Welcome, dear readers, to another episode of I Have Nothing Better To Do At Work, a thrilling new spinoff of the hit dramedy, Desperately Trying to Appear Occupied.
I’m in the habit of going to Amazon.com about once every two weeks and checking out the upcoming releases in music. You’d be surprised how very little the major recording studios promote their artists nowadays. Maybe I’m just feeling old, but I remember a time when new albums were anticipated, like Christmas or the day George W. gets heaved out of office. Now, it’s like if I don’t stalk my favorite artists like a psycho, I will miss what they’re up to. I like too many artists to follow all those MySpace pages… I mean, who has time for that? But Amazon makes it easy by listing them in handy monthly groupings, and displaying them in the order of buzzworthiness. Knowing what’s coming out helps to guide my purchazzies (for example, when Jason Mraz’s new album came out, it prompted me to purchazzie his second one, thus completing my collection), and it also gives me a reason to live. I can get through anything if I know there’s a new Britney Spears album coming down the pipeline.
This summer has been a dry spell for me music-wise. Come to think of it, I haven’t purchased anything new since, like… June. That’s a long time for me. Wait, I just lied straight to your face. I did buy Janelle Monae’s Metropolis: The Chase Suite a few days ago, but that’s just an EP so I don’t count it. Anyway, the fourth quarter is gonna be awesome, though, and expensive. I hope my debit card’s magnetic strip can make it through.
Jessica Simpson – Do You Know (9/9)
Ha! I will probably not buy this album, but I did want to mention it. In a bizarre way, I’m actually curious about her foray into country/western, and at this point the critics are divided, which makes me even more curious. I’ve heard a few of the songs and I’m not impressed, but (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) I’m pulling for Jessica.
Jem – Down to Earth (9/16)
I discovered Jem thanks to one of Mia Michael’s routines on So You Think You Can Dance, and I love her first album, Finally Woken. The song, 24 (thanks, Mia), is totally worth the cost of the entire album. I hope history repeats: her new song, It’s Amazing, featured on the Sex and the City Soundtrack is one of my favorites of the year, and not just because it samples Bach (That’s right, Jem, you thought you could stump a bitch… but no, this entire song is based on Prelude in f minor, Book 2, The Well-Tempered Clavier). Frankly, girlfriend is kind of obsessed with that prelude, the song They from her first album also quotes it (and even more emphatically). Here's the video.
Amanda Palmer – Who Killed Amanda Palmer? (9/16)
Ok, so it took me a few weeks to figure out that Amanda Palmer is the same girl who fronts the Dresden Dolls, one of the best cabaret/rock/baroque pop bands out there. The Dresden Dolls are certainly out there, as in just a little bit twisted. I might not be dysfunctional enough to really appreciate their stuff, but it certainly taps into the inner goth kid that never got a chance to break out the black lipstick and fishnets in high school. I don’t know if this solo album is going into different territory, or what, but I’m going to buy just because it’s her and her makeup is always flawless. One of the first singles is Runs in the Family...
Jenny Lewis – Acidtongue (9/23)
Jenny Lewis is just like Robin Thicke in the sense that I don’t typically like the style of music she does. It has a tendency to veer towards country when I would rather it veer towards good, but for some reason, I don’t even mind. I think it’s her voice. I could listen to her sing anything, I think, and her songwriting is always thoughtful, sexy, and just a little bit dirty. Also, killer harmonies. The title track is the first single, and I'm loving it... (the little introduction is only kind of cute and funny, fast forward through it if you must...)
Pussycat Dolls – Doll Domination (9/23)
Ugh! I have never, nor will I ever, buy a Pussycat Dolls CD. They’re too manufactured… even for me. (And that’s saying a lot). (Full disclosure: I did buy the song Buttons, but that’s not the whole album, so I can still look myself in the face.)
Jennifer Hudson (9/30)
Super excited about this one. It’s been a long time coming – I figured she would have dropped an album closer to her Dreamgirls triumph. As it is, this album has a lot of potential and a lot of good buzz. Spotlight is an excellent track that has grown on me significantly in the last few weeks.
Robin Thicke – Something Else (9/30)
Oh, the supreme almighty power of hotness. I don’t usually like the style of music that Robin Thicke dabbles in, which is that kind of dark-room, atmospheric, take-off-your-clothes, makin’ babies music, and not because I don’t like those things, but because that music tends to get boring and doesn’t suit for you know, driving to work or washing the dishes or any other everyday activity. But I love him, so I’m willing to overlook the cheesiness. His previous album, The Evolution of Robin Thicke, was enjoyable enough, but I can’t pretend: I buy these albums because he’s hot. Here's the first single, Magic.
To look forward to in October: Jon McLaughlin, Michelle Williams, Oasis, Keri Hilson, Keane, Ingrid Michaelson, Pink, Lady Gaga, and Snow Patrol.