(New albums are typically released on Tuesdays, i.e., today. What can you spend your hard-earned pennies on this week? Find out below.)
*Bob Dylan, The Bootleg Series: The Witmark Demos: 1962-1964 Guardian said of the Witmark Demos: "The latest Christmas stocking filler from Dylan Inc is clearly a swizz on some level: 32 of the 47 songs have been released before, many in multiple versions, and even Dylan obsessives might be content for the 15 rarities to gather dust in the vaults. Yet this comprehensive, chronological set of demos from Dylan's formative period, 1962 to 1964, is thrilling - and, for those new to the Bootleg Series, possibly essential. For all their crackling roughness, several of the demos not only stand up to other recordings but surpass them, notably the raw take on 'I'll Keep It With Mine' set to rasping piano." Listen to the ninth installment of the Bootleg Series in full via NPR's First Listen.
*Bob Dylan, The Original Mono Recordings If you're a huge Dylan fan with cash to burn, this collection is a must-have; it includes the original mono versions of the first eight albums in deluxe packaging with a 60-page book.
*Girl In A Coma, Adventures in Coverland Girl in a Coma goes beyond just paying homage to the Smiths on this record - all but two tracks are covers. RNR Nonsense said of Coverland, "Even on a song by song level, these reworkings succeed. They add their own edge to Selena's 'Si Una Vez' and give their own flavor to 'Walkin' After Midnight' without trying to outdo Patsy Cline. Most of the tracks aren't so much extraordinarily bold as they are extraordinarily honest. Girl in a Coma manages to both express their own musical direction and show the humility, a sadly lacking virtue in much of the modern world, to let great songs be great songs." Listen to "BB" from Coverland via Myspace.
*Girl in a Coma's cover of David Bowie's "As The World Falls Down"
*Kings Of Leon, Come Around Sundown The Guardian review of Sundown mentioned our fair city and critical pigeons: "Nothing on Come Around Sundown will mollify those who object to the Kings' pretty-boy rewrites of rock history, the kind of hostile crowd they faced at the Reading festival. Actually, Kings of Leon's summer tour will be best remembered for the critical response of the pigeons at St Louis's Verizon Amphitheatre: a shower of guano. Listening to this bloodless but finely tooled update of classic rock, you can't help feeling the pigeons were a bit harsh."
*The official video for "Radioactive" by Kings of Leon
*Elton John & Leon Russell, The Union NPR said of the collaborative record, "Elton John has done reverence and irreverence, decadence and schmaltz. But he wears elegance especially well in The Union, his new, album-length collaboration with the man he calls his idol: 68-year-old fellow singer-pianist Leon Russell. Often playing pianos simultaneously, John and Russell team up seamlessly on The Union, with the aid of guests such as Neil Young, Brian Wilson and Booker T. Jones, not to mention songwriter Bernie Taupin and the producer synonymous with pedigreed collaborations of this nature, T-Bone Burnett." Stream The Union in full and read the rest of the review at NPR's First Listen.
*Liz Phair, Funstyle Phair is streaming three songs from the record via her Myspace page.
*Shakira, Sale el Sol The Candian Press review says of Sol, "Overall, Sale El Sol is a truer representation of the Shakira who has excited Latin America and propelled her onto the world stage. Perhaps here, with Shakira's raw essence on display, those who don't already know her will understand what the fuss is all about."
*Sugarland, The Incredible Machine CNN Entertainment reviewed Machine, saying "Most of us have by now come to accept that modern country music is more a state of mind than a particular sound, so it's not necessarily a bad thing that Sugarland's latest is essentially a full-blown rock album. If only it weren't, more specifically, a Bon Jovi album." Stream "Stuck Like Glue" from The Incredible Machine here.