After a lengthy hiatus, I'm back reviewing records for RELEVANT. You can find my Arctic Monkeys write-up here. It's definitely an "A" album.
In the next several weeks I'm scheduled to cover new stuff by Wilco (they're streaming the entire album, "Sky Blue Sky," over at the official site, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to hold out for one more week until it hits stores May 15—I'm a no-leaks guy, in general, even if it is straight from the source—first impressions are very important, especially for highly-anticipated albums, and I don't want my first impression of this one to be through a computer), The White Stripes (wow, lead single/title track "Icky Thump" sounds like a welcome return to form), and The Smashing Pumpkins (I'm just hoping it doesn't suck).
Also, don't forget Ryan Adams has a new CD coming out soon (early June, I think), and the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs track "Sealings," which was just released as part of the "Spider-Man 3" soundtrack, is stellar—as good as anything on "Show Your Bones," and that's saying something. Definitely worth the 99 cents at iTunes, as is the new Snow Patrol cut that kicks off the soundtrack, "Signal Fire." Man, those guys are great.
Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention in my Arcade Fire review from a while back: This band goes great with Terry Goodkind novels. Don't know why, but it just works.