On the racks: November 21, 2006

Army of Anyone, Joanna Newsom, the Game, (+44)
By MATT ASHARE  |  November 21, 2006

The Game
Stone Temple Pilots Dean and Robert DeLeo have hooked up with Filter’s Richard Patrick as Army of Anyone. The self-titled album on Firm Music started as a Filter disc. Apparently, the DeLeos impressed Patrick enough for him to ditch the Filter name and head in a more rockist direction with the former STPers. And once that decision was made, they didn’t fool around: producer Bob Ezrin was quickly enlisted to bring his hard-rock finesse to the mix.

The Game isn’t fooling around either on the follow-up to his multiplatinum 2005 breakthrough The Documentary (Geffen). He may have parted ways with his mentor 50 Cent, but he’s got plenty of other friends along for the ride on Doctor’s Advocate (Geffen). For starters, he enlisted an army of A-list producers, including Just Blaze, Will.I.Am, Kanye West, and Scott Storch. And then he put the finishing touches on by putting Tha Dogg Pound, Nas, and Xzibit, among others on the guest list. . .

Two pretty cool surprises on the new …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead disc, aside from the simple fact that it’s a huge improvement over the concept-album rut the Austin band found themselves in on last year’s Worlds Apart (Interscope). For starters, there’s the fairly straight cover of the Guided By Voices tune “Gold Heart Mountain Top Queen Directory.” And, while the liner notes to So Divided (Interscope) don’t offer much in the way of detail regarding who played what on which tracks, Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer is very definitely the guest female voice in at least one place on the disc – the stringed epic “Witches Web.”

The eagerly anticipated Steve Albini-produced album by Joanna NewsomYs (Drag City) – is every bit as precious and otherworldly as you’d expect from a neo-folk songstress of her profile. And, while putting a punk like Albini in the same room as the somewhat new age-y or even hippy-ish Newsom may look like a terrible idea on paper, Albini’s long been a consummate pro. In fact, he probably enjoyed the challenge of putting the proper soft touch on Newsom’s tender songs.

With Blink 182 broken up, and that band’s frontman Tom DeLonge doing his own thing with Angels & Airwaves, the platinum punk trio’s other two guys, reality TV star Travis Barker (drums) and bassist Mark Hoppus are doing their own thing. It’s called (+44), and it features Hoppus in the role of frontman. (He also plays bass and guitar on the disc, while DeLonge does his drumming and messes around a bit on keyboards.) The good news is that with Jerry Finn producing, it’s bound to at least sound good, even if they basically lost their songwriter.

And, for those of you who are into imports, U2 and Green Day finally got around to recording a studio version of the tune they performed together at the opening of the New Orleans Superdome on September 25. Yep, with Rick Rubin at the board, they hooked up at Abbey Road Studio in London and put a little 24-track polish on “The Saints Are Coming.” It’s available as a Universal import single that also features a recording of the live version of the tune. 

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