October 25, 2020


By Kristi Kates | May 6, 2017

The Killers – Hot Fuss Limited Edition – Island
The Killers’ landmark debut album was released on a new vinyl version just in time for Record Store Day this year, which is as good a reason as any to revisit the set that still holds up as the band’s best work to date. The sharp synths and singer Brandon Flowers’ idiosyncratic vocals are well served by this brightly (and loudly) remastered take on the band’s groundbreaking nu– ‘80s tracks, with all the original energy of songs like “Smile Like You Mean It,” “Mr. Brightside” and “Change Your Mind all perfectly preserved and cranked up several notches. ***

Gorillaz – Humanz – Warner Bros.
With guest spots from a lineup as peculiar (in a good way) as Gorillaz itself, the animated band – a crazily successful side project from Blur frontman Damon Albarn – is back with its latest album, a glorious mess of electro–pop, hip–hop and Britrock that’s catchy right from the start of the set’s intro song “I Switched My Robot Off.” Guitar work by Oasis’ Noel Gallagher is sprinkled around the rest of the album, which includes standouts “Ascension” with guest rap from Vince Staples and “Let Me Out” with Pusha T and renowned soul singer Mavis Staples. *** ½

The Stone Roses – Sally Cinnamon: Deluxe Edition – Revolver Records
Also out in a revitalized deluxe version is this legendary classic from The Stone Roses, a band that escaped the old industrial town of Manchester, England, to seek rock n’ roll fame. This is the record that launched the group directly toward notoriety back in 1987, and this version of the set invites you to listen to both the original 7” mix and the 12” single mix as well as other Roses audio gems like “All Across the Sands” and B–side “Here It Comes.” The new packaging also includes the “Sally Cinnamon” video plus a band poster so you can relive that ‘80s history right on your wall. ***

James Blunt – The Afterlove – Atlantic
Blunt has released his fifth studio album still stinging from the backlash of his 2006 hit “You’re Beautiful,” which became so ubiquitous that people went into James Blunt overload. It seems he faded a bit in the aftermath until he started collaborating with pal Ed Sheeran, who’s helped bring Blunt and his talent back to the forefront. The friends worked together on the ballad “Make Me Better,” which opens up Blunt’s emotional, connected side, as does similar ballad “Heartbeat”; it’s only the more up tempo tunes that don’t quite catch on. ** ½


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