On the racks: October 3, 2006

Beck, the Decemberists, Lindsay Buckingham, Evanescence
By MATT ASHARE  |  October 3, 2006

061006_killers_mian
The Killers
For a while there, it seemed Beck was following a musical plan of sorts: recorded a funked-up album with his digitally wired pals the Dust Brothers, and then put on his pop singer-songwriter hat for a session with Nigel Goodrich. But, with TheInformation (Geffen), someone got their wires crossed because it sounds an awful lot like Beck just made a Dust Brothers disc only it’s got Nigel Goodrich listed as producer. Suppose it’s just Beck’s way of keeping his fans on their toes.

Colin Meloy and his Decemberists may have made the leap from Kill Rock Stars to Capitol, but he’s still writing songs like a time traveler from a couple centuries ago – sea chanteys and references to “boughs unbound” and the like. That’s what makes it “literate” – that and all the shipwrecks and dead sailors that populate the songs on The Crane Wife. I mean, come on, The Crane Wife? Sounds more like an 18th-century novel than a major label album. That’s our boy Colin.

The boys of Fleetwood Mac have gotten together to help Lindsay Buckingham — one of the more underrated guitarists, producers, and songwriters of his era — make a solo album that doesn’t suck. For starters, all those Fleetwood Mac reunions got him away from that terrible haircut he had in the ’80s. More importantly, Buckingham sticks mainly to acoustic guitar with understated backing by Macsters Mick Fleetwood (drums) and John McVie (bass), forcing songwriting to the fore on Under the Skin (Reprise). And now that he doesn’t suck, he’s actually already at work on another, more electric guitar-oriented disc. Maybe he can even get Stevie Nicks in to sing a duet on that one.

And that’s really just the tip of the iceberg this week because we’ve also got Sam’s Town (Island), the big follow-up album from the Killers; a new disc from John Lennon’s cool son Sean Lennon titled Friendly Fire (Capitol); the return of Monica with The Makings of Me (J); and another big dose of down under rock and roll from Jet in Shine On (Atlantic). Still, we all know that the biggest seller all week’s gonna be Totally Hits 2006, the latest multi-platinum bound release from the aptly named Warner Strategic Marketing.  

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