet and “Kisses From The Bottom” an album of remakes from McCartney’s childhood. The new album called “New” should be available in mid October and though it will be hard pressed to make fans forget the Beatles if it as fresh as the title cut single released recently, we are in for a treat.
Elton John on the other hand has really raised expectations with his announcement that he has partnered again with Bernie Taupin. Taupin of course anchored John through the 70s and early 80s as chief lyricist and full partner in song writing. Besides the song writing reunion, EJ fans are just as excited to hear how Raphaal Saadiq on bass and Doyle Bramhall II on guitars enchant John’s ivory tickling’s. John told Rolling Stone Magazine it’s ”the most adult record I could make.” So the kids might not care for it but long time fans should be energized by a piano heavy album from one of the original idols to be available at the end of September.
Elvis Costello used a weeklong appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon to pal up to the show’s house band-The Roots. This relationship has blossomed into a full length LP called “Wise Up Ghost.’ Early listens reveals a reborn Costello complimented by an updated vibe. Lyrically, it’s vintage Costello as topics include pillow talk and the corruption of power. With punching horns and percussion to kill provided by the Roots members, Costello has shaken off the dust and delivered a sonic phoenix to his career.
Finally Sting has taken a slightly different tack by releasing a concept album in a time of digital singles. When music fans are paying less and less attention to full artistic statements like an album, Sting delivers “The Last Ship” his first solo effort in ten years. Purported to be about a struggling shipyard in the 1980s, Sting has turned the Fall release into a Broadway play. However, early reviews tell Police fans to expect more Rodgers and Hammerstein than Lennon–McCartney inspired sounds.
I hope to have the time to get more thorough reviews in the future but amongst the avalanche of fall releases, I might not be seen for awhile. I have some serious listening to do and I couldn’t be more excited.