Roots Game Theory heads a list a much-anticipated fall releases
CD EXCHANGE: This fall you’ll find Vinyl Static holed up in a closet somewhere with headphones and a compact-disc player — is Vinyl Static the only one still using a CD player? — indulging in the musical glut that litters the calendar with releases from early September until the end of November.
At the top of the list is the Roots crew, whose Def Jam debut, Game Theory, came out on Tuesday. The singles the Roots have released so far on MySpace, “Here I Come” and “Don’t Feel Right,” find the Philadelphia-based instrument-savvy hip-hop/soul outfit in top form. On Sept. 12, TV on the Radio releases the highly anticipated Return to Cookie Mountain to adoring devotees who are still reeling from the band’s debut full-length effort, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. The Brooklyn-based quintet mashes organic, soulful gospel goodness with whirring guitars and psychedelic pop sensibilities for atmospheric songs that ebb and flow, less like a pop tune than a classical movement. The first single from Return, “Wolf Like Me” continues where TV on the Radio left off: slightly better than amazing. Mos Def releases his follow-up to The New Danger on Sept. 19. The new disc, dubbed Tru3 Magic, incorporates beats by Kanye West and Pharrell. The only track that’s been made public, “The Boogie Man Song,” isn’t much of an attention-grabber, but Mos always has something surprising to pull from his fedora, and this Geffen release is likely no exception. Other notable releases this month: Food & Liquor by Lupe Fiasco; the triumphant return of Bob Dylan with Modern Times, on the Columbia label, on Aug. 29; and Letting Go, the new Drag City release by Will Oldham of Palace fame under alter-ego alias Bonnie Prince Billy, on Sept. 19.
October rains even more releases. John Legend is out with Once Again on Oct. 24, and, from the sound of the first single, “Save Room,” the piano-playing crooner will enjoy success on a par with that from his Grammy-snatching debut, Get Lifted. As for November, mark up your calendar or write a reminder on your forehead, because Y’s, the sophomore release by freak-folkie Joanna Newsom, a mesmerizing concoction of three parts Björk, one part elfin princess, hits the streets on Nov. 14. The Drag City chanteuse received a little help from her friends: Beach Boys collaborator Van Dyke Parks arranged and Steve Albini recorded the album.
Oh, it’s just that good, folks.
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