Publication: Albany Times Union
MSTRKRFT. “Fist of God”: Canadian dance duo MSTRKRFT release their second album of club-filling hopefuls this week. They still haven’t struck on anything original, but these tunes are fine for a night out if you don’t expect to pay that much attention to the actual music.
Willie Nelson. “Naked Willie”: Nelson re-records classic songs he penned back in the ’60s, but the Nashville production chiefs layered with sappy strings and choruses. Willie strips the songs down to their essence and presents them as he original intended.
BoA. “BoA”: Hugely popular in Asia, BoA has been in the business for a decade, having put out her first record at the tender age of 13. This Korean superstar finally has her U.S. debut this week with the self-titled album that draws heavily on American modern R&B sounds.
Ida Maria. “Fortress Round My Heart”: Norwegian-born Swedish resident/indie rocker Ida Maria has become a popular live attraction in Europe and this album has done quite well on the other side of the pond, as well. “Oh My God” is insanely hooky, as is most of this engaging release.
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears. “Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is!”: Powerhouse Austin soul band’s full-length debut is a Stax-fueled set of dance-floor stompers.
Bonnie “Prince” Billy. “Beware”: Favorite singer-songwriter of the hipster/indie set, Bonnie “Prince” Billy returns with a faux-country effort that never really gets off the ground.
Branford Marsalis. “Metamorphosen”: Marsalis offers up a set of newly written songs with his quartet and throws a Thelonious Monk classic into the mix.
Other notable releases this week. Wavves — “Wavvves” (indie); Cobalt — “Gin” (metal); Starsailor — “All the Plans” (Brit rock, import); Tim Exile — “Listening Tree” (electronic); Static-X — “Cult of Static” (metal); Nick Lowe — “Quiet Please: The New Best of Nick Lowe” (rock); Saw Doctors — “Live at The Melody Tent” (Irish/world); Superdrag — “Industry Giants” (rock); Tom Rush — “Classic Rush” (folk).
DOWNLOAD This: Seth Walker, “Rewind.” Austin’s Seth Walker is a restless musical spirit. He began his career as a classically trained cellist and morphed into a bluesman. But even that doesn’t fully describe the musical stew that Walker serves up as he roams across African-American musical forms, including blues, soul, gospel and jazz. His latest album “Leap of Faith” released two weeks ago and “Rewind” is dose of sweet Sam Cooke-styled poppy soul from this latest release.