Music Review – 5 Newly Released Albums

While the summer is mainly known for new movie releases, several albums recently made their debut catering to tastes across the music spectrum.  HardyMag recommends checking out these five selections:

Maya by M.I.A.

Maya is M.I.A.’s third effort, and it is as passionate, aggressive and confrontational as her former works.  Producers including Blaqstarr, Switch and Rusko ensure an electro-punk buzz, and M.I.A.’s outrage is conveyed within a gritty and driving beat.  Always pushing the cause of her native Sri Lanka, M.I.A. includes songs on Maya which pay homage to bombs, revolution and chaos in addition to sex, drugs and art.

This album shows wide range which goes from noise which would make N.W.A proud all the way to a oblique cover of the obscure 1982 Dutch pop song “It Takes a Muscle to Fall in Love”.  Many claim M.I.A. is a modern-day incarnation of The Clash, and Clash icon Joe Strummer does not disagree.  Maya certainly serves to quantify M.I.A.’s rebellious fury, and this album is one of the better ones released so far duing 2010.

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Disconnect from Desire by School of Seven Bells

School of Seven Bells is a New York based dance music trio, and they have developed a fan base which includes the likes of The Edge from U2.  The Edge has actually cited School of Seven Bells as providing inspiration for some of his recent work, and Disconnect From Desire contains a few tracks like Windstorm which definitely exhibit influence from Bono and The Edge.  Disconnect is School’s second album, and it illustrates their growth as a band along with the development of a more defined sound.

This album transitions between slamming rock and harmonies reminiscent of early Joy Division.  If you haven’t yet experienced School of Seven Bells, then this album provides good incentive to do so.

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Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty by Big Boi

This marks Big Boi’s first solo effort apart from his OutKast homeboys.  Sir Lucious provides for an excellent forum for Big Boi to display his awesome rapping talents.  Big Boi is in a league with himself when it comes to speedy and slick lyrics, and this first solo album will further contribute to Big Boi’s place within pimp mythology.  Big Boi delivers more within a typical 3 minute song on Sir Lucious than most rappers do within an entire album.

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Intriguer by Crowded House

Intriguer marks Crowd House’s sixth studio effort, and one can immediately tell the weight of their previous reunion album has been lifted off their shoulders.  The band’s previous album, Time On Earth, took on quite morose themes reflecting the band’s sense of loss over the death of Paul Hester.  Intriguer highlights band leader Neil Finn’s sense of craftsmanship emphasizing finely honed melodies and intriguing lyrics.  Fans of Crowded House are sure to appreciate Intriguer which recalls the band’s early glory years.

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Bingo by the Steve Miller Band

After a 17-year absence from the recording studio, Bingo is the much-awaited new effort by the legendary Steve Miller Band.  The sound of Bingo harkens back to the Space Cowboy era, and the band delivers their unique mix of R&B and electric blues.  Bingo also features the last studio performance by renowned blues harmonica player Norton Buffalo who died in 2009.  Miller amply displays his deft guitar skills on Bingo, and the other members of the band provide efforts worthy of backing Miller up.  It’s been a long time since fans have been able to enjoy new material from the band, and Bingo almost makes it worth the wait.

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